Back in February 2009 (i.e., before Obama had been in office a full month), Andy Card, former chief of staff in the Bush-Cheney administration, complained that the new President didn’t always wear his jacket on in the Oval Office. Of course, the President whom Card had worked for didn’t always wear a jacket there either. Neither did several of his immediate predecessors. So something else must have bothered Card, something he couldn’t acknowledge and therefore pinned to a jacket.
This month, for the second time, the American right wing erupted over photographs of President Obama with his feet on his desk while speaking on the phone. Back in 2009, conservatives echoed a writer in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz linking the President’s posture to him supposedly being “an enthusiast of Muslim culture.”
According to those 2009 complaints, speaking with his feet on his desk was how Obama showed disrespect for the Israeli prime minister on the other end of the phone. According to this month’s complaints, however, the same posture meant Obama might be choosing to show “disdain and disregard for all things traditionally American.”
The only disrespect in these incidents comes from bigots unable to stomach the sight of President Obama exercising power and trying to justify their visceral dislike by complaining about behavior that didn’t bother them during other Presidencies. Incidentally, the man on the left of the following photograph is Andy Card.