Caveman in Chief
I’ve been thinking about that little shoulder-rub Codpiece gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G-8 Summit on Sunday.
Most of the commentary I’ve read glosses over it as a casual, friendly little touch, the kind of familiar caress a close buddy, relative or spouse might give to help you relieve a little tension.
It might even (reading the mild words describing the touch) pass muster in a modern workplace where the touch wouldn’t be taken as sexual or as subtle harassment.
Or, the commentary calls his behavior simply boorish.
And most of it describes Chancellor Merkel’s reaction to Codpiece’s hands closing, suddenly and without warning, on her shoulders as a “smile.”
Germany’s leader was startled. She jerked halfway out of her chair. That expression on her face was not a smile, not playful acquiescence. It was an unmistakable grimace of fright.
I’m not denigrating her. Hers was an instinctive, defensive reaction. Any woman, touched like that unexpectedly, would respond in exactly the same way. Men can be dangerous beasts and every woman on earth knows it deep in her heart and soul.
However, one does not expect the President of the United States to act like one.
Chancellor Merkel covered her distress quickly and with grace. She’s the powerful leader of a European country, not some helpless, low-paid and disrespected minion whose only function in the eyes of the boss with the ugly, roving hands is to provide him with a little distraction and suggestive entertainment. I’ll bet her neck and shoulders itched for hours afterwards. I’ll bet she couldn’t wait to bathe.
I’ll bet she wished she’d had a gun.
Bush humiliated and denigrated the Chancellor of the Republic of Germany in the most basic and symbolic way there is: A man putting a woman in her place by closing his hands on her neck while standing above and behind her so that she cannot defend herself.
What in hell was Bush thinking? Does he think? He’s the President of the United States! Has he no manners or sense of protocol? No inkling of the gravitas of his position? No clue as to his role as the representative and ambassador of his people?
Is he truly the world’s most powerful walking asshole?
Would he sneak up behind UN President Kofi Annan and give him a little squeeze? Or England’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair? How about Russian President Vladimir Putin, or any of the other male world leaders in the room?
Chancellor Angela Merkel got the smarmy, hey-little-lady neck rub because she is a woman, and Codpiece has no respect for her as an equal in any sense of the word. In fact, the touch was a jaw-droppingly open display of thuggish male dominance.
I wish she’d had the presence of mind to whirl out of her chair and slap the holy shit out of him. I wish she’d given him the dressing down he deserved, right there on camera for the whole world to see. I wish she’d fucking decked him for daring to humiliate her that way, in front of her peers and in front of the world.
But because she’s the Chancellor of Germany and posseses the grace, dignity, sophistication and sense of decorum her position requires, she allowed it to pass.
Once again, George W. Bush, Caveman in Chief, walks away sniggering.