The finger wag: What’s the problem here?

Is America — or its media — making too big a deal over this?


In an age where TV cameras follow a president everywhere, just this one photo seems to exist to fuel the discussion in some corners today about whether it’s unseemly to argue with a president. Odd, though, how the video cuts away before the good stuff.

“I grew up hearing that you treat the office with respect, and people aren’t buying that anymore,” says Cassandra Dahnke, co-founder of the Institute for Civility in Politics in Houston.

But are we asking more of politicians than we do ourselves? Who hasn’t let someone else know when they’re unhappy with something they said or wrote, as apparently is the case here?

And who started the conversation above, which apparently was about something the Arizona governor wrote about a meeting with the president?

“We started to have a conversation about the economy and jobs and he kind of diverted the conversation to my book,” Gov. Jan Brewer, R-AZ, told Fox.

But even by Minnesota standards, the protocol of politics is pretty passive aggressive. On the Senate floor, for example, referring to another senator as “my friend,” is a sign of respect and genuine warmth. “My good friend” means “I don’t like him/her that much” and “my very good friend” means “I can’t stand him/her.”

The presidency deserves respect, of course. But it was never intended to be an office of royalty.