Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism, writes this about the Jan Brewer finger-wagging controversy:
“[G]iven the liberal overreaction to this incident, you’d think the governorship of Arizona outranked the presidency, or that Obama was a beleaguered civil-rights activist sneaking into Arizona by cover of night, and not the president of the United States touching down in Air Force One.”
I have read and re-read this sentence many times, each time with great care. No matter how I try, dear reader, I cannot make sense of it. Goldberg appears to have thoroughly misunderstood the problem in a way I would not have imagined possible.
The reason it was upsetting to liberals is precisely because the president outranks the governor of Arizona, and therefore ought to be treated as a superior by the latter. She doesn’t have to like him, or agree with him. She can even argue fairly passionately with him. But, it was my understanding that the office commanded some element of symbolic respect, which is not consistent with wagging one’s finger in the occupant’s face.
Now, I hesitate to judge anything based on a still picture. Still pictures may be misleading. (If anyone can link to a video of the incident, I’ll embed it.) But if it was what it looked like, it seems to show a lack of respect. I’m not quite sure what Goldberg thinks the problem is.