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An unwelcome advance
July 17, 2006 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Video: President Bush creeps out German Chancellor with unwelcome massage
posted by edverb (158 comments total)

 
via
posted by edverb at 8:27 PM on July 17, 2006














SEXUAL HARRASMENT IN THE WORKPLACE AND YOU:

A guide to proper behavior guidelines for the work environment
posted by stenseng at 8:31 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Has someone photoshopped Bush and Merkel into an Oval office oral sex scene yet?

*shudders*
posted by Krrrlson at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2006


Whew. At least no loofahs or falafels or whatever were involved.
posted by telstar at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, look at how she's dressed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2006 [7 favorites]


Is Bush on muscle relaxants or something? He's acting all goofy on this trip....

Maybe the pressure finally got to him.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2006


It would have been cool if she instinctively judo-flipped him.
posted by exogenous at 8:34 PM on July 17, 2006


From Kos:
Chancellor Merkel is not amused.

Really? I didn't get that from the video. It appears that she is startled and then laughs it off. Kos continues to be the repository of irritating prudes.
posted by Pacheco at 8:34 PM on July 17, 2006


That's actually kind of funny. I've done this to girls before but it was freshman year of college and they were drunk. It wasn't sexual, but it wasn't something I would do to a male. I hate to say this but while he's obviously a bad president, he seems kind of like a funny guy to hang out with. How many world leaders would do something like that? Is it bad that I want to give him five and go "B-Dawg, shotgun this! Come on B-dawg!"
posted by geoff. at 8:35 PM on July 17, 2006


What I wouldn't do to see her deck him for that crap. C'mon Merkel, get 'im!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:35 PM on July 17, 2006


The german site describes it as a "love attack".
posted by clevershark at 8:37 PM on July 17, 2006


Buster Bluth is running my country. Fantastic.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2006


He was obviously going for the throat.
posted by fatbobsmith at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2006


geoff. wrote: "That's actually kind of funny. I've done this to girls before but it was freshman year of college and they were drunk. It wasn't sexual, but it wasn't something I would do to a male. I hate to say this but while he's obviously a bad president, he seems kind of like a funny guy to hang out with. How many world leaders would do something like that? Is it bad that I want to give him five and go "B-Dawg, shotgun this! Come on B-dawg!""


If he were the head of a frat, or an assistant football coach, or a guy who sells couch insurance, no, it would be fine.

Given that he's the leader of the free world, commander in chief of the most powerful armed forces in the world, and as such, holds perhaps the most sensitive, important, and responsible position of any human being on Earth. Yes. It's a fucking problem.
posted by stenseng at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2006 [5 favorites]


"...einer Blitz-Massage."

Comedy gold!
posted by furtive at 8:42 PM on July 17, 2006


"I told you I was hardcore."
posted by Mr. Six at 8:45 PM on July 17, 2006


I have to assume ... he's finally gotten wholeheartedly back into drinking, and doesn't care anymore.

"Hey guys! St. Petersburg! What's up! (burp) lol, Syria's some shit, am I rite? Am I rite? TONY! Am I rite? Hey Angela, sup?"

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the man with his finger on the big red button.
posted by blacklite at 8:45 PM on July 17, 2006


Shoulda tried this.
posted by washburn at 8:46 PM on July 17, 2006


But what happened to the goddamned pig?
posted by homunculus at 8:47 PM on July 17, 2006


what the hell is going on !? i'm getting to much info on the comings and goings of my "men of quality" thank you very much.
posted by nola at 8:52 PM on July 17, 2006


At this point, I guess it's only a matter of time until that video of the President teabgging Koizumi leaks out.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:52 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or is the look on his face more akin to someone who's working on a factory assembly line, or making a sandwich at Subway?
posted by cellphone at 8:53 PM on July 17, 2006


or high as a fucking kite on mellow pills...
posted by stenseng at 8:57 PM on July 17, 2006


let's all analyze the minutae of powerful people like it really matters
posted by dydecker at 8:57 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


let's all analyze the minutae of powerful people like it really matters

Really...the expression on Merkel's face says it all. No further analysis required. The thing speaks for itself.

snark, however, is expected
posted by edverb at 9:00 PM on July 17, 2006


Is it bad that I want to give him five and go "B-Dawg, shotgun this! Come on B-dawg!"

I think Bush must have an internalized cheering section doing just that, laughing at his antics all the time, and giving him high-fives, and comforting him when the other people shake their heads at what a pathetic bumbling retarded shitbag he is. Probably something about how he was raised.

Now hush while we judge you by your desired company.
posted by fleacircus at 9:00 PM on July 17, 2006


Seriously, what did he think she was gonna do, relax off into a dreamy shoulder massage in front of everybody as the cameras rolled? What a maroon.
posted by telstar at 9:02 PM on July 17, 2006


I think it's a very comical 4 seconds of video.

What more can be said? You can't get any idea of the context or resolution from four grainy seconds. Sure doesn't help the frat boy image though, does it? Sigh.
posted by polyhedron at 9:03 PM on July 17, 2006


Seriously, what did he think she was gonna do, relax off into a dreamy shoulder massage in front of everybody as the cameras rolled? What a maroon.
posted by telstar at 9:02 PM PST on July 17 [+fave] [!]


No fan of Bush, but I seriously doubt he expected anything even remotely similar to that. Looks like he was goofing off, trying to get a rise out of her.
posted by Stauf at 9:04 PM on July 17, 2006


Thank God she's not bald!

George W. Bush's Fondness for Bald Heads.
posted by ericb at 9:05 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Bush is clearly a likeable guy, like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit. But who cares? Even if he's obnoxious, who cares?

The atrocious garbage he's committed our country to, that's worth talking about. Or thinking about. This is neither.
posted by argybarg at 9:06 PM on July 17, 2006


The atrocious garbage he's committed our country to, that's worth talking about. Or thinking about. This is neither.

Funny thing...ask any random person off the street to recall the first Bush administration. Ask if they remember anything at all about the vital role in world history played by April Glaspie. Drawing a blank?

Iraq? Ambassador? Meeting about Kuwait? Troops amassed, southern border? No?

Then ask them if they remember Bush puking on the Japanese Prime Minister.
posted by edverb at 9:13 PM on July 17, 2006


like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit.

Or maybe more like that "makin' copies" guy from SNL years ago? Now that seems kinda newsworthy to me.
posted by telstar at 9:14 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit

I really hate that guy.
posted by pompomtom at 9:14 PM on July 17, 2006


He's doped up on goofballs.
posted by jefbla at 9:18 PM on July 17, 2006


He's drinking again, isn't he?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:20 PM on July 17, 2006


Looks like he was goofing off, trying to get a rise out of her.

I think the word is bully, actually. Anybody seen the documentary Journeys with George?
posted by Chuckles at 9:24 PM on July 17, 2006


Oh for fuck's sake. How is this by any stretch of the imagination okay/laughable or even trivial? You don't ambush other politicians at a major meeting and start pawing at them. And it's rude at best to walk up behind a woman and start fondling her-- I've had this done to me and it's awful, a real intrusion on your physical boundaries, and therefore disrespectful in the extreme-- but he's supposed to be a world leader, at a conference where you're supposed to be working on world-type problems, including the Middle East going up in flames. Bush's good-ole boy, down home schtick is wildly inappropriate. Weren't there rumours going around that he was both being medicated and hitting the bottle again?
posted by jokeefe at 9:28 PM on July 17, 2006


As usual, Firefox gets teabagged by some video format. Sheesh.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:35 PM on July 17, 2006


My god that man is a jackass.
posted by maryh at 9:36 PM on July 17, 2006


"Ah heard there wuzza chance, Chancelor...hehhe hehheh hehheh..."
posted by maryh at 9:38 PM on July 17, 2006


He's drinking again, isn't he?

Sure seems like it:
See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over.
The really depressing thing there is the use of "they." I mean, you and I, we talk about "them" — "They ought to have a law!" "What the fuck were they thinking when they did that?" But I'd always kind of assumed that as, you know, leader of the free world and shit, you got to be "they." That it wasn't, "If they had any sense they'd do X," but rather, "*snap* Minion! We need X done, by yesterday!" Apparently not.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:39 PM on July 17, 2006


When did G8 start standing for Grade 8?
posted by ryoshu at 9:39 PM on July 17, 2006




Woh, huh, huh, Chancellor Babe, I'm mean, huh, huh, Angela-babe.
posted by ericb at 9:49 PM on July 17, 2006


from chuckles link
Alexandra Pelosi: You just want me to vote for you for your own ego. What are you going to do for me if I vote for you?
George W. Bush: I'm going to give you a little kiss on the cheek.
Alexandra Pelosi: A kiss?
George W. Bush: I like a good bologna sandwich.
posted by hortense at 9:53 PM on July 17, 2006


Good lord, man, I can't approve of that.
posted by chimaera at 10:01 PM on July 17, 2006


IshmaelGraves: not defending him here, but the "they" W was speaking of when he uttered the epithet was the United Nations.
posted by aberrant at 10:06 PM on July 17, 2006


snark, however, is expected

My honest opinion. i couldn't give a hoot whether the president of the USA gives someone a backrub. if this is important to you, you've been brainwashed by power.
posted by dydecker at 10:17 PM on July 17, 2006


hortense, come on. There's a solid line between the last Pelosi quote and the final Bush quote - they're from two different sections of the documentary.

Isn't there enough to make fun of without having to make stuff up?
posted by aberrant at 10:19 PM on July 17, 2006


Seems to me his opinion of women has been shown.

It's okay to him to repeatedly speak of cooking/eating food, and touch them when they least expect it without any respect. Would he act this way with another man? I doubt it. Maybe he's just drinking or doing drugs again...
posted by spacelux at 10:28 PM on July 17, 2006


Would he act this way with another man? I doubt it.

You might want to peruse ericb's link.
posted by maryh at 10:33 PM on July 17, 2006


awww, he's harmless.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:37 PM on July 17, 2006


Would he act this way with another man?

He certainly shows signs of sexism, but yes, I think he would do it to another man. It would be much more rare, and only for a certain kind of 'effete intellectual' or some such, but still..

Watching Pelosi and Bush play gender roles against each other is quite something. If you haven't seen it, you should.
posted by Chuckles at 10:38 PM on July 17, 2006


"like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit"

Right - the alcoholic that pulled his pants down at the christmas party. I know the guy. I put visine in his drink at happy hour last friday.
posted by 2sheets at 10:42 PM on July 17, 2006


As usual, Firefox gets teabagged by some video format.
Yeah, I'm getting really inconsistent and shitty frame rates.. have to keep playing it over and over to see what is going on.
posted by zek at 10:49 PM on July 17, 2006


image hosted by tripod rofl
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:54 PM on July 17, 2006


Wow, Bush must be on the "Fucked Up and Fucking It Some More" Tour. What a goddamned jackwad he is.

I wonder if his base would finally freak out if he pulled out his cock and started running around "putting out terrorist fires" by pissing on everyone.

Facial tics and drooling?

Random fecal explosions?

What does this fool have to do to finally freak out his own people?
posted by fenriq at 10:58 PM on July 17, 2006


non sequitur#2
posted by hortense at 10:59 PM on July 17, 2006


per Chuckles: "Watching Pelosi and Bush play gender roles against each other is quite something. If you haven't seen it, you should."

I would love to see what you are talking about. So far I have only found this and this. Neither of which gave me any enlightenment.

Any more info will be appreciated.
posted by spacelux at 11:12 PM on July 17, 2006


there was a pic of GW walking with Laura and Merkel a few days ago, he had his arms around both of them at the same time in a very propriatory looking moment.

I think to me, who is not very tactile with people I hardly know, the way he has been hanging on Merkel would seriously creep me out. Hey buddy, we are working here. You want a handshake, fine, but neckrubs and noogies are right out.

jackass is about right, or drunken jackass
posted by edgeways at 11:35 PM on July 17, 2006


Let's stop using the phrase "leader of the free world", okay?
posted by thedaniel at 11:40 PM on July 17, 2006


Part of me thinks this shouldn't be a big deal but then again, what if she snuck up and grabbed his shoulders? People would be freaking out.

No telling what he'd do if he went to Auschwitz.

I used to think his drinking again was an impossibility, what with all his handlers, but day by day the man simply has no functioning adult-level sense of judgement.
posted by bardic at 12:00 AM on July 18, 2006


bardic:

Knowing him, if he went to Auschwitz he'd probably start talking about barbecue. Better to keep him as far from any site of remotely serious resonance as possible.

And yeah, I would just love to see some of that classic Teutonic bluntness get deployed by Merkel. They show way too much tact, these G8 types dealing with him, though it's clear that Putin feels "in control" of their relationship.
posted by trigonometry at 12:05 AM on July 18, 2006


I'm with jokeefe.

Bush is clearly a likeable guy...

I don't see it, but I will grant you that others apparently do. There's never been a time when I thought he'd be the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with. Call me weird.

"Son, I love your strategy: don't let them get to know you." Barbara Bush
posted by wsg at 12:44 AM on July 18, 2006


I'll give Bush this: the "bologna sandwich" thing is funny.
posted by wsg at 12:49 AM on July 18, 2006


Good lord MeFi, pull the sticks out of your asses, Merkel is grinning in the last frame of this thread anyway. These people work together, they are working at the highest level of world government but they know each other more personally than we know them. Let them be people and not some robotic beings who always have to be serious because of the middle east/starving children/bird flu/mumbai bombings/grey goo.




I've had this done to me and it's awful, a real intrusion on your physical boundaries, and therefore disrespectful in the extreme

OH NO SOMEONE TOUCHED MY SHOULDERS, DOUBLE UP ON MY ZOLOFT!
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 2:05 AM on July 18, 2006


He's really chawin', jawin', and pawin' his way through this trip. To Bush, that's no German Chancellor, that's a woman who works for him. She probably has a nickname already. "Say, Goldie, pass the preztels, will ya?"
posted by pracowity at 2:45 AM on July 18, 2006


Does that look like a happy smile to you? Or perhaps a profoudly uncomfortable smile that often appears in a situation where you are totally skeeved out and don't know what to do about it.

I guess it depends on your point of view.
posted by sic at 2:46 AM on July 18, 2006


incredibly skeevy and molesterish, not to mention undignified and intrusive (which is expected from that idiot) --even Putin kissing that boy's stomach wasn't as gross.

it really is pathetic that he represents us.
posted by amberglow at 3:15 AM on July 18, 2006


Frat Boy Prick
posted by amberglow at 3:48 AM on July 18, 2006



Given all the signs, he really seems to be drinking again (even this pic now circulating with what appears to be Bud Light on the table and Putie looking all flustered by him).
posted by moonbird at 3:58 AM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


given this pic... haven't had my coffee yet, stammering like George in my pajamas.
posted by moonbird at 3:59 AM on July 18, 2006


He does, in fact look more shit-faced than usual in that pic, moonbird.

I put visine in his drink at happy hour last friday

What does that do?
posted by psmealey at 4:21 AM on July 18, 2006


No, its not socially acceptable to randomly start rubbing/massaging someone's shoulders. I saw someone do this to a woman in a few years ago, and figured that only someone who knew the lady very well (a good friend) would do such a thing. After the guy left the room, the woman freaked out, as the she hardly knew the person. Last I knew she was calling the campus police.

Jock, car salesman, whatever, it ain't proper to go around grabbing women you're not on very good terms with, Presidents of the United States included. This is an issue, if only because its just one more reason to be embarrassed by our favorite president.
posted by Atreides at 4:31 AM on July 18, 2006


Let them be people and not some robotic beings who always have to be serious because of the middle east/starving children/bird flu/mumbai bombings/grey goo.

NO.

See, this isn't some Casual Friday/company picnic thing where the guys and gals from the office get together to just be kids for a few hours over wine coolers and chicken wraps. The people at this meeting are all responsible for the lives and futures of millions. Decisions they make affect lives way beyond the borders of their own nations. They aren't jes' folks. Shows of kitten-like exuberance and childlike whimsy are not appropriate. People in such positions are generally required to be Adults, and Actual Adults In Serious Situations aren't given to playfully pawing each other or giving noogies or waging ticklefights. That's the kind of behavior that corporate adolescents like to think of as "fun leadership." Bush is like the office lunkhead who giggles through the sexual harassment seminar and gives a male underling titty twists on the way out so the gals know he's an equal opportunity offender, hyuk hyuk. Guys like that are embarrassing, they're overgrown twelve year olds. Look at what's happened in the world this week alone, and tell me why you feel it's acceptable to have the Don't-Be-That-Guy guy bounding around the G8?
posted by maryh at 4:38 AM on July 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


Bush is clearly a likeable guy...

From what I have seen and heard, not really. He is mostly an obnoxious jerk-off who uses both his position and acid tongue to demean and embarass his subordinates. Members of the press report that he can be very cordial and almost charming, he has a mean streak that shows itself more often than not.

As for this incident, he was probably looped up on something, and was acting inappropriately familiar with the German Chancellor.
posted by psmealey at 4:56 AM on July 18, 2006


this incident (that, by the way, would get many Americans fired from their job if they pulled that shit) and the other "shit" incident indicate that yes, he may have been a little drunk (the slightly slurred speech, the eyes, unmistakable signs if you've been around drunks)

not that it matters. Nixon was drunk/on pills for much of his final year in the White House and the world didn't blow up. seriously, do you think that he'd launch an attack strike when drunk? it's not like he has an actual big red button and he can push it as a drunken prank, there are military aides, some of them high-ranking, around him to protect the codes. worst case scenario, they'll call Cheney then send him back to sleep and he'll wake up with a hangover.
posted by matteo at 5:18 AM on July 18, 2006


These remind me of those recently found photographs of Winston Churchill giving Franklin Roosevelt a calf massage.
posted by crunchland at 5:31 AM on July 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Aren't the German's pissed?
posted by phrontist at 5:40 AM on July 18, 2006


As others here have stated, this type of behaviour is not appropriate, much less dignified or respectful. For chrissakes, I'm sure you all heard the incredibly fucked up "pig" comments this moron made in front of Merkel during that press conference. She looked like she wanted to either run from the stage, or deck the moron.

This whacko is clearly drinking again, remember, this is a known alcoholic we're talking about, and it's not good to mix alcohol with antidepressants. This is going to get worse, you watch. My guess? He's also hitting the nose candy, the jaw grinding is a bit of a giveaway.

If you find this anything but deeply disturbing, something is wrong with you. Seriously.
posted by dbiedny at 5:53 AM on July 18, 2006


This kind of thing isn't serious as an isolated incident, I don't want to be misunderstood about that. On the other hand, it is indicative of his personality, and his personality is an interesting and important issue.

pracowity: To Bush, that's no German Chancellor, that's a woman who works for him. She probably has a nickname already. "Say, Goldie, pass the preztels, will ya?"

Yes, that is exactly it! He is alpha male, cementing his authority.

spacelux: Any more info will be appreciated.

Sorry, Alexandra Pelosi, from the documentary Journeys with George. You should put an email address in your profile :P
posted by Chuckles at 5:57 AM on July 18, 2006


Merkl strikes me as someone who wouldn't even be comfortable getting a neck rub from her husband in public. That much I know just from watching Euronews occasionally during the German elections. I can only imagine how much knowledge I would garner if I had staff whose job it was to look this stuff up for me (i.e. protocol officers, the kind State has lots of).

Of course none of this stuff ultimately matters when you're on the sauce and feeling all touchy-feely.
posted by clevershark at 6:02 AM on July 18, 2006


And anyone who can look at those pictures and think that Merkel was anything but deeply uncomfortable, is blind. EOS.
posted by dbiedny at 6:03 AM on July 18, 2006


It wasn't sexual, but it wasn't something I would do to a male.

Right out of Pulp Fiction.

There's never been a time when I thought he'd be the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with.

Me neither. I always thought of him as a Little Lord Fauntleroy with a fake accent he didn't use to have. I have no idea how people get some 'manly Joe' vibe off him.

AFAICS, all he has going for him is that he is in the Republican club, which is all that matters to some people.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:15 AM on July 18, 2006


Others get it. If it would get me fired from my job (regardless of whether or not my intent was sexual as opposed to "just being a nice guy"), the president shouldn't be doing it. And not in public in front of a camera, for chrissakes.

But the coverage on this will be, once again, IOKIYAR. At least in America.
posted by bardic at 6:22 AM on July 18, 2006


There's a reason we developed all these rituals of diplomacy & that's because cultural differences are so easily turned into international incidents. Even assuming that Bush's "playful" style is acceptable back home (which i don't think it is, I agree with the people who say he uses it like a bully to demean those around him but then overtly demands that others respect his altitude over them, all in a classic social dominance ritual) it certainly isn't when he's not on "home turf". It's just another dominance game, meant to demonstrate that the rules don't apply to him. This is the unifying thread of the entire Bush presidency, that rules don't matter unless they want them to. What matters to them is the application of power, pure & simple. We can break the rules when we want to, but that's our privilege & if you try to emulate us we'll punish you for it. Bush would never have tried that stunt with Maggie Thatcher, I can guarantee that.
posted by scalefree at 6:23 AM on July 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Has Bush ever met Prince Philip? THAT would be comedy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:30 AM on July 18, 2006


do you think that he'd launch an attack strike when drunk?
posted by matteo at 5:18 AM PST


There ARE reports of Nixon doing just that.... 'bomb the son of a bitches' or phrases like that.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:44 AM on July 18, 2006


You know, in another Universe, I've got my arm around George Bush yelling, "THAT'S MY BOY! THAT! IS! MY! BOY!"
posted by jon_kill at 6:48 AM on July 18, 2006


I finally watched The Office last week.

David-Fucking-Brent is your President, America.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:52 AM on July 18, 2006


I found Bush to be an embarrasing oligophrenic from the very start of his presidential campaign, and am still in shock that he got any votes at all, much less enough to be appointed president.
posted by signal at 6:57 AM on July 18, 2006


Just a good ole' boy / Never meanin' no harm / Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law since the day he was born / Straightenin' the curves / Flattenin' the hills / Someday the mountain might get 'em, but the law never will / Makin' his way the only way he know how / That's just a little bit more than the law will allow / Just a good ole' boy / Wouldn't change if he could / Fightin' the system like a true-modern day Robin Hood.
posted by crunchland at 7:11 AM on July 18, 2006


But the coverage on this will be, once again, IOKIYAR. At least in America.

Hell, he could've given Angie a purple nurple, pantsed Stephen Harper, jumped up on the conference table, whipped off his shirt and belted out a full version of "Just A Gigolo" (complete with twirling his junk at Putin during the "IIIIII... ain't got nobody" part) and the Sunday Morning Wagging Chins might have made a passing reference to "our reinvigorated President" (insert indulging chuckles as appropriate) before continuing their OMG GAY ADOPTIONS BOMB THE RAGHEADS onslaught.

"After the break: how is liberal humorlessness destroying America?"
posted by hangashore at 7:13 AM on July 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


From Lancelot Link, secret chimp: If you think about this at all (ook schrreech) Bush is clearly, though subconsciously, asserting dominance over Merkel, (ooook ook ook ook) by sneaking up behind her and "rubbing her shoulders/assuming a dominant posture" (ook).

If you can't see that, where have you been? (hu hu huh?) He is "working that Bush magic" (oooooooooooOOOOOoOOOOok) on one of his fellow G-8 leaders, in order to ensure political and/or sexual compliance -- same difference (Oook ook ook oooook - duh).

If I were to make any predictions, we can expect to see Bush pissing in the corners in order to mark some more territory (ook uh uh uh oook).

Why do you think he is nicknamed "Chimpy"? (schreeech ook chiiiiiiimpy?)
posted by mooncrow at 7:38 AM on July 18, 2006


Bush is clearly a likeable guy, like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit.

I'm pretty sure nobody finds that guy likeable at all. So, right.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:52 AM on July 18, 2006


I had absolutely no problem with his mic'ed comments to Blair. . .however many layers there were to his level of informedness.

But this is just uncomprehensively embarrassing. What a fool.
posted by Danf at 7:55 AM on July 18, 2006


It's a good way to establish dominancein a non-threatning threatning way. The Germans are so serious, one needs to publicly put them in their place sometimes.
posted by nixerman at 7:58 AM on July 18, 2006


Doubly because she's a woman, too, right nixerman?

Gotta put 'em in their place! Horse Apples!
posted by defenestration at 8:06 AM on July 18, 2006


defenestration, yes, exactly. The one thing that Bush can't do is take Europe seriously. If he takes Europe seriously it'll legitamise European opinion on Iraq, Iran, and Israel. Bush has to walk a very delicate line of strengthening the trans-Atlantic alliance without legitamising the allies. Casting Europe as a woman, easily dominated through playful gestures, achieves this and more. It makes Europe and the US look close and friendly with just the right subtle connotations of "but you still don't really matter." This can be sold to the public and to the base. I'm sure Bush is fully aware of what he's doing and I'm sure the press will rollover and get the message out: Bush is still a chummy-guy-we'd-love-to-have-a-beer-with who literally knows how to handle those feminine Europeans.

And, like I said, those Germans. They do need to lighten up.
posted by nixerman at 8:15 AM on July 18, 2006


Aren't the German's pissed?

Well, good ole Georgie ain't terribly popular round here anyways, so this probably won't make much of a difference. Also, I believe most Germans would take this as a curious, somewhat misplaced joke rather than manifest sexual harassment at the workplace.

For your information: The source of the video is the web site of the Bild-Zeitung, which is quite a few rungs beneath USA Today in terms of quality and decency. If it hadn't been for the MeFi post, I wouldn't even have gotten wind of this. Most media outlets around here are probably too busy reporting on the Isreal / Lebanon conflict to make much of this.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 8:15 AM on July 18, 2006


Now Bill Clinton on the other hand...
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:17 AM on July 18, 2006


that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit.

The problem with that guy is that if you take pity on him, agreeing to meet for lunch one day, he starts telling you about his sex trips to Bangkok, his amazing handgun collection, and his bad prostrate, all the while peppering the conversation with mildly racist jokes whenever there is an awkward pause.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2006


Yeah, he would've taken the backrub like a man!
posted by defenestration at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2006


(schreeech ook chiiiiiiimpy?)

I think you read it perfectly Moonbird. It is dominant alpha chimp behavior, disguised as what he perceives as being some sort of uber charm. Maybe it was impressed upon him, that it was important to patch up the cooled relations with Germany this trip, (due to their opposition to the Iraq war). The Bush and Neocon strategists remarked at the time that Germany, France et al weren't crucial allies any longer and that central european allies were more so (Poland etc). I guess that work out to well (Any undergrad Poli Sci major could've pointed it out that the U.S. wouldn't have an easy time of it with the EU unless they kept things good with Germany. DUH!). And now he thinks acting like a "charismatic fraternity" president (i.e, world class fool) he can make everything better. I'm sure Merkel is furious and rightfully so. Women in such high positions work very, very hard to make their gender a non issue and his relegating of her to homegirl status is damned insensitive and unbelieveably foolish. But maybe it's his way of saying to Merkel and Germany by proxy, You're my bitch.
posted by Skygazer at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2006


Bush is clearly a likeable guy, like that jocular guy from the sales department who always stops by your office and shoots the shit

I guess people must think that guy is "likeable". Maybe frat boys are frat boys partly because people like them that way. To me, it is just called "being a jackass", and I don't understand at all what is appealing about it. What it screams to me is utter, utter cluelessness. I suppose there may sometimes be a bit of an inverse relationship between awareness and a general 'comfort in the world', in that if you really are completely oblivious to the complications and consequences around you, you can just kind of glide through. But to me, a real comfort in the world is not just someone who never seems ashamed or nervous or self-conscious, but someone who is clearly aware of the factors which they are up against, and is still thoughtful and responsive, and able to put those around them at ease. Bush has none of those abilities, and his "comfort" seems entirely superficial to me - it's just a total lack of concern.
posted by mdn at 8:46 AM on July 18, 2006


Maybe frat boys are frat boys partly because people like them that way.

Only other frat boys. Which explains why there is a frat in the first place. (Also explains what's holding the now-foundationless Republican party together.)

Acting out is not acting confident, in fact, it almost always demonstrates the opposite.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:51 AM on July 18, 2006


FYI, Visine in a drink can send someone to the hospital.
posted by parallax7d at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2006


parallax7d writes "FYI, Visine in a drink can send someone to the hospital."

But generally it sends them running to the bathroom.
posted by clevershark at 9:25 AM on July 18, 2006


Ich bin ein betrunken
posted by pyramid termite at 9:33 AM on July 18, 2006


Krrrlson,

Has someone photoshopped Bush and Merkel into an Oval office oral sex scene yet?

Yes. Yes they have.


posted by mr.curmudgeon at 9:37 AM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


BackwardsHatClub, jokeefe had it completely right when she said this sort of behavior is completely invasive and innappropriate. While this action of shoulder-rubbing in and of itself is not strictly offensive, it's a symptom of the underlying current of sexism that still exists against women, and you can be sure that the German Chancellor, as a high-ranking woman in a male-dominated area, would in particular be very sensitive to these sorts of actions.

I'm sure she knows, as all women who've worked their way through a male dominated profession know, that when you write off this sort of behavior as "just some fun" or what have you, it creates an environment where a certain breed of inherent sexism can flourish. This is especially of concern in societies that have historically been patriarchal (and who arguably remain at least somewhat so), where a lot of barriers for women are still present, both structurally and socially.

In short, when this sort of behavior is performed, be it by the president or any other person, it is not just "being friendly" but rather reinforcing the idea that women are not respected as equals. If a man can not respect something as simple as a woman's personal space, will he be likely to respect her opinions or input, or any other thing?

That is not to say that this is simply a feminist issue, though. Even if you remove gender from this equation, you still have the result that this is not acceptable behavior. What the president did was clearly an uninvited invasion of personal space, and a display of unwanted and unsolicited physical contact, and if you take into account the fact that the people involved are both leaders of their respective countries, who are automatically under a higer degree of public scrutinty and who thusly have to be held to higher standards of behavior, it becomes clear how innappropriately the president behaved in this instance.

There's also the aspect that shouldn't be ignored that the president, as a married man, should not be getting so personal with other women, be they an active participant, or not. [Insert obligitory Clinton bashing.] I know if I was his wife (and thank [deity of choice] that I'm not) I would not be altogether pleased with that sort of stuff.

To sum it up, the president's actions were downright tasteless, possibly rather offensive, and representative of something much more troublesome than mere tomfoolery.
posted by internet!Hannah at 9:40 AM on July 18, 2006


The hilarious thing about that picture moonbird posted is it makes it look like Putin is responsible for getting Bush back on the sauce. Maybe I'm not very patriotic but this strikes me as very, very funny, in sort of a Black Adder political intrigue way.
posted by furiousthought at 9:45 AM on July 18, 2006


parallax7d writes "FYI, Visine in a drink can send someone to the hospital."

But generally it sends them running to the bathroom.
posted by clevershark at 9:25 AM PST on July 18 [+fave] [!]


Urban myth, and dangerous one. Visine is very toxic when ingested in even small amounts.

One of the things it does NOT do is cause diarrhea.

Link
posted by bumpkin at 10:22 AM on July 18, 2006


OMG! OMFG!@#

I keep waking up on the wrong planet. No, seriously. The one I came from had beer trees, a totally kickin' eternal reign of peace and harmony, awesome music everywhere, totally chill non-mandatory social nekkidness, and a distinct lack of assgrabbing morons as leaders. Well actually, it had no leaders, except for band leaders and we took turns at that, but it did have a refreshingly distinct lack of morons. It was total paradise.
posted by loquacious at 10:28 AM on July 18, 2006


Visine in a drink can send someone to the hospital.

No, it really can't. If you understood what it was, you would know how laughably wrong that is.
posted by 517 at 11:01 AM on July 18, 2006


Holy shit! He was trying to KILL her! He had a ligature wire hidden up his sleeve.

BUSH is a NINJA!
posted by tkchrist at 11:03 AM on July 18, 2006


WHAT. THE. FUCK. PEOPLE. Is this really that big a deal?
posted by b_thinky at 11:04 AM on July 18, 2006


Oh it has an active ingredient, never mind.
posted by 517 at 11:05 AM on July 18, 2006


Holy cats man, what is he doing? I wouldn’t do that to my wife on camera if that was her. And if Bush disrespected my wife like that, I’d break him in half him. (Clinton did some things that I’d have put the hurt on him for as well - but, ‘it’s just fine when it’s your guy doing it’ <--- general statement)

“Then ask them if they remember Bush puking on the Japanese Prime Minister.” - posted by edverb

First thing I thought of.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:05 AM on July 18, 2006


Good lord MeFi, pull the sticks out of your asses, Merkel is grinning in the last frame of this thread anyway.

BackwardsHatClub, that's a grimace, and it communicates something completely different from a grin.
posted by tula at 11:48 AM on July 18, 2006


I put visine in his drink at happy hour last friday

What does that do?
posted by psmealey

It can kill people. Fun, eh?

Just thought I'd reiterate.
posted by zennie at 11:56 AM on July 18, 2006


"Me neither. I always thought of him as a Little Lord Fauntleroy with a fake accent he didn't use to have. I have no idea how people get some 'manly Joe' vibe off him."


It's easy. They're called suckers. Poor judges of character. The dumbest 15% of the US population. The same ones that had a dog in the cola wars, or the "Great Taste/Less Filling" debate.

The same people that buy pocket fishermen, Dale Earnhart "collectibles," and decals of Calvin prostrate before a cross.


You know...


Morons.
posted by stenseng at 12:11 PM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


This wasn't sexist or groping, as so many have put it, but it was something worse: it was asserting a dominant, possessive role. It meant approximately what kissing McCain on the head after McCain bent over for him despite what Bush's people had done to him. It meant "I own you."
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:22 PM on July 18, 2006


Merkel is NOT "grinning" -- look at where her arms are. She flings them up in a defensive posture. She is "grimacing", which is what you do when the retarded "boy" of 40-50-60 years old from down the block tries to grope you: "Shit, stop it! Oh, it's just you, Bobo. Didn't your mommy tell you - you shouldn't do things like that? Bad touch!"
posted by mooncrow at 12:38 PM on July 18, 2006


Exactly. Same with the nicknames...it's like everybody is his posse, or his pool boy.
posted by tula at 12:39 PM on July 18, 2006


The same people that buy pocket fishermen, Dale Earnhart "collectibles," and decals of Calvin prostrate before a cross.


But it comes as a set with the one where he's up with Hobbes in the treehouse. That's one funny tiger!
posted by scalefree at 12:44 PM on July 18, 2006


I find it gratifying that the difference between thoughtful, interesting people and utter smug slack-jawed TV-programmed conform-o-bots is so glaringly obvious here in this thread.

I also find it amusing that said 'bots have no idea I'm referring to them, they think I'm talking about someone else.

Should I give them a hint?

Naaah.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:58 PM on July 18, 2006


For those who think Bush's move wasn't sexist, imagine him doing that with Gerhard Schroeder. Bush's handlers are really falling down on the job. They couldn't even tell him: "That fake good-ole-boy crap doesn't fly in Europe", what?
posted by telstar at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2006


If it was Clinton, I bet she would have given him a backrub in return.
posted by Sparx at 3:08 PM on July 18, 2006


Dominance rituals, sexuality, and gender roles are all closely linked - it isn't just sexism.

I hesitate to say that though, because it is almost always possible to say 'reducing it to sexism is too simplistic'. I accept John Lennon's thesis on the issue:
Woman is the nigger of the world ... If you don’t belive me take a look to the one you’re with.
Meanwhile, in this case, it is almost marginalizing Merkel to label it as simple sexism.

Merkel was shocked, then lifted her arms in a very exaggerated motion - a faked yawn or something - and then laughed it off. She has had practice at effectively dismissing that kind of move, it would seem..
posted by Chuckles at 3:24 PM on July 18, 2006


...I know this kind of nastiness isn't about sex, but it's not entirely clear to me what it is about. I realize Bush has a compulsive need to humiliate or at least denigrate those who make him feel inadequate or inferior (his natural condition) but this is ridiculous. Why should the female chancellor of Germany be singled out for such an extreme dose of Shrub's Oedipal pathologies?

Hmmm. I guess the question kind of answers itself. Barbara Bush, what the hell have you unleashed on the world? ...

posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on July 18, 2006


If it was Clinton, I bet she would have given him a backrub in return.

yes. I imagine the exchange would be some thing like...

[Later that night, in the cold of a Ukranian Manor house, a bedrrom door creaks open]

Frau Merkel: Sorry to disturb. Vould ze President care for a brandy before retiring?

President Clinton: No. Thank you.

Frau Merkel: Some varm milk... perhaps?

President Clinton: No... thank you very much. No thanks.

Frau Merkel: Ovaltine?

President Clinton: NOTHING! Thank you! I'm a little - tired!

Frau Merkel: Then I vill say... goodnight.

President Clinton: Goodnight.
posted by tkchrist at 3:35 PM on July 18, 2006


"Merkel was shocked, then lifted her arms in a very exaggerated motion - a faked yawn or something - and then laughed it off. She has had practice at effectively dismissing that kind of move, it would seem.."

She was certainly shocked, but that wasn't any exaggerated yawn, or practiced maneuver, that was a certified "Get the FUCK away from me" move.
posted by stenseng at 4:00 PM on July 18, 2006


Count me in as someone who is pro-massages from Bush.
posted by Pacheco at 4:14 PM on July 18, 2006


Well, after finally seeing the pig video, I'm convinced Bush's behavior on this trip is pure primate dominance display, but without the nuance usually displayed by adolescent baboons. Nice performance under pressure, George. Next time you fail to get a laugh from the foreign press, try curling your upper lip over your nose while bristling your hair-- I hear it makes you look bigger.
posted by maryh at 4:20 PM on July 18, 2006


May be she's just ticklish? I'm no Bush fan but there is no way MeFi would have paid any attention to this if it had been someone else.
posted by Carbolic at 4:22 PM on July 18, 2006


We would have paid attention to any president who acted inappropriately on the world stage. Clinton would have been pilloried for behavior like that, except that Merkel wouldn't have been skeeved if it was him.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on July 18, 2006


there is no way MeFi would have paid any attention to this if it had been someone else.

Hmmm ... waddabout John McCain and Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton and Condi Rice? Brad Pitt and Britney Spears? Huh, huh?
posted by ericb at 4:44 PM on July 18, 2006


In other news: Senate approves stem cell bill, sends to Bush for his first veto
posted by homunculus at 5:13 PM on July 18, 2006


Clinton would have been pilloried for behavior like that, except that Merkel wouldn't have been skeeved if it was him.

I think she still would have been skeeved. I know I would have.
posted by EarBucket at 5:15 PM on July 18, 2006


So the defense of President Bush is now that he should be treated like John Q. Public?

You apologists will have to do better. No, highly public figures don't go around grabbing other highly public figures who aren't their wives or girlfriends like this. Especially not while they're "at work," so to speak.

He's either a creep, a lapsing drunk, or both.

So this, the pig, the buttered roll "shit" moment, and my personal favorite: calling up reporters who shared his birthday and utterly embarrasing Canadian PM Stephen Harper.

With his approval below 40%, my sense is that he's either rebelling against his handlers who've told him, rightfully, that the good-time Charlie schtick ain't working, or, indeed, he's drinking again. The bravado? The desire for everyone to just relax and have a good time and stop being so uptight? Assuming a level of friendship with strangers that isn't there? Classic signs, or else he's just dumb as a rock.

Ah, this was funny too--Putin (who I'm definitely not a fan of, but I haven't seen into his "soul" like Bush has) smacks him down: "But when he made a guarded dig at his host by citing approvingly the spread of religious and press freedoms in Iraq - liberties that critics say are under threat in Russia - Mr Putin bridled. With a half smile he replied: "I'll be honest with you, we of course would not want to have a democracy like in Iraq."

The hall that was packed with hundreds of mainly Russian journalists erupted in laughter.

It was Mr Bush's turn to smile thinly. This is not a moment he will have enjoyed and it will be used by his critics in Washington as yet another piece of evidence to argue that he has badly underestimated the Russian leader.

posted by bardic at 5:38 PM on July 18, 2006


Putin may be an ex-KGB thug - the fact that he's still in power in Russia demonstrates ruthlessness for sure - but compared to Bush he's cultured and sharp.

And he is most definitely not to be trifled with or pettily sniped at. The fact that he's still in power also means he's smart, skilled and capable. Being snotty with Putin, especially in public, is a mistake, and he won't forget it.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:06 PM on July 18, 2006


... Would you let him do the books for your business? Would you trust your company in his hands for eight years? (No matter how Republican you are, you know you just said no to that question.) Would you trust him to be your kids' guidance counselor and take his advice seriously? If your kids were in the Army and he was their field commander, would you feel good about putting their lives in his hands? ...
Unfortunately, right now we are in the position of being pitied by the rest of the world. We have third grader for a President. And worse yet, the Vice President has him convinced he is the second coming of Winston Churchill. Scared yet?

posted by amberglow at 6:49 PM on July 18, 2006


Was the picture with Putin taken in Germany?

Did he really drink Bud Light in Germany?
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:17 PM on July 18, 2006


Perhaps it’s that whole message/massage mixup due to the British accent? Blair told Bush to give her a message?

Bardic - did Bush actually say “just wait” in response or was that a Daily Show thing? I think Putin is dealing with Bush well. The last thing any kind of bully wants is to be faced down. (This does not mean I’m happy Putin got in a zing and our side is represented by a weak suck.)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:44 PM on July 18, 2006


Pig dinner comments = Merkel as cook and housefrau.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:35 PM on July 18, 2006


Backrubs lead to frontrubs.
posted by glycolized at 8:53 PM on July 18, 2006


i watched that pig video ... the first couple of times bush talks about the pig, merkel seems tolerant and polite and not too concerned ... the last time he says it, her body language and expression say to me ... "what the hell is wrong with this guy?"

to sum up - blair is obviously used to bush's manners and bullshit and puts up with it because he wants some of the same things bush wants

the canadian prime minister was embarrassed and frustrated

the german chancellor thinks he's a turd but is too polite to say so

and mr putin thinks he's a childish asshole and doesn't mind treating him like one

and this is just what we've seen in public in the last week ... the mind boggles ... no wonder the world doesn't like us
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on July 18, 2006


Bardic - did Bush actually say “just wait” in response or was that a Daily Show thing?

Bush did actually say "Just wait." From the official White House transcript:
"PRESIDENT PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Just wait."
posted by ericb at 9:15 PM on July 18, 2006


there's already been talk about reviving the cold war (supposedly Putin's uncooperation with our asinine plans are generating it)
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on July 18, 2006


I've had this done to me and it's awful, a real intrusion on your physical boundaries, and therefore disrespectful in the extreme

I'm guessing that you are female.

I, as a man, have learned that touching most women in any way is risky. And quite honestly, probably not worth it in the end.
posted by pwedza at 11:17 PM on July 18, 2006


PRESIDENT BUSH: Just wait.

Well that part was certainly left out of the NPR report. What the hell? Is that a threat? Was there a muttered insult after?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Just wait.(you borchst-eating bastard!)

Are we in for a fourth land war after Iran? Because I gotta think Russia is not a good plan for a thinly-stretched army.

But what the hell, I didn't learn my victory strategies from watching other people go to Vietnam like the current administration, so what do I know?
posted by lumpenprole at 12:09 AM on July 19, 2006


This is totally off topic, but I have to:

I put visine in his drink at happy hour last friday

What does that do?
posted by psmealey

It can kill people. Fun, eh?


Just because something's poisonous doesn't mean putting a little Visine in someone's drink will kill them. The LD50 for Tetrahydrozoline HCl is 345 mg/kg. It's 0.05% w/v in visine, and the average person is, what, 70kg (154 lbs)? You'd need 24.15g of tetrahydrozoline, which would take 48.3 L of visine. They'd probably clue in, after the first litre, as to what was going on, don't you think?
posted by blacklite at 12:50 AM on July 19, 2006


I think 'just wait' was meant to mean 'Iraq will get better', not 'we'll get you later'. Certainly, I can't imagine Russia just letting it go by if it came across as the latter.
posted by jacalata at 5:15 AM on July 19, 2006


I finally got to see the video of the backrub & one thing I didn't get before is that it was pretty clearly done in passing as he entered the room to find his seat. It's kind of meant to be a pat on the back with more familiarity. It's still a frightful breach of protocol, you just don't go grabbing the leader of a sovereign nation around the neck even (especially?) if you're the leader of your own sovereign nation. I bet he'd freak if anybody ever tried to pull it on him. And that's the rub, he's always enforcing protocol on others around him & reminding (challenging) them to respect his office but he feels remarkably at ease in breaking those same protocols for the sake of a joke. It really is a feeling of royal privilege you get from him. "L'état c'est moi".
posted by scalefree at 6:09 AM on July 19, 2006


They'd probably clue in, after the first litre, as to what was going on, don't you think?

Depends how drunk they are...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 AM on July 19, 2006


Just because something's poisonous doesn't mean putting a little Visine in someone's drink will kill them. The LD50 for Tetrahydrozoline HCl is 345 mg/kg. It's 0.05% w/v in visine, and the average person is, what, 70kg (154 lbs)? You'd need 24.15g of tetrahydrozoline, which would take 48.3 L of visine. They'd probably clue in, after the first litre, as to what was going on, don't you think?
posted by blacklite


That's what I get for not doing the math. A word of caution, though: Since an LD50 is the concentration needed to kill half of a population (of lab animals), the actual lethal dose for an individual may be less, especially in individuals with certain health conditions. Furthermore, the sublethal dose that has depressive neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory effects is far less than that. If someone drinks alcohol, which has an initial depressive effect on the central nervous system and respiratory system, and is also given tetrahydrozoline, the combined effect might not be as harmless as your numbers indicate.
posted by zennie at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2006


Roving Hands (wolcott)--... But Bush has always been a taker, not a giver. He wasn't giving Merkel a massage, he was taking possession of her, letting everybody know, "This little lady's mine." I wonder what Merkel's husband thought of Bush's handy familiarity. I can't imagine Laura Bush was too thrilled....
posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on July 19, 2006


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