Vocabulary

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Everyone knows the old adage that there are “two sides to every story”. So, when you write a book in which you mother-eff the Presidentas being rude, but the President doesn’t see it that way, you might expect a bit of blowback from that.

Especially when you have a track record of making stuff up out of whole cloth for political gain or sympathy. A person who has abandoned SCHIP health care coverage for the kids of the working poor, a person who used federal education funds to battle immigrants, a person who is virulently homophobic – her character is called into question by virtue of her opening her mouth.

So, when the subject of your mischaracterization calls you out on it, privately and to your face, that’s not being “thin skinned”, that’s called “defending oneself against untrue and unfair attacks”, and with Ms. Brewer running to the closest cameras to moan about how mean the President was to confront her politely about her lies, it is she who is the thin-skinned one, as evidenced by the picture shown above, which, as another old adage goes, tells a thousand words.

10 comments

  • She’s saying “Papers please. This is Arizona”.

    That state has gone from being an embarrassment to the country to an embarrassment to civilization. It should serve as a beacon to the rest of us, demonstrating the consequences of putting petulant, corrupt teabaggers into power.

    She just staged this to gain cred for the next AZ GOP Klan rally.

  • Contents of the note Brewer handed to Obama herself on the tarmac, because Jon Kyl refused to pass it to him in gym class:

    Dear Barack:

    Do you still hate America? Yes or no? Check one.

    Jan

  • She asked the president if he read the book. He probably read more of it than she did. The book was written by Jessica Gavora , the right wing ghost writer for Sarah Palin. Just listen to her talk, she has difficulty expressing herself. Is there a word for verbal dyslexia?

  • I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER IF THIS WAS NOT STAGED ON HER PART. I FEEL THAT MOST OF THE GOP ARE VERY DISRESPECTFUL TO THE PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY. I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU DISLIKE THE PRESIDENT OR WHAT PARTY HE/SHE IS, HAVE SOME CLASS AND SHOW SOME RESPECT.

  • I am not defending her position on any political matter. I am also a supporter of Obama, so please don’t read anything into this analysis other than what I am stating.

    Looking at the photograph, this much is obvious- she is very angry (the pointing finger), and he is physically threatening.

    Yeah, I know, many of you will say I am being over sensitive or a woman, or what ever. But look, really look, at that picture.

    First, look at how close he is. He is in her physical space. Most women find it very threatening when a man other than their child, spouse, or parent is in that close proximity, face to face.

    Secondly, he towers over her. Sure, most men naturally tower over women, but when you are in that close of a space, a man forces a woman to look up at an awkward and physically uncomfortable angle. It is also a very vulnerable angle, look at the way the throat is exposed.

    Third, he is touching her arm. That arm touch could be construed as comforting, but a superior comforts an inferior (parent to child). Comforting also occurs between equals, but their positions both physically (he towering over her, instead of them sitting and being on the same physical plane) and politically.

    Here, because nothing about his body language indicates equality, then this touch is both condescending, and threatening. Why threatening? Because he is using that arm touch to attempt to calm her down, i.e. “control her.”

    Fourth, look at the expression on his face. It is literally, one of those smiles, “come on now, you know I didn’t MEAN it THAT way.” Like she called him out on something… (she did), he got caught (he did), and he’s trying the charming little boy aw gee shucks ma’am expression. (I know this one way too well… watch any little boy try and charm his mother after getting caught in a minor infraction.”

    Now, as to the original, what went on in that room… (we don’t really know), but if his demeanor in this photograph was the same as in the White House, no matter how cordial his words were, most women would have left the discussion characterizing it as she did, and not being able to articulate that even though the words and smiles were “cordial” the body language was threatening and condescending.

    And, even if you don’t believe me, substitute your wife or daughter and her male professor, mentor, or boss and interpret the body language. Would his body language toward your daughter make you happy?

  • JMM, ir’s true you are just interpreting what this one snapshot is showing BUT, how do you know that it wasn’t Gov Brewer that stormed up to the President and invaded his personal space with her sngry, pointed finger? And yes, he is doing everything possible to calm her down: smiling graciously, touching her arm (maybe pushing her away?) and saying soothing, calming words as you would to a screaming baby. Maybe he should have tried picking her up and shaking her back and forth, like a British nanny, to shut her up!

  • Oh MY…. I apologize for so many typos. I was typing with a 2 y/o trying to “assist” me.

  • You are right, I don’t know that she didn’t storm up to him. At the same time, if someone storms up to you, you take a step back to reestablish space and appropriate boundaries. Usually a deliberate act will set someone back on their own heels as it makes the very strong non verbal statement… YOU ARE THREATENING ME. And I do think that her finger in his face is rude, don’t get me wrong. (But is it a defensive move??)

    BUT how do you know it didn’t start out as a normal conversation and elevate to exactly what I explained? You don’t either. Based on the fact that he had her envelope in his hand already, I concluded that this was not at the beginning of the conversation. I am sure there is news footage of the confrontation.

    It is not the President’s job to calm down the Gov while she was having a hissy fit in public, though. He could have just let her embarrass herself if she did storm up to him.

    Also, I am not saying that the meeting that she and the President had wasn’t characterized in his mind as cordial. Many men do not realize that the use of that kind of body language on a woman is threatening or condescending.

    Really, I am NOT standing up for the governor, but just disturbed by the threatening and dominating body language I see. I am also NOT thrilled by any stretch of the imagination by her body language either. Although he is probably condescending b/c she is GOP not b/c she is a woman! LOL

    What I would love to see is a pic with Obama and a male governor in the same posture; towering, in his space, hand on arm )?). Then I would be happy to be very wrong. 🙂

  • In context, they are standing on the tarmac so it was probably loud and they had to stand near eachother to be heard. In that case what is the taller person supposed to do other than lean down toward the shorter one? But that finger ponting is inexcusable for a public figure. I think the pres was doing her a huge favor by trying to calm her down. Worse, because of her sex, it makes the governer look like a shrill (w)itch. Although I think if it had been a male GOP sticking his finger in the President’s face it would look even worse!

    (on a personal note: any typos or grammatical errors by me are due to utter laziness 😉

  • JMM She did ask the pres if he had read her book. You know, the one she didn’t write that insults him. Sort of like the snide condescending twit at work who asks ‘Did you get my note!!!!’, but doesn’t want to say it directly for fear of immediate blow back.

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