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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Your Obvious Show of Respect Displeases Me.

Senator Boxer is an idiot.

“Could you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am?’ It’s just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. I’d appreciate it.”

Sir and ma’am is the form of address I would use in the same situation (depending, of course, on the sex of the Senator).  It’s a sign of respect and politeness, not a sign of disregard. Her response is either born of ignorance, bitchiness, or arrogance--she doesn’t know better, she wants to bully him, or she really thinks she is American royalty. None of which is particularly endearing.

Because I was raised something close to right, I also say sir and ma’am in regular daily conversation because respect isn’t owed only to our political class.

Watch the video.

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”...respect isn’t owed only to our political class.”

And here I would have deleted the “only”.  Ah well ... you writers, always going for the innovative choice.

on Jun 18 2009 @ 10:21 AM

Not sure about the respect part. In Boxer’s case, I think I’d want to use something like, “Jane you ignorant slut!”

But what also comes to mind is I’ve often heard talking heads (Larry King comes to mind) addresses ex-office holders by their now vacated titles. I recall once, at a friend’s house, Larry was on the tube talking to Algore, and kept addressing him as “Mr. Vice President”, after he had left office. Uh, Larry, he ain’t the veep any more. Really, it was bletcherous. I, for one, do not think that we should be fawning over someone who has been elected to do a job. Sure, being polite is one thing. But how about some realism as well?

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States…

Yet it seems that has become something of a de-facto state. Algore, BTW, addressed Mr. King as “Larry”.

I actually don’t mind at all using titular address for people holding position X, as long as it’s understood that it’s a nominal thing, and not obsequious.

Tangent: the decline of formal address in this country (and others, I suppose) in the last 30 or so years.

on Jun 18 2009 @ 03:56 PM

I wouldn’t term it merely a tangent; it’s part of a general decline in civility over that period. I suspect a lot of it dates back to my generation and the lack of respect for our elders that was exemplified by “Never Trust Anyone Over 30.”

on Jun 18 2009 @ 08:17 PM

I recall once, at a friend’s house, Larry was on the tube talking to Algore, and kept addressing him as “Mr. Vice President”, after he had left office. Uh, Larry, he ain’t the veep any more.

As objectionable as I find Gore to be, this is actually fairly standard courtesy, like continuing to address former presidents as “Mr. President.” It goes back a long, long way. Retired judges still get addressed as “judge” and so on. If Gore re-enters active politics and gets elected to something else (other than president, God willing, he’ll properly be addressed by that title as long as he holds that office, but will once again be “Mr. Vice President” afterward unless he states a contrary preference.

That last may result from Former President George Washington’s preference to be addressed, not as “Mr. President,” but as “General.” Everything he touched became a precedent for future generations.

on Jun 19 2009 @ 06:15 AM

Barbara Boxer is just as stupid as she appears.  Well, that’s not true.  She’s even more stupid.  Just another example of the idiocy that California has been exporting for some time.

on Jun 19 2009 @ 12:42 PM

Well, McGehee, just because a bunch of people have been doing it for years, doesn’t mean it’s right. But I guess that concept of Jefferson’s, about citizen legislators who returned to their regular life upon completion of their duties, is just some old, antiquated notion. But then, we’ve ventured so far from the vision of such men, that I of course have no real expection of such ideals as holding much sway these days.

As far as courtesy goes, I’ll show to them that’s deserving. Of course, I stopped referring to Bush as “president” long before he left office, when it was clear the he had abrogated his oatch of office.

(And I can’t find the specific quote that I’m attributing to Jefferson in my head. Could’ve been someone else’s.)

on Jun 19 2009 @ 02:25 PM

Barbara Boxer has been an idiot for many more reasons than this, but I’m not quite so sure it applies in this case.

It kind of reminds me of when I met an Eastern Orthodox nun and, out of sheer force of courtesy that has been drilled into me over the years, said “ma’am” instead of “Sister” the first time I spoke with her. Fortunately, she was a fairly decent sort about it, not even mentioning that I should be glad she wasn’t Catholic or else I’d have my fingers rapped with a yardstick by now.

Formal titles, whether received by hard work or good deed or election, should be used as a matter of courtesy and there should not have to be a reminder, especially not for those in national public office. Doubly so when you’re in the same building as said office.

And yes. I would still look George W. Bush in the eye and say, “Hello, Mr. President” with a completely straight face if I ever was to meet him. I’d add in a mental “you fucking mealy-mouthed bastard” at the end, of course.

on Jun 19 2009 @ 09:20 PM

Jed, I’m not sure what Jefferson’s comment about citizen legislators has to do with presidents, vice-presidents and judges, none of whom were intended by the Founders to be legislators.

Now, if we were to point out to judge4s who do legislate from the bench that Jefferson says they can’t be called “Judge” after they step down, I think we would also mention that Jefferson wouldn’t wait for them to step down before refusing to dignify them with that title.

on Jun 20 2009 @ 10:42 AM

It’s the spirit of the sentiment, not the literal term “legislators” which is, to my thinking, operative. A citizen is elected to office, performs that service, and returns to civilian life, whether that elected office is judicial, legislative, or executive (and yes, for you literal minded folks, I’m aware that many, perhaps most judges are appointed, not elected, but it does vary by jurisdiction, but appointed or elected, it’s the concept of the citizen doing a job and then returning to regular duties, and yes, that happens to some judges as well, and I’m not referring o retirement from the bench after a long term). For that matter, if I encountered a judge at a barbeque, I wouldn’t refer to him or her as “your honor” throughout the day, or rise whenever he approached the blanket.

(Aaaack, “oatch” of office? I can haz spelchek?)

on Jun 20 2009 @ 11:50 AM

or that matter, if I encountered a judge at a barbeque, I wouldn’t refer to him or her as “your honor” throughout the day, or rise whenever he approached the blanket.

If you did, he’d probably get huffy at you. Judges are only called “Your Honor” when presiding over a court.

I’ve got better things to do than keep chasing your deliberate disunderstandings all over the field.

on Jun 21 2009 @ 07:34 AM

So you’ve just made the point that the use of the title goes with the execution of the office. Okay. I’m all good with that.

Heh. Anti-spam word “trial47”

on Jun 21 2009 @ 07:53 AM

”...or she really thinks she is American royalty.”

Oddly enough, I just learned on Jeopardy! the other day that the Queen of England is to be addressed as “Your Royal Highness” when first greeting her, then as simply “ma’am” for the rest of the conversation. So Boxer is requiring that she be addressed in even more formal a manner than the frikkin’ Queen.

on Jul 05 2009 @ 07:23 PM
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