Semper Latte: Cup Salute Seems To Generate More Attention Than Undeclared War In National Debate

1411505445739_wps_3_Americans_weren_t_amused_It is being called “Semper Latte” and, if this is the biggest scandal that President Barack Obama has to worry about, his Administration is safe. Various people are denouncing the President for saluting his Marine guard while holding a cup of tea or coffee. From CNN to the Daily Mail to ABC to the New York Daily News to the Washington Post to the New York Post to NBC to CBS to countless others, the salute is generating heated comments across the country. YouTube clips show the salute over and over along with multiple postings expressing outrage. My reaction is a bit different. The President has launched another declared war that his aides say could last “years.” However, there seem more debate over this tempest in a tea [cup] than the fact that we are bombing another nation.

The President did not put his styrofoam cup in his other hand while stepping out of Marine One — a breach of military regulations and decorum. He appears to have forgotten the salute as he multitasked with his cup while buttoning his jacket.

What truly amazes me is that the White House released the photo. No one saw the problem and actually viewed the picture as worthy of sending out on the web.

However, it is the relative attention given the issue that is mystifying. Many irate people over the salute are less aggrieved by the war just commenced on the sole authority of this President. Just as there is an appropriate way to salute a Marine, there is an appropriate way to send a Marine to war. The Constitution is quite clear about starting wars and there is far more at stake. We should be at least as aggrieved when our Constitution is being disrespected or ignored as we are the Marine guard this week. Just a thought.

287 thoughts on “Semper Latte: Cup Salute Seems To Generate More Attention Than Undeclared War In National Debate”

  1. That salute was a secret sign for the end of times to commence! The Blood Red Moon was the start of Obama’s plan to infect America with Ebola! Rush Limbaugh said so!

  2. Addendum to my comment at September 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm:

    The case can be made that UN Security Council Resolution 2170 (2014) activates the authorization of Public Law 107-243 to “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq [and] … acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations”.

  3. This only confirms what we already know. Mr. obama hates the military and has no respect for them. Recall when Mrs. obama turned and said “all this over a damn flag”, talking about the American Flag. And whiny liberals acting like children are posting pictures of President Bush with a dog. No comparison. No comparison at all. President Bush respected the military. Mr. obama doesn’t.

  4. Paul C. Schulte: “Eric – you are far more attuned to what our esteemed federal government is up to than I am. Thanks for the State Dept memo on defining ISIS a terrorist group.”

    You’re welcome.

    We can and should vigorously debate the wisdom of Obama’s anti-ISIS strikes as a political question. However, Professor Turley is utilizing argument by assertion and (implicit) appeal to (his own) authority to go beyond the political question and claim a Constitutional crisis.

    It’s important to set the record straight in this forum especially because Professor Turley is a famous legal – moreover, Constitutional – scholar. His public opinion on the issue bears weight in the public discourse on not only the political question, but more importantly the public’s understanding of and trust in the fundamental process of national security law and governance.

    As such, his claim of Constitutional neglect by Congress and unConstitutional Executive authority by the President viz Obama’s anti-ISIS strikes without an adequate unpacking of the issue is irresponsible and harmful.

    In fact, Congress has affirmed the President’s counter-terror authority “under the Constitution” (PL 107-40, 2001) and clarified its position that “the President should undertake immediate efforts to develop effective multilateral responses to international terrorism as a complement to national counter terrorist efforts” and “the President should use all necessary means, including covert action and military force, to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy international infrastructure used by international terrorists, including overseas terrorist training facilities and safe havens” (PL 104-132, 1996).

    President Clinton’s PDD/NSC-39 (1995) laid the foundation for Executive counter-terror policy that has been carried forward by Bush and Obama.

    There is abundant counter-terror precedent for the anti-ISIS strikes in Syria, starting with Clinton’s anti-AQ strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan, added to by Bush, and multiplied by Obama.

    The formal terrorist designation for ISIS, announced by the State Department in May, served as notice that ISIS is open to American counter-terror measures.

    Obama’s anti-ISIS strikes under the purview of longstanding Congressionally affirmed Presidential counter-terror authority appear on their face to hold strong Constitutional ground. Professor Turley’s claim that they are a Constitutional crisis calls for a better proof than mere assertion and appeal to authority.

  5. @anon

    Stewart said, ““You don’t really care about this,” he said. “You have no principle about this. You’re just trying to score points in a game no one else is playing. . .

    Huh??? WTF??? Everybody on BOTH sides of the political spectrum is playing this game, including Stewart who just made something out of nothing, which is Eric Bolling’s comment about “boobs on the ground.”

    Gotcha politics is the name of the game for the last few decades or so, at least.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. I agree Anon. It’s not fair to keep reminding people of these “minor” gaffes when there are so many “major” ones left unsettled.


    “The network’s talking heads have been attacking President Barack Obama for saluting two U.S Marines with a coffee cup in his hand. But on “The Daily Show” on Thursday night, Stewart wasted no time pointing out the hypocrisy.

    “You don’t really care about this,” he said. “You have no principle about this. You’re just trying to score points in a game no one else is playing — and here’s how we know.”

    And with that, he played a series of clips showing commentators on the one hand demanding respect for those in uniform putting their lives on the line while on the other hand insulting a female fighter pilot leading the attack on ISIS militants.

    “F$ck you, and all your false patriotism,” Stewart said.**

    Believe it or not, he was just getting warmed up. See the clip above for his full takedown of Fox News on #LatteSalute.”

    ** And I’ll second that, as well.

  8. Enough of the excuses; salute or don’t salute. But if you are going to do it then for God’s sake do it right. At this point, his salute appears consistent with his administration’s foreign policy; late, apologetic and uncommitted.

  9. HC1996,
    That business of the President returning salutes started with Ronald Reagan. Those old enough to recall, probably remember that his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, was a Naval Academy graduate and former Naval officer who served under Admiral Rickover. He never saluted, per Navy protocol, but did usually acknowledge his military aides with a nod.

    Reagan was a former actor, and according to those who knew him well said he loved the idea of saluting, which he had learned to do in movie roles. The first time he did it, the military aide accompanying him told him that was not appropriate. One of the ranking officers is said to have advised him on the spot that as CIC, he could salute if he wanted to. That is how it happened that Presidents began returning salutes.

    Reagan usually snapped a crisp salute as he would have in a movie scene. Oldest son always laughed whenever George H.W. Bush returned a salute as he descended the aircraft steps. He observed, “Typical naval aviator salute.”

  10. I think that perhaps the reason the news media made a huge spectacle out of the “cup thing” is because this spectacle is just another example of disrespect for our country and the military. Unfortunately, this president does not respect dignified propriety of behavior, orderliness, or decorum of our country’s laws, rules, and rights set down in our constitution.
    To respond to some of the other comments–I truly believe that every young man and woman should serve their country, in the military, for a minimum of 2 or 4 years. We would all have a greater respect for our nations, if we did this deed.

    1. Gigi – one of the other things is that few of the photos of the President are coming from the press corps, most are coming from the Presidential photographer who hands out the photos after they have been cleared. In this case we have candid video of the President, something we don’t get to see very often.

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