Me auld mither had an expression, “It’s not the man but the cloth”, generally used to explain why she wouldn’t express open disrespect for someone in a position of responsibility. I think that ties directly to Bret Stephens’s catalog of explicit or implicit expressions of disrespect of President Obama on the part of leaders in Russia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
Frankly, I think that at least in part they’re taking their cues from the open expressions of disrespect for the president being shown by his political opponents. Such expressions should be kept in the family and in a world in which even the most off-the-cuff utterance can make its way around the world in milliseconds, that’s darned hard to do.
So disagree, even vehemently, but don’t disrespect. If not for the man, for the cloth.