The Sole of Liberty (And a couple more bad shoe puns)

It was the Shoe Heard Around the World. The Most Powerful Man on Earth was brought low by the King of Sole. When formally unknown Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi tossed his No. 10 at the President of the United States, he inadvertently validated 43’s most despised act as Leader of the Free World.

Freedom has a toehold in Iraq.

Yeah, car bombs may pop like bubble wrap all over Baghdad, but I suspect that tossing footwear at visiting foreign dignitaries is something that rarely occurred under Saddam Hussein.

The people have spoken, Mr. President. Rudely. Disrespectfully. And as Mr. Al-Zeidi is learning, probably illegally. He faces two years in the slammer for “insulting a foreign leader.” He also suffered a broken arm and ribs after tussling with security. Without his shoes, it is presumed, Mr. Al-Zeidi was hard pressed to make a run for it.

Yet it was worth it.

We Americans had our own act of disrespect a couple hundred years ago, when Samuel Adams led a group of surly malcontents aboard a British merchant vessel and tossed all its tea cargo into the harbor. The British were outraged. The nerve! Ungrateful whelps!

We’re the Nation who tea-bagged King George.

America is not the British Empire, and tossing a pair of loafers at our President is not in the same league as tossing boxes of tea into the drink. In fact, we should be offended. An attack on the President is an attack on us. Benign or not, Al-Zeidi assaulted George Bush. He didn’t hoist a protest sign. He didn’t just toss an insult. He hurled a missile. And if Al-Zeidi receives two years busting rocks in jail, so be it.

Still, good show. You learned something, Muntadhar al-Zeidi. And you learned it from us.

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