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Tilting at Windmills

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July 1, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

PATRIOT ACT....Over at The Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez is vexed:

The front page of the Washington Post (yes, I sometimes read paper newspapers) has the headline "Obama Fiercely Defends His Patriotism." Isn't there a problem when a candidate has to "fiercely defend" something so fundamental? Shouldn't a candidate for president and his advisers and supporters exude such a thing?

Yeah, lack of exudiness must be the problem. It couldn't possibly be because conservative writers routinely question Obama's patriotism, could it? Like this guy:

Barack Obama has a patriotism problem that even Monday's flag-waving trip to Independence, Mo., can't squelch.

That's NRO colleague Jonah Goldberg, who explained Obama's "problem" at great length in USA Today and then — just in case anyone missed it — excerpted his explanation a few posts down from Lopez in The Corner. Too bad Obama doesn't exude patriotism, though.

Kevin Drum 1:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Comments

Damn all these people to hell. They are helping to ruin American. Quit giving them more exposure.

Posted by: Jeff II on July 1, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think that the main problem is Obama's inasmuch as he saw it fit to defend his patriotism in response to the nutjobs' claim that he has to convince the voters about his American values.

Posted by: gregor on July 1, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

These people are about as fringe as the Worker's World Party and should be given the same amount of credence.

Posted by: goethean on July 1, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yep. Obama's not enough of a patriot, at least to people who support policies that really fuck America.

They really know what patriotism means, those guys.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 1, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 1, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I know this is stating the obvious, but the only thing that "exudes" patriotism for these folk is an (R) after one's name.

Posted by: demtom on July 1, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

1. What Jeff said (with further comments nonetheless)

2. Gregor, in the absence of a 'he shoulda...' regarding how Obama should responded to the nutjobs (ignoring won't work, see SBVT; nuance won't work, see the response to his speech on racism) your comment sounds about half a step removed from blaming the victim

3. What's the collective noun for sockpuppets? A drawerful?

Posted by: MaryCh on July 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Is there anything John McCain exudes?

Other than advanced age, I mean?

Posted by: Mary Contrary on July 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Obama protests how much he loves the United States, after being a congregant at a church whose pastor accused the country of having infected blacks with AIDs with the view of committing genocide...

WEll, the US did in fact infect some blacks with syphilis, did dislocate millions of Africans, is currently sending many of its poor to Iraq as cannon fodder, and regularly invades Middle Eastern countries in order to keep gas proces low. And most Americans are in favor of dislocating Mexicans which were encouraged by favorable economic conditions to move here. So it's not really America's moral superiority that keeps it from committing genocide.

You may returnto your right-wing flag-waving jingoistic cocoon now.

Posted by: goethean on July 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Just like during the tough economic times Germany faced during Hitler's run-up to power we see nationalism rear its ugly head as a measure of how qualified a candidate is to lead the country.

The late syndicated columnist Sydney Harris once wrote about the difference between Patriotism and Nationalism:

"The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war."

Republicans who raise the issue of Obama's patriotism are being nationalistic, not patriotic. The GOP is desperate to have the upcoming election decided on any issue except competency.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on July 1, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

This is only tangentially related to this post, but I've been wanting to point it out for some time. When the right wing media started pointing to the lack of a flag pin on Obama's lapel, why didn't he point out that with the exception of a few hundred people in Washington, D.C., NOBODY wears a flag pin on their lapel? The point being, if you want to attack Obama for his lack of a flag pin (my mind drifts to a scene from Animal House, "Pledge pin? Is that a pledge pin on your lapel?") then you are in essence attacking the patriotism of nearly every American.

Posted by: Dave Brown on July 1, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

pj in jesusland - right on.

Posted by: Dave Brown on July 1, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

And what, pray tell, is being exuded from NRO?

Complete and utter asininity.

Ignoring them doesn't make them truly go away, but I always feel better.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on July 1, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

pj in jesusland - right on. Posted by: Dave Brown

Seconded!

Posted by: Jeff II on July 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: mhr

More concentrated stupidity in its posts than any other site on the Internets.

Posted by: DJ on July 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't there a problem when a candidate has to "fiercely defend" something so fundamental?"

Indeed there is a problem. But she fails to recognize the obvious fact that she and her slime-throwing right-wing compatriots are the source of the problem.

Posted by: nemo on July 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mary Contrary wrote: "Is there anything John McCain exudes?"

You don't want to know.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a suggestion: how's about the Left get honest and just give up on this "I'm patriotic too!" farce?

Patriotism is "love of country" and you cannot love a country which you hate, and against which you are continually fabricating slanders. You don't *have* to admire America - there's nothing wrong with disliking it. Just admit it, state your reasons and get on with life.

Posted by: am on July 1, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Mary Contrary wrote: "Is there anything John McCain exudes?"

Depends.

Posted by: gregor on July 1, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

The absurdity and hypocrisy of the MSM was demonstrated when George Stephanopoulos speculated on air about Rev. Wright’s patriotism. Whatever else his sins are, Wright served two years as a marine and four years as a Navy corpsman. Stephanopoulos’ military service? Zip!

Posted by: fafner1 on July 1, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

There's no such thing as a Republican patriot. They're all traitors.

Posted by: Mike on July 1, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Jonah Goldberg is a traitor to the United States and the Constitution, and traitors don't have the right to question the patriotism of US citizens.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on July 1, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

I sure wish Americans could get over themselves.

Country is as country does. I'm proud of my country when it does good things. I'm ashamed of my country when it does bad things. Americans have officially participated in some horrific ativities over the last two hundred plus years. We've also done some excellent things, and provided freedom and opportunities to millions of immigrants.

I'm fond of my country, meaning the geography and culture, because I grew up here, and it's familiar to me. I'm more comfortable here than I would be in a foreign country. I value my country as the place I and my children will probably live out our lives, and for that reason I am in favor of defending it.

My country is special to me, but that's pretty much how everyone on earth feels about his/her country. My feeling doesn't actually make my country objectively more special than another country.

What has any of that got to do with flying flags, wearing flag pins, saying the pledge or any of that crap? An anti-patriot could hardly have done any worse by our country for the past seven and a half years than Bush and his cronies. He squandered his paycheck at the bar, screwed a hooker with herpes in an alley on the way home, and ran over the family dog in the driveway but remembered to buy roses for the missus before he arrived, because it's their anniversary! What a romantic! What a patriot!

Let's try a competent realist, who understands that we're barely starting to cope with the problems left over from owning slaves and snatching the continent from the Native American people. Let's try someone who sees reason for hope but also sees the challenges clearly.

Posted by: cowalker on July 1, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a Democratic partisan, but Republican politics seems to have "unfathomable stupidity" and "insufferable loutishness" as its most treasured core values.

What an embarrassment for all of humanity, including us, that this is what politics is like.

Posted by: mk on July 1, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

am:

You don't *have* to admire America - there's nothing wrong with disliking it. Just admit it, state your reasons and get on with life.

That's not true, but why don't you admit you want a fundamentalist Christian nation where free speech isn't tolerated, interracial marriage isn't allowed, gays have no rights, and business are free to bring in all the low wage Mexicans they want. Just say it so we know exactly where you stand.

Posted by: over on July 1, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Again, the Republicans are framing the debate as an either/or scenario. If you don't like something about your country you are automatically unpatriotic which is putting Obama's message of change on the defensive. Its up to Obama to say it is more patriotic to improve the things you feel are wrong about the country.

Posted by: leslie on July 1, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Patriotism is bullshit. Any candidate for any elected office who says "vote for me because I'm patriotic" is a bullshit artist.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

pj citing Harris the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war

Jasper:
"Hunky dory"

Also Jasper: It's the ones who feel that America is from first principles a force for Wrong in the world that I/"we" have problems with.

That's not a view we hold around here, so you're arguing against the wind. I don't speak for this blog but I dare say what we DO hold is a very high view of American values and a disgust for those who easily toss those values aside in the name of a "patriotism" that is merely jingoistic nationalism. To me, preemptive war is not an American value. To me, Abu Graihb does not represent American values. To me, abrogating the 4th Amendment is not an American value. To me, politicizing the Justice Department is not an American value.

The radicals in this country, sir, are the ones who have distorted it nearly out of all recognition in the name of "conservatism." They are on YOUR side of the political fence, not mine. The Jim Wrights of the world--taking the Corporate Media's spin on them at face value--are a vanishingly small and virtually powerless minority. The right wing radicals, by contrast, have been running the whole country for the last eight years. And in the process proving they haven't a clue as to what America is really about.

They do by and large have flags pins in their lapels though.

Posted by: DrBB on July 1, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Agree SecAn, but isn't that sort of what Obama is doing now?

Posted by: optical weenie on July 1, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

The following quotes on the subject of patriotism are from Mark Twain. One of them got the biggest applause when Barack Obama quoted it yesterday. Which one?

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

"The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot but a traitor."

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 1, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper wrote: "They are by definition not as happy with the status quo (or recent status quo). There are certainly many who still think that America is generally a Good Thing, but there are also many who think that so much change is necessary because America (as currently constituted) ISN'T a 'Good Thing'."

That analysis is bullshit.

Progressives want the government of the USA to live up to this country's highest ideals -- indeed, to live up to its foundational ideals which are the rock on which any plausible notion of the USA as a "good thing" must stand -- and to be a beacon of hope to the world for the realization of humanity's highest potential.

So-called "conservatives" -- as exemplified by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their ilk -- want the government of the USA to serve the rapacious greed and conscienceless corruption of America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc., and to cater to the worst, most hateful, most ignorant, most destructive instincts of the most backward, anti-human sectors of American society.

Progressives love and want to build up everything that is good about America, in the interests of advancing human well-being.

Conservatives despise and want to tear down everything that is good about America, in the interests of greed and hatred.

It is conservatives, not progressives, who have changed America's image in the world from Lady Liberty to Bush the Torturer.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper wrote: "... a trans-humanist One World Government ..."

I have not the slightest idea what you mean by "trans-humanist".

It has been pretty obvious for at least sixty years that we need a global federal government to establish and enforce an absolute ban on war between nations, bring the rule of law to interactions between nations, and deal with inherently transnational issues, in particular global environmental issues such as anthropogenic global warming.

In better days than these, the government of the USA did most of the heavy lifting to create the United Nations, which was a major step in the right direction, and which has, even within its severe limitations, done enormous good -- including helping to prevent the destruction of human civilization by global thermonuclear war.

Various ad hoc multilateral treaty organizations are all well and good, but they don't go far enough to put human interests ahead of national interests.

Unfortunately, greedy "conservatives" the world over make so much profit from war and destruction that they will do everything they can to prevent human societies from evolving beyond that stage.

The idea that one "nation" can genuinely benefit at the expense of others is obsolete, and in our present circumstances on this planet, increasingly deadly. Those who embrace it and encourage it for self-serving, greed-driven ends, are engaging in crimes against humanity.

But to some so-called "patriots" that's just fine. I guess they see themselves as "Americans" first, and human beings second. Pathetic.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper wrote: "I'm a Conservative."

Your weak-minded, ignorant, slavish regurgitation of the scripted talking points and blatant untruths spoon-fed to you by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, and the rest of the right-wing extremist propaganda machine have made that quite clear.

Jasper wrote: "I'm afraid this conversation can serve no useful purpose."

Conversations with brainwashed right-wing mental slaves spouting inane drivel never do.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper wrote: "Now, remind me... who's supporting the actions at Abu Grahib again?"

The torture at Abu Graihb was conducted in direct compliance with policies that were established at high-level meetings at the White House, and approved by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. This has been thoroughly documented.

You are either grossly ignorant or dishonest or both. It is common for "conservatives" to be both.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 1, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"...a public opinion poll released by the Pew Research Center in April found that 81 percent of Americans say they believe the country is on the "wrong track." The response is the most negative in the 25 years pollsters have asked the question.
LiveScience Staff Mon Jun 30, 1:16 PM ET
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/studyworldgetshappier

81% of the people. The remaining 19% must be mostly comprised of Talk Radio personalities, pro-Republican/anti-liberal book-shillers, and the conservative media that spends each and every day defying their professional journalistic ethos to misrepresent Obama to make McCain a less difficult vote to swallow.

Like Rush Limbaugh sez about McCain: "The team you hate less."

Posted by: zit on July 1, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and McCain are trying to take the patriotism issue off the table since they are both double agents serving Mexico and the invasion, thought the motives are different, McCain being a pawn of big business and Obama interested in Dem vote fraud and the Dem jackpot breeding program. Probably a bit of anti-white racism also in Obama's position on illegal migration also. Both are corrupt and patriotism challenged.

Posted by: Luther on July 1, 2008 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't say these people are "ruining" America. We've always had schmucks, assholes, racists, thugs, and professional pitchmen in our political life. The 1950s-1970s were relatively benign in that regard but that was largely because the country as a whole accepted New Deal liberalism. The Vietnam War and Arthur Bremer shattered that hegemony. Then, Rupert Murdoch and Jack Welch re-invented the corporate news juggernaut that the Hearsts had employed.

Of course, they're still schmucks, assholes, racists, thugs, and lying pitchmen, but it just puts a burden on people to counter them rather than wait on corporate media to do the job for us. There is no disinterested corporate media anymore. Walter Cronkite isn't going to take over the news desk anywhere, and the current crowd are going to make damn sure he doesn't.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on July 1, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper writes:

Being "against pre-emptive war" (as in, war before someone's actually attacked us) is not necessarily contrary even to the first principles of the US.

Pre-emptive war is not "war before someone's actually attacked us." Operation Desert Storm, for example, was not pre-emptive, even though Iraq had not attacked us. The invasion of Afghanistan was not pre-emptive, even though Afghanistan had not attacked us. The American Revolution was not pre-emptive, even though Britain was not attacking its own colonies. Pre-emptive war, in the sense of the so-called "Bush doctrine," is different, and the people who post here are hardly the only ones to say so. A better shorthand definition than yours would be "war before we have any good reason to believe someone's about to attack us, because we think they might someday do so."

Bush's (and many quasi-isolationist conservative's) points of view changed as a result of 9/11. In many people's opinions, isolationism was a Losing situation. What you can "pre-emptive" is called by others "pro-active". If 9/11 hadn't happened, we'd still have soccer team members being put through shredders in Baghdad, and French oil-for-food money would be paying for it.

Any account of Iraq that reduces the options to "isolationism" versus "pre-emptive war" is so unsophisticated that it isn't worth responding to.

Stating that FISA doesn't apply doesn't, ipso facto, mean that the 4th amendment doesn't apply. Bad premise.

Your criticism of the inference is correct. However, gutting the separation of powers in the name of the "unitary executive theory" concocted in the ideologically deluded brains of a few Federalist Society members also is not part of traditional American values.

Political appointments, and ideological-similar appointments by the executive branch have been happening forever, done by Dems and Reps alike.

You are poorly informed on this issue. Political appointments are commonplace. What is not commonplace is firing people because they refuse to undertake bullshit prosecutions of political rivals (as happened with U.S. Attorneys). What's not commonplace is appointing underqualified people to political positions who then override the better-informed judgment of the staff attorneys to the point where career staff who have served for thirty years under both Democratic and Republican administrations quit their jobs in disgust (that happened in the Voting Rights Division, among others). What's not commonplace is denying law students and young attorneys federal employment in staff positions simply because their resumes don't evidence Federalist Society membership or other badges of ideological conservatism (as happened in the DOJ Honors Program, according to a recent internal study). Learn what you're talking about. This administration has been different.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 1, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

"The right Americans are the right Americans because they’re not like the wrong Americans, who are not really Americans."

— Eric J. Hobsbawm, British historian

Posted by: pj in jesusland on July 1, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

If you want a glimpse into how the right-wing in America began conducting covert propaganda campaigns inside the United States, you really must read,”The Lost Chapter” from the Congressional Iran-Contra report .

It is very clear to me which political party is unAmerican, and it ain't the Democrats!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 1, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, thanks for linking to Goldberg's article.

Posted by: David on July 1, 2008 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's comment is disengenuous. Goldberg does not "question Obama's patriotism" in the way Kevin suggests. He wrote a very interesting column (some might say nuanced) premised not upon Obama being anti-American or unpatriotic in the normal meaning of the word, but in the sense of Obama making various pessismistic statements about America that expressly or implicitly question how great or good a country we are. It actually is an interesting viewpoint and probably one that Obama should consider. He does have a tendancy to criticize where the country is and claim that he will lead it to greatness. So much of this is subject to the subjective views of the listener, but Goldberg has an intelligent point to make that is nothing like what Kevin suggests.

By the way, this whole deal of "don't attack my patriotism" basically arises out of democratic candidates responding to criticism of their policy positions (cut military spending, no war on terror, immediate withdrawal from Iraq, etc.) by falsely claiming they are attacks on their patriotism. It is an oft repeated ritual for the democratic candidate to dramatically claim it in a debate, when the opponent has never in any way attacked the patriotism of the supposedly offended democrat. I remember Jean Carnahan (who was not really good on her feet) famously used it as a planned line at a debate that, combined with her poor delivery, made her look foolish and scripted.

Posted by: on July 2, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

"I really didn't love America ... " - J. McCain,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hVeWZjB8zM#

Posted by: G. Kerby on July 2, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: Kevin, thanks for linking to Goldberg's article.

Why, is posting bullshit neocon propaganda too much of a job for you alone?]

Posted by: Gregory on July 2, 2008 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Yesterday I wrote: "The torture at Abu Graihb was conducted in direct compliance with policies that were established at high-level meetings at the White House, and approved by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. This has been thoroughly documented."

Jasper replied: "What's been 'documented' is that the officers and soldiers THERE felt that they were complying with orders and policies, not that the orders and policies themselves actually were being complied with."

As I said yesterday you are grossly ignorant, dishonest or both. Here, you are slavishly regurgitating the scripted, uttterly bogus "just a few bad apples" talking point that the right-wing propaganda machine uses to cover up the Bush administration's responsibility for torture:

Cheney, Others OK’d Harsh Interrogations
by Lara Jakes Jordan and Pamela Hess
Friday, April 11, 2008
Associated Press

Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.

The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the meetings described them Thursday to the AP to confirm details first reported by ABC News on Wednesday. The intelligence official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue.

Between 2002 and 2003, the Justice Department issued several memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that justified using the interrogation tactics, including ones that critics call torture.

“If you looked at the timing of the meetings and the memos you’d see a correlation,” the former intelligence official said. Those who attended the dozens of meetings agreed that “there’d need to be a legal opinion on the legality of these tactics” before using them on al-Qaida detainees, the former official said.

The meetings were held in the White House Situation Room in the years immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks. Attending the sessions were Cheney, then-Bush aides Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

General Who Probed Abu Ghraib Says Bush Officials Committed War Crimes
Warren P. Strobel
Thursday, June 19, 2008
McClatchy Newspapers

The Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison accused the Bush administration Wednesday of committing “war crimes” and called for those responsible to be held to account.

The remarks by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who’s now retired, came in a new report that found that U.S. personnel tortured and abused detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, using beatings, electrical shocks, sexual humiliation and other cruel practices.

“After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes,” Taguba wrote. “The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

Taguba, whose 2004 investigation documented chilling abuses at Abu Ghraib, is thought to be the most senior official to have accused the administration of war crimes. “The commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture,” he wrote.

As you correctly acknowledged yesterday, there is little point in "conversation" with a grossly ignorant and/or cynically dishonest purveyor of right-wing propaganda such as yourself, so this is the last I will have to say on the subject here.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 2, 2008 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm naive, but I always thought that running for President of the United States was a bona fide act of patriotism. I thought it said you cared about the well being and future of the country. Dumb me, I guess lapel pins are a more important aspect of patriotism.

Posted by: Temple Houston on July 2, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Temple,

You got to be kidding. You think the many ambitious driven power seeking politicians who run for president are doing so as an an act of patriotism?

Out of all of them, maybe McCain would fall in that category. I can't think of any others.

The whole notion of a candidate's patriotism is silly and only arises because politicians either cloak themselves in the flag (which can be ignored) or attempt to defend against policy attacks by mischaracterizing them as attacks on patriotism (which is disengenuousness).

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts today, but I am not too busy right now so I will go back and do that for you. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix your oversights. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

on wrote: "The whole notion of a candidate's patriotism is silly and only arises because politicians either cloak themselves in the flag (which can be ignored) or attempt to defend against policy attacks by mischaracterizing them as attacks on patriotism (which is disengenuousness)."

You leave out the possibility of actual attacks on a candidate's "patriotism", which is what Obama has been "defending against". The attacks on Obama's patriotism -- and even his wife's patriotism -- have been quite real, explicit and aggressive.

Yet, according to you, what's going on is that Obama is at fault for somehow "mischaracterizing" those attacks; while according to you, John McCain's "wrapping himself in the flag" of ostentatious "patriotism" and his campaign's direct involvement in attacking Obama's patriotism should be "ignored".

That, combined with your laughable assertion that only John McCain -- a career white-collar crook and bought-and-paid-for tool of corporate lobbyists -- could possibly be "fall in that category" of candidates who are motivated to run for office by their concern for the country, suggests that you are a Republican shill.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 2, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, THIS comment:

Posted by: on July 2, 2008 at 12:01 AM

which begins:

'Kevin's comment is disengenuous. Goldberg does not "question Obama's patriotism" in the way Kevin suggests. He wrote a very interesting column (some might say nuanced)...'

HAS to be Jonah Goldberg posting here anonymously.

If you've ever read much of his "writing", you know he is earnestly in love with himself.

Posted by: Willie on July 2, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

If you've ever seen Goldberg's blog about his "book", you know he posts lots of letters from his "admirers", which all pretty much say things like "You're awesome, Jonah!" (actual "quote".)

I wrote him an email pointing out his creepy narcissism, and he responded back to me with "maybe I'm just trying to sell books."

Posted by: Willie on July 2, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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