Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 17, 2008

OHIO'S STATE FLAG IS NOT OBAMA'S FAULT.... Barack Obama gave a speech in Toledo, Ohio, the other day, and behind his podium were several American and Ohioan flags. Not exactly newsworthy stuff.

The problem is, Ohio's flag features a prominent, large "O." Obama's right-wing detractors didn't know this, and assumed that the Obama campaign had created its own flag to stand alongside the American flag. Conservative activists and talk-show hosts had a bit of a freak-out. Here's a hilarious example.

On the October 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bob Grant said: "[W]hat is that flag that Obama's been standing in front of that looks like an American flag, but instead of having the field of 50 stars representing the 50 states, there's a circle?" He then said: "Is the circle the 'O' for Obama? Is that what it is?" Grant later said: "[D]id you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the 'O' flag. And that's what that 'O' is. That's what that 'O' is."

John Cole also noted a Townhall commenter who was outraged that Obama would "change" the American flag: "I don't want to hear any looney left comments that they are only decoration. They ARE a modification of the American flag."

Here's the Ohio state flag, and here's Obama standing in front of Ohio's state flag.

Sometimes, the right finds the strangest things to get worked up about.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

Ignorant people do ignorant things, like get riled up over imaginary flags, and vote for John McCain.

Posted by: Anthony Cartouche on October 17, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

In related news, Michelle Malkin has demanded that all video stores remove copies of "Office Space" from their shelves until after the election, lest anyone see Greg Pitts' "O-Face."

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 17, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Next thing you know they'll claim the logos for OSU, Oregon State, UofO, etc. are unfair Obama donations/contributions.

Posted by: jcricket on October 17, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

In related news, Michelle Malkin has demanded that all video stores remove copies of "Office Space" from their shelves until after the election, lest anyone see Greg Pitts' "O-Face."

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 17, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is, Ohio's flag features a prominent, large "O." Obama's right-wing detractors didn't know this, and assumed that the Obama campaign had created its own flag to stand alongside the American flag. Conservative activists and talk-show hosts had a bit of a freak-out.

That paragraph tells you all you need to know about what passes for a thought process among movement conservatives.

Posted by: Gregory on October 17, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

It's impossible to exaggerate the lunacy of the right wing.

Posted by: MarvyT on October 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Grant is still alive!? And as asshole as ever apparently. A vile, loathesome movement represented by a vile, loathesome ticket.

Posted by: Bulworth on October 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

You'll be hearing this stated as fact, until the heat-death of the universe.

A lie goes halfway round the world while the truth is still looking for its boots -- and finds internet wingnut bullshit already there, and ordering hors d'oeuvres.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 17, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

How many days will David Gregory, Fox news, et al. devote to "flag gate"? My guess is three or four, right up until next friday when they issue some sort of retraction/mea culpa on friday afternoon.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 17, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'm looking forward to President Obama's Whitehouse staff making a big stink out of the missing O's from all of the Whitehouse keyboards.....

-GSD

Posted by: GSD on October 17, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

As a long time reader and commenter of this blog, I can say - most insulting thing ever.

(But I feel good in a way, I can use this to argue against right-wing talk radio if the topic comes up with my neighbor.)

Posted by: Ohioan on October 17, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of psychotics!!!! If we had a national health care system like that of France, these people would be able to get the help they need!!

Posted by: Ed on October 17, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Just like the people currently in the WH, these commentators have already established their policy of Hate Obama, and are now simply fitting the "intelligence" to conform to the policy. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 17, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

And they wonder why they're losing so bad in Ohio. FAIL!

Posted by: Marko on October 17, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, the right finds the strangest things to get worked up about.

Indeed, were it not for manufactured 'outrages' such as this, the right would have nothing to get worked up about at all.

In much the same way that you can conclude a statement is a lie if Sarah Palin says it, you can conclude a 'controversy' is some constructed tempest in a teapot if Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, et al are whining about it.

Posted by: David Bailey on October 17, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like ACORN office in Boston was broken into and ransacked. The reporter was unsure if it was a coincidence.

Way to go John and Sarah!!

Posted by: grinning cat on October 17, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

You just have to laugh at these schmuckwads.

Jeezus, these people need to get out more! I faintly remember the first time I traveled to Ohio and I did notice their flag. It's reminiscent of Puerto Rico's. Except in my case I was like 11 years old or something....these guys have probably never traveled more than 2 hours from their house. And yet, people read their columns and/or listen to their radio shows daily for their "worldly knowledge". Unbelievable.

P.S. I wonder what they would say if they saw Obama standing in front of Maryland's flag? It defnitely looks "subversive" ;-)

Posted by: King Leo on October 17, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, please let them make a big deal out of this.

It will deliver us Ohio.

Posted by: doubtful on October 17, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

For lovers of the heartland, they don't seem to know much about the U.S.'s most distinctive flag. Did you know it is the only pennant-shaped one in the 50 states? Thank you, Mrs. Kurek, Ohio history teacher. :)

Posted by: The Answer Is Green on October 17, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if Obama's secret plan is to overthrow the government and install a socialist/communist regime run by his muslim and terrorist buddies, I guess it makes sense that he'd have designed his own flag...

Posted by: lylebot on October 17, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Cartouche has it right. Ignorance is the essential ingredient in the right-wing world view. Without it they would simply scatter to the four winds and squander their time and money.

We must help them find their way out of this mess: They need education, they need to work for their living, and they need to be relieved of the money they have stolen.

Posted by: Boolaboola on October 17, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure which is stronger, the rightwing's unhinged lunacy or their ignorance. Polls show it running neck and neck.

Posted by: ckelly on October 17, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I lived in Ohio for twenty years (until my sentence was commuted) and never knew their flag had an "O" in it. Your link says it's a circle, representing the Northwest Territory.

I do know it's shaped like a pair of pants.

Posted by: ericfree on October 17, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

slappy magoo: Best. Comment. Ever.

BTW, I did sneak in about 20 minutes late, and then just zoned out at my computer for about an hour.

Posted by: NHCt on October 17, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Now, the Obama-loving state of Ohio has actually changed their flag to make it look like an Obama logo. How disrespectful.

Posted by: DonBoy on October 17, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama's campaign had designed that flag, it would be much less cluttered. Yikes, that's a busy flag you got there, Ohio.

Posted by: emjaybee on October 17, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ohio? Isn't that one of them terrist states right next to Pakistan and Venezuela?

Posted by: GOPer troll on October 17, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Someone is surprised that wingnuts are morons??

Posted by: TCinLA on October 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Um, I think the real point here is that this is not misinformation, it's disinformation. The guys pushing this aren't in all likelihood doing out of ignorance--that is to say, even if they knew it was wrong they would push it anyway. Because they've successfully planted the idea in a whole lot of uninformed, ignorant and profoundly incurious (i.e., GOP) voters' heads. And the fallback is the standard mediocratic ultimate truthiness fallback for this kind of thing: "yeah, it's wrong, but it resonates with what people think so in a deeper way it's still valid!"

The fact that people on this thread are laying it off to simple lugnut stupidity is testimony to the truth of Lily Tomlin's greatest line: "No matter how cynical I get... I can't keep up!"

Posted by: DrBB on October 17, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

I left a nasty gram over at bob's website. I feel much better.

Posted by: Jim on October 17, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Being from Ohio I noticed how good the flag looked behind Obama.

This stuff could very well offend Ohio voters. Let's hope.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on October 17, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

What all this fuss about an Obama flag, who does it think he is?
Emily, that's the Ohio flag behind Mr. Obama.
Oh, well, that's different.
Nevermind......

Posted by: reboho on October 17, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

These would be the same cranks who accused Newsweek of doing a hit piece by using a cover photo of Sarah "Ordinary Gal" Palin that made her look like an ordinary gal.

Posted by: Grumpy on October 17, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ohio doesn't have a state flag. It has a http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/usa/ohflag.htm">pennant, as any student who attended Ohio public schools in the 50's-70's could tell you, as it was drummed into our wee little lizard brains.

Posted by: Annie on October 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but Bush would never, ever have done this.

Bush's people would have made sure the entire 'O' was visible, not just half of it, and would have had all the photos and videos taken so that it framed his head, not hanging off to the side. Obama looks like an angel who's been in a fight - half the halo broken off and hanging to the side of his head.

Posted by: eyelessgame on October 17, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

GOPer Troll,

You're confusing it with Ohiostan, a common error.

I blame our skuhls.

Posted by: Trollhattan on October 17, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

You think that's bad? I heard Obama has secretly replaced ALL American flags EVERYWHERE with replicas of that little pin he sometimes wears on his lapel.

Posted by: Stephen Stralka on October 17, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Annie,

Yeah, I grew up in Ohio in the 70's, so I immediately knew what that flag, er...um, pennant was.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on October 17, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

The fear and desperation on the right is palpable.
Their reaction to this is a mirror image of what the McCain campaign is doing: don't think, react.

Great news that the Supreme Court rejected the Ohio GOP "voter registration fraud" scam. I think even they realize that if they obstruct this election, there will be hell to pay.

This should provide precedent to blow the voter suppression schemes in other states out of the water.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 17, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin's flag has a light plane at the top and a dead Arctic wolf at the bottom.

Posted by: Chris on October 17, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The state of Ohio page says the flag is a burgee, not a pennant. You'd think these Republicans would know a burgee when they saw one, after all, every yacht club has one.

Besides, when you have the rare chance to use a word like burgee it is just plain lame to say pennant.

Posted by: Tom Parmenter on October 17, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Fred Clark at Slacktivist (the most underrated blogger on the interwebs, IMHO) has a great three-part series about people who believe patently untrue things:

"False Witnesses"

"False Witnesses 2"

"They Need Help"

They're longer than the average internet post, but well worth the time you put into them. And he has some of the best, most articulate commenters on the Web.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 17, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

What alternate universe do these yingyangs live in? I have to admit that when I first read this the thought crossed my mind that these people are some kind of robots incapable of thought and awareness. Gee I was right.
Give me a break. This is great. I now refer to this incident when talking to all rightwingers that I know.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm...burgee...sounds too much like burka to me.

Ohio must be a terrist state!!

Posted by: whichwitch on October 17, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

OK, maybe not too stupid to live. But how about too stupid to vote?

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on October 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

This is just another example of the ignorance factor which just might swing the result McCain's way.

Glenn Greenwald has another great and much more dangerous example of this in Dana Priest's chat with a reader:

Evanston, Ill.: Hey Dana, why does McCain keep saying that Russia committed unprovoked aggression against Georgia? Nobody outside of America believes that. Why won't anyone call him out on that?

Dana Priest: The person who would need to do that is Obama and he doesn't do that -- or a lesser version of that -- because, I suspect, he does not want to look weak vis a vis a resurgent Russia.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/10/16/russia/index.html


This also explains why Dana Priest and others like her turned up so many times on Meet The Press - once in the last several years as I recall. Having a real reporter around must have made Russert very uneasy.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on October 17, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aha ha ha ha *gasping for breath, wiping tear from eye* Oh, God that's funny. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aha ha

Posted by: CT on October 17, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Not so fast, folks....I think these wingnuts are onto something.

Follow me on this: Cleveland is the home to the Rock'n'Roll hall of fame. Rock'n'Roll has a long association with sex and drugs (oh, surrre, rock-n-rollers would call it merely a "passing acquaintance"). Speaking of drugs, did you know they grow poppies in Afghanistan? And what else to they have in Afghanistan? You guessed it: Terrists!! Voila: Obama Exposed.

Wait a minute...I should have my own conservative talk show....

Posted by: King Leo on October 17, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, it is almost eerie how similar your style and typical posts are to Kevin's. You also share his habit of often not coming up with an expression of explaining what is so idiotic about various wingnut foibles; presumably you think it's evident to common sense. In this case, perhaps so, but I still want to explicitly point out: isn't it incredible, that with resources to find out literally at their fingertips, those wingnauts didn't even check on the Ohio flag before spewing off? What does that tell us about them?

Isn't such a failure the very essence of not being real grownups, of not being "ready for prime time" authentic commentators? They like to complain they are disdained because they're "conservative" (read: Republican/plutocracy/Christianist loyalists), but really it's because they are genuinely incompetent and obnoxious to boot.

Posted by: Neil B on October 17, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

You mean it's "Ohio?" I thought "O" stood for "Oprah."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

DrBB, I think in reflection that you have the better point. This is even worse, because if the commenturder (oh well my snark isn't always clever) knows better that what he or she says, it's a matter of incredibly shameful dishonesty. But indeed, spread this story of their "confusion" all around Ohio!

Posted by: Neil B on October 17, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is the funniest thing I've heard since the "flags in the garbage" non-story after the Democratic convention. Remember how a guy at Invesco Field claimed to have found bags and bags of flags in a dumpster after Obama's acceptance speech? Fox did a lot of hyperventilating about this terrible sacrilege, although the flags inside the bags looked suspiciously clean and neatly rolled and bundled. But they had to drop the story fast when it turned out that in fact the bags had not been in a dumpster but on a loading dock where they were to be picked up and transported to future rallies, and that what the Invesco field worker did was to illegally remove them, aka grand theft. He claimed that because they were kinda sorta close to a dumpster, he THOUGHT they were going to go out in the trash. Uh huh.

Posted by: T-Rex on October 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Dag. I'm from Ohio and never noticed the "O" until now. Gobama.

Posted by: wren on October 17, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I passed this item along to a friend, who made this observation: It's a good thing Malcom X didn't give any televised speeches in Alabama.

Also, a commenter at Sadly, No mentioned that Obama will next be speaking in Florida, so there may be flags revealing Obama's ties to the Spanish monarchy around. I told you we couldn't trust that Zapatero!

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on October 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

'O'MFG! Talk about ignorant! These people should have their pictures published on milk cartons for "missing brains".

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on October 17, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Just goes to show the ignorant are in charge. It's a sad day when so-called political pundits don't have a clue about the real world. . . .oh wait. That's everyday.

Posted by: Tess on October 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday I was driving through eastern Washington state and I could only get A.M. radio. I heard at least a dozen callers (including one who claimed to be a vet) on some radio show responding to a report about Obama changing the flag. I did not know what they were talking about and they soon shifted into the smear about his birth certificate his citizenship.....with so many people in this country getting fed bullshit, how do we even have a dialog? this is going to be the mantra for the next 4-8 years.

Posted by: diane on October 17, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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