Monday, October 8, 2007

The Lapel Flag Pin Patriots.

Yesterday, in response to a question from a reporter suspicious of why he wasn’t wearing an American flag pin on his lapel, Barack Obama explained his belief that for some, the pins became a substitute for “true patriotism.” The senator said he would instead “try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”

I didn’t expect leading conservative voices to understand, but I was a little surprised at the ferocity of the response. Jonah Goldberg described Obama’s perspective as “staggeringly stupid,” and “the single dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of him doing.” Another prominent far-right blogger responded this way:

“Seriously, you want this for President of these great United States.This is how he catches the attention of a media aligned with the terror force? This useful tool won’t wear an American flag pin? Talk about pandering to the radical base, he ought to run against Ahmadinejad.

“He is scoring points with Georgie Soros, won’t be waiting long for his on his Soros stipend, I’m sure. What’s Obama Hussein’s new campaign slogan, “America Sucks!”

Higher-profile conservative voices were only slightly less unhinged.

“But talk radio and cable news quickly pounced on the issue. “It just shows you he’s not ready for the big time,” conservative Laura Ingram opined on Fox News. Said Sean Hannity: “Why do we wear pins? Because our country is under attack!”

Hannity, a voice of reason in these trying times. Perhaps he believes lapel pins are some kind of protection against terrorist attacks? And if so, why doesn’t he wear one more often?

So the role model for true-blue, America-loving, super-duper-patriotic conservatives is...

...Abbie Hoffman?

(historical note from old geezer to young whippersnappers: Abbie Hoffman, 1970's radical, was arrested for wearing a shirt made from an American flag. Also arrested other times, for other charges -- see "Chicago Seven" -- but the shirt incident was one of the most famous.)


Larry said...

Of course the entire matter would go unnoticed if the person not wearing a lapel pin were Right Wing Rudy or Maddog McCain.

earlbo said...

larry, IOKIYAR says it all.

It's OK If You're a Republican. Explanation for an action or statement by a Republican which, were the responsible person a Democrat, would be cause for a firestorm of outrage. (May also be stated as the converse: INOKIYAD: It's Not OK If You're a Democrat.)

supergirlest said...

i absolutely love how people think they can slap a flag on their car and be patriotic, same with the pins. i read a great quote somewhere around 9/11 where the author was describing a parade she's been to with her daughter. she said there has to be more to patriotism than sitting on your ass, drinking a beer, watching a parade go by. i couldn't agree more.

and you'll be delighted to know this whippersnapper knows abbie hoffman well. i have his book too. and one of my all time fave quotes came from him during the trial. ok, two. when asked if he they were collaborating to incite a riot, he replied with a laugh - saying they couldn't even collectively decide what to have for lunch. the other was "...i've never been on trial for my thoughts before."

thanks for stopping by my place! i'm super swamped with grad school, but i will try my hardest to check in here!!!

earlbo said...

supergirlest, thanks for stopping by...

and you'll be delighted to know this whippersnapper knows abbie hoffman well. i have his book too.

Is your Abbie book, "Steal This Book?" The 1968 Democratic Convention was so much fun, when Abbie and the Yippies nominated the pig for President. Fun, except for the police riot and beatings.

Liberals think of the flag pin as part of Bush's attempt to sort of snooker the country through misdirection. They think Bush uses his patriotism as a way of getting people to stop paying attention while he ruins the country. I think I can recognize what Obama is doing: Sending a signal to liberals that he too is sick of Bush.