Patriotism

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Pray For Our Fallen Flag Pins

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Memo to stupid people: WHERE WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT STUPID THINGS?

It's an interesting philosophical point. What would stupid people do without incredibly stupid things to talk about? I mean, sure, stupid people can say stupid shit about smart things (hello, creationists) but for an idiot to truly shine, to be happier, as they say, than a pig in shit, what they really need is something incredibly stupid to talk about. Which is why today's Idiots Say The Damndest Things is devoted entirely to stupid shit people have said about the single dumbest political issue of the last week, Barack Obama's lack of a flag lapel pin.

There's something a little off about a presidential candidate who disdains wearing the flag of the nation he seeks to lead. But maybe it's because the voters he's seeking see a defeated America as a good thing... Now, there's nothing wrong with not wearing a flag pin, and if it were just a personal preference, it would be a nonissue." - The editors of Investors' Business Daily.

In case you're wondering what those ellipses are hiding, there was exactly ONE paragraph of pure "what we're talking about" backstory between the claim that not wearing a flag pin is a signal to traitors and the claim that there's NOTHING WRONG with not wearing a flag pin. Following that? Another seven and a half paragraphs about what's wrong with not wearing a flag pin.

Along the way they blame Obama for "politicizing" his lack of a flag pin. Which quite frankly shows a level of drive and ambition from Obama that I've never seen before or since. Because the only way Obama could have politicized it was to e-mail the small newspaper interview where the pin thing came up to Matt Drudge, convince his close personal friend Drudge to run with it in giant letters on his website, then get Fox News, The Politico, and Investors' Business Daily to blow the thing up, er, precisely to its correct proportion? Hm. There's something wrong with somebody's logic, and I can't help but think it might be a bad idea to take investment advice from them.

"Obama's decision to scorn the flag is the single dumbest thing I've ever heard of him doing. Even if he thinks the flag pins are stupid, his response should be that he won't let the right claim the flag, not to cede the flag to those he disagrees with." - Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online.

Other than pointing out how grateful Obama must be that Jonah Goldberg is pondering correct flag-pin strategies for him, I don't have much of a comment here. I just think it's hilarious and telling that Goldberg has to so carefully qualify "single dumbest thing I've ever heard" the way he does. Even he knows the single actual dumbest thing he's ever heard is, "Hey, let's do a whole bunch of articles about Star Trek!"

"Why is it the de facto position on the Left that those who reveal outward manifestations of patriotism are, in fact, hypocrites or worse, fakes? What psychic awareness do they possess that the rest of us don’t, allowing them to glean intent and motive whenever the mood hits them to advance the notion that people who love this country and want to wear or wave the flag are, by definition, phonies?" - Rick Moran, Family Security Council.

It's not a psychic awareness, Mr. Moran, whose name I am not morphing in the obvious way because then I'd have to do it for Ed Koch in a few paragraphs too, just to be fair. It's called STATISTICS. You see, by observing large groups of people, one can start to develop a sense of the percentages involved. Things like the inverse ratio between the number of flag magnets on a car and that car's miles per gallon. Or the correlation between the likelihood of wearing the flag and writing incredibly stupid shit on a Family Security Council website.

In other words, dumbass, the Left does not think people who wear the flag are BY DEFINITION phonies. We think people who wear the flag are ON AVERAGE phonies. And we don't do it whenever the mood hits us. Just when some douchebag in a pickup truck blaring Lee Greenwood cuts us off in traffic.

"I don't wear a flag pin and never have, but it is not because I think those who do are jingoists, but because I don't wear pins, jewelry or rings. I don't like to put holes in my clothing... But Obama's justification simply jarred me. He wore the flag pin 'right after 9/11,' but then stopped... He has made the key to his platform that he was against the war with Iraq. But following 9/11, we went to war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, a regime harboring al-Qaeda... The war in Iraq came in 2003, so what we are hearing from Obama is a confused statement mixing up the two wars. Does he now believe the United States response of waging war in Afghanistan after 9/11 was wrong? - Former New York Mayor Ed Koch

I regret having to trim bits from Koch's rambling, incoherent rant, but in my defense, it was really, really long. And I didn't think the bit about his medical bracelet was relevant. And trust me, the bits I excised in no way help me comprehend what in the sweet, merciful fuck Ed Koch is talking about.

As best as I can figure, removing the flag pin was an indication that Obama had stopped supporting the war, which isn't actually what Obama said and makes no fucking sense anyway. Since Obama stopped wearing the flag pin in late '01 or early '02, that means he stopped supporting "the war" at that time, and the only war at that time was America Vs. Afghanistan. Ergo, Obama can't tell the two wars apart. Someone needs to take away Koch's pen, give him his pudding, and put him to bed.

If you actually read between the lines, the reason Obama stopped wearing the flag pin was simple. He didn't want to be part of the post-9/11 jingoistic hateful insanity that gripped most of the country and nearly all the politicians of both countries. An insanity that led to an overflowing toilet's worth of awful, awful policy decisions that we're only just beginning to regret five years later. Which, by the way, INCLUDES fucking up Afghanistan, even though all good liberals are still supposed to say that clusterfuck was a good idea.

And that's about the strongest endorsement for Obama I can think of.

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