In our fourth story tonight: Measuring a man’s patriotism by his allegiance to symbols. The “Associated Press” reporting yesterday, the conservatives question Senator Barack Obama’s patriotism because he does not wear a flag pin and because he did not put his hand on his heart during the national anthem last September. CNN.com aiding and abetting with a shocking online poll: Does Barack Obama show the proper patriotism for someone who wants to be the president of the United States?Keith then brings on Rachel Maddow, my favorite left wing radio person, to comment on this and zeros in on the important part:
Obama has already said his grandfather, a World War II vet taught to put his hand up for the pledge but stand for the anthem a common practice as you can see in any ballgame. As for a flag pins, Obama stopped during in the runup to the Iraq invasion when it seemed to become, quote for him, “A substitute for true patriotism”.
Yesterday, he challenged the Republican monopoly on supposed patriotism: “A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor needed or was sending troops over who are untrained because of poor planning or not fulfilling the veterans’ benefits that these troops need when they come home or undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary? That is a debate I’m very happy to have.”
He’s doing something here that national level Democrats have either been too insecure or browbeaten to do in the last few years. He’s not in hiding. He’s not wishing this away. He’s literally confident and calm in picking up this teargas canister and flinging it back from where it came. He’s saying, you want to talk patriotism, let’s talk patriotism. You want to talk American ideals, all right secret prison guys. Let’s do it.And this is exactly the kind of thing I've wanted to see for years. The rightwingers twist the debate and accuse the dems of doing the very thing the Republicans are doing, and the Democrats never set the record straight. If Obama can turn the tables on them I will be very happy, to say the least.
If this had happened in 2004, this would have seen as John Kerry taking those swiftboat veteran attacks and using them to say, all right, if you won’t denounce this George W. Bush, let’s talk about your Vietnam era service. That’s what a confident candidate does with these kinds of attacks.