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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Right questions Obama’s patriotism

Sen. Barack Obama's refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin along with a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem led conservatives on Internet and in the media to question his patriotism. Now Obama's wife, Michelle, has drawn their ire, too, for saying recently that she's really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Conservative consultants say that combined, the cases could be an issue for Obama in the general election if he wins the nomination, especially as he runs against Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain.

Sen. Barack Obama’s refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin along with a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem led conservatives on Internet and in the media to question his patriotism.

Now Obama’s wife, Michelle, has drawn their ire, too, for saying recently that she’s really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.

Conservative consultants say that combined, the cases could be an issue for Obama in the general election if he wins the nomination, especially as he runs against Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain.

“The reason it hasn’t been an issue so far is that we’re still in the microcosm of the Democratic primary,” said Republican consultant Roger Stone. “Many Americans will find the three things offensive. Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd.”

Opponents of Sen. John Kerry proved in the 2004 election that voters are sensitive to suggestions that a candidate is not sufficiently patriotic. The Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, even though he won multiple military honors and was lauded by his superiors.

The Swift Boat campaign started as a relatively small television ad buy that exploded into an issue that dogged Kerry for months. The Massachusetts senator has conceded since losing to President Bush that the campaign and his lackluster response to unsubstantiated allegations he considered unworthy of a reaction likely cost him the election. And the term even became part of the campaign lexicon — swift boating.

Obama already is the subject of a shadowy smear campaign based on the Internet that falsely suggests he’s a Muslim intent on destroying the United States. Obama is a Christian and has been fighting the e-mail hoax, which also claims he doesn’t put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, and he’s been trying to correct the misinformation.

“Whenever I’m in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” Obama frequently tells voters.

“I’ve been going to the same church for 20 years, praising Jesus,” he adds.

Retired Major General Scott Gration, an Obama military adviser, said he expects the attacks will only increase if Obama wins the Democratic nomination.

“People are projecting things and taking things out of context,” Gration said. “There’s absolutely no question in my mind that Michelle and Barack are extremely patriotic, appreciate our freedoms and our values and everything else that the flag represents.”

Officials with the McCain campaign and the Republican Party say they won’t be suggesting Obama is less than patriotic, and instead plan to focus their criticisms on his record and inexperience if he wins the nomination. Well-funded outside groups, however, consider anything fair game.

Conservative Republican consultant Keith Appell, who worked with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, said Obama’s opposition to the war will create a “striking contrast between McCain the war hero and Obama the poster child for the anti-war movement.”

“If you are McCain, you want to play up the decorated war hero, loves his country, served his country,” Appell said. “You want to play those themes up as much as possible, especially in comparison to Obama and his role in the anti-war movement.”

On Monday, Michelle Obama told an audience in Milwaukee, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change.”

Cindy McCain, McCain’s wife, days later responded by saying, “I have, and always will be, proud of my country.” Barack Obama has expressed frustration that his wife’s remarks had been taken out of context and turned into political fodder — both the Obamas say she was talking about politics in the United States, not the country itself.

Last summer, Obama was photographed by Time magazine at an event in Iowa standing with his hands folded during the national anthem. His primary rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appear beside him, with their hands on their hearts.

It has been repeatedly reported that the moment came during the Pledge of Allegiance, but that’s not the case.

In October, Obama told Iowa television station KCRG that he decided to stop wearing a U.S. flag lapel pin during the run-up to the Iraq war because it had become “a substitute for, I think, true patriotism.”

“I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great and, hopefully, that will be a testimony to my patriotism,” Obama said.

Obama’s comments led conservatives and media commentators to question his patriotism.

“First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb. Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems. Wait until you hear what the White House hopeful didn’t do during the singing of the national anthem,” said Steve Doocy, co-host of “Fox and Friends” on the Fox News Channel.

“He felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is,” former radio host Mark Williams said on Fox.

Gration said he had a copy of the national anthem photo e-mailed to him by a friend who didn’t know the facts and questioned how a military man could support someone who doesn’t honor the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I go to baseball games and football games and there’s just a minority of us who put our hands over our heart. It’s not an indication of patriotism,” Gration said. Gration said he personally wears a flag pin, but “if I meet someone who doesn’t have a lapel pin, it doesn’t mean they are more or less patriotic than I am.”

And, he added, “I don’t think you can find Barack again not putting his hand over his heart at the national anthem.”


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30 thoughts on “Right questions Obama’s patriotism”

  1. McCain is a PAP

    or……Plastic American Patriot (thanks Paolo!). He had some good in mind once upon a time, then he got to eat good and wear nice suits and that’s when his mind, and his ethics, went by the wayside. As for Obama, I really do believe Billary will do something really heinous to knock him out of the running.

  2. “under McCain, this country will be bankrupted.”
    News flash!!! This country is already bankrupt. The hammer just hasn’t fallen, yet.

  3. Hi Paolo…

    An absolutely superb spot-on assessment of possible outcomes based on either of these candidates being elected to the presidency. I doubt if honest, professional political analysts could do much better…! : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. As a libertarian, I view an Obama presidency as having a potential, longshot upside. A McCain presidency is almost guaranteed to produce sheer catastrophe. Here is my reasoning.

    With McCain, you are guaranteed not only continued and probably escalated war in Iraq, but wars in Iran, Syria, and (God help us!) maybe even in the Far East. Along with this comes–guaranteed–budget deficits going up even beyond the insane half-trillion dollar deficits we have now. If those wars are really going to be fought, you can guarantee conscription–aka slavery–since there is no other way to get the necessary manpower to pursue such insane adventures.

    With McCain, you will get no serious reduction of foolish welfare state spending. Republicans have NEVER cut spending. If you doubt this, review the budget records of Bush II, Bush I, Reagan, Nixon–you name it. The idea of “Republican Fiscal Responsibility” is a BIG LIE if ever there was one.

    In other words, under McCain, this country will be bankrupted. We just don’t have the money to finance his insane foreign policy.

    With Obama, you get the possibility that he might actually follow through on his campaign promise to get out of Iraq. This alone might give the USA enough breathing room to fumble its way out of its economic mess.

    Again, I emphasize this is a LONGSHOT. After all, Obama is a politician. He is quite likely to find an excuse NOT to get out of Iraq. Also, in his own insane moments, he’s talked about invading Pakistan, ferchrissake!

    Obama’s domestic program is the same nitwit welfare state both R’s and D’s endorse. With luck, he might even try to introduce cuts in the budget–he really will have no choice–on the “only Nixon could go to China” theorem. Again, a longshot, but we can dream. Democrats, by the way, are historically slightly better than Republicans regarding fiscal and monetary issues.

    Summary: McCain=guaranteed disaster. Obama=likely disaster, with a slight ray of hope he might actually do a few good things.

  5. Yo jay-spaan…

    Here’s a repost to the Dan K. Thomasson article;ie.,, “A Fair Question for Barak Obama” concerning my sentiments relative Obama’s alleged lack of credentials, experience, etc.

    We all surely know how experienced Hillary is when it comes to dodging allegations of impropriety etc. The Clintons are nothing but two pol scamsters that have been on the make and the take their entire lives.

    Reply to the Dan K. Thomasson article as follows:
    “Why is it that folks are enamoured with pols that promise the world and deliver little to nothing, than one that keeps his cards close to his vest, promising little, but just might deliver “something”…?!

    I find it refreshing that Obama isn’t blathering that he’s going to see to it that we have a chicken in every pot, a Ford in every garage, all the while endlessly kissing ugly babies 1930’s style…!

    He said he’s going to get us out of Iraq. If that’s the “only” thing he accomplishes in the next four years and hopefully sooner than later, then I’ll class him as a success. Ending our involvement with this treasury draining, nation-destroying war, both ours and Iraq will be enough in itself. It will also cause the price of oil to pullback to possibly the mid-sixties; rekindling some sound economic activity for this nation and the world in general.

    Hopefully he will be able to wire together some type of medical coverage for folks. Nothing will be perfect but I have a feeling he can pull it off if anyone can. When the guy speaks, people seem to listen.

    Hillary sounds like a squawking “big sister” to me and is a turn off not only to myself, but no doubt millions of others. She’s evidently risen to the level of her incompetence; ie., a U.S. Senator.” : |

    Go Obama…Go…!

    Here’s a link laying out the Clinton family cabal’s political resume’. Btw, don’t blame it all on Bill; these two have been working as a political “tag team” their entire married lives.

    Anything is better than 28 plus years of Bushistas and Clintonistas in the White House. Hell, I’d vote for you Jay before I’d vote “Billary” for President… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. So What?

    If Obama doesn’t wear some cheesy U.S. flag pin on his lapel? He could do his speeches wearing nothing, but, a speedo and a big goofy grin on his face and I’d still listen to what he has to say. Billary the Beast has Obama in its crosshairs and will do and say anything to take him out of the running.

    Just because one goes to church or wears a cross doesn’t mean one is moral or loyal to the church. Anybody with half a braincell knows that!

  7. The rabid right is going to keep saying those hoaxes about Obama no matter what.

    I was watching the current Bill Maher and the Congressman from Georgia made a point of repeating all these allegations which have been proven to be untrue. This is what gives politicians a bad name and a foul smell.

    The strategy of the current Republican party is to repeat blatant lies again and again and again in the belief that if you tell a lie enough times as the truth, people will believe the lie to be true eventually.

    An example is a recent survey in England where a large percent of young people under the age of 30 didn’t believe that Winston Churchill never existed.

    This is one of the dangers that George Orwell wrote about in 1984. He called it disinformation. But it is nothing but lies.

    This is what I don’t get. Because if we as individuals wrote some of the stuff that comes out of the Republican mouth pieces, wouldn’t we be discredited and possibly jailed?

    Additionally, patriotism is one of those words like religion. The GOP has used this word to push the agenda of their failed policies.

    So what is patriotic? Putting your hand over your heart or putting your life on the line? Wearing a flag pin on your lapel or standing up for what is right and good and fair?

    In the past, America admired their champions that stood up for truth and justice. The Republican party under the current powers that be, are the antithesis of these principles even though they represent themselves to be so virtuous. This is why America is so quick to believe the worst when it comes to light against them. America doesn’t like hypocrites and liars. The powers behind the Bushies and those running the GOP party are both hypocrites and liars.

    I personally cannot say the pledge of allegiance because there is no liberty and justice for all. There is only liberty and justice for those with money. Does this make me unpatriotic? Or is the guy next to me with his hand over his heart mouthing empty rhetoric who NEVER VOTES the real patriot?

    Have we finally crossed over into another dimension where up is down and right is wrong and lies are truth? I don’t think so. And I think the swelling support behind Obama is an indicator that we are not totally and mindlessly lost in their disinformation propaganda…yet.

  8. Can’t take you up on that one. I’m NOT a fan of Obama, at all. I just said that THE LAST reason I would give for opposing him would be the fact he didn’t wear a phony lapel pin and didn’t say the evil Pledge of Allegiance. The American people are–at least in politics–appallingly gullible. They fall for plastic patriotism every time.

  9. Not only are the pins made in China but so are our American flags. These things are an illusion of America. We may have lost our core of values in trying to bring religion into all facets of America. They are two separate subjects and should never be blended and neither will succeed.

    I lived in a small village just south of Big Sur. Cambria had been a major radar station during WW2 and even when I lived there we had a handfull of WW1 vets. It was an old mining town that became cattle country. We probably had more veterans per person than anyplace I had ever lived and every morning before the stores opened, our flags went up on our buildings. Memorial day was important because at the Vet’s Hall, we would gather around a huge platform that had all service flags raised. The folding chairs were then placed around this platform and every year fewer WW1 and then WW2 seats were filled. Every war and every soldier/sailor were valued in that village.

    I’m still emotionally affected by the sacrifices our men and women have made and when the political action groups start degrading our nation, I really get pissed.

  10. Lest we forget, those little lapel pins, as well as most fabric flags are MADE IN CHINA.
    Patriotic my ass.
    The Reich Wing is out of material, and it’s just pathetic.

  11. This column is just another “vote for Obama” B.S. slant CHB is peddling, using a very stupid article about trite stuff to act like they are being unbiased to sway those reading to vote for their candidate.

    ‘The Daily Show’ changed it’s name due to the strike to ‘A daily Show’.

    CHB needs to change it’s name to “Obama’s CHB” until this is over.

    I still ask anyone here… can you give me any experience or credentials Obama has for being President?

    Besides being a corrupt young lawyer in Hawaii who made his money off the “Apology Resolution” bilking millions from the U.S. Taxpayer. Besides 100 “present” votes as a junior congressman. Maybe his connection to get his 1.3 million house in Ill. from a known mafia-guy connection? Maybe his wife making almost 1M compared to her 89K job since this started? I agree this is a good start for ‘business-as-usual’. As I have stated before, he is a small time white-collar thug looking for the big time.

    I forgot. He’s black. He can’t possibly be corrupt, and part of the system. He is black, after all.

    Frank Lucas used the same theme bringing in heroin in coffins via the U.S. Army and fooled the Feds for years. He was black, and could not possibly be better than the Italian Mafia. Check out on the internet what Frank Lucas thinks of Obama, by the way. It may make you raise your eyebrows a little.

    Mr. Nemo, or anybody, without the Obama “change rhetoric” or he made a speech against Iraq, or I Hate Hillary. Please tell me why, based on qualifications, you are voting for him. Not JFK stuff, because JFK had a huge history behind him in government from his family.

    Come on, just one of you, give me an answer.

    Dare you.

    So a guy goes to a eye doctor. The Doc says “well first thing you have to do is quit masterbating”. Guy says “why”? Doc says ” because I’m trying to examine you”.

    Ya’ll think about that a little please maybe.

  12. WWexler asks:
    “Why would you want to be president if you weren’t patriotic? So you could make all Americans un-American?”

    I’m sure George W. Bush could tell you why because he sure as hell ain’t patriotic and has worked very hard to make us all un-americans.

    I don’t do the Pledge of Allegiance and I pay no attention to the Star Spangled Banner There have been times I haven’t even stood up for the national anthem. I’ve been accused of being unpatriotic and a “commie.” But I just tell them “After 32 years in the Navy and several wars I figure I’ve earned the right to sit this one out.” Sometimes I add “What branch of the service were you in?” Of course they were never in the military or done anything else for their country.

    Frankly, I don’t believe either one of those two things have anything to do with patriotism. But they certainly have a lot to do with brainwashing grade school children. Our national anthem is full of rockets and bombs. It comes across like a threat. We sing about how we kick ass. I know of no other country’s anthem that comes close to that.

    “OH beautiful, for spacious skys, for amber waves of grain”
    “For purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains.”

    That should be the national anthem. It’s a lot easier to sing, too. We’d have to take that “god” word out of it, though, to “We shed our grace on thee.”

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