Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Fringe-Left Pin-Up
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, October 05, 2007 4:20 PM PT

Election: 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.

Barack Obama made a big deal last week of not wearing an American flag in his lapel as other presidential candidates do, saying he didn't need it to prove his patriotism. "I probably haven't worn a flag pin in a very long time," he told a TV interviewer in Iowa.

Now, there's nothing wrong with not wearing a flag pin, and if it were just a personal preference, it would be a nonissue. But Obama had to politicize this, first by sneering at those who wear flags as hypocrites and then using it to woo the fringe left, a key Democratic voting bloc in the primary season.

"My attitude is that I'm less concerned about what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart," he lectured. "You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who serve. You show your patriotism by being true to our values and ideals."

His sanctimony turned to meanness when he denounced flag-pin wearers. "After a while, you start noticing people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic," he said.

His definition of patriotism is peculiar: "Shortly after 9/11 . . . that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security. I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest; instead I'm gonna try to tell the American people what I believe . . . will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."

So there you have it — "speaking out" is patriotic, and patriotic acts are hypocritical. If Republicans wear flag pins, he won't. But don't dare question his patriotism.

This defensive radicalism cloaked in patriotic words coincides with a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll showing that one of five of Democrats think the world "would be better off if the U.S. lost the war" in Iraq.

This 19% is the angry MoveOn.org crowd, the prime group Democrats seek to win over. It's undecided but ideological; when it's not burning a flag, it will do anything to undermine U.S. strength. It sees itself as nobler than America, and therefore doesn't favor the U.S. over others.

This defeatist bloc is Obama's big prize. Little wonder Obama won't wear the stars and stripes. With MoveOn.org in the saddle, there's no pinning a flag on the party of the donkey.

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