Monday, June 09, 2008

On the flag pin flap

Obama's flag pin flap came back into the news a while back because... well, he started wearing it again.

He said:

You know I started wearing it again at that veteran’s event because once again I had been handed the flag by a veteran who said it was important. This is an issue that is a phony issue because I have never been opposed to a flag pin. I have worn flag pins in the past. When I was asked about it, I had worn flag pins after 9/11, and I have chosen not to wear one because I didn’t want to be perceived as wearing my patriotism on my chest but not promoting or advocating on behalf of veterans in a patriotic way. Some people took that as a slight against people who wore flag pins, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. It was a commentary on politicians and folks in Washington who sometimes are pretty good about saluting our soldiers when they come home but then don’t follow up with budgets that make sure their getting treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. So it’s a commentary about our politics, not about individuals who wear the flag with pride
It came up today when a friend forwarded me what turns out to be somewhat of a hoax email (which was actually a parody article on Obama's flag-pin/national anthem explanations) asking if they were really true. They weren't. Not literally anyway.

So I went out looking for what was actually said. I found the above, and the following:
“You know, the truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, 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.”
and later

"After a while, you know, you start noticing people wearing a lapel pin, but not acting very patriotic,'' Obama said here. "Not voting to provide veterans with the resources that they need...."

"You show your patriotism by being true to our values and our ideals,'' he said. "And that's what we have to lead with is our values and ideals."
It occurred to me that nobody has really pegged what this flap was all about in the first place. It wasn't the absence of the pin, it was his explanation. McCain sometimes wore a pin, sometimes didn't. Same with Hillary and probably the rest of the candidates. But Obama used the opportunity to cast aspersions on Americans who are overtly patriotic and proud to wear or display the symbol.

Whether or not someone else wears one every day, or any day, or ever is not the issue. It's the refusal to do it -- but more than that, his apparent disdain for those who do.

This fits in with his apparent view of Americans from, shall we say, less than cosmopolitan areas of the country. Ignorant. They can't possibly hold the views they do due to any conviction come to by thoughtful reflection. Contemplation. Thinking. No, it must be an "understandable" (say, the way one understands bovine behavior) emotional reaction to the Great Satan of Capitalism. The thing the God (Barak himself? -- The "Lightworker"?) of Socialism that the Democratic Party wants to lead them into. For their own good, of course.

Barack has changed his tune since then after it became clear how much damage publicly looking down his nose at half of America can do, as explained in the quote nearest the beginning of his post.

Damage control: So it’s a commentary about our politics, not about individuals who wear the flag with pride.


No comments: