Obama fibs and flip-flops on patriotism [Karl]
The AP’s Jennifer LovenÃ‚Â covers Barack Obama’s speech on patriotism, in which he said he “will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign” and implictly threw his surrogate Wesley ClarkÃ‚Â under the campaign bus for questioning John McCain’s war record. [Update: Here’s the official squishing sound. -K]
The Hill notes that Obama also implicitly whacked MoveOn for its “General Betray Us” ad last year.Ã‚Â Yet Obama refused to vote on a Senate resolutionÃ‚Â condemning MoveOn’s attack at the time,Ã‚Â saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against these empty politics.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Of course, Obama is now dashing to the center and alreadyÃ‚Â has MoveOn’s endorsement, which Obama welcomed.
InÃ‚Â today’s speech, Obama also said this:
Of course, precisely because America isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t perfect, precisely because our ideals constantly demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy.
However, during the flag lapel pin flap, Obama said this:Ã‚Â
A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veteransÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary?
That is a debate I am very happy to have. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism.
As noted previously, issues of body armor, military training, or veteransÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ benefitsÃ‚Â might actually be debatable among reasonable people, but he was willing to question people’s patriotism over them.Ã‚Â Moreover, Obama now supports the terrorist surveillance program, having seen and learned the degree to whichÃ‚Â it is necessary to help prevent terrorist attacks.Ã‚Â So perhapsÃ‚Â Old Obama should be questioningÃ‚Â New Obama’s patriotism.
Incidentally, since Obama gave today’s speech in Independence, MO, I cannot help but note that much of Obama’s flag lapel pin flap played out in — Independence, IA.Ã‚Â Must be a thing with him.
Update: To give credit where due, Tom Maguire noticed Obama questioning other people’s patriotism back in April, though he didn’t have the quote I used today.