Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

by Walter Brasch

    Barack Obama spent the Fourth of July in Montana.  A Red State. A state that few think he can win. A state that gave huge margins to George Bush the past two elections.

    But here he was. On Independence Day. Marching in a parade. Hosting a picnic for hundreds. Trying to rally support for his Presidential run. Trying to show that he can appeal to voters of every political, social, and economic demographic. His web site tells us he "shook hands, kissed babies, signed autographs and posed for pictures." Patriotism just oozed out of his every pore.

    Barack Obama is now as patriotic as the electorate wants him to be. During most of the primaries, he didn't wear a flag pin on his lapel. He didn't think wearing pins makes one patriotic, or not wearing one makes someone unpatriotic. But, the right-wing lambasted him for that. Now he wears a flag pin.

    And every speech he makes, he is now flanked by several American flags. Just in case anyone thinks he isn't patriotic. Or is a foreigner. Or worse, a Muslim.

    Barack Obama has changed in other ways. Once he said he would pull the U.S. out of Iraq. End that war. Now, he's calling for a phased withdrawal.

    Once, he opposed innumerable pieces of legislation sent to the Senate by the Bush-Cheney Administration--and which a Republican Congress rubber stamped. Now, as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, he voted a bill that granted immunity to telephone companies that violated both established federal law and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution when they voluntarily gave personal data about subscribers to the government.

    Once, he said he would accept government restrictions and decline the excessive private contributions that have muddied politics. Now, with a campaign war chest at least two or three times greater than John McCain's, he changed his mind and is taking whatever he can get--and doesn't have to report who gave what.

    Barack Obama isn't the only politician to forsake some of his principles for the greater principle--do whatever it takes to get elected. Hillary Clinton moved more to the center when she began to think she could be the next president, and even voted for the renewal of the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act. John McCain, by any standards a conservative, began playing even more to the right-wing when the evangelical Christians challenged some of his beliefs and voting record. Every politician, even the most maverick ones, say they need to get elected to do whatever it is they want to do. But, once in office they continue to do whatever is necessary to stay in office and get re-elected.

    Barack Obama, like every other politician, needs to reflect upon the principles of what the Founding Fathers wanted. And maybe every politician should decide that on this Independence Day weekend, it is time to declare that once and forever they will follow their convictions, their beliefs, and declare themselves to be independent, now and forever, not only of special interests, but also of pandering for votes.

    [Walter Brasch has covered politics and presidential campaigns more than 40 years. He is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, a syndicated columnist, and author of 17books. His latest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available through and other stores.]

Tags: Barack Obama, campaign financing, FISA, flag pin, John McCain, Patriot Act, patriotism (all tags)



Of course Obama is patriotic

I hate this kind of crap.

by puma 2008-07-06 04:36AM | 0 recs
FISA positions by a McClatchy writer

A fine job of writing.  And here's another one:

The fact that British troops, operating on flimsy general warrants handed out by local magistrates, were kicking in the doors of ordinary Americans and rifling through their pantries and papers in search of smuggled, untaxed goods was a prime reason why our ancestors rebelled against their king and went to war.

This is WHY we celebrate the Fourth of July. This is why the vote on renewing the expanded version of FISA and whitewashing the egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment for seven long years by our government is important.

If neither John McCain, the Republican, or Barrack Obama, the Democrat, can find the courage to oppose such a violation of so basic a right, then what are we to do for a president, a successor to George W. Bush, The Decider, who has since 9/11 decided what rights you are entitled to keep, what laws he will or will not obey, and whether you will be protected by these words of the Constitution: [4th amendment follows] y/43123.html

by strongerthandirt 2008-07-06 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Yep.  Turns out Obama isn't such a new politician.

Surprise, surprise.

by Juno 2008-07-06 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Turns out Hillary still wont be president....wait, not surprised at all.

by Brandon 2008-07-06 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Yep, neither were Gore or Kerry.

Or Dean.

But thanks for proving my post: that Obama has not in fact inspired any change.

by Juno 2008-07-06 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

You and Leatherface can cry together once he is sworn in.  The "change" is from the Clintons, thank god for it. That family has used its political capital, and has been finally put down.

by Brandon 2008-07-06 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

How odd that you apparently are thrilled with Bush having won the last two elections since you think that the win itself means the right person was selected.

Yet more irony.

On the other hand, your hatred of the Clintons is in line with Republicans, so maybe it makes sense afterall.

by Juno 2008-07-06 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

  Sleeping with the President does not count for experience.  She was entitled to nothing, which is exactly what she will get.  

by Brandon 2008-07-06 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Well, you're the one hung up on Clinton, when I didn't say one word about her but instead did comment on the Democratic nominee.

So it seems to me it's you who can't get over Clinton.

Your first post was the sort of thing we heard from Republicans: Nyah, nyah, nyah, SoreLoserman, Bush won, Gore lost, get used to it.

Like I said: no change.

Scratch that: the only change I've seen is many Obama supporters devolving into sounding like Republicans.

And again, back to your original post: Clinton will not be president. So there.

Right.  It's the winning that makes it right.  Bush won. Gore won't be president. Neither will Kerry.

You clearly believe Bush was the right one.


by Juno 2008-07-06 05:46AM | 0 recs
If you can't show honor to the last Democratic

President, get the fuck out of OUR party. You're just a Clinton hating troll.

by Lakrosse 2008-07-06 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Forced patriotism is worthless. In fact who is to judge what patriotism is?  I would have preferred that Obama continue with no lapel pin and everything else.  Now, he is just another run of the mill politician.  Not that he wasn't before, but now it is glaring.

by Scotch 2008-07-06 05:44AM | 0 recs
Friggin' ridiculous.

So I take it you'll be voting for McCain, then, who is oh so full of integrity? From one of my previous diaries on McCain:

Watching John McCain attack another politician for flip-flopping is almost surreal - it's difficult to determine whether he's forgetful, dishonest, or engaging in some form of political doublethink that most normal people could never hope to understand. This is a man who has flip-flopped on defense spending, the estate tax, Bush's tax cuts, his first term budget pledge, medical marijuana, investigations into the handling of Hurricane Katrina, various environmental issues, immigration, torture, social security privatization, a gay marriage amendment, and (most recently) offshore oil drilling. Yet, he expects voters to overlook his issue-based acrobatics and focus instead on Obama's decision to forgo public financing. Oh yes, for shame, Barack - changing your mind on an issue which is unimportant in the eyes of most Americans. If only our nominee could be as admirably consistent and unfailingly honest as the straight-talker.

Oh, wait... nevermind.

by sricki 2008-07-06 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?

Oh, goody.

by QTG 2008-07-06 10:46AM | 0 recs


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