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Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Few things over the last election cycle annoyed me as much as the tendency for Democrats to claim the Bush administration was "questioning their patriotism". Especially when those same Democrats took every opportunity to explicitly question the patriotism of the Bush administration.

There's Howard Dean, who said: "I am tired of having [conservatives] lay a claim to patriotism..."...but also said:

  • "John Ashcroft is not a patriot."—Howard Dean

  • "[In the Bush administration, there is] a group of people around the President whose main allegiance is to each other and their ideology rather than to the United States."—Howard Dean

There's Ted Kennedy, who said: "they attack the patriotism of those who question them"...but also said:

  • "We hear them in the cries of the false patriots who bully dissenters into silence and submission".—Ted Kennedy

John Kerry and Wesley Clark also threw out the "unpatriotic" slur, even as they claimed the Bush administration was questioning their own patriotism. And yet, I've never seen an instance in which the Bush administration questioned the patriotism of any of them.


I thought that might have ended with the '04 campaign, but apparently not. The current edition of the American Prospect brings it back...

Inside, Michael Tomasky writes...
Washington ... hasn’t been willing to come to grips with how profoundly corrupt and un-American Tom DeLay is.
This is the same Michael Tomasky who called "charlatans" those who employed the "unamerican" trope; the same Michael Tomasky who suggested that Cheney was "questioning [the] patriotism [of Democrats]".

On the other hand, he's also the same Michael Tomasky who said the "Bushies" propounded the belief that "that 'patriotism' somehow equals 'support the Bush Administration'."....and that this was, you guessed it, "un-american". So, apparently, questions of Americanism and Patriotism only really work one way.

Is Tom DeLay guilty of ethics violations? He very well may be. But the "unamerican" charge is both unrelated, and hypocritical from a publication—and a Party—that squealed so loudly when they imagined it was used against them.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

To me, patriotism is...
You don’t get to make up your own definitions.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I used it against them. And I’ll do it again today, tomorrow and next year. You see, I believe in calling a spade a spade, and an anti-american an anti-american.

It’s not my fault that most of the left fits the bill.

Maybe they should ask themselves their favorite of all questions:

"Why do they hate us?"
Written By: shark
URL: http://
patriotism, n : love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it (WordNet)

By this definition, most Democrats and Republicans are certainly patriots. The problem is that they’re mostly willing to sacrifice things that aren’t theirs to sacrifice—other people’s money, other people’s rights, etc.—to their notion of what the country should look like.

Tom Knapp
Written By: Thomas L. Knapp

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