Sunday, February 24, 2008

Trying to "swift boat" Obama would be useless.

The Coeur d'Alene Press had an above the fold commentary about Democratic presidential candidates Obama and Clinton. Seems Senator Clinton was outraged that Senator Obama had a point to point and accurate rebuttal of her health care plan. Even more, that it was produced by mass mailings. Tis the political season lady. If you can't handle friendly competition from a Democrat, what can you hope to handle against a Republican who most decidedly would copy out of Karl Rove's playbook.

Now moving on to the Press wanting to further an agenda against the first truly credible African-American candidate over symbolic patriotism and of course religion. Obama doesn't wear a flag pin, "that's offensive" all those red-blooded "patriotic" Republicans opine. Actually, the U.S. Flag Code doesn't support to the best of my knowledge turning a flag into a piece of jewelry and adorning oneself with it. That being the case, Obama is under no Flag Code obligation to even wear one. Indeed, by not wearing one, he is actually providing more respect to the flag than those of us who do wear a flag pin, myself included. Obama doesn't salute when the national anthem is played or sung. As someone who served my country in Germany as a member of the U.S. Army; I remember going to movies during my off-duty hours and the first thing played before the movie was shown, was the national anthem. We stood at attention, but I don't recall that we Soldiers were actually asked to salute. We saluted the flag the same as we would salute an officer. Flat hand, palm down, forearm angled up at a stiff 45* angle. Hand touching brim of headgear. So, were we soldiers less patriotic if we didn't salute the national anthem when it was played before the night's movie presentation?

How about how the flag itself is displayed and maybe mistreated. Coeur d'Alene 4th of July parade: One year Republicans turned the flag into a tote bag and used it to carry little flags to pass out parade growers. Who of course used them for littering the streets afterwards. Wonder how many of these people go ballistic at the mention of Democrats? I am one of the few people who actually salutes one of the leading flags in the parade. Everyone else around me obviously isn't showing much pride of country because they don't. How many of these same people were titillated by a presumed gaff from Michelle Obama and thought they could use her speech about pride in country against her? Well, we can see that the Republicans don't much respect the flag code and then go for the pot calling the kettle black enhanced with much hyperbole; much ado about very little. Perhaps the GOP have a greater issue with society as a whole than a single Democratic presidential candidate. In reality, the GOP, who have set themselves up as the moral guardians of patriotism, make use of style and symbols instead of discussing substance. And that makes them part of the problem and not the solution.

Now, why is religion offensive especially to a party where one of its special interests is a consortium of religious activists. Barack Obama is a Christian. Has it become offensive for Obama to be a Christian? Or just offensive that he is a Democrat who acknowledges that he is a Christian? Yes, his name is Middle Eastern. However, there are plenty of Middle Eastern types who are not Muslim and indeed are Christian. So? When was the last time these same guardians of "religious virtues" actually looked at and studied carefully Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, which includes in its text, religious tests for public office not being required... (Not an exact quote but available for perusal on-line.) Why should it matter what religion Obama adheres to? As a potential president, he would have to represent the country more than a specific group or class of people. Where religious Republicans are concerned, the last president represented them, at least to some extent. So this one should to. Not every person in America is Christian and yes, even we non-Christians are going to vote for the candidate of our choice. His or her religion is not the issue; what he or she plans for this nation, is. What has become offensive to this American is that these self-appointed guardians of patriotism and virtues, aren't exactly following the reason for why patriotism should exist, IE the U.S. Constitution nor respecting the flag in the only way that matters, through its code. Instead, their arguments have become fluff and nonsense. They are offended, but the people who come to listen to and indeed vote for Obama, apparently are not.

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