Archive for false patriotism

La Cucaracha: 'Tis the treason for right wing "logic"


A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us.

Here’s today’s La Cucaracha:


"The election of an African-American president is in itself an instance of American exceptionalism"


“When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?”

The entire video is excellent, but starting at 3:25 or so is the nostalgic part... speaking of which, Frank Rich has a an excellent piece up in which he discusses (at length) the country's "declinist panic and hysterical nostalgia." I've excerpted a little of it below.

Lately I've had my own personal "panic" and moments of nostalgia, partly because of the current state of smeary, smutty, dishonest, money-driven politics, partly because of exactly what Rich writes so eloquently about, and partly because of my father's painfully slow physical and mental decline, the loss of too many friends (I hate the thought of how many times I've expressed condolences lately), and an extra helping of stress.

So yes, there have been better times, for me, for all of us. But when life gets you down, it's time to take action to improve matters, not to wallow and certainly not to exploit.

Unfortunately, using moments like these to their advantage is what all too many in positions of power and influence do, just when people are feeling their most vulnerable. Sadly, that's intentional. And even more sadly, it's often effective.


The wave of nostalgia for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry and for the vanished halcyon America it supposedly enshrined says more about the frazzled state of America in 2012 and our congenital historical amnesia than it does about the reality of America in 1960. ... If there’s one battle cry that unites our divided populace, it’s that the country has gone to hell and that almost any modern era, with the possible exception of the Great Depression, is superior in civic grace, selfless patriotism, and can-do capitalistic spunk to our present nadir. For nearly four years now—since the crash of ’08 and the accompanying ascent of Barack Obama—America has been in full decline panic. Books by public intellectuals, pundits, and politicians heralding our imminent collapse have been one of the few reliable growth industries in hard times. [...]

But given that the country has survived a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, and the quagmires of Vietnam and Iraq, is our current crisis proportionate to the doomsday hysteria—or have we lost perspective?... Or is something else going on here? A more revealing question raised by our declinist panic is why it has been accompanied by a strange parallel infatuation with American exceptionalism. This once little-heard term, sometimes wrongly attributed to Tocqueville, was coined by Joseph Stalin in a 1929 anti-American sneer. Now it is flung about as the ubiquitous, defensive measure of America’s global standing. And it’s often used, Joe McCarthy style, as a cudgel to bash those who are judged to have hastened our decline by being insufficiently jingoistic—notably the president [...]

If Romney fails to capitalize on his opportunity to be the last hurrah of this demographically doomed old guard, it will not be just because he is a parody of elitist noblesse oblige but because his own Americanism has been compromised by the outsourcing of his money to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, and who knows what other exotic places that most Americans have never been to. [...]

Lost in all our declinist panic is the fact that the election of an African-American president is in itself an instance of American exceptionalism—an unexpected triumph for a country that has struggled for its entire history with the stain of slavery... That his unlikely rise has somehow been twisted into a synonym for America’s supposed collapse over the past four years may be the most disturbing and intractable evidence of our decline of all.


PhotOH! Mitt Romney-themed "narcissistic" Salt Lake City Olympics pins


Once upon a time there were Olympic games held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and little lapel pins were sold there.

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Romney -- who, let us never forget (because he'll always remind us), ran the Salt Lake City Olympics -- mentioned the pins during a speech at a Virginia fund-raiser, as an example of how he wants to unite Americans.

Here is Willard in his own words, sounding oh, so post-9/11 patriotic and uniter-y:

Of course, he failed to mention that the pins were made in China. But anyway.

But forget outsourcing and Romney's politicizing the Olympics just for a moment. There's another fun little aspect to this story that was only recently brought to my attention.

Over at NPR, in January 2012, critic and Olympics pin collector Ken Bullock talks more about Mitt's Olympic legacy:

"We have Valentine's ones with all the Olympic mascots around saying, 'We love you, Mitt,' " Bullock says, as he pulls up images of the pins on his computer.

"We have him pulling a sled of some sort where some of the mascots are saying, 'Are we there yet, Mitt?' "

Ken Bullock scoffs at what he calls "the Superman" pin, which features Romney "with a Clark Kent chin," wrapped in an American flag.

"I don't know how to put words to describe how narcissistic they are," Bullock says.

Three Olympic pin collectors and experts consulted by NPR say they've never seen pins like these featuring the CEO of an Olympic organizing committee.

"There have been plenty of big-headed CEOs for Olympic Games, but none has ever had his or her likeness on a pin," says Ed Hula, a veteran pin collector and editor of, an independent news organization that focuses on the Olympics. "Maybe it's an indicator that Mitt Romney has a sense of humor."

Maybe. Or maybe it's all about Mitt being all about Mitt. Whether or not he had anything to do with approving the design of the pins, the fact that three collectors found it highly unusual to have Mitt's mug all over them was, at the very least, amusing.

This story is not all that important, but it is another peek into Willard M. Romney's past, how others see him, and how he chooses to define himself.

H/t: Rumproast, Nellcote


VIDEO- Mitt Romney: "Following 9/11... we created a little ['united we stand'] pin" ... that was made in China.


Remember all that fuss during the 2008 presidential campaign over those American flag lapel pins? Remember how the GOP-- and of course, ClusterFox-- so gleefully smeared and jeered Barack Obama as "unAmerican" or "unpatriotic" when he would go a day without wearing one? Remember how hypocritical they were when their own candidate failed to wear his, but didn't get called out? 

Itty bitty tin symbols like those seem to mean so very much to Republicans, and of course, to the patriotic-est of all, Willard M. Romney:

(Romney at a Virginia fundraiser)

"We care." Uh huh.

Wait... did I hear Willard mention 9/11? Why, of all things, isn't that politicizing? Mitt would never do something as tasteless as that! He's way too American and white and wealthy to leaving himself open to criticism for anything that so much as resembles hypocrisy!

Yet, he failed to mention this about the very pin that he commissioned was made in China. Oops:


America first.

Think Progress:

Outsourcing has been a latent issue in the campaign [...]

Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times notes that a conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) yesterday attacking President Obama for “high unemployment” was hosted by a firm in The Philippines (apparently a subcontractor of Verizon, whom the RNC used).

Double oops.


VIDEO- Refresher course: Teabagger Patriots?


Nice recap. It's worth watching the whole 9:46, honest.

I'd h/t, but I clean forgot who linked me to this. Bygones.


When did everyone start saying "Happy Fourth of July"?


Seriously, I don't remember people going around all "Have a WONDERFUL Fourth of July" before. Is is part of the new "patriotism" we're all supposed to ooze 24/7? Am I wrong, did we really go around salutating before? Maybe it's just the cable dweebs, all afraid of the Patriotism Police...


It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Country: Special Comment by my 72-year-old friend


By GottaLaff

My impassioned 72-year-old Twitter pal, who goes by the name 42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about the increasingly worrisome (read: scary) events of late. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “ 72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad Country

The last time I had such fear about what might happen to this country was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That fear came from dealings with a foreign entity, the current fear is coming from sources within the country, which is far worse and scarier.

For almost the past two years we have heard and have had events such as “ He isn’t one of us”, He is un-American”, “There are members of Congress who are un-American”, “Death Panels”; “no terrorist attacks under Bush administration”, “ I want my country back”, Mob Rule at Town Hall meetings, Tea Party rallies with hateful signs and banners, the re-writing of history, words of nullification and many more incendiary remarks and events.

But, when I think things can’t get any scarier or crazier, they do.

During the last couple of weeks we have seen the following:

* The Governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell declare April to be Confederate History Month. In his proclamation, he made no mention of slavery as a being one of the causes for the Civil War.

This is like Germany declaring April is Third Reich History Month and omitting any reference to the Holocaust.

While Gov. McDonnell amended his proclamation to include the slavery issue, the damage was done. Once said, the intent of what was in the original proclamation said is hard to take back.

*On April 13th the Oklahoma Tea Party announced, with support from State Senator Randy Brogdon, the possibility of creating a volunteer militia to be used to oppose the federal government and to protect against any infringements of state sovereignty.

Sen. Brogdon has since taken back that the militia would be used to oppose the government, but now says it will be used as a state force to support the National Guard during emergencies.

Again what was originally stated and its initial intent is hard to take back or how Oklahomans may relate to it.

* On April 13th, the Arizona house of Representatives passed a tough immigration law. The bill is expected to be passed by the State Senate and signed by the Governor.

The law when enacted would allow police to question anyone without cause who they believe may be an illegal alien. Sounds like the start of a police state to me.

What next Arizona, require citizens to wear a badge on their clothing to identify whether they are a U.S. citizen, registered alien, or here on a work visas?

* On April 19th, “Restore the Constitution”, an open carry-firearms rally, will be held in Virginia. The Oath Keepers-- an organization I’ve written about before-- which is made up of police officers and military personnel, announced it is withdrawing from the rally because of the events confrontational stance against the government. Their withdrawal should give one a moment of concern of what possibly could happen.

When you take all these events into consideration, we are truly becoming a Mad Mad Mad Mad Country; but its not like the movie “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. In the movie there was mad car chase to find buried treasure, but what we have here is a mad chase to an abyss, from which this country will never get out of, should it ever fall into it.

The Republican leadership, (Boehner, Bachmann, and Palin) and the Right Wing Media ( Rush, Beck, Hannity, FOX News) let the teabagger genie out of the bottle and it's too late to be put back in. They all promoted the Teabaggers/Tea Party and they own it and are responsible for all the hate and violence that comes from it.

Its like the sign in a China Shop “ You broke it, you own it.”

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, 42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.