Many extreme leftists have a funny idea about patriotism. The more they show their disgust with America -- especially on foreign soil -- the better patriots they believe they are.
First we had David "Baghdad" Bonior and Congressman Jim McDermott parading around the streets of Saddam's capital decrying President Bush and the United States and saying Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. McDermott suggested that Bush would knowingly mislead the American people in furtherance of his war aims against Iraq, and was planning to attack Iraq as part of a plot to crown himself "Emperor of America." While it's probably fair to say this regrettable delegation doesn't represent the Democratic Party, it's noteworthy that when pressed, few, if any Democrats condemned these men for their contemptible behavior.
Then the erudite actor Sean Penn made a complete moron of himself stumping for Saddam in Iraq before realizing he'd been duped, and actor Danny Glover, while in Brazil, called President Bush, instead of Sean Penn, a moron. There have been plenty of others, but more recently the Dixie Chicks in a live performance in London said they were sorry President Bush was from Texas.
As passionately as these people castigate President Bush and American policy they are equally passionate about their patriotism. You don't dare question their patriotism. Indeed they are proving themselves to be super patriots through the very act of dissenting. Without them, we are led to believe, the First Amendment would just dry up and blow away. (Personally, I'll be more convinced of their indiscriminate passion for free expression when I see them lobbying against college speech codes and the like.)
Let's get something straight. As much as they practice the art, the far left has a limited comprehension of the role of dissent, the concept of patriotism and their ostensible interrelationship.
Liberals confuse the right to dissent with the act of dissenting. My liberal friend Alan Colmes recently said, "I think protesting is actually very pro-American. It's what a democracy really is."
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