Some say Obama's critics have taken their eye off the ball in focusing on his associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, thus giving his far-left policies a pass. But that's a false choice.
Those criticisms would have more validity but for the fact that Obama's associations and his approach to policy are inextricably intertwined, flowing from a particular -- and consistent -- mindset.
It's no accident that Obama sat for 20 years and had his children baptized in a church whose pastor revved up his congregation by denouncing America with expletives, that he had a working relationship with a professor who expressed pride in his past anti-American terrorism, or even that his wife admitted a first-time pride in the United States with the advent of her husband's electoral success.
Repeated references to Obama's close connections with these people and others are not drive-by attacks designed to incriminate Obama merely by association. Their purpose is to shine a spotlight on Obama to help determine whether he embraces or is sympathetic to the same negative views about America as his soul mates.
When you couple Obama's associations with his many statements and policies, a disturbing picture emerges, suggesting Obama might lack a robust pride in America -- at least in what he considers to be its present state. This point was driven home again this week, as Obama expressed "embarrassment" that American children can't speak foreign languages while European children can speak English.
This is hardly surprising. As others have noted, both as an Illinois senator and United States senator, Obama has been unwavering in his opposition to making English the official language. He doubtlessly has no clue why his attitude on this would deeply bother those of us in "flyover country," who comprise a large part of the American population that Obama holds himself out as having the unique ability to unite. How do you think most of center-right America would react if they understood Obama is more likely to get goose bumps over multiculturalism and diversity than the unique American culture and the values undergirding it?
Speaking of flyover country, who can forget Obama's completely unscripted expression of contempt for small-town America? In that spontaneous moment, he betrayed his typically liberal attitude that ordinary Americans are dependent on the superior wisdom of Washington politicians to save them from their backwoodsmanship.