John McCaslin

Not patriotic enough, replies Mr. Denney, who fired off a letter to the head of the House press corps, Betsy Russell of Spokane's Spokesman-Review.

"Today we had media people on the floor of the House during the Pledge of Allegiance. It was noted by several members of the body and myself that they did not verbally participate in the Pledge," he wrote, suggesting reporters be kept out until the Pledge is recited.

Which prompted defiant responses from reporters like Jill Kuraitis, who admitted she doesn't say "under God" when reciting the Pledge because it mixes church and state.

Hogwash, reacts Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, who argues that the Founding Fathers "established the political foundation of our form of government on the concept that our rights are an inalienable gift to us from the Creator."

Ask Idaho Statesman editorial page editor Kevin Richert and the entire matter is nothing more than "kerfuffle."

Surely, Mr. Fischer replies, the newspaperman must not be listening to Sen. Barack Obama, "who insists that words do in fact matter."

Which could help explain Mr. Obama's answer last year when he was asked why he stopped wearing a U.S. flag pin on his suit. His excuse was rather than allowing a pin to do his talking he would tell the American people how he feels about patriotism.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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