Rich Tucker

This is merely the continuation of a recent trend. Back in May, a Rasmussen poll showed that 35 percent of Democrats think George W. Bush knew ahead of time about the 9/11 attacks. Another 26 percent aren’t sure whether he did or not. That’s three-fifths of Democrats who think it’s at least plausible that the president knew about an impending attack and did nothing to stop it.

Frighteningly, this number is a floor, not a ceiling. It’s not as if, in a year or two, a bunch of Dems are going to wake up and decide they’ve changed their minds. The number who think Bush knew ahead of time is likely to rise. No wonder so many of them are already rooting for us to lose. Look for that number to increase, too.

Mislabeled patriotism is a problem, because it creates a perverse prism through which events are viewed. For example, a few months ago I wrote a column saying our military leaders think we’re making progress in Iraq, and that we at home ought to support them in their mission. That, by the way, is what “patriotism” ought to mean: Believing your country can succeed and rooting for it to do so.

A reader calling herself GeorgiaGal wrote, “Hey, Rich Tucker. You believe fully in the war in Iraq. You are also a young, healthy, well-adjusted American male. I would like to know: When (not if) are you enlisting in the Army?”

By this reader’s standard, apparently, only those who are actually serving in Iraq are allowed to say they support the military’s mission. Meanwhile those who oppose the war would, at least under Obama’s definition, be free to speak their minds. We’d have effectively redefined patriotism to mean “either oppose the military or join it.” There could be no middle ground.

Our country needs people to serve in the military and put our policies into place. It also needs citizens willing to oppose policies they think are incorrect. But most of all, the United States needs citizens who believe it’s an exceptional country and want it to succeed. That’s patriotism. And too many people these days seem to lack it.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for