Notice she said "really proud of my country." A reasonable interpretation is that Ms. Obama has always been proud of her country, but events of late have increased, or altered in some meaningful way (to her) her pride in her country. But no. The unreasonable interpretation is far more convenient: she's never been proud of her country, until now — when she got to Brewtown, no less.
The Carpetbagger Report has compiled a few of the predictable higher profile reactions here. (Incidentally, by "high profile" I mean the likes of the collection of barely literate fruitcakes afforded speech by the National Review Online, where one can accomplish the considerable feat of being both high profile and low brow at once.)
Closer to home, our own Rick Esenberg has entered the fray, mirroring almost identically the previous expressions of outrage. And even he falls for the unreasonable interpretation. Since he's a lawyer, and lawyers are trained to be especially keen deconstructors of language, then one explanation is he's falling for it deliberately.
Because Esenberg has been on a weird anti-Obama Crusade (his word, his capitalization) recently, during which he's attempted to make connections between Senator Obama and such disparate figures as Che Guevara and Jesus Christ. Perhaps he's been gripped by The Fear that John McCain will never have the opportunity to appoint a few more Scalias to the Supreme Court, and Ms. Obama's words just dropped like manna from Heaven into his waiting lap.
He enumerates a number of events from American history, and wonders aloud how Ms. Obama couldn't be proud of these achievements. Did she say she wasn't? Of course not. But since when did such subtleties — subtleties of the flying mallet variety, that is — ever discourage the tendentious galloping hordes of the fabricated outrage brigade?
Did it once occur to any of these people that notions of "patriotism" and nationalism generally are necessarily subjective and nuanced?
I know it hasn't occurred to "joe stalin," another of Esenberg's "readers" (the word is in quotes because he can't). In response to this rather bland and uncontroversial observation,
I don't know about you, but many of us don't judge "patriotism" or commitment to constitutional principles by how many flags a politician sews onto her pantsuit,our man of steel reacts thusly:
"it said", in typical liberal fashion makes disrespect for America the Pledge of Allegience [sic] and our Flag into positives for his lib candidate. Being unpatriotic is patriotic to libs.And I do mean "react," as in "reactionary," and I do mean "reactionary" in its least flattering sense.
My initial thoughts on seeing Esenberg's dressing down of Ms. Obama on what appears to be his perception of her lacking sufficient "pride," were of, naturally, the Bible. Why? Because Esenberg's view of, as he puts it, "politics as religion" is as something that is "dangerous." Conversely, however, Esenberg has often defended "religion as politics" as something to be encouraged; indeed, something to be admired, since religion apparently embodies all the finest morality.
More specifically, the Book of Proverbs, where the Lord is said to hate "a proud look," and to consider it an abomination. Doubtless a skilled apologist can distinguish between the Proverbial pride and an understanding of the politically correct patriotic and nationalistic pride that conservative Republicans expect and demand — from others, of course. We may see. Or not.
In the meantime, consider Obama's message of change in the light of Bush 43 administration-era "you're either with us or you're against us" false dichotomies, or Bush's bossman Richard "Deferment Dick" Cheney openly questioning the devotion to country of people who actually volunteered to fight on behalf of America in Viet Nam.
If that's the direction of change he's talking about, then I'm all for it.