Saturday, September 06, 2008

Stars and swipes

By J. Kingston Pierce

Republican’t U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma isn’t exactly renowned for his logical statements. After the media reported in 2004 on the abuse of inmates at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, kicking up a storm of protest and charges that the Bush administration had sacrificed U.S. credibility on the anti-torture front, the ultra-conservative Inhofe said with a straight face that he was “more outraged by the outrage than ... by the treatment” of those prisoners. This same out-of-touch right-winger has criticized the Red Cross for being “a bleeding heart” and declared that he was “really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

Now this great sage of nonsense is attacking Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as someone who doesn’t love his country. He tells the Tulsa World:

Regardless of what polls show, Inhofe said, voters will have to ask themselves a question once they get behind the curtain in the voting booth on Election Day.

“Do you really want to have a guy as commander in chief of this country when you can question whether or not he really loves his country?” he asked.

“That’s the big question.”

Shannon Gilson, spokeswoman for Obama, said Friday that he has a plan to strengthen the economy and offer immediate relief to working families, while Republican nominee John McCain and his Washington friends such as Inhofe are offering four more years of President Bush's failed economic policies.

“Sen. Obama won’t let anyone question his love of this country,” Gilson said.

“Challenging your opponent’s patriotism to win an election is the type of cynical partisan politics Americans are tired of--and won’t bring the change we need in Washington,” Gilson said.

After he was asked for an explanation on why voters should question Obama’s love for his country, Inhofe issued a written statement on Friday to clarify his earlier comments.

“Let me be clear,” he said.

“I am not questioning Sen. Obama’s patriotism, but you have to question why at times he seems so obviously opposed to public displays of patriotism and national pride, like wearing an American flag lapel pin.”

Inhofe’s statements are stupid, on their face. And there’s of course a great deal more to consider in choosing a president than whether or not that person demonstrates rabid patriotism. Furthermore, Obama has demonstrated no less honest patriotism than George W. Bush disciple John “100 Years War” McCain.

And if Inhofe really believes that failing to wear a tiny American flag pin on one’s lapel demonstrates significant lack of patriotism, then he can be expected to vote for somebody other than McCain in November. In case Inhofe didn’t notice, the cranky 72-year-old Washington insider wasn’t wearing a flag pin when he accepted the Republican’t Party’s nomination for president on Thursday.

Proof is in the photo at the top of this post.

(Cross-posted at Limbo.)

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