"I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."
The year was 2003, and the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/Karl Rove hit machine was in full force. It seemed like anyone that had anything critical to say about the Bush Administration's policy in Iraq was deemed unpatriotic and anti-American. Opposition voices were put under illegal surveillance. Venom like this zinger below was spilled from DINO (Democrat In Name Only) Zell Miller at the podium of the Republican Convention in 2004.
"While young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats' manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief."
In short, it was a very different time. HIT FAST FORWARD TO 2009...
Some conservatives are now using Hillary's quote as a rallying point to try to point out what they consider a double standard where no double standard exists. These conservatives are now saying the same thing is happening to their protestors against the Obama Administration's health care plan. That's silly and does not pass the smell test.
These folks are getting their chance to stand up and yell, scream, pester, mislead, miseducate, and threaten anyone that will listen in order to get attention for their cause. Instead of pushback calling their love of country into question, they are getting pushback on many other fronts. People aren't calling them unpatriotic. People are calling them uninformed. There's a distinct difference.
Unlike some Democrats, I truly believe that there are some people that are uncertain out there. Most polls show Americans are fairly evenly divided on the health care issue. Polls are starting to show that the hardball tactics of the right seem to be working, too. USA Today reported that Americans are becoming more sympathetic to the conservative claims. The right has gone back into that playbook of throwing up a wedge issue as a straw man and shaking up the fear of their people. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann both called out Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin for being for "end of life counseling" and living wills before the Republican talking points changed the name of those programs to "death panels." It's then the fear that Obama wants to kill grandma or grandpa that take over. And, as Olbermann so astutely pointed out earlier this week on Countdown, if that were true both he and I would be there at the rallies...mad as hell, too. But, it's not true.
You know, I'm not going to even bring up the patriotism argument. These folks do care about their country. I will give them that much. Still, if being patriotic means to spread lies, misunderstandings, and half truths while hanging Congressmen in effigy, calling in death threats, or giving your President "a joker makeover," I wonder what kind of patriotism that is. It sure doesn't bring a tear to my eye and a warm feeling to my heart. In fact, it makes me feel pretty cold about this place.
One way or another, I don't think the same thing that triggered this Clinton quote in 2003 is taking place. If the quote don't fit, you must acquit.