Tuesday Open Thread

“Patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels.”

–Barbara Ehrenreich

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Canines says:

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    • RedGreen says:

      Ehrenreich isn’t the first to gloss the famous Johnson quote.

      “In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.”

      – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

      “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. But there is something even worse: it is the first, last, and middle range of fools.”

      – H. L. Mencken

  2. Half Glass Full says:

    Bet we’ll see a lot more of those signs the next time McCain shows up in town.

    • colojason says:

      How about we start with 4-5″ vinyl lettering on the tailgate of my Chevy right here in Colorado Springs?  Anyone know a local business that does this sort of thing?

      • Barron X says:


        we have our differences, but I would not want any mishap to befall you.  please reconsider.

        I know the community pretty well, and 99% are reasonable folks.  But a town that proclaims it’s more patriotic than the rest of the state, and thus somehow superior, can also provide refuge to scoundrels.

        In this town, folks may toss whatever is in their car at you for such a display.  Don’t take the chance.


        • colorado76 says:

          Would they be more angry about comparing the president to the senator or the senator to the president?

          • Barron X says:


            This town worships Ron Reagan, in a way that offends the First Commandment in the Hebrew Bible.  

            There is a palpable hatred of certain parts of the Constitution and the values in the Declaration of Independence.  

            The old Decatur quote about patriotism has been updated locally:

            My party, may she always be right, but my party, right or wrong.

            Bush is no conservative, but he plays one on TV.  Now that’s appeasement!

            McCain admits he is not of the movement, but acknowledges their importance to the party keeping its tenuous hold on power.

            Bush disrespects conservatism, but then lies about it, and the locals want so badly to believe the lies that they willingly go along.  Even though they know better.

            McCain is honest about the movement being unable to forge a governing alliance, and his honesty offends us.  

            So, locally, McCain = Bush is taken as an insult to the President.


        • Arvadonian says:

          I think they might take it as a compliment.

        • Half Glass Full says:

          … that a simple reference to McCain being like Bush is seen by conservaties as a horrendous insult.

          Looks like Bush has reached the Jimmy Carter nadir. But I doubt we’ll see any post-presidential do-gooding or book-writin’ from the Shrub.

  3. parsingreality says:

    “And what does Mr. Bush have to say about this dismal record? ‘I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they’ll recognize tax cuts work.’ Clueless to the end.”

    Paul Krugman nails the Republicans to the economic cross in today’s Op Ed:


    When I think about the last seven and a half years of Bush and the fourteen years of Republican dominated congress, I feel ill.  All that opportunity to make/keep America great, lost forever. We will spend the next 20-30 years just playing catch up.

    I think I know what a tornado survivor feels like.  (And yes, I recognize that many Democrats in Congress are culpable, too.)

    • Barron X says:


      The dream that we, as a nation, can somehow get back to where we were in the 1990’s.

      A growing economy.  Plentiful good-paying jobs.  Cheap gas.  No serious threats to our national security.  

      The dream that, in just 20 or 30 years, the USA will be back on top.  

      But you can never go back home, not to the same home you left.  Home is changed just by your taking leave of it.

      In a similar way, after what we’ve done as a nation recently, we will never again be the “leader of the free world.”  The best we can hope for is to be first among peers, for a couple more years.  

      We collectively have sold out our good name, in order to squeeze out some advantage or benefit for particular commercial interests.

      It was understandable to the Europeans and Japanese when we refused to join the World Court.  That typical Yankee independent streak.  

      But when we followed that by engaging (with gusto) in the sort of crimes that the Court was set up to deal with,  

      we abandoned the moral leadership role.  

      President Bush has been truly one of the most important and most influential Presidents ever.  But not in a good way.  He fed on our shortcomings as a people to stroke his vanity, and never thought about the consequences.    

      The rest of the G-7 has repudiated colonialism.  Even our puppet in Baghdad is telling us its time to go.  And yet, …


      • parsingreality says:

        ….as being angry what we could have done to prepare for these times.  And, yes, some of the things we coulda/shoulda done would have shielded us to some degree from what ails us now. Our reliance on oil could have been way down. Carter has said that if his CAFE standards hadn’t been gutted, we would be importing no Middle East oil.  Think about that, 9/11, Iraq, Iran, etc.

  4. elmu says:

    We tend to despise, or, at least, look down upon the notion of “patriotism.” I’d rather be skeptical of the perversion of patriotism.

    Patriotism – that is, pride in country – can be used to better a society. When we have pride in our country we are more willing to work to improve it, stand-up for our neighbor, and protect one another from harm – be it domestic or foreign.

    That said, scoundrels do use patriotism as a refuge as do they hate-speech, bigotry, fear mongering, etc. etc.

  5. CR GOP says:

    I’ve heard Armstrong made close to a $500,000 TV buy, did he really raise that much money or is he dipping into the trust fund?

  6. Haners says:

    But Sen. Webb just took himself out of the running for VP


    • Half Glass Full says:

      “Under no circumstances.” Can’t be clearer – and more honest – than that.

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        We need that Senate seat too !

        • One Queer Dude says:

          ….wouldn’t Tim Kaine have selected his successor?  And wouldn’t he have most likely selected a DLC-type moderate who could hold that seat?

          • Haners says:

            If Webb had been elected VP, who would Kaine pick as a DLC type to hold the seat?  Kaine, Webb and Warner are incredibly strong Dems but I don’t know much about their bench after those three.  Granted, another “Webb” could materalize out of no where, but I don’t see a “Kaine” or “Warner” out there right now

            • One Queer Dude says:

                 I think all of the current Dem House members in Va. are fairly left-wing and probably would have trouble running statewide. Maybe they’ve got some DINOs in the legislature.

              • Haners says:

                I think their best bet is the guy who almost won the Attorney General’s office.  Maybe there is someone in the leg. but that’s always hard to peg.

                Do you think the VA movement might have peaked too soon?  Warner first came on the radar in 1996 when he ran against Sen. Warner and spent the next five years laying the ground work for a run in 2001.  Kaine was elected Mayor of Richmond before being elected Lt. Gov., then Gov.  And while Webb was a great candidate, I don’t know if he would have won if it weren’t for Allen’s “Macacca” moment.

                With the fact in mind that the successful Dems have (for the most part) spent years preparing the ground for their run, and no one else seems to be doing that, I have to wonder if the Dem movement in VA might have peaked already

                • One Queer Dude says:

                     I don’t claim to be an expert on Virginia but from what I’ve read, population growth in No.Va., particularly around D.C., has fueled the color change from red to blue.

                    It makes sense.  Most of the people moving to the D.C. burbs work for or with the federal govt., and as such, are more likely to be D’s than R’s. That’s why Tom Davis’ C.D. is likely to flip this Nov.

                    Add to the changing demographics the fact that the last GOP governor was considered to be ineffective, the party is dealing with its traditional split between RINOs and hard right wingers, and the Dems have run some non-ideological technocrats, and you see why the Dems have been winning in that state.  

                  • Haners says:

                    Webb won northern VA by large margins, yet only beat Allen by a narrow margin goes.  Northern VA can only carry a Democrat so far, and it’s difficult to think of just any old Dem carrying the area with a larger margin then Webb did.  That means that Democrats are going to have to foot candidates equally as strong as Webb, Kaine, or Warner to have the hopes of racking up the margins that they did in the crucial north to ensure victory.

                    Webb, Kaine, or Warner got much more then 50% of the vote in their races, with the Republicans bottoming out at 45% (thus far, Warner’s election to the Senate will certainly change that), which seems to show a more resilient Republican base in VA then in other states that have been trending blue such as Colorado.

                    Too bad there isn’t a “VApols” so we could get the local scoop on who the Dems have on the horizon that could fill those big shoes!

  7. parsingreality says:

    …like all the neocon/Republican cockroaches.

    Click on the link! I won’t tell you what it says.


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