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May 06, 2008



He'll regret this empty symbolism. He should be pretending to be a patriot as well as pretending to be a Christian.


While clinging to by guns and religion here in Pennsylvania, I really have got to ask exactly what part of wearing or not wearing th pin bothers Mr. Obama. Is it the pin or is it the flag ?

Frankly, I think he just goes after the gut of many, including myself, that really don't care, but question why he has made such a big deal out of not wearing the flag pin. If he substituted a pin of the Constitution or whatever, he could still show his independence without making it look like he is questioning the patriotism of those who wear a flag pin, like he did in the Philadelphia debate.

Rather it reinforces the view that he is an elitist, cling to his absurdities that came from an Ivy League education.


Others, such as I, will see it as an expression of cool, the statement of a candidate who wants to be president but not at the cost of his intellectual integrity.

Well, I suppose if we'd hear anything about something other than hope and change, or how looking at the people he's associated with and brought along in his political career, we might be able to assess that intellectual integrity.

As it stands, he just looks like same old Liberal Chicago politics in a shiny new wrapper.

Paul Zrimsek

Couldn't Obama just get a tongue stud and some tattoos like all the other cool independent thinkers? (I'm thinking maybe "MOTHERFATHER" on one arm and "BORN TO RAISE TAXES" on the other.)


Ah, now I understand why I'm not President. But really, that intellectual integrity thing, it's such a small thing. Nothing like the potency of POTUS.


Is it the pin that the Cohen-types object to? Or is it the flag that the pin symbolizes that the Obama-types object to? Or is it the country that the flag symbolizes, which is symbolized by the pin that Cohen and Obama object to? Which is the question? The latter, I suspect, is the answer.


For all the stylish JOM women clinging to your gun:

Buy One to Match your Purse


This all begs the question ..

Will a President Obama have flags on the Presidential limo ? .. or will he have them removed so as to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the 4 ton beast in an equally symbolic superficial act of saving a few drops of gasoline.

Mitch H.

So, in other words, Richard Cohen just declared that Barrack Obama is a pirate, an enemy to civilization, society and the idea of law? Because that's the textbook signification of a "Jolly Roger".

Good to know.


I'll see your Cohen and raise you a Brooks.


"An allergy to cant can be an admirable quality in a politician, although not necessarily a politically smart one. "

Coming right after his noted race speech where he refused to denounce his pastor and then his presser where ie did, there can be no doubt that Cohen wasn't lying when sometime ago he revealed what a stupid student he had been.

Why do all the dumbest Jews end up writing newspaper columns or sitting in Congress?
It's an embarrassment to the rest of us. (And Herb Kohl is a cousin.)


since John Sidney McCain does not wear a pin regularly either

Is it the pin McCain objects to or is no flag pin the new flag pin? Is McCain pretending to be unpatriotic to reposition himself for the general? And why is making such a big deal out of it? If he wants to compete with Obama on leadership, he might as well start wearing a Mexican flag pin.


The Obama campaign gives out Obama wrist bands. So it isn't as if he is too cool for all symbolism or forms of wearable statements.


McCain doesn't need a flag pin. The sad truth is that Obama does.


I don't know who the "no more mr nice blog" is, but he obviously is an idiot, since his two comparisons have nothing, nothing to do with one another.

Kinda reminds me of ParseThis.

Charlie (Colorado)

Is it the pin McCain objects to or is no flag pin the new flag pin? Is McCain pretending to be unpatriotic to reposition himself for the general?

Or is someone who can't raise his arms because of the torture he suffered in a Communist POW camp excused from trying to get a damn pin on his lapel?

By the way, Tom, I'd like to answer your question "no", but I think Cohen would just prove me wrong next week.


McCain doesn't need a flag pin.

I'm down with that. Wearing a flag pin compensates for one's true lack of patriotism. It's a statement of aspirations.


Baby Jesus (Barako) is also a poet. Two of his poems are reprinted by the New Yorker and Steve Gilbert's on it:>Roses are red


Wearing a flag pin compensates for one's true lack of patriotism.

Where "patriotism" = critical dissent as in Ayers, Dohrn, Wright, Michelle, (Beau Bama).

Jim Miller

What's strange about Richard Cohen is that every once in a while he will write a great column, though far too many of them are like this -- or like his column on how Senator John "Megamansion" Edwards really wanted to help the poor. (Cohen knew that, because Edwards told him so, very sincerely, over lunch.) Or like the time he called President Bush an "American Ayatollah".

But every once in a while, Cohen does a great column. For instance, I remember him calling Gore on the way Gore had used race in the 2000 campaign.

I haven't figured out what causes Cohen to, from time to time, do good work. But I would be interested in what others have to say on that question.


What would happen if a politician wore a confederate flag pinned to his lapel? Would it be just another piece of empty symbolism? With Cohen's reasoning someone could wear a Nazi arm band and it would be just another kitschy piece of empty symbolism


Where have you been?

Cohen has always been absurdly clueless, moreso even than Dionne and the other WaPo warblers.

What a silly, silly crew that is!


"Word" on Cohen's occassional forays into sense but on the instant case, I didn't go to the horse's mouth but does Richard mention that the lapel pin reappeared when Wright first broached the American consciousness? Hmm...


"The real issue is this, Who would you rather have in charge of the defense of the United States of America, a group of people who never served a day overseas in their life, or a guy who served his country honorably and has three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star on the battlefields of Vietnam?"

~Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee


Sorry, i think it is one more reason to question Obama's patriotism. That and the gang of america-haters around him, including his wife, the guy who performed his marriage ceremony and Obama only recently threw under the bus, and the flag stomping d*ck who started his career. Oh, and that whole cling to God and guns comment. I am from Mechanicsburg, Penn, the kind of small town John Mellancamp used to sing about, and Obama sneers at. If you hate Mechanicsburg, its hard not to conclude that you just hate America, period. Its like hating Norman Rockwell. Hell, Mechanicsburg looks like something out of a Rockwell painting.

Look, i don't usually look to see if a politician is wearing a flag pin anyway. But Obama made a big deal out of it as, frankly, a sign of his empty symbolism--a nod to all the people on the left who truly hate this country. And then when he made that "cling to God and guns" comment, he put a pin back on as fast as possible. Its not a symbol of his independance, but a symbol that he is at best a phony, and at worst, an unpatriotic phony.

As for McCain, if you read his autobiography, you'll figure out that McCain is excused from ever having to prove his patriotism, for life. In the Hannoi Hilton he and his fellow prisoners made a flag and hid it from their captors. They had a profound love of country that i suspect is wholly alien to Obama's mindset.

B. Minich

"Obama's flag, invisible to the naked eye, is the Jolly Roger of a politician thinking for himself."

Hrmmmmm . . . why doesn't he just wear a Jolly Roger flag pin then? That's what I'd do!

Heck, I already fly a Jolly Roger from my car, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch.


Come on, people--while I agree that Cohen's a partisan hack, of all the things to hold against Sen. Obama, his scorn for the patriotism-on-one's-sleeve nonsense of the flag pin isn't among them. It's the Washington equivalent of those goofs who try to see how much NFL regalia they can sport at the stadium, and it ought to embarass those who indulge. Dump the pins, okay?


It could be Obama does not wear a flag lapel pin for the reasons he claims. Or, it could be that being an effete, Ivy League educated liberofascist who trucks with the likes of Ayers and Wright that he cringes at such lumpen, bitter, clinging displays of patriotism. Dr. Occam and I vote for the latter. (No flag pin, not hand over heart during the pledge, etc. I bet Obama hates the Boy Scouts too.)

Tom Hilton
I am trying to imagine Cohen delivering this column with "McCain" substituted for "Obama" throughout.
You're joking, right? Have you not read any of Richard Cohen's sloppy wet kisses to St. McCain, or are you just blocking them from your memory (would that I could)? See, for example, this one, in which he lauds McCain's 'principles' while dismissing his extensive pandering (because, you see, it's so opposed to St. McCain's true saintlike nature that he just isn't very good at it).

Wear it or not, I don't think that most people really care, BUT, Obama made a big deal about WHY he doesn't wear it - because as a "true patriot" he doesn't need that symbol to show how much he loves America (his wife just uses her mouth to show how much she DISlikes it). Problem is, now Obama is wearing it, which makes his earlier statements (and, by extension, him) look retarded. And of course throws the whole issue of patriotism into play (by his own doing) but now he an whine that the Rethuglicans and Faux news are "questioning his patriotism".


If there's no harm in wearing a Che shirt, I don't see why wearing a Nazi armband should upset anyone. And if Obama hadn't gone out of his way to make a point about not wearing a flag pin I wouldn't care at all. However, I'm not the one who put his d*ck in that particular grinder. He did that himself. It doesn't show "intellectual integrity" so much as it show a shallow pander and an elitist snootiness.

I'm going to go fondle my guns now.

George Smith

Obama is all duck and no dinner.

John F.

The best thing about Richard Cohen is the empty space in the thought bubble above his head while he's trying to come up with an idea for a column.

Michael Myers

Jim Miller wonders what causes Cohen to do a decent column once in a while?

Even a blind hog finds an acorn--once in a while.


Ruh, roh...someone linked ya' boss.


So, for Richard Cohen the absence of a symbol has symbolic significance?

Even more, well, symbolic (of what you can decide) was Cohen's criticism of Hillary Clinton for supporting legislation banning flag burning.

He says:
Look, I know what Obama was doing when he refused to confront his minister about the latter's embrace of Louis Farrakhan. He was ducking an issue with no upside for him. He will not get my Profiles in Courage award for this, but the rest of his record overwhelms this one chintzy act.

Not so with Clinton. In the first place, you don't get to pander with the First Amendment. It is just too important, too central, not merely an amendment but a commandment: Thou Shalt Not Abridge Speech. In the second place, this ugly lurch to the political right is not outweighed by a spectacular stand on some other matter of principle.

Well, as it was later shown, Obam supported the bill too.

When you hit your head on the door, it sure does hurt.

Mike G in Corvallis

And history does not record whether his vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, took his off on the solemn occasions when he received bribes in the White House.

That's because history doesn't record Agnew receiving bribes in the White House, dipwad. He took a couple of relatively small bribes (by William Jefferson's standards, at least) while governor of Maryland.

Too bad they apparently don't have fact checkers at the Springfield Shopper New York Times.

Donna V.

The writer Florence King summed up Cohen perfectly - she called him "Butterfly Dundee, the man every woman would least like to have with her in the event of a mugging."

Occam's Beard

"Obama's flag, invisible to the naked eye, is the Jolly Roger of a politician thinking for himself."

Maybe he's hiding his accomplishments under that invisibly small flag, in which case, there's room left over.


Actually, I believe at least one of the people paying off Agnew testified that he handed him a bag of cash in his VP office, which is in the Old Executive Office building. Technically, I suppose, that's not "the White House," as Mike G says, but close enough, no? As to whether the payoffs were "relatively small," that probably shouldn't be dignified with comment. And while I do hate being forced to defend the odious "William Jefferson," assuming Mike G means the recent president, I don't believe the man was ever proven to have collected bribes. Agnew was. Facts have to trump partisanship.

M. Simon





abbydog, you must be a Democrat if you've never heard of William Jefferson. There was some unsymbolic 'cool'.


I am not a Democrat, and haven't ever been one. I'm a Republican by registration, although the party's performance during the Bush years has been so hapless and self-destructive it's embarrassing to admit the affiliation. It isn't embarrassing to admit that if "William Jefferson" isn't a reference to Clinton, it's lost on me.

M. Simon

William "Clod Cash" Jefferson.

You can look it up.

M. Simon

Typos!! Damn!

William "Cold Cash" Jefferson.

You can look it up.


Hapless and self-destructive? We've had a pretty good seven years. You wouldn't notice if you didn't make an effort; MSM is so badly in the tank for the Democrats that they've made a mockery of themselves.


Okay, I'm reminded--that William Jefferson. Still irrelevent whether Agnew took less, but I'm glad to be reminded. As to the GOP's "pretty good seven years," it was my impression it had lost control of Congress, looks to lose more, and stands a great chance of the trifecta by getting blown out of the White House. Or is that a construct of the MSM? We won't get power back by self-delusion; the GOP trashed its franchise, and it isn't up to Democrats, or the MSM, to rebuild it.


No, it is the United States that has done pretty well, thanks to the Republican administration, and no thanks to the Democrats in Congress, and little to the Republicans there. I grant that the Republicans in Congress were pretty shabby, many of them; the leadership never took on the MSM in the public debate. To his discredit, Bush wasn't so hot about that either.

So, I find I agree with you about a lot of that. Not self-destructive, though; the media has done that.


Just look at the Jefferson case. A colder or more cynical politician can hardly be imagined. What do we get by the media and Congressional Dems? The harrowing of Libby, who didn't out Val Plame.


Posted by: clarice | May 06, 2008 at 02:40 PM

"Why do all the dumbest Jews end up writing newspaper columns or sitting in Congress?"

The rest have smart people jobs. :)


I had lunch with Cohen back in the '80s when he was still compos mentis. Clarice is correct. He is the dumbest Jew & a has-been who scribbles a couple of times a week whatever pops into his empty head.

He's living in his own little cloud-cuckoo land.

I can remember way back when he was a contender [apologies to the soul of Marlon].

billy hank

In some respects, it's good that Obama sports a clean lapel. If he was required to show his loyalty with a flag pin, I wonder whose flag he would display, Venezuela, Iran, Hamas, ...?


Well, I personally would like a sort of Sanhedrin where you have to pass some IQ test before you can run for office or write a column unless you are willing to change your name to something ethnically unidentifiable and start worshipping elsewhere. It's an embarrassment .


Along similar lines, I've been watching Barako's speech in N Car and looking out at his besotted followers I really want to get out on the hustings andtruly exploit my fellow man. They're there for the picking. What am I wasting my time with the likes of Jane and Anne,Ballard and PUK whom I am unable to bilk out of a single sou?


Obama doesn't revere the flag during the national anthem, either. He usually holds his hands in front and looks at the floor.

Regardless, we're not talking about the man on the street. We're talking about the President of the United States. Call me crazy, but I imagine that a prerequisite of being the leader of a nation-state is the feeling that that nation-state is exceptional.

I don't get that from Obama.

Instead, I get the feeling that he was, in fact, pandering with his unwillingness to wear the flag. He was pandering to the William Ayers crowd.

kepa poalima


"McCain doesn't need a flag pin. The sad truth is that Obama does."

as i was reading, i was formulating a posting saying essentially what you said, but mine rambled on for sentences and into paragraphs.
conveying the point with brevity, i'm envious

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