Friday, December 16, 2005

It's Unpatriotic

"You know it's unpatriotic to waste paper."

I caught that line channel-surfing tonight. It's from "Up in Arms", a 1944 Danny Kaye flick. Somebody says it to explain why he doesn't throw away a letter.

So many things revealed by a single sentence! A country so bent on victory that household resources were mustered for the war effort. A country so bound by common values that one American could actually refer to "patriotism" as a reason for doing anything, expecting silent agreement rather than a shouting match.

How far we've degraded the term "patriotic". Hugh Hewitt this week went back in time to the 1968 campaign. He was arguing that Curtis LeMay was a patriotic right-wing extremist, and John Murtha is a patriotic left-wing extremist; but LeMay went down in flames while Murtha gets all the good press because the media is a bunch of patriotic left-wing extremists.

They're all patriots to Hewitt, because he can't consider what a decorated combat veteran says about the war without giving brownie points for his war service.

Me, I say Rep. Murtha's unpatriotic. Just look at all the paper he's wasted.

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