Carol Platt Liebau: A <i>Patriot's</i> Holiday

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Patriot's Holiday

In this column, EJ Dionne tries to rewrite the meaning of Independence Day, and offer liberals a way to claim love of country even as many of them perpetually run America down. First, he claims

It's assumed that every politician on the right will wear a flag on his lapel and effortlessly hold forth on ours as "the greatest country in the history of the world."

So Dionne tries to put forth a way for liberals to claim the mantle of patriotism. His

telling of the Fourth of July story identifies the day as part of a long, progressive history and turns "agitators" and "plotters of mischief" into the holiday's true heroes. The Fourth is transformed from an affirmation of continuity into a celebration of change.

Please give it a rest, at least for today. First, contrary to Dionne's claims, no conservative thinks the country is "perfect" as it is. In fact, the conservative approach to government -- trusting in the market and enlightened self-interest rather than entrusting "caring" bureaucratic guardians to create a utopian world -- reflects much less optimism about human nature and the nation's inherent perfectability than measures like Hillary Clinton's defeated health care bill.

It's likewise worth pointing out that, at least in recent years, it's been Republicans who have been the party of change . . . it is, after all, Democrats who oppose meaningful education reform, and social security reform, and tax reform (and were hysterically against welfare reform). So it's not a matter of being for-change vs. anti-change.

What liberals need to understand is that it's not about creating straw mmen or redefining patriotism and Independence Day. It's about the left learning not to blame America first for everything, loving their country even if it isn't perfect, and being willing to say so.

Columns like Dionne's expose an ongoing sense of insecurity on the left. No doubt many liberals and lefties love their country. So why do they generate columns like this, which read like they protest too much?


Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Bush's Inspirational Speech

4:01 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

To recap Carol’s talking points:

Trust ExxonMobil on global warming and keeping Prince William Sound clean.

Cut estate tax to the wealthy and their looted money will trickle down.

Defeating “health care to all Americans” is good. It provides better health care to those who can afford it.

Republican’s are for change. Change is good.

4:14 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Maybe because people like you tend to call them traitors for standing up for true American values.

I'm sorry if Dionne sounds defensive. He shouldn't. Liberals are the only ones standing up for what this country was founded on.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

I have no insecurity about being a Democrat. We are not perfect, and neither has our country ever been. Our country is great, but it can be much, much greater than it has been during the last six years of single-party government. This era, examined in its putrid entirety, gives me pause to wonder if Bush simply misunderstood the saying: “To the victor, the spoils.”

Happy Independence Day

9:56 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

What a bunch of crap! You extremists are soooo full of it, I'll better you all have brown eyes!

(I know, old joke! BUt what else can you say to old socialist BS)

4:47 AM  
Blogger Greg said...


"...true American values ..."

" ...Liberals are the only ones standing up for what this country was founded on."

Like blaming America for all the world's problems?

Like creating a state-run educational system that attempts to force group-think on the population?

Like surrendering our authority to govern ourselves to some international authority?

Like taking individual freedom and responsibility away and replacing them with central planning?

Like latching onto any enemy's cause so long as it opposes the U.S.?

5:34 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Cut estate tax to the wealthy and their looted money will trickle down.
There's that good ol' class envy again, from the resident "dittohead". I'd have thought Blondie and Dagwood would have raised him to know better.

Here's a logical question: who is "the wealthy"? Who should decide? Should anyone get to leave anything unmolested to their next generations?

7:09 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

Ditto, you are great at the Ted Kennedy strategery, 1)restate the opponents words to espouse an entirely different/opposite position, 2; attack the restated position.

Heretofore I will refer to you as "Two-Step."

For example, "Cut estate tax to the wealthy and their looted money will trickle down."

First, Two-Step, I don't want to cut estate tax, I want to eliminate it. Second, I am trying to be wealthy. Third, I oppose looting. The average income for your average burglar/looter from looting is approximately $12,000 per year. Averaged over twenty years of hard time it works out to $600 per year. Third, tax monies don't trickle down.

Oh, by the way, in Prince William Sound, the test area, the no clean-up area, is more pristine than the area that was cleaned up, and is on equal footing with unaffected areas

12:21 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Sure according to ExxonMobil, there is no global warming and Prince William Sound is prestine. Alaska DNR and fishing industry has it all wrong because their scientists must be un-American, leftest lunie, traitors.

1:55 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

You, er, forgot your citation.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Here’s a couple but if you really care you can do a google search and find tons of supporting documentation.

Now how about citing yours!

4:29 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

The retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet from 18,000 to 8,000 years ago:
(there's an animation included)

Sea shell fossils in Late Ordovician rock formations near Cincinnati:

The Iapetus Sea (proto Atlantic) once covered Ohio. Of course that was during the Paleozoic Era, long before Bush could be explicitly blamed.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


If you can't do better than that, why waste your life and mine.

Just forget it!

12:36 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Sorry, the links I posted were with respect to the fact that the climate of the Earth has changed pretty significantly over time, which was a comment I had in the "Inconvenient Facts" thread. Perhaps I misunderstood what you were asking me to cite.

Let me ask you something again, Ditto: Who is wealthy as you define it? Where do you draw the line?

12:50 PM  

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