Friday, February 19, 2010

Flat-Earth Olympics: More-American-Than-Thou

Odd people in Washington this week are wrapping the flag around themselves as protection from most Americans who have sweated and bled for our country in good times and bad.

At the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee, the defining document is "The Mount Vernon Statement," an ode of the Constitution by a list of right-wing elders headed by Edwin Meese, who helped subvert it in the Iran-Contra Affair and resigned in disgrace as Reagan's Attorney General after the Wedtech defense contract scandal.

He is joined by other such figures from the Conservative waxworks as tax-hater Grover Norquist, Pat Buchanan's chief fundraiser Brent Bozell and Richard Viguerie, who pioneered computerized fund-raising and ran for president against too-liberal Gerald Ford in 1976.

The Statement's "firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith" is a declaration of war not only against dangerous Democrats and Independents but Republicans wavering in their dedication to a sanctified past, whom Sen. Jim DeMint wants to read out of the party.

The CPAC circus, usually derided as a fringe affair, has to be taken seriously in a year when Tea Partygoers dress up in Revolutionary War costume and roil electoral unrest in the real world.

Their antics this time should evoke not derision but a corresponding anger from those who live in the real world and find their hijacking of patriotism loathsome in a time when the political process is badly needed to work but is being held hostage by those who profess to love America but despise Americans who disagree with them.

The surprise appearance of Dick Cheney, who left office last year with the lowest approval ratings in history, to bash Barack Obama as "a one-term president" is a perfect metaphor for CPAC's world view: Let the economy go down the drain if it helps their ideologues win the next election.

If that's patriotism, what's the new definition of treason?

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