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At the beginning of yesterday’s campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after the Pledge of Allegiance and before the introduction of President Obama, a high school student sang the national anthem. People in the crowd joined in:

Singing the national anthem before the introduction of President Obama

at the beginning of a campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 10, 2012.

Study that image carefully.

I first directly encountered then Senator Barack Obama as a candidate at the annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa in September 2007. Little did I know at the time that one small observation out of the whole would be a prophetic sign of our times:

Road Trip! – The Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa – The speechifying (September 17, 2007)

….A singer performed the national anthem with pre-recorded accompaniment. Her rendition was heartfelt and definitely unique. Most people would have had difficulty singing along with her. I noticed that all of the candidates except Obama held their hands over their hearts. Obama held his hands folded in front of him throughout [This is not criticism – the “hand over the heart” looked awkward on the stage – I was standing in the same fashion as Obama]….

The right wingutosphere went insane:

Barack Obama and “The Star Spangled Banner” (October 24, 2007)

Of all the dumb things…

The Raw Story

…Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama is again facing questions about his patriotism from some conservative blogs — this time for apparently failing to put his hand over his heart during a rendition of the national anthem at an Iowa campaign event….


And, a day later:

Those who ignore history are, well….stupid (October 25, 2007)



Justice Jackson wote:

….As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. [319 U.S. 624, 641]  As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be….


….If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us….

Yes, we remember that right wingnut tempest in a teapot from 2007. It was then, and still is now, cynical hacks along with self righteous pearl clutchers using inconsequential cultural wedge issues to get stupid people to vote against their own interests.

Ironically, the photo above is the embodiment of real America, hypocritical right wingnut orthodoxy be damned.