Saturday, July 05, 2008

The difference.

Via Althouse I see that her son JAC has linked to an MSNBC attempt at a "GOTCHA" regarding McCain & patriotism. Back on March 13, 2008 McCain appeared on Hannity & Colmes. Discussing McCain's time as a POW in Vietnam the following exchange took place:

Sean Hannity: What does that do to a person, to spend that much time in solitary confinement.

Sen. John McCain: I think it makes you a better person, obviously. It makes you love America. I really didn't love America until I was deprived of her company. But probably the most important thing about it, Sean, is that I was privileged to have the opportunity to serve in the company of heroes.
McCain has repeatedly made this kind of statement through the years. MSNBC's Dan Abrams seems to think that this is EXACTLY the same as Michelle Obama's comment from a few months ago. To provide context, here's Michelle Obama's quote:
Michelle Obama: For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country … not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.
Apparently some people think the two comments are equivalent, but they are not.

McCain's comment means that he had not loved America until he was laid low. Not until he was a wounded, tortured POW, deprived of contact with home, both the grand things and the little things, did he come to love his country. (I imagine that it's probable that he had never considered the matter.) By McCain's a great many people who are otherwise in miserable circumstances can bee proud of their country.

Michelle Obama's comment means something else entirely. She states that she is proud of America not just because her husband is doing well but because the country is finally doing what she wants it to do. That is, for her to be proud of the country it apparently requires that her husband be seriously considered for the highest honor in the land. It also requires that the country behave according to her wishes. Leading a life of privilege and already being near the top of the America heap was not enough. Any position lower than the very top could ever be cause for pride. By Michelle Obama's standard only a very few people at the very pinnacle can feel any pride in the country.

Yeah, the comments are exactly the same.

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