The Corner

Politics & Policy

On the Eve of the Debate, Obama Lectures the Candidates on Patriotism

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Except when it’s not. The president — fresh from giving our jihadist enemy a massive economic and military stimulus — lectures the candidates:

“In the echo chamber that is presidential politics, everything is dark and everything is terrible,” he said. “They don’t seem to offer many solutions to the disasters they perceive, but they’re quick to tell you who to blame. There’s nothing particularly patriotic or American about talking down America, especially when we stand as one of the few sources of economic strength in the world.”

Is the president speaking to the GOP or to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden? Here’s a sampling of their recent rhetoric:

“I am hot. I am mad, I am angry.”

And:

“There is something profoundly wrong when … the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.”

And:

“It used to be when productivity went up in America, everybody got to share.”

And:

“Every month government comes out with a statistic on unemployment. Last statistic said that official unemployment was 5.3%. But what they forgot to tell you is that statistic doesn’t include those people who have given up looking for work, those people who are working part time. Add it all together and real unemployment is over 10%.”

And:

“How many people in your own neighborhoods are in trouble, can look their kids in the eyes and say with heart, ‘Honey, it’s going to be OK?’ Not enough! Not enough!”

It’s hard to imagine the Republicans being much harsher tonight. I suppose that loyalty is now the highest form of patriotism — at least until January, 2017.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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