Magazine September 21, 2009, Issue

All Wee-Weed Up

Former U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura are escorted by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2009. (Tannen Maury/Reuters Pool)
Protests on the right, hypocrisy on the left

During last year’s presidential campaign, when it seemed likely that Barack Obama would win, conservatives would joke, “One thing’s sure: After January 20, dissent will no longer be the highest form of patriotism.” We had heard that a lot during the George W. Bush years: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Many on the left thought they were quoting Thomas Jefferson; actually, the words apparently come from Howard Zinn, the contemporary leftist historian. And it’s a dumb thing to say: Certainly, dissent can be a form of patriotism. But the highest? Where does that put what Sergeant York and

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