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Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Lapel pin" questions dog Obama

Viewers were shocked during Tuesday night's Democratic debate on ABC when Nash McCabe, a 52-year-old from Latrobe, Pa., asked Senator Barack Obama why he is black.

Clearly flustered, Obama attempted to reassure McCabe that he has indeed been black for all of his adult life, but that did not make him less American or less patriotic.

Asked later about her question, Ms. McCabe said that "Obama just rubs me the wrong way."

"It started with the lapel pin, like he's ashamed of the flag. And he's just so nonchalant about his success that this country has given him as a black person. White people don't have it so easy. I would like to see a lot more gratitude. I think Americans deserve it."

In a conference call to reporters the next day, Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign came to Obama's defense. "Just because he's black doesn't mean he's not as patriotic as real Americans like Nash McCabe", said Howard Wolfson. "But it does mean he has a greater burden to prove it, and his refusal to do so is arrogant, disrespectful, and frankly patronizing."

In cable commentary, Pat Buchanan noted that all great societies in history have fetishized their flags. "How do you instigate real change? You create a myth, and you create symbols. Mussolini had his fasces, Hitler had his swastika. You knew where you stood when a government functionary was wearing a swastika lapel pin."

According to Lou Dobbs, the very impudence of Obama's candidacy is distasteful. "I love the flag!" exclaimed Dobbs. "I love our country and its heritage. What Senator Obama needs to understand is that he's a guest here. If he continues to act like he somehow deserves to be the leader of the greatest nation the world has ever known, he's in great danger of becoming just another bitter negro, like Jeremiah Wright."

"Like I said," repeated Nash McCabe, "that Obama, if that's his real name, just annoys me."

Wolfson added, "Obama needs to drop out before something happens to him. He is hurting his own reputation by thinking he's better than he is, better than true Americans like Nash McCabe."

Asked why Senator Clinton does not wear an American flag on her lapel, Wolfson pointed out that as a lifelong white woman, nobody doubts her patriotism. "Or mine," he hastily added.