We all know that patriotism is a hell of a lot more than a flag pin or a bumper-sticker saying "Support the troops". Patriotism is about putting the good of the nation ahead of your personal good. The confusion for the Republicans is in what the nation really is. You can see how they might be confused, especially folks like Sen. John Kyl and Sen. Bunning, being politicians of very little brain. Still it should be obvious that the country is not its land or its military or its resources, but is first and last the people who are it's citizens.
Without the citizens there is no nation. There is just a great empty expanse of North America. It is time for the government to act in the interest of the citizens. The fact that far less than a majority of the Senate can hold up the something as important as the extension of very modest unemployment benefits is deeply unpatriotic.
The Republicans have been going on and on about the problems of taking on a very modest amount of debt to keep food on the tables and roofs over the heads of millions of Americans who through no fault of their own have lost jobs and have been unable to find work in an economy where there are six applicants for every single job. This is a false choice. These are many of the same asshats who voted time and again to borrow billions for a war of choice in Iraq. There was no worry about the debt they were saddling "future generations" with at the time.
Their argument, of course, was that we needed to do this to protect America. What exactly we were protecting America from is hard to say. There were no weapons of mass destruction, there were no ties to Al Qaeda; there was no threat from a nation whose air space we had totally controlled for more than a decade. Maybe we needed to be protected from the good that a trillion (a thousand billion) dollars might do in domestic spending?
In any case the fact of the matter is that long term unemployment is a far bigger threat to the good of the nation than the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein ever was. We have yet to see a rise in crime, but that is mostly because the social safety net have been working. It is giving folks just enough to get by on and so the siren song of crime and a quick buck has not been heard. If we become some mean spirited as to cut off those who have been unable to find work (and lets face it while there might be 1% of the 15 million who are not really trying to find work while getting benefits, most folks are busting their assess trying to find a new job and stop taking money from the government) then we are opening ourselves up to a new wave of desperate people doing desperate things.
The Republican straw-man on deficit spending is so much BS. Yes it is a problem to have a high debt load. We might have to raise taxes on our wealthiest citizens. What a horror that would be! The folks who benefit the most from their citizenship would have to pay something approaching their fair share. Hell they might have to go back to paying something like 50% of any earnings of more than 2 million in a single year! Oh the humanity! This is like arguing over smoke detectors as the house burns down. The appropriate time to worry about the affects of increasing our debt is not in the middle of the slowest economy in generations. We are not Greece, our economy is more important to the world than theirs is (even when it is multiplied by the fact of the Euro Zone). We have some margin to spend more and get back on our feet that the struggling Mediterranean nation never had.
All in all the problem is that Republicans have not been made to pay the price for their lack of patriotism. It is time for all of us to ask why they hate the American people so much that they would rather see them starving in the street than getting a few hundred dollars a week to prevent that. Sen. McConnell why is it okay for a fifty year old ex-factory worker to be faced with not being able to feed his family? Have you no patriotism?
This is the meme that we on the Left need to start spreading. Republicans are unpatriotic in their policy of obstruction. Just look at what they are doing to fellow citizens now in the name of future benefit. This is part of the issue for this election cycle. They may think that they are being patriotic, but their actions are not the actions of patriots who would work to help their nation over their narrow political concerns.
The floor is yours.