The Angry Liberal Commentary Archive:
"Patriot Day:" The New Republican Holiday
Man, Republicans sure are good at naming stuff. After Republicans changed the name of National Airport in Washington, D.C., to "Bonzo National" (Oops! Sorry. That was me), George W. Bush continued that brilliant tradition by signing into law legislation designating that September 11 be henceforth known as "Patriot Day." This new law decrees that flags be lowered to half staff, and that the president issue some sort of proclamation. I'm guessing that Bush will observe the day by mandating tax cuts for all corporations with red, white, or blue in their logos.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Republican Holiday. I'm sure this won't be the last. You can identify the Republican Holiday by the following markings:
1. It's ill-conceived. While the senate passed Tom Daschle's bill, which would have called this day a respectful, yet generic-sounding "National Day of Remembrance," the rocket scientists in the House let that bill die at the desk. Two weeks later, New York Republican Vito Fossella introduced essentially the same bill, changing the day's name to "Patriot Day." Of course, this holiday already exists in the Northeast. "Patriot's Day," as the Northeasterners refer to it, commemorates the battle of Lexington and Concord and is celebrated in April. The new holiday not only plagiarizes the bill from Daschle and the name from an existing holiday, but attaches that name to an event that is utterly unrelated to patriotism. The September 11 attack was a national tragedy involving terrorism, the appalling loss of civilian life, and acts of heroism by police, firefighters, and others on the ground and in the air. A national day with one or more of those thoughts in the title would make sense, wouldn't it? Hell, even "National Gasoline Dealer Profiteers' Day" would at least describe something that occurred on 9/11. By using the name "Patriot Day" for the September 11 remembrance, Republicans will be overshadowing the real "Patriot's Day," as well as drawing attention away from the victims and the heroes of September 11. This is a small price to pay for not having to pass the Democratic bill, I guess.
2. It's "Patriotic." I use quotes around this to signify that it's not really patriotic, rather the Republican "pretend patriotism" that is so popular these days. Let's end this now: Real patriots are willing to sacrifice something for the good of their country. With liberals, it's usually tax dollars. Republicans are willing to sacrifice nothing. They buy into a brand of patriotism best expressed by buying yourself a new car and putting a flag on it. They aren't even willing to pay the cost of additional national security, opting instead to pass the cost along to our children in the form of increased federal debt. (Who can afford national security with all of those new car payments?) No wonder these people have no problem bestowing the virtue of patriotism upon a president who hid in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam. (And while we're on the subject, I still don't know how McCain refrained from choking that little weasel to death during the 2000 Republican primary debates.)
3. It's Business-Friendly. Wouldn't you think that a day as grand as "Patriot Day" would require a day off, so Americans could stay home and reflect on what it means to be patriotic? (Oops. We're supposed to remember the victims and heroes. Damn that name!) Tell that to Big Business. Those on the Republican Board of Directors would never go for a new paid holiday, no matter how noble or lofty the cause. It's simple, really. With modern conservatives, capitalism trumps patriotism. So next September 11, you can just reflect on the meaning of the day over a burger and fries in the company cafeteria. Now, get back to work.
4. It's free. Except for paying one of Bush's aides to write a speech about how great it is that somebody else is willing to go to war for his or her country, the thing requires no government expenditure. No ceremony to honor the victims and heroes, no extra support for the families. Just lip service.
So, there you have it. "Patriot Day" is a plagiarized, inappropriately named, non-substantive, non-holiday, signed into non-law by the non-patriotic, non-elected non-president.
. . .The Angry Liberal
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