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Introducing the Barack Obama 57 state flag lapel pin

Heheh [1].

And speaking of lapel pins, Obama was back to wearing one [2] today in veteran-friendly West Virginia:

Wearing a flag lapel pin, Sen. Barack Obama emphasized his patriotism and support for a strong and humane military Monday, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton implored West Virginians to sustain her hopes of somehow denying him the Democratic presidential nomination.

Obama expects Clinton to win Tuesday’s primary in West Virginia, which has large numbers of working-class whites — a group that usually backs the former first lady — as well as a strong military tradition. He used his visit to Charleston to combat critics’ claims that he is not particularly patriotic or ready to be commander in chief, in part because he never served in the military, usually does not wear a flag pin, and opposed the Iraq war from the start.

Obama broke from his usual practice by wearing the flag pin and reading his speech instead of talking without notes. He told several thousand people at the Charleston Civic Center that patriotism means more than saluting flags and holding parades. He criticized Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain for opposing a Democratic bill to expand education benefits for veterans.

Whatever.

I really couldn’t care less as to whether or not he wears a flag pin. My issue with his original comments [3] on the issue was that he implied that those who did choose to wear one were “substituting” it for “true patriotism,” which is a baffling statement to make, because by that logic you could just as well say that about anyone who flies the American flag. What Obama didn’t understand then – and still doesn’t today – is that most people who wear flag pins are doing so because they want to openly display a symbol of what they feel deep inside for their country: pride, love, honor. They’re also wearing it close to their hearts, another symbolic gesture.

Sadly, for Barry O. and many other Democrats who believe just like him, the only time it makes sense to “support the troops” is when they return home from the battlefield [4] (h/t: Anne Leary [5] at UNCoRRELATED). It apparently never occurs to them that what our troops need most when they’re standing in harms way is our support, rather than telling them that their fellow soldiers died for a lie [6], promising a premature withdrawal [7] before the mission our military has made so many sacrifices for has been completed, and having to listen while Obama supporters [8] like Senator Ted Kennedy broad brush the entire US military with the accusation that Saddam’s torture chambers have “reopened under new management, US management [9].”

Supporting the troops when they come home is the easy part. Supporting them while they’re engaged in a war that has become increasingly unpopular with your base – as well as a majority of the American people – takes courage. Yes, it’s nice that Obama continues to support war supps to fund our troops, but support involves a lot more than just sending money. If Obama asked any one of the number of people he has or will come across in West Virginia (or any other state for that matter) who proudly sports a flag lapel pin, I’m sure they’d be glad to explain to him just how it’s done [10].