Dissent Is Patriotic, and Sometimes Mandatory, Except When It's Un-American


Nancy Pelosi is very upset that congressional Republicans decided not to offer a response to President Obama’s NFL pre-game show, as Fox News reports:

Republicans have decided they’re not going to give a rebuttal to President Obama’s jobs speech later this week, a decision House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took as a high affront to the White House. 

At least three GOP lawmakers also have announced they’re not going to show up for the presidential address. House Speaker John Boehner’s office then confirmed Tuesday evening that nobody from the party would deliver an official televised response. 

Pelosi said the party’s “silence” would “speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs.” 

“The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people,” Pelosi said. 

Throughout the Bush Years, the Left loudly maintained that dissent was the highest form of patriotism, even making up a phony quote to that effect from Thomas Jefferson. 

When Obama was elected, dissent suddenly became borderline treason.  Opposition to his agenda was portrayed as fundamentally illegitimate, a mean-spirited attempt to thwart his noble agenda and overturn the 2008 election.  Pelosi herself was especially eager to paint opposition to ObamaCare in that light, calling them “un-American” in a USA Today op-ed she co-authored with then-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). 

She insisted on holding this attitude even though Pelosi herself admitted nobody knew what ObamaCare would do, and we would have to “pass it to find out what was in it.”  In other words, American patriotism requires blind submission to the power of government, and the wisdom of your betters.  Resistance, including the asking of tough questions, is “un-American.”

Here are some more of Pelosi’s deep thoughts about sustained criticism of Obama, taken from a Tax Day 2009 interview with ABC News:

“They don’t believe in what Barack Obama stands for, they don’t believe in taking the country in a new direction, they don’t believe in having the prosperity where many more people in our country participate in the economic success of our country; they really don’t believe in government role in terms of climate change and some of the other issues that we are making priorities as we go forward,” she said. “They are committed to the failed economic policies of the Bush administration, that’s what they believe.”

[…] Peolsi characterized Wednesday’s tea party protests as contrived events backed by those who like tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

“They are the people who are funding what is supposed to look like a grass roots operation but is really an Astroturf initiative on the part of those who liked the status quo under George Bush, the failed economic policies that got us where we got today,” Pelosi said.

Dissent then became stupid, as the Democrats openly floated a theory that their upcoming shellacking in the 2010 midterm elections would be a result of idiotic voters failing to appreciate their magnificent leadership.  Here’s how President Obama explained it to big-money Democrat donors in October 2010: “Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.”

Now we’ve completed a long, strange journey through the tortured id of the panicked Left, and arrived at the moment when dissent is mandatory… at the pleasure of the President, of course.  Opponents are required to take him seriously, and demonstrate their “commitment to creating jobs” with more of the political speeches that have conspicuously failed to create any jobs, except for speechwriters.

House Speaker John Boehner’s office expressed polite regrets that he would not be joining Obama and Pelosi on the deck of the Titanic for one last dance:

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said Obama’s proposals on Thursday “will rise or fall on their own merits,” suggesting a GOP response was not needed. 

“Republicans are, and have been, entirely focused on job creation. Every member of Congress, and — more importantly — the American people, will provide a reaction to the president’s address,” Steel said. 

There’s no reason for Boehner, or any other legislator, to draw attention away from the Republican GOP candidates by responding to Obama’s latest flat-lined call for more infrastructure spending and extended unemployment benefits.  Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) puckishly suggested “the Speaker doesn’t expect to hear much to respond to.” 

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Representatives Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Paul Broun (R-GA) have already announced they won’t bother to attend Obama’s speech at all.  DeMint said he’s “sick and tired of speeches.”  Broun is going to hold a Twitter town hall – his Twitter feed is here.  So fear not, Minority Leader Pelosi.  There will be plenty of responses to the President’s speech.