Monday, May 19, 2008

Full-blooded Americans?

Kathleen Parker's op-ed last week in the Baltimore Sun is bizarre, especially this section:
Full-bloodedness is an old coin that's gaining currency in the new American realm. Meaning: Politics may no longer be so much about race and gender as about heritage, core values and made-in-America. Just as we once had and still have a cultural divide in this country, we now have a patriot divide.

Who "gets" America? And who doesn't?

The answer has nothing to do with a flag lapel pin, which Mr. Obama donned for a campaign swing through West Virginia, or even military service, though that helps. It's also not about flagpoles in front yards or magnetic ribbons stuck on tailgates.

It's about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots.
Full-bloodedness? Blood equity? Roots? What do they have to do with patriotism or heritage? Parker seems to be arguing, in an extremely inept way, that Barack Obama isn't a true American because his father was Kenyan. During the rest of the article she slams on the usual suspects of multiculturalism and illegal immigration. Her real point seems to be an insistence on a "blood and soil" definition of Americanism.


Update: Or, as Molly Ivins said of Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 Republican convention: "It sounded better in the original German."

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