He proved that Samuel Johnson is right. Patriotism really is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
And while we’re at it, he proved Oscar Wilde right as well: “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”
And no, real patriots are neither scoundrels nor vicious. But demagogues pretending to be patriots–Strickland and all those who mindlessly cheered him–are. If anyone at the Republican convention last week had questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism the way Strickland questioned Romney’s, the press and the “fact-checkers” would have had conniptions. Bet they’ll maintain a hypocritical silence when Romney’s patriotism gets questioned.