February 12, 2008

The Obama Flag Flap

The blogosphere began buzzing yesterday afternoon because of a Cuban flag superimposed with a picture of Che Guevara that was flown in an volunteer, unofficial office for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama in Houston, Texas, captured by a local Fox News affiliate.

Allahpundit likened it yesterday to be the equivalent of flying a Timothy McVeigh flag in a John McCain office, and noted that if that had occurred, media outlets would have more than likely made more of an issue of it than they have in this instance.

I don't however, share the condemnation heard yesterday of the Obama campaign itself over this particular story from some of my friends on the right. I think James Joyner's take on the issue is even-handed, in that:

...Che is a terrorist who shouldn't be honored by decent people. Che worship (or, alternatively, the wearing of Che t-shirts as a statement without the slightest clue of who he was) seems to be a phase that certain left-leaning activists go through in their youth; it generally passes. Driscoll's characterization of it as "juvenilia" is spot on.

For reasons I'll certainly never understand, a contingent on the fringe left does and has long had a special affinity for this particular terrorist, but that in and of itself should not reflect upon Obama, unless he also shares those views or had advance knowledge of such a flag being placed in this volunteer-established office (which I strongly doubt).

What the flag may come far closer to representing is the historical cluelessness of some potential voters, and the sad flocking to cults of personality by those who feel politically marginalized, as noted by the U.K.based satire site Anorak News which said dryly:

"...The stakes could not be higher in the battle between Ron Paul and Barack Obama for the hearts and minds of America's young people, as this picture shows."

But it isn't just the young and uninformed who flock to such cults of personality, as we've all seen our fair share of Paulites and Obama supporters of every age and education level.

There are many people who feel politically lost who will flock to those voices that offer seemingly easy "change," whether that voice offers workable solutions or empty platitudes.

Considering that this story is largely confined to the blogosphere at this moment, there is probably very little desire in the official Barack Obama campaign to issue a statement against the displaying of this terrorist-hyping flag in a volunteer office. Though it would be a nice gesture, such a refutation may make this into a larger story than it would otherwise be.

Cuban-Americans, however, may find this political calculation to be less than satisfactory.

It is rather sad that the Obama campaign is in a position where it had to decide whether denouncing a terrorist is a smart move, but when a candidate runs on a platform offering so little substance or experience, being quiet and vague is perhaps precisely what they are counting on.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 12, 2008 11:46 AM

My guess is that Obama will vote "present" on this story. He's developed a knack for ducking controversial votes and issues.

Posted by: daleyrocks at February 12, 2008 05:35 PM

Well, it's not like I was ever gonna vote for him anyway...

Posted by: C-C-G at February 12, 2008 08:00 PM

"Terrorism" is a tactic. Don't forget that it was used by the rebels in the colonies too. In and of itself it's bad or good by virtue of who is talking. I am definitely no Che fan but look at the political situation of the People he claimed to be supporting.

Posted by: chris lee at February 13, 2008 10:40 AM

How did I know you were gonna try to defend Obama, Chris?

Posted by: C-C-G at February 13, 2008 08:55 PM

Sometimes I think those college kids who wear Che shirts don't know who he is. Maybe they think he's Bob Marley or something. But then I realize that everyone knows who Che is. And people who use it as an icon are knowingly calling for a bloody revolution.


Posted by: brando at February 14, 2008 12:11 AM

There's probably more than one McCain staffer with a Confederate flag, they just haven't been caught on camera.

Posted by: deez at February 14, 2008 03:28 AM

Ahh, the time honored excuse of the lefty. "Your guy does it too!"

Posted by: C-C-G at February 14, 2008 05:54 AM

Wow. Yes, clearly the Cuban flag is far more offensive than the Confederate flag!!!!

If this post isn't the most hypocritical thing I've ever read, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Erik at February 14, 2008 08:20 AM

That's not "buzzing" you hear, its just the sound the rotting corpse of conservatism is giving off.

Posted by: John Dillinger at February 14, 2008 09:15 AM

With due respect, isn't Che' more of a guerrilla leader than a "terrorist"? I mean, I know it's all in the eye of the beholder (notably whoever's writing the history books), but there is a considerable difference between being a revolutionary against a (to his point of view) corrupt government and a terrorist who tries to change government positions through attacks against noncombatants. Marxist guerrilla does not automatically equate to terrorist.

I would suggest that the Obama office in question was appealing to the revolutionary idealism of the character and not to the Marxist ideology. Now let's move on to the question of whether South Carolina's state government should be able to hoist the controversial "Stars and Bars" over public buildings...

Posted by: J. at February 14, 2008 09:23 AM

Topic Switching tricks! Nice try.

Posted by: brando at February 14, 2008 09:29 AM

Looks like Chris put out the word on DU for all his lefty friends to show up on this thread... or he's got socks on his hands again.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 14, 2008 09:39 AM

Complaints about a "terrorist-hyping" flag generate a pretty good chuckle coming from a website that uses one of the preferred symbols of the KKK in its logo.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 14, 2008 09:40 AM

A political party must be really lame to run second to the Democrats.

Posted by: John Ryan at February 14, 2008 10:52 AM

This is a hypocritical post, and I am sure Obama himself is not a Che supporter. It's hypocritical inference. What DOES the confederate flag symbolize to you?

Posted by: chris lee at February 14, 2008 11:09 AM

It just goes to show us that many people rush to defend the behavior of Che. It doesn't suprise me a bit. Liberals love terrorism. Keep telling us how great Che is, and how much you internalize his virtues.

So the Che issue is settled. Libs love Che.

Now, lets move on to the issue of slavery. I'm personally against slavery, even if you dress it up by calling it The Draft. I've met a lot of liberals who have openly stated that they are for The Draft. That's one of the many reasons that I'm not a liberal, because they love both terrorism and slavery. C'mon, it's 2008. Slavery's wrong.

So to recap. Terrorism's bad, and slavery's bad. (and dusk-orbs are bad)

Posted by: brando at February 14, 2008 03:11 PM

Funny, not a single person here has defended Che at all, yet liberals supposedly love terrorism.

Say Che was wrong all you want. Maybe you're right on that. But don't say putting a terrorist on a flag was wrong on a site that uses the bloody Confederate flag in its logo.

Posted by: Erik at February 14, 2008 03:16 PM


Where above do you read a defense of Che Guevara?

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 14, 2008 03:24 PM

For the record I am anti-Che.

Posted by: chris lee at February 14, 2008 03:25 PM

"So the Che issue is settled. Libs love Che.

Now, lets move on to the issue of slavery. I'm personally against slavery"

- Brando

And so ends another installment of Non-Sequitor Theater. Be sure to join us next week when Brando lets us know that Libs love Stalin because they support state-sponsored healthcare and he takes a brave stand against cannabalism.

Posted by: jlo at February 14, 2008 04:14 PM

Wait a second I LIKE cannabalism.

Posted by: chris lee at February 14, 2008 04:19 PM

The Confederates were just people willing to die for what they thought was RIGHT..wait...

Posted by: chris lee at February 14, 2008 05:26 PM

Cons love lynching. That's right.

And terrorists love beheading. Gotcha.

Posted by: brando at February 14, 2008 06:00 PM

Well which is better..?

Posted by: chris lee at February 14, 2008 06:33 PM

Chris, you may be anti-Che, but at least some Obama staffers are pro-Che. THAT is the point here, which you keep wanting to gloss over. Let's stick to the original point, shall we, and not indulge in childish finger-pointing and name-calling and "he does it too!" like you hear on most elementary school playgrounds.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 14, 2008 08:00 PM

First off. JLO. If weíre going to have an adult conversation, you have to restrain yourself from lying. Iím willing to give you a mulligan on that Ďcannibalismí comment, but just donít do it again. Chris likes cannibalism, however I donít think itís a proper way to run a society.

Also I wasnít doing Non-Sequitor. I thought that original topic about Che was settled, and that J wanted to move the topic to Slavery. I was just stating my position against slavery, and how others disagree with me. Fine. Letís reopen the Che topic, since thatís what the post was about.

So hereís the scope of the disagreement. Letís try not to get distracted this time.

There are two schools of thought here. One is that we should continue to have a democracy. The other is that we should have a bloody revolt which destroys our entire republic.

Possibly replacing it with Communism. Possibly being ruled by Cuba.

So hereís my personal belief that gets so many people worked up. You ready for the thesis?

I think that having a Che style, literal, revolution would be counterproductive for America.

I know Iím not going to convince any liberals to change their minds. Thatís fine. Just understand that not everyone believes that revolution would be good. I have my beliefs, you have yours. Diversity, right?

Posted by: brando at February 14, 2008 08:54 PM

Well, Brando, if you want to have an adult conversation, you have to stop putting words into other people's mouths. No one on this thread said anything about supporting Che, or Communism, or revolution of any kind.

Some commenters have pointed out the comic nature of a blogger characterizing a Cuban flag with Che's likeness on it as "terrorist-hyping" while calling himself Confederate Yankee and using for his logo the Confederate battle flag--a symbol of revolution by treasonous southerners in 1860 and of bigotry and racism by Klan terrorists in later years.

Since you can make no argument that these two flags cannot be so compared--that they both represent revolution and terrorism--you must resort to saying that those who point this out and call Mr. Owens a hypocrite support Che or Communism or liberals or whatever other boogey men you fear might come out of your closet at night and destroy America.

Have no fear--just pull the covers over your head and ask Mommy to leave a night light on. Everyone knows the monsters only come out in the dark.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 14, 2008 10:11 PM

Wow. That was an awesome comment. Just chock full of logical errors and liberal horror for me to enjoy. I knew it would be hard for yaíll to stay on topic.

Well, first off, I havenít met or come into physical contact with any of these people who disagree with my Che position, so itís pretty much out of the question that Iíve been placing anything in their mouths. Yuck. Donít be weird.

Monsters don't exist, so using their existence as a premise for Che isn't as persuasive as you might think. My closet is far too small for people to actually live in. That's just preposterous thing to believe. Also, that would be sort of unethical for me to keep liberals(or anyone) in there. Like Iíve said before, Iím against slavery. You should be too. I keep clothes in my closet, not human beings.

Also, it didn't follow. So you have non-sequitor, and false premise.

Also you have a sloppy form of "y tu", but it's kind of third person liberal version. Maybe you call it "y vous".

I'm actually pretty proud of the tag "y vous". I made that up just now. I'm going to use that again, because I've noticed it's a pretty popular argument method.

Good fun, good fun. At any rate, I'm still not buying it. Democracy's good in my book. If youíre serious about persuading folks about this Che thing as a political platform, then Iíd suggest you dispense with all the cannibalism/monsters/slavery stuff, cause itís ridiculous. Maybe someday you'll realize that it's OK for others to hold different views than you.

Posted by: brando at February 15, 2008 08:23 AM

How witty--pretending to take literally the slang term for replacing what others actually said with what you really want to argue about. You must have kept your platoon in stitches (this is another slang term--I don't mean sutures here).

No one here rushed to "defend the behavior" of Che Guevara, and no one has argued that Che Guevara's preferred political system should replace our own. But you would rather associate liberals with terrorism and communism than discuss your own preferred symbols, so you invent things from thin air. If monsters don't exist, then you can stop worrying about the terrorist-loving liberal one that would shove Marxism down your throat. This evil creature must inhabit your closet, because most normal humans just don't see it anywhere.

So now that you've had your fun accusing others of believing things they do not, why not get back on topic yourself: whether one person who uses iconic symbols of rebellion and terrorism should be criticizing others who do the same.

It is difficult to imagine a system less democratic than Che's, but one that relies on human slavery for labor has to be in the running. The battle flag of this system symbolizes the cultural heritage of a society based on ownership of other human beings. The leaders of this society fought a treasonous war against a democracy so they they could continue to profit on the backs of slaves. Later, terrorists who wished to continue subjugating an entire race took this flag as their own.

This flag is no less a "terrorist-hyping" symbol that Che Guevara's likeness. So the question is: when will Bob Owens denounce slavery, racism, and terrorism by removing the Confederate flag symbology from Confederate Yankee? Or at least admit that he holds these ideas in esteem--since we now know that he believes symbology matters?

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 15, 2008 09:50 AM

They've basically "put their foot in it" on this one and are trying to spin and weave their way out of it. BTW I was kidding about "canabalism" knew that right? It just shows the hypocrisy of so-called "conservatives".

Posted by: chris lee at February 15, 2008 10:09 AM

Yeah no. I keep clothes in my closet. In my guest bedroom closet I also keep some board games. No monsters. No people. It's not meant to be funny. It's the truth.

I know that you're hardwired for "y vous", so this is going to blow your mind, but here's another truth. I'm not a conservative. I'm not a liberal. I'm Brando.

Saying that you perceive hyprocacy from someone else, simply isn't something I have the right to answer for. That would be like me being a spokesman for a group that I'm not in.

And it still doesn't directly support our disagreement.

Another thing you've lied about is that I don't want to argue with you about implementing Che's form of government in America. I'm not trying to persuade you, because I believe that you are beyond persuading on this point. Very illogical. As I've said before, that's fine with me. Different strokes for different folks. I like democracy. If that enrages you, then there's nothing I can do about it. Agree to disagree I suppose.

Posted by: brando at February 15, 2008 10:16 AM

I'm impressed with this:

There are two schools of thought here. One is that we should continue to have a democracy. The other is that we should have a bloody revolt which destroys our entire republic.

Which flag did this apply to again?

Posted by: Righteous Bubba at February 15, 2008 11:50 AM

Man, Brando, you are indeed a piece of work. Where in the world did you get the notion that your preference for democracy "enrages" me? And where did I say that you "don't want to argue with [me] about implementing Che's form of government in America?"

Indeed, it seems that is all you want to do: debate whether liberals prefer Che's communism to American democracy.

Righteoud Bubba gets it right: the Confederate and Che flags both represent bloody revolt and terrorism. If you agree with that, you can stop trying to be witty.

You're not conservative, and you're not liberal. You're Brando. And you're lost in space.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 15, 2008 12:44 PM

So weíve reached an impasse on the bloody revolution concept. Iím definitely in the minority on that one. Youíll have to deal with it. I suppose we can table that, and we can resume the argument on cannibalism since Iím astonished that such a thing would even be an option for debate.

Now. Iím going to try to persuade some folks to my way of thinking on this one. Maybe I can change some minds, and do some good. Iíd like to openly state for the record that I find the practice of cannibalism abhorrent. Itís unethical, filthy, and an untenable practice for a society to engage in. Funeral ceremonies are a healthy part of dealing with loss, and when a culture turns to cannibalism, itís usually a good sign of its imminent collapse.

When I expressed disgust at the practice of cannibalism, it was claimed that I was a conservative (untrue), and a hypocrite (untrue). Just in case you donít know, a hypocrite is someone who denounces something, while engaging in the very thing they denounce. I most certainly do not consume people. Some people have such a weak character that allows them to commit slander in such a way. Or to eat people. I do neither.

So to recap. I think that cannibalism is bad, and if you think that cannibalism is good, I hope you change your mind. Thank you.

Posted by: brando at February 15, 2008 12:50 PM

I'd just like to thank the DU and KOS retards for spamming the comment sections to hell, so we couldn't comment on Bob's new baby.

Well played sirs, well played.

Posted by: Conservative CBU at February 15, 2008 06:09 PM

Hey, R, support for lefty communist ideals can be seen in their policy proposals... always wanting to increase the size and scope of government. For example, HillaryCare.

So, yes, it can be proven that lefties support the same sort of things that Che would have supported had he lived this long.

Now go take your toys back to your own sandbox (DU) and let the big kids play here.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 15, 2008 07:36 PM

Maybe I shouldn't have encouraged it. Sorry 'bout that.

Posted by: brando at February 15, 2008 08:43 PM

Brando, it's not your fault. These sorts of people will argue--literally--about the size of a door intended for people in a garage, just so they can claim that a (gasp) Confederate flag is bigger than it really is and that some lefty reporter is not an idiot for mis-stating the size.

I present, as evidence, exhibit A.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 15, 2008 09:47 PM

Now I get it, Brando. You're the platoon smartass. I used to keep punks like you in the front leanin' rest 'til their arms fell off.

CCG: So, Hillarycare equals communism. What an insight. You must, indeed, be one of the big kids.


Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 15, 2008 10:24 PM

R, I will type slow and use short words to try to help you understand.

HillaryCare would take over a private-sector industry and make it into another government agency.

The Communist way of ruling is to have the government involved in everything.

Therefore, HillaryCare is a step on the road to communism.

Now, can you comprehend that, or are you still trying to figure out which shoe goes on which foot?

Posted by: C-C-G at February 15, 2008 10:32 PM

RSS: Incorrect, Hillarycare does not equate to Communism it equates to Social-ism. Communism is a much more toltalitarian (and some might argue more 'pure' form). Hillarycare, as CCG notes, is merely a step down that road toward Communism.

An intersting note about why I became a CY reader is exactly the juxatposition of "Confederate" and "Yankee". In the historic sense they are opposites. This juxtaposition makes the two words a paradox which is called an oxymoron in literature. I'm not exactly certain why Bob named his site so, however, I might guess it is because he, himself, is originally either a Yankee or a Confederate (based upon where he originally lived in the historic sense) and now lives in an opposite historical locale. He may correct me if I'm wrong in this supposition. (or I could just read his "about me" info but I'm feeling lazy tonight)

Posted by: Mark at February 15, 2008 10:48 PM

Maybe we should even privatize defense..oops...

Posted by: chris lee at February 15, 2008 10:48 PM

Chris, let me let you in on a little secret.

There are some things that can be done most efficiently by private firms operating in competition.

There are some things that can be done most efficiently by the government, without competition.

The secret, Grasshopper, is knowing the difference.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 16, 2008 12:13 AM

Thanks CCG. or is the Milo Minder..? What's good for the syndicate is good for the people, 'cause everybody has a share...

Posted by: chris lee at February 16, 2008 10:11 AM

Thanx CCG..or is that Milo Minderbinder..? "What's good for the syndicate is good for the people, 'cause everybody has a share."

Posted by: chris lee at February 16, 2008 10:13 AM

Now where did I say that? I am merely explaining the best way for things to run. Both of the extremes (government in charge of everything, and government in charge of almost nothing) have been tried before.

The former Soviet Union tried running everything. That lasted, what, 70 years?

And, if you'd look at your American history, you'll see that the time between the Revolutionary War and the adoption of the Constitution was a time when the US was governed by a very weak central government, under the Articles of Confederation. Things were so bad that Congress had trouble paying George Washington's army's salaries, so the army almost marched on the capitol. It was called the Newburgh Conspiracy, look it up.

So, the most efficient and long-lasting method is to have the government in charge of some things, such as national defense, and private enterprise in charge of other things, such as health care.

It's worked here for over 200 years, as opposed to the Soviet model or the Confederacy model. That's a good thing.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 16, 2008 11:19 AM

Wow. The stupid really does burn.

Posted by: john stephen lewis at February 16, 2008 12:23 PM

You kept people in the front leaning rest because they were against cannibalism? Did you convert em?

Posted by: brando at February 17, 2008 01:00 PM