Rick Perlstein, writing at Campaign for America's future, discusses a phenomenon which unfortunately rears its ugly head around Newsvine from time to time.
From the article:
A moral vacation, I mean. What I mean is: every time I would come to them yet more evidence of one of those manifest calamities brought on by conservatives in charge of our federal government that would come back–with more anger than I had been able to muster—about some smaller sin of the overwhelmed government of New Orleans: it was all, of course, the Democrats' fault. One of my friends is a citizens of the Free Republic. I'll never forget how he believed he had clinched the argument. He pulled out an aerial photograph (above) of school buses in a flooded parking lot. That proved it: New Orleans had means, motive, and opportunity to evacuate the stranded and miserable hurricane victims from the Superdome. They just didn't care!
Well, the Freepers would have been right; if the Freepers had been magic wizards. If they could have, as Snopes pointed out, wished into those buses fuel, food, water, and qualified drivers; fluttered a workable logistics plan down from on high; and, to top it off, sufficient funds from a cash-strapped municipality to make this miracle happen—and a guarantee, in any event, that these thousands of people in buses wouldn't have been stranded, unprotected, in the path of another oncoming hurricane or flash flood. And a guarantee that those buses actually worked. And that they weren't (as it appears they were) already stranded in a yard of brackish water.
This same friend of mine, the Freeper, happens to be from Alabama. He had another argument for why conservative government hadn't failed: that Alabama had done just fine, because the competent and public spirited folks running his state had outstanding emergency management plans. As if Alabama municipalities had been hit by anything more than a fraction of the force of New Orleans. It was nuts.
If you haven't seen this specious argument around here yet, stick around. They pull it out every chance they get.
But patriotism has a simple definition: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it.
This is, of course, something progressives have no problem doing. Because it means, simply, that all Americans are every other American's concern. It means always acknowledging a national community, one to which we owe a constant obligation, parallel to our more local networks. It means that there is a certain level below which no American should be allowed to fall: in rights, in services, in solicitude from Washington. That no one who lives under that flag can ever be left behind. Even if they have the misfortune to live in a city that was hurt more by a hurricane than your city; and even if one city proves tragically less prepared to cope with a hurricane than another. That being an American means: step up. Our nation will sacrifice for you. That is what patriotism means.
Conservatives were glad to let a certain group of Americans flounder and rot—to gloat that certain supposed local failings trumped national obligation, and use "clever" graphics and just-so stories to shirk that obligation.
It proves they aren't patriots at all.