You know it's going to be a good time when you can spot Jack's spin in his first paragraph - in his first sentence. But let me begin with the title:
Why do they keep working against our national interest?
This is typical for current punditry. Jack gets to define what "our" national interest is and surprise surprise, anyone that disagrees with Jack is somehow unpatriotic.
Who gave Jack Kelly that authority?
Anyway, back to the column. Here's how he begins:
Looks like those dirty hippies in Jim McDermott-land are at it again. But reality is often more complicated than Jack presents. Take a look at the page Jack quotes from. Eli points out that the event was 4 hours long. Then he lists what happened:
When Democrats in the 43rd state legislative district in suburban Seattle met April 5 to select delegates to the state convention, they refused to begin their deliberations by saying the Pledge of Allegiance:
"At the mere mention of doing the pledge there were groans and boos," wrote Web logger Eli Sanders, who attended the caucus. "Then, when the district chair put the idea of doing the pledge up to a vote, it was overwhelmingly voted down. One might more accurately say the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag ... was shouted down." [emphasis added.]
- An evocation (by a Buddhist)
- Kucinich supporters recognized
- Representative Frank Chopp spoke to the crowd
- Speeches for the delegate spots
- Speech by the Obama surrogate
- Congressman Jim McDermott spoke to the crowd (because the Clinton surrogate was late)
- Speech by the Clinton surrogate
THEN Eli writes this:
There was some time to kill as multiple tallies of the delegates and alternates were done, and when the time-killer of taking audience questions had run its course and the idea of teling jokes had been nixed, someone suggested doing the Pledge of Allegiance to pass the time.
And the next paragraph, we get the stuff Kelly quoted. So after the program began, after all the non-degate speeches, after the two surrogate speeches, after the taking of audience questions, and while the "multiple tallies" were being done, someone suggested reciting the pledge - to fill the time. Perhaps it was silly to vote down reciting the pledge but only as silly as using it as an empty political gesture.
Jack, after doing a more or less standard conservative criticism of President Carter and the Democratic candidates slips this in:
Ms. Pelosi continues to keep the terrorist surveillance bill from coming to a vote because trial lawyers want to be able to sue telephone companies that cooperated with our intelligence agencies after 9/11.
Note the sneaky jab at "trial lawyers." And take a look at what he's doing. He hides something very important behind the phrase "cooperated with our intelligence agencies".
What is he hiding?
The "cooperation" those telecoms gave to our intelligence agencies was against the law.
To Jack, subverting the 4th Amendment is something in "our" national interest.
The kicker, though, is found in his last paragraph:
I'm not questioning the Democrats' patriotism. (They're doing a fine job of that all by themselves.) But Democrats do exhibit a disturbing tendency to subordinate the national interest to narrow partisan interests.
Oh, Jack. For such a talented writer you're not very good at hiding your rhetorical devices. This one is called "Apophasis." And the writer is introducing an idea by seeming to deny it. Jack says he isn't questioning the Democrats' patriotism - but that's precisely what he's doing. He's certainly pointing there only one sentence later.
Why does Jack Kelly get to define "our" national interest or patriotism or any flavor of political orthodoxy?