I have been accused of both on this forum at one time or another. Not trying to please anyone here but there are those that stand solidly on one side of this issue or the other. I suggest the polars could be Jayhawk and Jim Smith. Both stand steadfast without any perceived compromise to the other side. What say you when something as important as national pride versus absolutely necessary democratic constructive criticism combat each other? Where do you draw the line and when does it appear the radicals have legitimate reason to spew their bile instead of step in line?
The premise of the question is that there should be a line. Maybe there should be a line, but only if those in power actually observe the "line" in terms of how open and honest they have to be with the people. The men who penned the Constitution were of the opinion that that idea was perhaps noble, but not to be trusted enough to bet the fortunes of the United States on, so they put into the Constitution an untouchable freedom of the press and free speech "right" specifically to keep the government, of their own design, in check. They KNEW it is human to gather and abuse power, or the trust of the people, or whatever terms you want to dress it up as - patriotism seems to be the flavor of this thread - and degrade the ideal of the "more perfect union."
I find it amazing that we can actually measure the words and deeds of the present administration using the same yardsticks our own performance is measured by at work, and come to the conclusion there is something "unpatriotic" about being as harshly critical of their policies and abilities, based on the record.
I am also astounded that the labels used to try to paint those who would raise their voices in criticism of the Iraq blunder as "being against the troops" or "anti-American" or "defeatist" or "blame America first" or whatever are still meaningful to anyone with an open mind. It has been clearly stated there is no parallel between not supporting the policy and not supporting the troops. Just as it has been made clear that not supporting a policy that has yet to be openly disclosed and debated according to the rules of the Constitution (if we are at war, Congress needs to declare war. If we are not at war, then stop calling it a war to confuse people, and, follow the Congressional Resolution - report what was found - NO WMD, NO AL-QAEDA to SADDAM COOPERATIVE/COLLABORATIVE CONNECTIONS - and bring the troops home unless you ask for another Resolution to initiate and complete another mission) is not being "anti-American." The louder and louder demand that the troops come home because their original mission is OVER, and continuing to leave them there to bait Islamic crazies to sneak into Iraq to shoot them as part of an immoral policy of "fighting them over there (in someone else's country where "they" never were to begin with, and, as a consequence, destroying their country and ruining the lives of millions of innocent Iraqis) is not being "defeatist." And, being man enough to be able to see when our great nation steps in shit of its own making and then being harshly critical of any attempt to call the shit something good, or blaming our stepping in the shit on someone else does not mean that person wants to "blame America first."
Those labels and the associated name calling that accompanies their use is solely intended to intimidate American citizens, patriots from questioning an administration that has managed to bully the press into submission in the aftermath of 9-11, and proceed to amass a record of unprecedented incompetence, secrecy and subversion of our Constitution. The existence of this thread is a clear indication it is working for them. Jim