Bill Kristol's gag writers have obviously returned and helped him craft today's NYT column on Barack Obama's -- get this -- lapel flag, or lack of it. Here's the highlight: "Last October, a reporter asked Barack Obama why he had stopped wearing the American flag lapel pin that he, like many other public officials, had been sporting since soon after Sept. 11. Obama could have responded that his new-found fashion minimalism was no big deal. What matters, obviously, is what you believe and do, not what you wear.
"But Obama chose to present his flag-pin removal as a principled gesture. 'You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.' Leave aside the claim that 'speaking out on issues' constitutes true patriotism. What’s striking is that Obama couldn’t resist a grandiose explanation."