Don has a flag kink

Trump’s people are trying to pretend he’s not picking a fight but actually reaching out to embrace us all.

The White House on Monday sought to soften the president’s controversial comments.

“Celebrating and promoting patriotism in our country is something that should bring everybody together,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “This isn’t about the president being against something. This is about the president being for something.”

Yeah, for everybody doing what he says, and for his absolute power to tell us all what to do and make us obey. He’s down with that.

At a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R) on Friday in Huntsville, Ala., Trump previewed the gains he foresaw by denouncing players who voiced political opinions on the field. The first owner who bans players from protesting on the field “will be the most popular person in this country,” he suggested, giving political advice that only he has taken so far.

And it’s not making him more popular. The people who love everything he does are happy with it, but they already loved him, so that doesn’t gain him anything. Sad!

There is little question that fights over the flag helped Trump when he was a private citizen and then as a candidate. On his golf courses, he has used flags — typically giant ones on poles as tall as eight stories — as a way of shaming local authorities with whom he has tangled over other issues. He put up one on a California course, refusing to pay the required permitting fee, and another at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., in clear violation of local rules. In both cases, he publicly argued that local officials were unpatriotic, even though they were only following regulations. “The town council of Palm Beach should be ashamed of itself. They’re fining me for putting up an American flag,” Trump fumed to the news media.

I suppose if he suffocated someone with an American flag, the cops should applaud because flag?

During his presidential campaign, he repeatedly used respect for the flag as a stand-in for his own connection to his supporters, mocking those who disrespected it as un-American elites. “Total disrespect for the American flag,” Trump said at a Greensboro, N.C., rally in October, after a protester held up a flag upside down and began shouting. “That’s what’s happening to our country.”

A few weeks earlier, when Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers decided to sit for the national anthem before games in protest of racial inequality, Trump had a quick rejoinder. “I think it’s a terrible thing,” he said.

Those comments were quickly forgotten in the quick-moving presidential campaign. But Trump returned to them weeks after his election, when a flag at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., was burned by an unknown vandal as it hung on a campus pole. Trump’s response was to propose new consequences for a form of protest that the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 is protected under the Constitution.

“Perhaps a loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” the president-elect tweeted.

Oh yes, I’d forgotten that. He gives us so much to be disgusted at, the older examples fade out.

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