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FROM THIS EPISODE

The furor over Barack Obama's church has pushed his presidential campaign into the most dangerous possible political territory -- questions about his patriotism. Has the founding fathers' notion of American exceptionalism created to an exceptionally patriotic country? Guest host Lawrence O'Donnell

talks about the defining role patriotism plays in American politics and what role patriotism plays in the politics of other countries.

 

Today's WWLA is a re-cut of this morning's To the Point.

 

 

Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

 


Producers:
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott

Main Topic Patriotism and Political Dialogue: Symbol of Pride or Barrier to Debate?
Barack Obama's patriotism is being questioned because he doesn't wear an American flag pin on his lapel. His pastor's sermons are called un-American. Congressional votes on anti-flag-burning bills are considered tests of patriotism, even though the Supreme Court has declared that flag burning is constitutionally protected speech. Do nationalism and patriotism illuminate or confuse political dialogue in America. Does the Founding Fathers' notion of American exceptionalism control our politics? How does the expression of American patriotism compare to displays of patriotism in other countries? Do our symbols of patriotism get in the way of real political debate?

Guests:
Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University
John O'Sullivan, Editor-at-Large, National Review
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University (@toddgitlin)
Jabbar Magruder, Co-Chair of Board of Directors, Iraq Veterans Against the War

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