Who is so bold as to root for America anymore? Once it was a given, now rooting for America is passe' on both sides of the political divide. These days you can get more applause, American applause, by rooting for America to fail than to win.
The GOP wants Obama to lose far more than they want America to succeed—witness their unseemly delight at Chicago's face-plant in the Olympics vote. If Barry Goldwater were alive he'd have torn the flag pins from their traitorous lapels. The sunshine patriots of the party of patriotism sold their birthright for a mess of morbid revenge.
The right thinks America is them and only them; to the conservatives' debased base liberals in general and Obama in particular aren't really Americans. They're like French, or something. And it's no great leap from there to wanting America to fail as long as these pinkos are running the place.
But I don't just want to pick on the right, they're too easy. The right is in the throes of a nervous breakdown these dark days, it's hardly fair to expect them to be rational, however disappointing their behavior has been to anyone who roots for America.
The left often seems to find rooting for America as distasteful as dental work, and with far less excuse than the right.
To find actual hate for America among the left, you have to look pretty far into the fringes, into the precincts of "America the warmonger," "America the ruthless globalizer," "America the imperial overlord raping the world of its resources and enslaving its poor."
But a far broader swath of liberals is ashamed of America. They don't hate the place, they just find it nearly impossible to root for. To them, rooting for America reeks of flag waving, NASCAR and John Wayne.
And flag-waving, NASCAR-loving, John Waynes are everything they've been against since the Vietnam war. Yahoo, reactionary, know-nothings who have hijacked and perverted the American dream.