The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: Honor kneels, politics walks

Want some honor? Attend an NFL game. No, really.
Many of the Buffalo Bill players kneel on the sidelines for the national anthem before the game with the Atlanta Falcons in the land of the free on Oct. 1, 2017 in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

From the Halls of Your Government at Work for You:

So on Sunday, Our Great Leader’s sidekick, VP Mike Pence, attended an NFL game in Indianapolis in the White House’s continuing quest to defend the honor of America wherever it might be found.

Now, you might find the honor of America in locales other than an NFL game, but that could be just you. This is a diverse country, and people find the honor of America in diverse places. Even an NFL game in Indianapolis.

And Indianapolis makes some sense; Pence used to be the governor of Indiana, whose capital is Indianapolis, so Pence probably knows how to get to the stadium. And if not, there’s always the Secret Service.

RELATED: Editorial: Don’t forget Pence’s emails

So here we are, one big happy family what with Pence and the entourage in attendance, the national anthem comes on, Pence and entourage stand, and, as predictable as a sunrise, some members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel. (Yes, the 49ers were in town to face the hometown Colts. Yes, the 49ers protest racial discrimination by kneeling. Gee, whiz.)

I mean, the national-anthem protests started with the 49ers last season. Whatever.

Pence is insulted, so he and his entourage leave to fly to LA. So that was apparently a five-minute sojourn to defend the honor of America.

Pence, of course, had some remarks later about dishonoring the flag and dishonoring the national anthem and how the Trumpster administration won’t stand for it. Pence, of course, was actually standing at the time, but details, details.

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Maybe it’s just me, but I fail to see how kneeling during the national anthem is dishonoring anything. The flag is not America, it’s a scrap of brightly colored cloth. Probably made in China. The national anthem was cribbed from an English drinking song. A drinking song written for a private men’s club in London celebrating a bawdy Ancient Greek poet. Honor?

Instead, the administration puts on a brief PR move that does nothing but toss some filet mignon to the Trumpster’s base. Which the base probably won’t touch because filet mignon is a French term.

And the cost of the PR move? According to FiveThirtyEight, $242,500 for the taxpayers. Pence flew on a C-32 from Vegas to Indianapolis, then there was the brief honorable moment at the Colts’ game, then they flew the C-32 from Indianapolis to LA. Part of the LA flight, FiveThirtyEight notes, will be paid by the RNC because the LA appearance involved a “political event.”

Wait a minute. A “political event” in LA? Political events, at least generally, are planned some time in advance. So somebody in the know knew that the Pence sojourn in Indianapolis was going to be brief, very brief. And now the Indianapolis moment seems more and more like a PR event. A $200K PR event.

This is why honor is so hard to find these days: It gets so twisted around in order to make political points that we are left with the shoddy remains of the day.

Oh, well. At least we’ll always have un-public radio. I’m not sure there’s any honor there, but it brings us Cub games and Hawkeye games, so it’s got some worth.

Un-public radio, which reportedly has more listeners than does public radio, continually uses the verb “alarm” in a recurring ad in a very confused manner. Of course, if that were the only thing un-public radio did wrong, we would just laugh, shrug, and move on to Nextflix or something. Counting gnats, maybe. It’s about the same thing.

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As in: “You can alarm your house.”

I mean, I don’t merely alarm my house. I scare it and frighten it so deeply that it shakes itself off its foundation. Which might be something of a problem if a New Madrid earthquake ever comes along.

It’s just a small example. But un-public radio is the sign of the future. And the future will be very un-public, if the Koch brothers and their ilk have their way. And they have the billions and billions of ways.

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