During the last presidential campaign First Lady Michelle Obama caused a minor flap by telling an audience in Wisconsin that "for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country."

Many criticized her for suggesting that she wasn't proud of her country before her husband got involved in politics.

Last weekend, I had a proud moment, and it wasn't by watching Democrats hooting and hollering at a staged gathering in Washington after wrangling enough votes to pass Obamacare, a bill which will comprise a sixth of our nation's economy. I got my taste of true patriotism – southern style – while attending a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tenn., heart of the Bible belt.

Even before the race started, the massive crowd of over 138,000 was treated to three different flyovers by the pilots defending our skies. Then, Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless the USA," and encouraged the crowd to sing along. The chorus always gives me the shivers:

"And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.

'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,

God bless the USA."

Then, after a moment of silence for our troops on active duty, everyone put their hands over their hearts, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance which, still includes "one nation under God."

It was hard to return from that pure dose of the unfiltered, grassroots patriotism I found in Tennessee to the kind of political shenanigans coming out of Washington D.C. that give Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and all the Democrats such a rush. The stories we heard about the late-night, back-room sweetheart deals to buy votes and force this health care bill through congress are quite nauseating

It's no wonder that American citizens are so angry. If Pelosi would have dismissed the House members to go back to their districts to sample the mood of their constituents instead of ramming the bill through last weekend, those congressmen would have seen and heard what people really think.

In a new poll conducted by Fox News – yes, that same channel that Democrats love to hate but one which President Obama could not afford to ignore on the eve of the health care vote last week – 79 percent of voters think it's possible the economy could collapse. The question brought huge responses from not only Republicans (84 percent) but Democrats (72 percent) and Independents (80 percent). Only 18 percent polled think the economy is so big and strong it could never collapse.

Leave it to the vice president Joe Biden to open his big mouth before an open mic Monday, thus doing his best to sabotage the staged photo-op moment that all Democrats were waiting for – the White House signing ceremony for national health care.

After introducing Obama to the cheering audience assembled in the East Room, Biden was heard whispering: "Mr. President, this is a big f----ing deal."

Way to ruin a historic moment and impress our nation's youth, Mr. Vice-president!

Trying to patch the embarrassing moment, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs flippantly dismissed Biden's salty language by stating, "And yes, Mr. Vice President, you're right."

As for myself, I'd much rather have Lee Greenwood's style of grassroots patriotism than the Washington Beltway brand that Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Gibbs are peddling any day.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [1]