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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Seth Meyers opens his “closer look” at the ongoing Comey-Trump showdown with a backward glance — recalling how the president and his minions defended their current target last fall, when the FBI director endured withering criticism from…Democrats.

But returning quickly to the present, Meyers scrutinizes the various Trump alibis for his blatant attempts to derail the Russia investigation, notably including Chris Christie’s “normal New York conversation” gambit. And the Late Night host was naturally delighted to learn from Comey’s Senate testimony yesterday that the president once called Comey to say “he had not been involved with hookers in Russia.”

Meyers’ review is funny and valuable, especially if — like most Americans — you had to work instead of watching Comey’s testimony live.

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

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