Obama's good, though not great, patriotism speech today in Independence, Missouri, contained two interesting lines: an aside about the "wrenching poverty ... of the hills of Appalachia" and a forceful condemnation of how '60s "counterculture" types refused to honor Vietnam veterans when they came home, which, Obama said, "remains a national shame to this day." Both are among Webb's very biggest pet causes -- the enduring stain created by our mistreatment of Vietnam vets is a political obsession that's especially unique to him.

--Eve Fairbanks