I doubt many Nationalists would welcome the comparison but facts are stubborn things and the fact is that the SNP and Mr Rove have quite a bit in common. Just as Rove orchestrated campaigns in 2002 and 2004 that portrayed the Democratic party as being, in some odd sense, fundamentally unpatriotic (principally for the crime of not being Republicans) so the SNP's default presumption is that any opposition to any of their policies is somehow an attack on Scotland itself. They are the only patriots in town. No-one else really has the country's best interests at heart. How can they, after all, when they're in thrall to a "foreign" power (ie, Britain)?
Thus, for instance, when Ian Gray suggests that the Nationalists economic policies aren't all they might be, Finance Minister John Swinney dismisses such criticism as "ill-advised and ill-informed".
In other words, it's impossible to oppose the SNP without also opposing Scotland, or the idea of Scotland. For sure, the Nationalists talk about an open, inclusive, civic nationalism, but the manner in which they seek to stifle debate by playing the flag card suggests a rather narrower, pinched definition of patriotism...
[Via Scottish Unionist.]