Hummer drivers feel especially patriotic, according to this Times article. As in my earlier rant about the Hummer, Marin County antique dealer Sam Bernstein is front and center:

“They’re not out there in Audi A4’s,” he said of the troops. “I’m proud of my country, and I’m proud to be driving a product that is making a significant contribution.”

Sam here is basically suggesting that, even though he uses his Hummer for transporting vases around the Bay Area, he’s really a lot like, you know, a soldier. And furthermore, Audi A4 drivers, unlike antiquities-dealer-Sam, are Europe-loving pansies.

Rick Schmidt, founder of I.H.O.G., the International Hummer Owners Group, said: “In my humble opinion, the H2 is an American icon. Not the military version by any means, but it’s a symbol of what we all hold so dearly above all else, the fact we have the freedom of choice, the freedom of happiness, the freedom of adventure and discovery, and the ultimate freedom of expression.”

“Those who deface a Hummer in words or deed,” he added, “deface the American flag and what it stands for.”

This is just so over the top that I can’t even think of a response that doesn’t involve the word “dumbfuck.”

Aside from the absurb patriotism that these guys invest in their phallus compensation devices, there’s a whole other level of ridiculous: Tax loopholes that define luxury SUVs as “heavy duty work vehicles” make nearly $40,000 of the $55,000 Hummer H2 tax deductible. In the master plan for Bush’s War on the Economy, the entire cost is tax deductible! That’s right: If you can pony up a cool sixty grand to buy a behemoth of an SUV, you can write it off—all of it. No tax credit or rebate even comes close to this figure for buying fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles, or, even better, bicycling to work.

Rick Schmidt and his grin-and-winked-named IHOG can bite me.