While watching Fox News the other week while waiting for a doctors visit (I wouldn't ordinarily choose it) an insight struck me. Fox News (and conservative media in general) plays the patriot card both ways. When Repubs are in power - they're portrayed as valiantly trying to help the little guy while un-american agitators (i.e. democrats) try to undermine them. When Dems are in power - they're portrayed as out of touch elitists with too much sympathy for foreign ideas while right-minded partriots (i.e. repubs - though nowadays tea baggers) try to take back America.
That's all it seems to be. Perhaps obvious but it was a revelation to me at the time.