Huntsville deserves to be world famous for lots of things: Its kind people, the amazing Star Burger or even just its idyllic setting amid soaring mountains by a gentle lake.
Huntsville, the most innocuous little burg to ever grace a wide spot in the road, has to be world famous because of Obama Derangement Syndrome.
A quick Google search finds news media in Denver and Los Angeles and hundreds of blogs debating whether Huntsville is unpatriotic, or racist, or something. Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor" did a segment. The wife of the town's mayor heard news media in Israel are discussing it.
All this because the Dave Clawson family, which has a history of political satire, put an entry in the Huntsville 4th of July parade making fun of President Obama.
A sign on the entry said "Huntsville Welcomes the Obama Farewell tour?" and note the question mark. He is running for re-election. He could lose.
But another sign referring to the "Fast and Furious" gun scandal, plus someone in an Obama mask dancing around, got people thinking the whole thing was treasonous, or racist, or calling for Obama to be shot or something.
The story went viral, the Secret Service got notified, people all over started yelling.
Angela Truett, the wife of the mayor of Huntsville, called me desperate for someone to defend her town.
"People are calling the town hall and saying our town is racist," she said. "Just the phone calls ... we've gotten five at the house, one guy saying, 'You'll never run in public office again if I have anything to do with it.'
"They don't even know my husband. If they knew what a good-hearted, caring man he is, this wouldn't be happening to him."
Mayor Jim Truett admitted feeling blindsided by the kerfuffle.
Huntsville is an informal sort of place. The town fathers work for $1 a year, volunteers organize stuff and the Fourth of July celebration is just one big block party. That's why someone can slip a float into the parade without too much trouble.
Which is what Clawson did, but Truett is the one being yelled at both for the float being there and for apologizing for it being there.
Now he's not sure what to do.
My advice: Unplug the phone. When Obama Derangement Syndrome takes over, there's no other way.
The syndrome exists because almost nobody seems capable of discussing our 44th president calmly. I have told several good friends we are never going to discuss Obama because those otherwise intelligent, well-meaning people go nuts if we do.
Even so, I have one friend who sends me repeated "proof" that Obama's birth certificate still isn't real and his Social Security number is suspect. These claims take 15 seconds to debunk, but he'll send more.
Loony claims and hair-trigger sensitivity are what passes for national debate these days. Now Huntsville, a town I dearly love, is in the middle.
"Oh my goodness, I just feel like we're getting a raw deal here," said Mayor Truett. "We don't know what else to do. We're getting a raw deal here."
Then he spoke the truest words I've heard out of the whole mess:
"I think the minute that float started rolling down the road, we were doomed either way."
Yes, but don't worry. Today Obama will burp wrong, someone will say that proves he's from Mars and the spotlight will move on.
Meanwhile, go over to the Shooting Star and have a Star Burger. I have it on good authority that President Obama is so sick of Michelle's obsession with vegetables he has them flown in.
The Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. He can be reached at 801-625-4232, or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at www.standard.net.