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I remember coming across a line "They may be a-holes, but they are our a-holes." It's used to describe something you don't like, but also don't want others to take away. One example is big global corporations. Americans might hate them, but Americans also don't want to see them move out.

I googled this phrase and saw some sporadic usages. But it doesn't seem very popular. Is there a more popular version that expresses the same sentiment? I don't mind some vulgarity -- I think it actually makes this phrase rather powerful!

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I may call my brother an A-hole but that privilege is not open to others. To them I will take exception and, within limits, a violent correction. That "They may be terrible people but they are our terrible people" tells the same story. We excuse though denigrate our own in comparison to other families/groups that have other terrible people. Our local limitations are somewhat more lenient than our global expectations. Except for Frank, the international A-hole.

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