(Keywords & tags: politics, Freedom of Speech, Senate, flag burning was just the latest ploy by republicans to screw over their base)
Among those who think a flag burning amendment is the most important thing facing the nation - I mean outside of congress - both of them must be crushed by the defeat of a constitutional amendment yesterday. At only one vote short of moving forward, it must've seemed as if the flag was as close as it had ever been from being erased from the public square by pyromaniacal anti-flag radicals. Gay ones, probably, who want to get married. For them, the Constitution is still without a fire extinguisher.
What these guys probably don't know is that, even had the proposal cleared the entire amendment process and was written into the Constitution, flag burning wouldn't have been illegal.
In order to move the amendment forward, the GOP made major concessions. That's why the vote was so close - a lot of people voted for it just to get it off the table. The amendment wouldn't have banned flag burning, it would've given congress the power to ban flag burning - which wasn't exactly a done deal. The republicans were so eager to scare their base with visions of hippies with bics that they put forward a toothless amendment and relied on the ignorance of their constituents to hide that fact.
Which really isn't all that bad a bet. As much as some voters on the right believe that flag burning's a huge problem, the reality is that it hardly ever happens and, when it does, it's generally vandalism, not protest. Although, there's been a huge increase in reports of flag burning this year - a 25% increase. Where there were three last year, there were four this year. Freak out... now...
I think a lot of people on the right don't really get the whole concept of free speech. During the early years of the Iraq war, they were positively contemptuous of the idea. A common complaint about war protests was that it was disgraceful for people to protest the war, since wars had been fought to give them their rights.
In other words, "People have fought and died for your freedom of speech - so shut up!"
Logic was never a strong point for the far right.
And now, they're so concerned about protecting a symbol of freedom, that they'd diminish the freedom it represents.
Luckily, had the amendment passed, that wouldn't have been the case and the GOP would only have succeeded in screwing over the chumps you vote for them without question one more time.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Isn't Kicking the Flag Around for Political Gain 'Desecration'?