(Keywords & tags: politics, elections, flag burning, Pledge of Allegiance, these days Republicans look like Uncle Sam threw up all over them - they've got flags coming out of their ears)
"A drunk military man should order gallons and put out more flags in order to increase his military splendour"
-- Chinese sage, quoted by Lin Yutang
This is the GOP strategy going into the '06 midterm elections - put out more flags. Somehow, I doubt the anonymous sage meant 'put out' as in 'extinguish'.
Not that it matters, the 'flag burning amendment' failed in the Senate by one vote. It's very likely that it would've gotten even fewer votes, had it actually been an amendment to ban flag burning. But the text of the amendment shows that it would do almost nothing to address the problem of rampant pyrovexillism sweeping the nation. Don't bother looking that up, I'm pretty sure I just coined the word; latin, pyro "fire" + vexillum "flag". It says a lot about how small a problem is when you have to make up a word to describe it.
The text reads, "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." There's no guarantee that any law banning flag burning would pass. It was a non-solution to a non-problem.
In another attempt to hump the flag, republicans introduced a bill to keep the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. But republicans couldn't even get a simple majority in a committee where they outnumber democrats by six seats. Seven republicans didn't even show up.
And, of course, it wouldn't be an election year without republican Bible boosterism. An amendment to ban same sex marriage died in the Senate, but is being taken up by the House. I'm still a little lost on what the deal is here - what horrible thing could possibly happen if gays married? The religious right claims the Bible forbids it but, even if that's true, where in the Bible does it say you have to prevent other people from sinning?
While gas prices go through the roof, global warming worries many, health care costs worry more, and the war in Iraq worries everyone, it's kind of hard to believe that anyone cares whether 'under God' is in the pledge of allegiance or not. No one's pulling up to the pump and wondering if someone, somewhere, is burning a flag.
So our power-drunk military pretenders put out more flags. But the splendour of all these flags doesn't mean a damned thing if no one looks at them. The GOP may have to commit pyrovexillism themselves to get someone to notice - "Hey! Hey! Look! Some hippy lit up a flag! Let's all hate him - GRRRR!" Republicans are singing Rally 'round the Flag, but no one's showing up.
I began this post with a quote, so maybe I should close with one. It may be that it's one voters are beginning to remember.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels."
-- William Samuel Johnson
(photo is mine for the Fourth - have fun and don't blow yourself up)