The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, June 19, 2006

Flag-burning amendment one vote from passage

It's been a quiet day for the blogs, and after last week I'm pretty glad. Unfortunately, the complete absurdity on Capitol Hill is continuing, switching from anti-gay legislation and resolutions that proclaim us the heroic victors in Iraq to the timely issue of flag burning. Or maybe not so timely:

Professor Robert Justin Goldstein documented approximately 45 reported incidents of flag burning in the over 200 years between 1777 when the flag was adopted, and 1989, when Congress passed, and the Supreme Court rejected, the Flag Protection Act. About half of these occurred during the Vietnam War.

Man, Republicans sure are pissed about the sixties. I guess we'll be listening to tirades about the Clintons for another few decades, too.

On to the story:

Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and at least 13 other Democrats have voted for or voiced support for the amendment. New Jersey's Robert Menendez voted for it as a House member, and his spokesman, Allyn Brooks-LaSure, says his "current intention" is to do so as a senator. Menendez replaced now-Gov. Jon Corzine, who had opposed it. (. . .)

For now, enough senators — including three Republicans — remain opposed to the flag amendment to keep it from getting to the states. Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah wants to write a law instead of rewriting the Constitution. Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky objects to altering the First Amendment. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island also voted no in 2000.

Maybe with this issue settled, the senate will finally have the time to hold debates on the unprecedented national debt, foundering war policy, or checking into cleaning up after Katrina. I know the GOP is just itching to tackle those topics.