Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flag vs Constitution

OK, I admit it: I'm both too late and too early with this post. Right now, the Senate is voting on a constitutional amendment on flag burning. I suspect that before I even finish this post the results will be known. Expect an update. But that's the early part.

As to the late part, I have been busy posting links to this Star Tribune editorial whenever I can. I should probably have just blogged on this really quietly eloquent editorial before this, but other stuff got in the way. At any rate, here's a large selection of the piece:

America is a nation built on four flimsy sheets of parchment. They're not as thrilling to look at as Old Glory, but the brittle pages of the U.S. Constitution have done more to sustain American liberty than any flag ever could. It's too bad, really, that Americans don't pledge allegiance to the Constitution -- and don't revere it as they do the Stars and Stripes. If they did, they'd see the folly in defending a rectangle of cloth at the expense of the parchment's promises.

Not that the flag really needs protection. It waves in every day everywhere and is trampled underfoot rarely anywhere.

But whenever an election draws near, lawmakers trot out a constitutional amendment to ban "flag desecration." Pandering to public fondness for the most colorful symbol of U.S. freedom, Congress is gunning once again for the amendment's passage.

...That's where the four sheets of parchment come in: Its 4,543 words spell out the inviolability of American liberty -- and couldn't be clearer in instructing lawmakers to keep their hands off the entitlements citizens enjoy.

Among the most precious is the right to dissent -- even by means that most consider repulsive.
[Emphasis added]

What so angers me is that both sides of the aisle are playing this ridiculous and this dangerous game. Democrats as well as Republican leaders are bathing in the crap of pseudo-patriotism. I am still dopey enough to believe that this nation can be the beacon on the hill of all those drippy political speeches, but only if we cling tightly to our constitutional guarantees.

I not only believe radical leftists have the right to dissent by burning a flag, I believe radical rightists such as the Ku Klux Klan have the right to march and speak in support of their despicable beliefs. I believe both Noam Chomsky and Ann Coulter have the right to their platforms. If we lose that, we're lost. Totally lost.

For the first time in a long time the vote in the Senate will be close.

Kyrie Eleison.

UPDATE: 4:20 PM (PDT): By one freakin' vote

A constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration died in a cliffhanger vote in the U.S. Senate Tuesday, one week before Independence Day, one vote short of the support needed to send it to the states for ratification.


Blogger Hecate said...

Kyrie, kyrie Eleison. Thank the Goddess.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Cabdrollery. I'll be fifty-fucking-nine in August. I've gotten myself finally to the point where I no longer care who thinks what about me, what I look like, what I do or don't do. That suits me just fine. Maybe you've already reached that point.

And as Hecate said, Kyrie, baby.

Love your blog, toots.

4:58 PM  

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