The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

FLAG BURNING AMENDMENT PASSES HOUSE

Not terribly surprising in and of itself, so let's look at two details of this story.

First, who was the principle sponsor of the bill?
“Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center,” said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. “Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment.”
I think the proper SAT analogy is Cunningham : Flag-burning amendment :: DeLay : Schiavo. As in, a culture-war issue to pounce on in the hope that it will distract the country from one's own mounting ethical problems. For more, go to Josh Marshall's place and scroll down.

Second, take a look at the Yeas and Nays from the vote. It would appear the full progressive transformation of Dennis Kucinich is complete: He has been a vocal supporter of such amendments in the past, but one Presidential campaign and one love affair with the left flank of the party later, he has appeared to change his mind. There were signs of this last year, as he declined to state his position on the issue in the one Presidential debate in which it came up.

Lastly, tsk tsk to both of my Representatives, Tom Lantos (San Mateo County) and Lois Capps (Santa Barbara), for voting in favor of this affront to the First Amendment. I think I can explain the Capps vote: In 2003 Republicans in Santa Barbara County launched a recall effort against 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall. Why, you ask? Over a dispute involving the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings of the Board of Supervisors. The recall effort failed (in part due to my vote against it), but the final tally was close.

As for Lantos, he's a relatively moderate Dem, yet his personal experience (quite extraordinary), one would think, would give him a greater appreciation for free speech, particularly in opposition to the actions of one's goverment.

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