Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Have a seat, Senator Dayton

Senator Mark Dayton, who is a genuinely good egg, has made a couple of major, misguided votes in recent days. The first one was against either of the proposed Senate resolutions to recommend a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Even General Casey would have probably voted for one of them!

Now, word comes that Senator Dayton voted for the flag burning constitutional amendment. Luckily, this affront to the First Amendment fell short of passage - by one vote. Passage would have sent the proposed amendment to the states for ratification, since the House has already passed it.. If ratified by the states, the amendment would permit the Congress to make "desecration" of the U.S. flag a crime.

Jeebus Christmas, even Joe "Jo-memtum" Lieberman voted against the amendment. As did Hillary "the Triangulator" Clinton.

Senator Dayton says that his trips to the American cemeteries in Normandy influenced his thinking.

Dayton has said that he was swayed by two 1999 trips to the American cemetery at Normandy Beach in France. In announcing his support for the amendment in March 2001, he said, "Surely, that supreme sacrifice should be sanctified, honored, respected and forever made inviolate."

Spotty's Pop had a different view. Pop, who had comrades in arms in those cemeteries, was disgusted by efforts to hijack the flag for a political agenda. In the waning days of his life, Pop complained bitterly about the pompous and bilious Henry Hyde's use of flag imagery to advocate for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Pop remarked that he didn't remember seeing Henry on the beach.

Bill Frist's bringing up the vote just before the Fourth of July was no coincidence. This is knavery in its purest form. The First Amendment is more important than any piece of cloth made up as a flag and burned - or any flag image made into shirt, bibs, or underwear.

When you make the symbol an article of veneration, rather than the underlying principle which it represents, you have erected a graven image.

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