To their credit, three of Arizona's Republican Representatives showed a willingness to buck the party line, accounting for a quarter of the Republicans who opposed the measure. Their votes went as follows:
In favor: Franks (R), Hayworth (R), Renzi (R)
Opposed: Flake (R), Grijalva (D), Kolbe (R), Pastor (D), Shadegg (R).
In a recent post at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton quoted from and commented on an essay from Jonathan Alter:
I inherited my one litmus test from my father, Jim Alter, who flew 33 harrowing missions over Nazi Germany during World War II. My father is not just a veteran who by all odds should not have survived. He is a true patriot. His litmus test is the proposal to amend the Constitution to ban flag burning, which will come up for a vote next week in the U.S. Senate. For dad--and me--any member of Congress who supports amending the Bill of Rights for the first time in the history of this country for a nonproblem like flag burning is showing serious disrespect for our Constitution and for the values for which brave Americans gave their lives. Such disrespect is a much more serious threat than the random idiots who once every decade or so try (often unsuccessfully) to burn a flag.
I'll go even further than that. Hell, I'll go a lot further than that. If you're the kind of person who supports a ban on flag burning, that fact alone is enough to brand you, in my view, as either a demagogue or someone weak-minded enough to be led by demagogues who play on your most shallow and childish emotional responses. Like the flag itself, the flag burning amendment is purely symbolic. And anyone who would throw away free speech rights for symbolic achievement has no business being in any political office in this country.
I second Brayton's sentiment. Let's get rid of Arizona's demogagues, Franks, Hayworth, and Renzi.