Sunday, June 25, 2006

Arizona Representatives on the Flag Desecration Amendment

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 10 to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the scope of the First Amendment by banning the desecration of the flag. The resolution passed, 286-130, with 18 not voting. The voting went more-or-less along party lines, with Republicans going 209-12-10, Democrats 77-117-8, and Independents 0-1-0. The Senate has yet to vote on it.

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.

1 comment:

Einzige said...

It's interesting to contrast the behavior of these fucking idiots with that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet - two admirable people who are spending their time and energy tackling real fucking problems (and doing it with their own money).

How do these asshole legislators sleep at night?