House Passes Anti-Flag Burning Bill Sponsored By Beset Congressman
Once AGAIN some politicians in Congress have literally wrapped themselves in the American flag, passing yet another resolution to outlaw flag burning.
You know: that issue that EVERYONE you know is upset about, that issue that everyone you know is clamoring for action on — that issue that Americans are talking about as they pay higher gas prices, watch the news about Iraq, and have their bags and their grandma’s bags searched by TSA security agents at airports.
We could write a nice, objective analysis here, except it’d skirt the bottom line issue so let’s be blunt:
This is an attempt by some to create an issue that is not an issue to most Americans. It is also clearly an attempt to create a “wedge issue” to use against those who vote against the amendment on the grounds that they feel it’s not necessary or violates free speech. It’s not about protecting a symbol that needs to be protected right now and that Americans demand be protected. It’s about p-o-l-i-t-i-c-s. PURE and SIMPLE. Es sobre la politica. Completamente, mis amigos.
Writes Citizen Smash, a highly respected mili-blogger who is also in the military reserves and who cherishes freedom and the military:
“I Hate Flag-Burning……Almost as much as I hate the Flag-Burning Amendment.
Burning the American flag is offensive, but it does no harm to the nation or the forces that protect it. It’s a symbol of our national spirit, not a physical manifestation of it. Besides, we can always make more flags faster than they can burn ’em.
For over two hundred years, through periods of war, uncertainty, and economic hardship, the Republic has survived without an amendment banning flag-burning. So why do we suddenly need one now? Please, leave our Constitution alone.
Here are the details about the latest attempt in the politics of polarization:
A constitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning cleared the House Wednesday but faced an uphill battle in the Senate. An informal srvey by The Associated Press suggested the measure doesn’t have enough Senate votes to pass.
The 286-130 outcome was never in doubt in the House, which had passed the measure or one like it five times in recent years. The amendment’s supporters expressed optimism that a Republican gain of four seats in last November’s election could produce the two-thirds approval needed in the Senate as well after four failed attempts since 1989.
But an AP survey Wednesday found 35 senators on record as opposing the amendment â€” one more than the number needed to defeat it if all 100 senators vote, barring a change in position.
So it may not eventually pass. BUT:
Supporters said there was more public support than ever because of emotions following the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. They said detractors are out of touch with public sntiment.
“Ask the men and women who stood on top of the Trade Center,” said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. “Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment.”
REALLY? Did our readers know that Randy Cunningham is a psychic — that he KNOWS that the people who died at the Trade Center all wanted this amendment — this amendment that many thoughtful CONSERVATIVES feel is totally unnecessary?
The LA Times notes:
Should the amendment pass both the Senate and the House, legislatures in two-thirds of the states, or 38, must ratify it within seven years. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., the main sponsor of the proposal, said on the House floor Wednesday that legislatures in all 50 states have approved resolutions supporting the amendment.
So Cunningham has been the sponsor. He has been in the news a LOT here in San Diego lately….
Cunningham gotten some very bad press in recent weeks in the pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune (the paper that employed The Moderate Voice as a staff reporter for 8 years) due to allegations involving a scandal that has attracted considerable national attention. Stories such as this:
Revelations of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s financial ties to a defense contractor rocked his North County district last week like another earthquake.
From La Jolla to Escondido, many constituents said they were disgusted at what they consider a betrayal of their trust. Others said Cunningham is a tough guy who will survive the allegations. For some, the controversy proved what they had believed about politicians all along….(Read story yourself for quotes)…
The FBI and federal grand jury are investigating the November 2003 sale of Cunningham’s Del Mar home to Mitchell Wade, head of the contracting firm MZM Inc. The congressman sold the house to Wade for $1,675,000 and used the proceeds of the sale to purchase a $2.55 million house in Rancho Santa Fe.
Wade almost immediately put the Del Mar house on the market for close to the sale price and sold it eight months later for a $700,000 loss.
Cunningham, a member of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, acknowledged he has backed MZM in its bid to win tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.
Cunningham, a seven-term Republican representing the 50th Congressional District, has portrayed the deal as “aboveboard.” More questions have been raised about the home where Cunningham stays while in Washington: a yacht named “Duke-Stir” owned by MZM Inc.
Asked for comment on the public perceptions of his house sale, Cunningham’s spokesman released a statement Friday saying Cunningham was “working on a comprehensive statement that will address issues that have been raised recently.”
The controversy has rippled across the county; the congressman has become a topic of conversation from the coffee shops to the seashore. Republican Jim Rady, the former mayor of Escondido, was photographing plants in his garden yesterday when asked about Cunningham. He said he was “astounded” by the news of the congressman’s relationship with the defense contractor.
However, it’s most likely coincidental that the flag issue is being raised right now.
PERSONAL NOTE: This writer was a strong supporter of the Vietnam War until Nixon invaded Cambodia. He has also supported the war in Iraq (but asks LOTS of questions). He is totally against flag burning. It serves NO PURPOSE and does not convince anyone of the flag burner’s viewpoint. But he agrees 100 percent with Citizen Smash.
The flag should not be burned.
But it also shouldn’t be wrapped around politicians who seek to use it for their own political purposes and perpetuation.
Copyright 2005 The Moderate Voice