Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flag desecration amendment fails!

By a 66-34 vote today, the proposed anti-flag desecration amendment to the Constitution failed. It's a triumph for freedom in America—albeit by a hair's breadth.

59 senators actually sponsored this travesty, mostly Republicans. In fact, all but three Republicans sponsored it, and the only Republican who didn't sponsor it but who voted for it anyway was Oregon's Gordon Smith (who's up for reëlection in 2010—go get 'im, Democrats!)

The full breakdown of this near-breakdown of the Constitution is as follows:

Democrats in favor:

Max Baucus (Montana)
Evan Bayh (Indiana)
Mark Dayton (Minnesota—the bastard's retiring this year. Good. I used to like him, you know...)
Diane Feinstein (California)
Tim Johnson (South Dakota)
Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)
Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas)
Bob Menendez (New Jersey—the disappointing rumor is true.)
Bill Nelson (Florida)
Ben Nelson (Nebraska)
Harry Reid (Nevada—the other part of the disappointing rumor is true.)
John Rockefeller (West Virginia—I always thought better of him.)
Ken Salazar (Colorado)
Debbie Stabenow (Michigan—what the hell?!?)
Republicans opposed:

Robert Bennett (Utah—a pleasant surprise)
Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island—no surprise, but his Republican primary challenger is already using this against him.)
Mitch McConnell (Kentucky—conservative prick with apparently respectable free speech principles. At least on this issue. Credit where credit is due.)

The benefit of this to the Republicans would have been that if it passed, the vote would have to go to the state legislatures, and three quarters of them—at least 38 states—would have to approve it to make it an amendment to the Constitution. Whether it passed or not, it would have helped Republicans in midterm elections to have everyone talking about the flag instead of, say, wiretapping or Iraq or the lack of jobs or inflation or some trifle like that. This vote just made the Republicans' job that much harder for this November. It's about bigger things, sure, but to them, I have to wonder if they see it as anything but a potential assist to their political strategy for 2006? Disgusting.

Anyway, cooler heads have prevailed. Barely. I can name a few on the yes list who aren't going to be around come January (and four on the no list who probably won't, either.) Hopefully it won't be so close next time (and you *know* that as long as there's a Fourth of July, and an election season, there will be a next time...)

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