It'll be a long, hot, wing-nutty summer ...

With their boy going down in flames, the right’s pulling out Ole Reliable:

A Senate panel approved a measure on Thursday that would change the Constitution to let Congress ban burning of the American flag, setting up an election-year debate over a perennial hot-button issue.
The measure passed the Senate Judiciary constitution subcommittee by a vote of 6 to 3. It must pass the Senate by a two-thirds majority and win the support of at least 38 states within seven years before it takes effect.
With President Bush's approval ratings at historic lows and recent polls showing the Republicans losing their lead on national security, the party also plans votes on other emotional issues like abortion and gay marriage over the coming months to solidify the party's base as it seeks to retain control of Congress in November's election.
It’s the mother off all stupid, pointless wedge issues and it’s always worked in the past but it won't this time. In this Fall's election, the folks who get riled up about such nonsense are going to be too dispirited by too many real issues to get to the polls in force.

Nonetheless, I’ll bet $10 bucks Hillary votes yea.*

I’ve been to hundreds of demonstrations against war and against corporate globalization, some of them pretty hairy, but I’ve never seen a flag burned. Seen ‘em with the stars replaced with little pictures of oil wells, dollar signs and even Swastikas, but never seen one burned in all my travels (I'm only talking about in the U.S.; I've seen it at protests overseas).

That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it sure doesn’t happen much. Perhaps that’s why the Associated Press -- with its huge photo library -- had to accompany the article excerpted above with a picture of a guy burning the American flag in Guatemala.

It’ll be interesting to watch the Repubs push as many stupid, pointless wedge issues as they can this summer and still fall on their collective ass. Do they really think a law requiring the national anthem to be sung only in English is going to trump Iraq or gas hitting four bucks a gallon?

For a taste of what’s in store for us this election season, listen to this ad by wing-nut Congressional candidate Vernon Robinson linking illegal immigrants and gays, if you can stomach it.

*Update: I forgot that Hillary co-sponsored legislation with Utah's Bob Bennett to outlaw flag-burning, although she says she's opposed to amending the Constitution.

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