December 08, 2005

Hillary Clinton Rushing to the Right

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that she is co-sponsoring, with Republican Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, legislation that would make it a crime to burn an American flag, despite the fact that she opposes a constitutional ban. Apparently, Clinton has compared burning a flag with burning a cross which, in some instances, is considered a violation of Federal civil rights laws.

I would like to know, however, how far this kind of thinking can go. It seems to me that if you are going to criminalize (or ban) burning of an American flag in protest, you ought to go ahead and criminalize the burning of a copy of the Declaration of Independence, or a copy of the US Constitution, or a photo of the President, or the burning of him in effigy. Where does the line get drawn? What becomes acceptable protest? How far do we take criminalizing protest itself?

My father fought in WWII as a company commander with the 71st Division which liberated more concentration camps than any other. Before he died, when he heard about a possible anti-flag burning amendment to the Constitution he was appalled and told me: "The men I fought with who died in my company did so, in part, to defend an American's right to burn a flag in protest".

She is trying to reach out in an appeal to the right with this naked political ploy. If she actually believes in what she is doing, it would make it even more egregious.

Thanks to Stupid Country

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