One free speech stalwart held out and the once again "topical," though always stupid flag "desecration" amendment (Yes, a Constitutional Amendment to stop something that basically never happens) failed in the Senate.
It seems necessary to point out that one of the Republican Senators voting for the measure was John McCain, who also wants to control political speech of many stripes, along with Democratic darling Russ Feingold (who thinks that the flag burning amendment is dumb, but wants you to shut the hell up about candidates).
It's also telling that Harry Reid voted for the Amendment, as did Chuck Hagel, Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe, all Republicans that Republicans hate.
So this can be stood up next to the apparent rampant epidemic of heterosexuals that are waiting, just straining at the reins, to break out the old Village People cassettes and the Harvey Fierstein DVDs once gays and lesbians get the go ahead to go ahead. Personally, I have begun to look askance at those married friends whom I have always wondered about. Which husband, I ask, is leaving the closet doors ajar? Because, you know, millions upon millions of male breeders can't wait until they can marry the softball team. On the other hand, perhaps thousands of Penthouse readers or webporn surfers will finally have a legitimate reason to believe that the vast majority of lesbians are twenty-three year old hotties.
(To this end, so to speak, and as a hearty public service, Christopher Hitchens treats us all in this month's Vanity Fair (a title which has to be the gayest of any mainstream mag) to our American oral history and sows the seeds of doubt about every manly man's favorite sex act.)
This kind of crap is what happens when we have one party in power and another that seems to refuse to put up a fight. What we have right now is a GOP full of hubris while believing that they will lose their cranky, radical base if they don't "protect" marriage and Old Glory, even though marriage and flags seems to be doing well enough on their own.
Well, I wish that I could see this backfire, that there were enough thinking GOP voters who wise up, that this would in some way turn conservatives against overreaching lawmakers. But I'm not holding my match.
Apparently, there's nothing else to worry about. The Iraq War is going fine, immigration issues have evaporated and everything else is just dandy.
Well, no. While the GOP is playing "Look over there!" Saudi visas have doubled. Funny that this story is in the Jerusalem Post and not the Washington Post. Our president, without Congressional oversight or voter approval, continues to negotiate US sovereignty away. This is no joke. Critics range from John Edwards to Michelle Malkin. How bad could this be to get those two agreeing?
So we Americans can now sport our own private Nero, a president who is fiddling with all sorts of burning issues while attention to real threats are diverted. If this continues, we will light the fire of our own ruin and be consumed by the bonfire of our vanities.