Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flag Pandering Wankers

A trophy photo being circulated among our glorious troops in Iraq.
No flag was burned to make this picture.

So the constitutional amendment banning flag desecration didn't pass, by a brave single vote. Still, virtually all of the opponents felt compelled to kowtow before the idol of patriotism and denounce flag-burning in the most stringent, and vague and incoherent of ways.

Atrios: The narrow issue of "flag desecration," while troubling and stupid,...

Joe Conason: While nobody enjoys watching some idiot burn the flag, this has become a rare spectacle over the past two decades.

Jonathan Alter:
... the random idiots who once every decade or so try (often unsuccessfully) to burn a flag.

The New Yorker: Still, almost all Americans, whatever their religious beliefs or lack thereof, would probably agree that both the flag and the Constitution have a certain sacred character.

No reason need be given for these sweeping generalizations because no reason is involved in the judgments. Just patriotic reflexes, as predictable as a wind-up toy.

So, there is no possible reason to burn a flag, even after Abu Ghraib, after Gitmo, after Haditha, after all the death we have rained on Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Vietnam, and by proxy in El Salvador, in Guatemala, in Nicaragua.

And what about centuries of slavery, and the genocide of Native America.

Oh, no burning a flag is a senseless overreaction to all these events that are so far past...I mean we have changed course haven't we....That wasn't us, that was someone else...I mean everyone acknowledges the atrocities we committed, don't they...I mean why would anyone, except for "random idiots" and "stupid" people think we needed to be reminded of our occasional lapses from perfect virtue.


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