All the hoopla over a flag burning amendment has a feeling of “been there, done that, screwed with the Constitution.”
Writes Sen. John Kerry in The Huffington Post:
When we protested the war in Vietnam some would weigh in against us saying: “My country right or wrong.” Our response was simple: “Yes, my country right or wrong. When right, keep it right and when wrong, make it right.”
I feel history repeating itself.
What did the United States Senate do before leaving town for the 4th of July break? In a summer when things are decidedly not right for American soldiers in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan, while their families at home are hit with record gas prices, health care costs a mess, and veterans still go without the health care they were promised, did we unite in some big hearted cause to make these urgent challenges right?
No. We debated a craven effort to amend the Constitution allegedly to protect the flag we all love. The Senate — the place the original patriots — the Founding Fathers — imagined as the place big national issues would be addressed out of love of country, became a place where the Constitution itself was nearly shredded for political convenience, for ideology, for short term political gain and political timidity.
Make no mistake — this wasn’t a test of who loves the flag. But it was a test of who had the courage to protect the Constitution.