Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hillary Clinton Continues Move To The Right

AP reports that Hillary is supporting legislation to outlaw flag burning:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is supporting new legislation to criminalize desecration of the United States flag _ though she still opposes a constitutional ban on flag attacks.

Clinton, D-N.Y., has agreed to co-sponsor a measure by Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, which has been written in hopes of surviving any constitutional challenge following a 2003 Supreme Court ruling on the subject.

Her support of Bennett’s bill follows her position in Congress last summer, when a constitutional ban on flag-burning was debated. Clinton said then she didn’t support a constitutional ban, but did support federal legislation making it a crime to desecrate the flag.

In her public statements, she has compared the act of flag-burning to burning a cross, which can be considered a violation of federal civil rights law.

The Bennett-sponsored measure outlaws a protester intimidating any person by burning the flag, lighting someone else’s flag, or desecrating the flag on federal property.

While I do not advocate flag burning, or see it as a particularly effective form of protest, to worry about prosecution of those who burn the flag sounds like pandering to the right wing mentality that dissent is always wrong. The analogy to burning a cross is deeply flawed. Cross burning was performed to intimidate blacks, not as a means of protest as is the case with flag burning. Those who burn the flag are not threatening any particular group with violence as is the case of those who burn crosses.


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