NYT reported Hillary Clinton is co-sponsoring a bill to criminalize the burning of the American flag. Her supporters would characterize this as an attempt to find a middle way between those who believe that flag-burning is constitutionally protected free speech and those who want to ban it, even if it takes a constitutional amendment. Unfortunately, it looks to us more like a simple attempt to have it both ways.
And when did a Clinton not try to have things both ways?Senator Clinton says she opposes a constitutional amendment to outlaw flag-burning.
That is because that is the only way to outlaw it, and the far left in her party would be upset.In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that flag-burning was protected by the First Amendment. But her bill, which is sponsored by Senator Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, is clearly intended to put the issue back before the current, more conservative, Supreme Court in hopes of getting a turnaround.
It's hard to see this as anything but pandering - there certainly isn't any urgent need to resolve the issue.
There is a reason for Hillary. The extreme Left in her party are pushing her to make anti-war statements, and threatening to oppose her in the 2008 primaries if she won't go anti-war, but she wants to keep one foot in the middle, hoping conservatives and independents won't be able to paint her as a Lefty.Flag-burning hasn't been in fashion since college students used slide rules in math class and went to pay phones at the student union to call their friends. Even then, it was a rarity that certainly never put the nation's security in peril.