I was all set to lambaste Iowa Republicans this morning, but after exploring the issue further I learned that both parties deserve the razzberries. Pardon my strong language.
Last week a U.S. district judge ruled that Iowa’s flag-desecration laws are too vague to enforce and thus unconstitutional. That made sense. Obviously no one should be allowed to take someone else’s flag and “deface, defile, mutilate, or trample” it, but if you pay your hard-earned money for a flag it’s yours to do whatever you want with—and that includes using it to make political statements.
So this morning in my groggy state of barely-awakeness, I heard on the radio that some Republican state representative had introduced a bill to clarify the law and make it easier to enforce. Typical, I thought—leave it to the Money Party to spend their time protecting pieces of nylon.
But later I checked out the story on the Des Moines Register website and found that I’d misheard the story. What actually happened was that the house had voted 95-0 to add an amendment clarifying the flag law to a bill that establishes a counseling program for veterans. So instead of moving to just repeal the law and standing up for the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, Iowa Democrats joined the GOP in treating the flag like a human being—a delicate, fragile human being.