Monday, June 26, 2006

Let's rally around getting Jonathan Last a new job!

I'm continually amazed at how Jonathan Last gets his columns into the Op-Ed pages of so many papers. I just don't get it, what does he really have to say? I guess, since he's a right winger the papers have to give him space to counter all that left wing bias, but his arguments aren't really all that interesting, they're just sort of there and, quite frankly, they're pretty weak. Give me a George Will or a David Brooks any day to get my motor running,

Last this week tells us that "there are honorable reasons to be against the Flag Protection Amendment," because, for one thing, "the Constitution is a brief document, amending it necessarily weakens it in some small measure. And criminalizing flag burning might give the act more political power." Sounds reasonable to me; why weaken the Bill of Rights to score some cheap political points in an election year? Why give flag burning more of a political cache? And as Last writes, "truth be told, in the Flag Protection Act fails, it will not be the end of the world." All good arguments to drop the whole idea, but Last thinks we should support the Flag Protection Act. What?

Yes, you read right! And what are his arguments for this: well, for one thing: "As then Justice William Rehnquist pointed out, before the colonies adapted the flag, the British navy treated captured seamen as pirates who could be summarily executed. Once American ships had a national flag to sail under, those who were captured were treated like prisoners of war. [Note to Gitmo detainees, get a flag!] Even today, fighting, sailing, or traveling under the flag conveys special rights and protections."

OK . . . the next time I go sailing I'll remember not to burn the flag. Good point, anything else?

"The flag is the idea of America, of democracy, and tolerance." No, it's a symbol of those things that are codified in the Bill of Rights, which you say this amendment 'necessarily weakens.' Anything else?

"Democracy cannot abide competing systems that seek to undermine it. That is why our Constitution expressly outlaws both theocracy and aristocracy. The flag is the embodiment of our democratic ideals. Like those ideals it should be safeguarded against those who seek its destruction."

I'm not making this stuff up, this is his last paragraph, his big wrap up.

I'll just go right past the part about theocracy ---which the president is trying to create through his faith based initiatives -- and aristocracy --which the president's family so clearly resembles -- and go right for the part about safeguarding the flag from those who "seek its destruction."

Who is seeking its destruction? When is the last time anyone burned the flag? The only example Last could muster up was some nut named Gregory Lee Johnson who burned the flag at the Republican National Convention in Dallas in ---get ready for it -- 1984!

I know, Jonathan, instead of going through all the trouble of amending the Constitution to protect the flag, which clearly is in no imminent threat, why not just ban the next Republican National Convention? If there is even a 1% chance that a flag might be burned at the RNC in 2008, where it is most likely to happen, we shouldn't take the chance.

You know, a while back Last wrote about how useless bloggers are, that what they did wasn't real journalism. He pointed out no one cares about most blogger's opinions (mainly left wing ones). And he made the point that opinion columns were only a minor part of journalism, anyway, and I would agree; so I don't see why he bothers, he obviously doesn't have his heart in it. Save a tree Jonathan, get a new gig.


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories