Monday, July 03, 2006

Burning the Constitution

What's the best thing about Independence Day in Our Nation's Capital? C'est facile, mes amis -- the Constitution is momentarily safe from the destructive hands of the country's lawmakers.

In recent days, your blogstress has meditated on the recent, by-a-whisker defeat in the Senate of a constitutional amendment that would have banned flag-burning -- at the expense of the First Amendment, which the New Yorker's ever-eloquent Hendrik Hertzberg describes as "the Constitution's crowning glory."

More from Mr. Hertzberg:

The flag is not a piece of cloth, any more than the Constitution is a piece of paper; and the flag’s sacredness is not damaged when a piece of cloth representing it is burned or trampled or used as an autograph book, any more than the Constitution can be damaged by the destruction of a printed copy. But the Constitution can and would be damaged, to the nation’s shame, by the addition of something as inimical to its spirit as the flag-desecration amendment.
You'll note, mes cheris, the distaste earlier expressed by your cybertrix for the "desecration" of any symbol. However, were she one to organize protests, she could envision a ritual Constitution-burning on the steps of the Capitol, a sort of performance art piece whereby people (mostly men) dressed in dark suits would step up to a flaming black-iron cauldron and toss in one of those parchment reproductions of the the original Bill of Rights document.

Better yet, let's see a Constitutional amendment introduced prohibiting the desecration of the U.S. Constitution -- the actual concepts and precepts, not the paper on which it's written. Now, that could call a few questions, huh?


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