Monday, July 24, 2006

Let's Play (Your Liberty in) Jeopardy!

Answer: un-American patriotic idolatry.

Question: What is exemplified by Congress passing and the President signing a bill trashing the obligations of millions of freely-entered-upon business contracts, all in the name of patriotism?

Correct! How much did the politicians wager. You answered: Only the principle of limited , restrained government which embodies the American Republic for which the flag stands.

What the flappin flag are you talking about, Prince?

Why, only this moronic bill:

... legislation signed into law Monday by President Bush, would prohibit neighborhood and town groups from outlawing the American flag. The law is called the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act. It says you can fly the American flag even if your neighborhood says flags in general aren't allowed.

The law will protect Old Glory, but all other decorative flags will still be subject to local regulations.

So let's get this straight: somehow Congress and President Bush read into the Constitution the power to forbid non-governmental community or homeowner organizations from making regulations as to the time, place, and manner of American flag displays in private homes.

Keep in mind these homeowners AGREED to certain covenants and conditions for living in said neighborhood, including the flag restrictions!

How exactly does this work?

I see no place in the Constitution for the federal goernment to trash the sanctity of contracts to make such rules, and I sure as hell don't see warrant in the feds preventing community organizations from making these rules.

Look, I'm no fan of communities like the one in this story out of Apex, N.C. making such regulations binding upon community residents. But that said, it's a local issue, MAYBE even a state issue in terms of legislative or judicial remedy.

Getting the Congress of the United States to pass a law aimed at bringing the heavy hand of Washington to bear on this matter makes sense only if you believe some cockamamie notion like "this is an issue 'affecting' interstate commerce."

As with the misguided attempts to change the Constitution to ban flag desecration, we have here is patriotic grandstanding in an election year yielding legislation that can appeal to the most fervent of patriotic hearts, but should unsettles the deeper reflection the patriotic intellect.

At least with the flag burning controversy, had the proposed Amendment passed out of Congress, it would have faced strong scrutiny in the states and a high threshold (37 states' ratification), before becoming enshrined in the Constitution.

This instance of purported flag protection is a naked power grab by Congress and the President and a lost opportunity to educate the American people as to the nature of true patriotism: standing up for the principle of limited government.