What if Diane Feinstein had succeeded?
In late June of this year the Senate voted
on the Flag Desecration Amendment
, but failed to reach the 2/3 requirement by only one vote (66 YEAs, 34 NAYs). This amendment had already passed in the House, and had the Senate passed it, it would have then gone to the states. Three-fourths of the states would have to approve the amendment in order for it to be added to the Constitution. It's important to note that a supporter and co-sponsor* of the amendment was Diane Feinstien, a Democrat from the safely blue state of California. (And it was opposed
by Colin Powell.)
Consider where we are now politically. The Democrats look good, but as recently as two weeks ago, even some optimists were talking of a narrow win in the House.
Had the Mark Foley scandal not erupted, and had the Flag Burning Amendment been "in play", how would that have affected the Democrats' chances this year? It would have been something like the gay marriage initiatives of 2004, something to get the base out. And it would have tapped into a different sensibility, less religious and more patriotic - which might have succeeded, since pitches to the religious on quasi-religious issues seem not to be working right now.
If Feinstein's Folly had moved forward and been incorporated into the 2006 political arena, wouldn't that have been yet another obstacle for the Democrats?
It's almost as if Feinstein was working for the Republicans.
* The amendment was cosponsored
by Democratic Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.).
UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Feinstien was a vocal supporter of the amendment, issuing statements and writing op-eds. She was not a wallflower co-sponsor. That, plus the fact she is from California and has nothing to worry about politically, is why she is the focus of this post.
I always have to hold my nose when I vote for Feinstein.
Yes, I am ashamed of myself.
And, yes, a little part of me dies each time.
She is such a tool.
Perhaps, that's why I'm so synical.
I know, I know ... I spelled cynical wrong.
The following Dems voted yea on detainee bill (the one passed on September 29 that allows Bush to override habeas corpus at his whim, and lets the torture of detainees continue). In bold are the flag amendment rubes:
Might I modestly suggest that these would be a good few to start with to find actual Democrats to replace them?