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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 04:56 PM

 

Let's decontextualize another Biden career episode - the Great Flag Desecration Bill of 1989

There's a list of these that we might as well get over and done with now.

To be clear, this is not intended as "bashing". Having grown up in Delaware, I'm probably more familiar with the details of Joe Biden's career history than many DUers, who are going to be perpetually surprised by de-contextualized episodes going back to the early 1970's.

So, in order to prevent you from being surprised, let's wade into the Great Flag Burning Foofaraw Of 1989.

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1989/07/18/Biden-proposes-flag-bill-amid-questions/4540616737600/

Biden proposes flag bill amid questions

WASHINGTON -- Senators searching for a way out of the emotional and political quagmire of what to do about flag desecration Tuesday proposed a new bill to ban the act, but legal scholars and some lawmakers quickly differed over whether the plan could do the job.

That's right, Joe Biden was the principal author and sponsor of a bill to make it illegal to desecrate the US flag.

Wrap your head around that, shake your demons out, do your poutrage dance over free speech, but that's the simple fact.

Now, you want to know the context?

In 1989, during the reign of Dear Leader St. Ronnie of Raygun, the Supreme Court decided Texas v. Johnson:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_v._Johnson


Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that defendant Gregory Lee Johnson's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.


The circumstances of this particular flag burning arose from a disorderly protest held during the 1984 GOP Convention, again nominating Dear Leader St. Ronnie as Supreme Figurehead of All That Is Holy.

And those librul, unelected, dictators in black robes on the Court said it was okay to burn a flag.

Mind you, there are all kinds of laws you can have against illegal burning of "stuff" in general. Heck, in most areas you can't burn leaves anymore. There are also all kinds of laws you can have against disorderly conduct, unsafe use of flammable materials, and so on.

But burning a flag? Heaven forfend. If someone is allowed to burn a flag - even their own flag on their own property or even a crayon drawing of a flag which they just rendered on their own piece of property - the country would crumble.

So, there began one of those idiotic wedge-issue crusades which, like all idiotic wedge-issue crusades, had utterly nothing to do with getting anything of consequence done that would affect people's lives, but would result in a Constitutional Amendment making an exception for flag burning.

So, Joe had this one all figured out. Joe believed that he could de-rail the campaign to amend the Constitution by claiming he'd come up with a "Constitutional" way to ban flag desecration as a form of political expression.

Yeppers, that was what he thought.

Years after the fact, I brought this up with him and told him that it was a surprisingly craven act on his part, and that he knew damn well that providing an equally unconstitutional statutory alternative to derail the amendment drive, instead of opposing the amendment drive head on was simply dishonest. His answer was to the general effect of sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. He explained that his bill provided cover to vulnerable Congresscritters to say that they supported Joe's idiotic bill as an alternative to being soft on flag desecration. The point was, he explained, not to ever get the bill actually passed, but to provide a vehicle by which politicians needing to say "of course I oppose flag desecration" a reason not to get behind a Constitutional Amendment to that effect.

Anyway, it is a reasonable question to consider whether Joe was correct or incorrect in his assessment that pimping a clearly unconstitutional bill in order to provide political cover, instead of simply expecting elected officials to support freedom of speech. Ultimately, neither Joe's flag burning bill, nor the Amendment went anywhere, and I'm sure in Joe's mind that is one in the "win" column. If you win, does it matter how you win?

But, please, get ready for the great "Joe Biden Anti-First-Amendment Flag Desecration Bill" to be unearthed from the catacombs of the political context in which it died.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let's decontextualize another Biden career episode - the Great Flag Desecration Bill of 1989 (Original post)
jberryhill Jun 2019 OP
stonecutter357 Jun 2019 #1
quickesst Jun 2019 #4
George II Jun 2019 #7
IndyOp Jun 2019 #12
quickesst Jun 2019 #13
Uncle Joe Jun 2019 #2
still_one Jun 2019 #3
jalan48 Jun 2019 #5
George II Jun 2019 #6
Demsrule86 Jun 2019 #9
LibFarmer Jun 2019 #8
jberryhill Jun 2019 #10
emmaverybo Jun 2019 #11
peggysue2 Jun 2019 #14
jberryhill Jun 2019 #15

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 05:03 PM

1. let's go Joe !

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to stonecutter357 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 05:59 PM

4. My thoughts exactly

 

How will this affect Joe's campaign? It won't. If you took all the "criticisms" aimed at Joe Biden by his opponents and their supporters so far, and wadded them all up like a snowball, you would be staring at a pair of empty hands. That's how well Joe Biden has handled things so far and why he hasn't lost any support.

Joe Biden
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to quickesst (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 06:28 PM

7. How is he going to respond to this gaffe:

 



A TAN SUIT?????
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to George II (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 08:45 PM

12. Apparently the Obama administration was fraught with scandals-

 

tan suit scandals.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to George II (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 10:13 PM

13. Dang!!!!

 

The one thing that I was praying would stay buried. Joe should have had some people out in front of this. Maybe they can claim it's a photoshop. Yeah, that's the ticket.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 05:21 PM

2. I believe a law against flag desecration to be anathema to the Constitution, however

 

I'm sure that is an issue the Republicans in Congress would work with Joe on if he were President.

I don't believe it will even require an "epiphany" from them.

Thanks for the thread jberryhill.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 05:37 PM

3. That may be JB, but he voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration in 2006

 

However, any campaign that wants to make this an issue for the 2020 election, is playing Russian roulette

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 06:04 PM

5. Meh, Hillary did a similar thing in 2005 when she co-sponsored a bill that would have

 

criminalized burning the American flag and it didn't seem to matter.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 06:05 PM

6. I don't understand the point of this, but who am I?

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to George II (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 06:47 PM

9. The point is to to take down the only candidate who can win...so their pure candidate can 'win' a

 

primary and probably lose the general.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 06:46 PM

8. Another anti-Biden thread

 

from the well-scraped bottom of the barrel

Don't the scrapers ever get tired about how ridiculous they look?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to LibFarmer (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 07:36 PM

10. It's remarkable how thoroughly you managed to miss the point

 

Last edited Fri Jun 7, 2019, 08:55 PM - Edit history (1)

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to LibFarmer (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 08:18 PM

11. Could be a job. Takes time and effort. NT

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 12:11 PM

14. LOL!!

 

I vaguely remember this brouhaha over flag desecration, the controversy, the calls for restraint when considering an amendment to the Constitution. In this case (IMHO) for purely political purposes. Honestly? Did not remember Biden's part in this affair but what I do recall happened a couple of years later when I was volunteering for Literacy for America. One of my students, a 50-something man, was incensed by the issue of flag burning, ranted on and on about it as if it were happening every day of the week. In retrospect it makes sense. If you cannot read or comprehend the written word then familiar symbols have even more potency and weight.

Also means the Republicans and Reagan's crew did a very good job making a big deal, a do-or-die moment over the flag and any protest involving the red, white and blue.

The power of messaging. And for the undereducated? It absolutely works.

As for Biden's part in this? Guess we'll have to wait and see if this becomes another talking/chatter point.

Good to have a heads-up. And a deja vu moment.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 08:23 PM

15. I'm glad at least someone understands the point

 


Amazing saying “if you liked the Hyde Amendment, then you’ll love it when this one is dig up” as a way of pre-emptively putting this one to bed, and idiots call one a paid troll.

The reading comprehension level here is sometimes depressing as hell.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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