It will soon be the Fourth of July again. Do you know where your flag is?
Why there it is, inside the Capitol, being waved around by members delighted to solve a problem that doesn't exist while ignoring ones that do. Last week, your House of Representatives voted, 286 to 130, to amend the Constitution to save the flag from being burned. The measure now goes to the Senate.
You say you weren't worried about flag-burning? That's why the folks in Congress make the big bucks and you don't.
If lawmakers wanted to do something really patriotic this Fourth, they might do their jobs. How about asking hard questions about the war, and beefing up the armor on those Humvees that keep getting blown apart? If Old Glory is so important, why have so few House members traveled to Dover to see it serving the high purpose of draping the coffins of the more than 1,700 soldiers who died for it?
Congress is proof of Samuel Johnson's adage that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.
Even former Speaker Newt Gingrich is alarmed by how careless Republicans have been with their power. "When you are in the minority, you need to fight," he warned this week. "When you are in the governing majority, you need to produce." This from a man who in his day threw more cocktails than Molotov.Boy, that's no shit. Margie goes into a lot more detail. Go read.
This Fourth of July, the flag will be flying over my parents' house in Pennsylvania. The country will be celebrating. But the sight of Congress doing its job would elicit more astonished oohs and aahs than any fireworks.