Archive for July 2nd, 2006

Creep: Rick Schlecht

The Gazette printed a flag-burning letter today. Great stuff. Very amusing. From Rick Schlecht of Joliet. Which rhymes! Kind of…

Shame on senators for not protecting flag

The Senate’s failure to pass the “flag desecration” amendment is just another sign of the time that this country is suffering from the same reckless leadership that plagued the early Roman Empire under her ignorant senators.

Anyone with half a brain and common sense can see that history does indeed repeat itself, and were I an enemy nation or terrorist, I should be laughing my head off. Were I a prisoner of such, I should be losing it!

Sorry. I just have to interrupt here. Uh…? I don’t understand the analogy about the Roman Empire and how it fits into flag burning. Sure, the Republican Congress’ obsequiousness to a would-be autocrat fits the Roman model of a corrupt Senate handing over the reigns of power to a dictator. But…flag burning? And, er, why would a terrorist laugh his head off that the US Congress refused to restrict freedom of speech?

This is not the first time an extremist has warned that freedom of speech will lead to totalitarianism. Honestly, I just don’t get it.

Sorry. Back to the letter.

Shame on those senators who, in spite of their so-called intellect, voted against this amendment and spit on the countless men and women who fought so bravely for their country’s flag and the freedoms we enjoy under it today.

The Stars and Stripes is a symbol of that bravery, and we must embrace it, honor it, protect it! Nothing short of this is acceptable! You burn it, you desecrate it, a thousand times shame on you.

Er, sorry again. But…how does restricting freedom of speech increase freedom? Isn’t freedom about protecting people we don’t agree with? A world where our Constitution and laws protected only those who resemble us in appearance and thought would not be a “free” world. This guy sounds like an ideal candidate for the Chinese politburo. Back to the letter.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force, I am incensed at the dishonor done to that great symbol as I have witnessed committed by these lame-duck senators and any who would desecrate my flag. I served my country for that flag. I have honorably defended her against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I would die for her.

Those foolish senators have made a mockery of our nation’s flag, and are moments away from turning the United States of America into an ash heap. Rome is once again in flames, but this time, Rome is us. Shame, shame, shame!

You know, I don’t think anyone’s saying people shouldn’t be outraged by flag desecration. Just because there’s no Constitutional amendment doesn’t mean it’s a socially acceptable habit. Are there Constitutional amendments against burping in public? Farting in elevators? Chewing with your mouth open? Cutting taxes for the uber-wealthy while running through the budget like a drunken sailor?

Honestly, until one flag-burning-amendment supporter – just a single supporter! — urges for the impeachment of President Bush over his recent flag-destroying rampage, I’ll believe that this piece of sh*t legislation is nothing but distraction, and anyone who supports it is a crass partisan with no moral backbone.

Holy smokes! Time columnist – and left blogosphere punching bag – Joe Klein wrote a magnificent column praising Tester! Klein gets it! And Klein is known for his DC insider inanities. Highlights:

Indeed, Tester’s physical presence—he’s a big old farm boy with a flattop crew cut—is a political statement that stands close to the heart of the national Democratic congressional campaign of 2006. It says, I’m not a slick Washington guy. I’m a Montana farmer. After six years of a Bush Administration cozy with business, many Democrats are taking a flyer this year on full-throated populism.[snip]

Clearly, we are about to have a fun year in our beloved democracy. The Republican strategy is simple: focus on the really important issues like flag burning and gay marriage and keep accusing the Democrats of wanting to cut and run in Iraq. This time, however, the Democrats will be fighting back.


Populism, historically, has been an angry political trope—but a new aw-shucks version of the little guy’s lament has been growing out West with the success of candidates like Salazar and Montana’s Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer. Asked about alternative fuels in his first debate with Burns, Tester went full-court farmer. “If I weren’t here right now,” he said, “I’d be out getting a vegetable press so I could press my own oil to burn in my tractors and trucks.” There wasn’t much Burns could say to that. He had been out-Montana’d. He tried to blame the Democrats for blocking energy legislation. “Last time I checked,” Tester shot back, “your party controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress.” Which may be the ultimate comeback Democrats have this year.

Here’s a few reasons why this column is significant. First, it’s clear recognition by a DC insider who’s has his head up his *ss for some time, that Tester’s a serious candidate. After all, he still thinks you can make coalitions with the GOP and advises against attacking Bush on his illegal spying, which he doesn’t think is all that bad anyway.

Klein’s column also contains information that DC insiders need to know – especially the consultants – Tester is who he is because he’s Tester, not because he’s some manufactured political robot formed by a political consultant. He’s the real deal. And Klein realizes that’s what it will take to win elections across the country. That’s what it will take to win the country back to sanity. Regular joes. You. Me.

In an earlier column, Klein wrote that the political consultant was the downfall of party politics. His recent column on Tester was an extension of that belief, the proof of his theory.

Hopefully the Washington crowd will listen to Klein. The real danger in this race isn’t Conrad Burns – just wind him up and watch him sink himself, like during the recent debate – it’s the national Democrats and the millions of dollars they’re planning on spending on this race. Let’s hope they’ll be cautious with their focus-group-tested ads, and let locals dictate how and where the money’s spent. Ultimately Tester – Burns is a race between Montana and Washington DC. Between integrity and failed ethics. Tester’s call, “let’s make Washington DC look a little more like Montana” ain’t hyperbole, and it ain’t hollow rhetoric. That’s the promise of his candidacy.

So here’s a message to DC Dems — not that any are actually reading this – send your support, but don’t tell us what to do. Else the Tester campaign will look like Burns’ in an awful hurry.

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