Your Aneurysm Update

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Memo to Hillary Clinton: DON'T RUSH ME.

Regular readers of this column may know that I have predicted the date of my own death. Election Day 2008. I can see it. I walk into a polling place, am handed a paper ballot, and on it are two names. Hillary Clinton, and some asshole Republican I hate. Sometimes it's McCain, sometimes it's Frist, sometimes it's Santorum, and sometimes it's Lieberman. But it doesn't matter who the Republican is, because I'm standing there, forced by political necessity to cast a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And that's when the blood vessel in my brain does its best impersonation of a lawn sprinkler. PSSSSSSSSSSSST! The only area of uncertainty is whether I black her bar in or not before I hit the ground.

Or, rather, that WAS the only area of unertainty. When I learned what the distinguished senator from New York did today, I started wondering just when the 2008 Democratic National Convention would be. And if, given the vagaries fo primary season, I could even make it that far before an apoplectic fit causes my body to reject its own brain like a back-alley kidney transplant.

She's sponsoring a flag-burning law.

That's right. After throwing in with the right on the banning violent games front of the culture wars, after softening her pro-choice views, after all that dry-humping the "center", which is really the center-right, which is really the far-right, apparently there was still some more of her husband's famous "triangulating" left to do.

So, along with Bob Bennett*, she's sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to burn a flag on federal property, burn someone else's flag, and intimidate someone by burning a flag.

Obviously, they're trying to get around the fact that flag-burning is protected speech by whittling away at the edges, but burning someone else's flag? Is that a problem? Does that happen a lot? Does it happen even remotely close to often enough that you need something on top of existing vandalism laws?

As for federal property, thanks to the glory of "free speech zones", I don't think anyone wearing a slightly grumpy expression on their face is allowed within three counties of federal property. Except for Dick Cheney, who would never burn an American flag, not even if it was wrapped around a puppy.

Which leaves the crime of "intimidating someone by burning a flag". There are three classes of people who might be intimidated by a burning flag. J'onn J'onzz, complete pussies, and jingoistic assholes who just say they're intimidated so they can get that stinking hippie with the matches thrown in the clink. And none of these people need Hillary Clinton's help.

By taking this bold stand, Hillary has once again earned the undying scorn of every true freedom-loving, flammable-banner-tolerating leftie. But at least she's earned some votes in the center-right, right? Appeased all those uberpatriots with her bold stand against burning other people's flags? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"In deference to the Senator, she may be sincere in her quest for a law, but she is sincerely wrong. The remedy she has chosen, a statute without an enabling amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is a long road to a dead-end." - Thomas L. Bock, National Commander, American Legion.

And if a self-proclaimed National Commander doesn't think Hillary's gone far enough, and I think she's gone too far, then all it means is that she's annoyed everybody for no good reason.

Which, unfortunately, is the textbook definition of a successful politician.

*No, not the one who wrote the Book of Virtues, gambled away eight million dollars, and called for racial genocide. This is a different one, although I freely admit it's getting hard to tell them apart anymore.