by Max Brantley
The Republicans' favorite election-year ploy, a constitutional amendment against flag burning (in short an amendment to abridge the First Amendment in response to a non-existent problem), failed today by one vote. Sen. Mark Pryor stood tall. As predicted. Sen. Blanche Lincoln went in the tank with the likes of Rick Santorum and joined the Republicans, but did not turn out to be the criticial vote after all.
The Democrats who opposed the amendment had some cover by having an alternative measure criminalizing flag burning. It also failed. Lincoln wouldn't even vote for Dick Durbin's substitute, so intent was she on pandering.