The Carpetbagger Report notes a recurrence of various conservatives causes célèbres that first emerged during the 1980s. The only difference, of course, is that the conservatives are running the show:
Two weeks ago, John Thune started pushing a constitutional amendment on flag-burning (which already has 90 co-sponsors in the House). Last week, House Republicans started throwing their weight behind legislation to make English the nation’s official language (which now has 73 co-sponsors).
This week, it’s a school-prayer amendment to the Constitution.
[Rep. Ernest Istook’s office told the Washington Times this week] that the congressman is preparing to introduce a single amendment to the Constitution that, by itself, would protect the Pledge of Allegiance, school prayer, the public display of the Ten Commandments and any other expressions of religious heritage and private beliefs that have come under attack of late in the court system.
My fellow liberals refuse to acknowledge it, but this nation is now in a culture war, and these bills show it. While the English bill is doomed to fail, on account of Republican efforts to court Latinos, the other two have real chances of succeeding, better ones than the Hate Amendment did. The flag-burning amendment has real support among Democrats; indeed, it was Wes Clark’s backing of it that caused me to oppose his primary candidacy. While school prayer is less popular among Dems, 31 Senators and 84 Representatives have supported it. If we are to stop this assault on the Constitution, the first step is recognizing that the conflict exists. It frightens me that so many in my party cannot.