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Why is this an outrage, and this is not? Just asking.

I’m waiting to hear about the second from the same people who were outraged by the first. [crickets]

Photo of Sarah Palin by Brian Adams/Runner’s World – via Balloon Juice  (The actual photo at Runner’s World is here).

Uh, you’re supposed to drape the flag over yourself, not drape it on your bar stool and then lean on it.

Dating from 1993:

UNITED STATES CODE

TITLE 36

CHAPTER 10

§176. Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor…

…(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general….

Okay, Chapter 10, as iterated on the non-governmental site above, is not enforceable.

Because:

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

…Especially pertinent to this case are our decisions recognizing the communicative nature of conduct relating to flags. Attaching a peace sign to the flag, Spence, supra, at 418 U.S. 409″]409-410; refusing to salute the flag, Barnette, 319 U.S. at 632; and displaying a red flag, 409-410; refusing to salute the flag, Barnette, 319 U.S. at 632; and displaying a red flag, Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, [p405] 368-369 (1931), we have held, all may find shelter under the First Amendment. See also Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566, 588 (1974) (WHITE, J., concurring in judgment) (treating flag “contemptuously” by wearing pants with small flag sewn into their seat is expressive conduct)…

And:

United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990)

…Although the Flag Protection Act contains no explicit content-based limitation on the scope of prohibited conduct, it is nevertheless clear that the Government’s asserted interest is “related ‘to the suppression of free expression,'” 491 U.S. at 410, and concerned with the content of such expression. The Government’s interest in protecting the “physical integrity” [p316] of a privately owned flag [n5] rests upon a perceived need to preserve the flag’s status as a symbol of our Nation and certain national ideals. But the mere destruction or disfigurement of a particular physical manifestation of the symbol, without more, does not diminish or otherwise affect the symbol itself in any way. For example, the secret destruction of a flag in one’s own basement would not threaten the flag’s recognized meaning. Rather, the Government’s desire to preserve the flag as a symbol for certain national ideals is implicated “only when a person’s treatment of the flag communicates [a] message” to others that is inconsistent with those ideals. [n6] Ibid. [p317]…

Even assuming such a consensus exists, any suggestion that the Government’s interest in suppressing speech becomes more weighty as popular opposition to that speech grows is foreign to the First Amendment

[emphasis added]

Yeah, those are flag burning cases, but the big picture is that government can’t dictate behavior or any orthodoxy about what is “correct” patriotic behavior or speech. This is not a new phenomenon in America, either:

WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION v. BARNETTE, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

…If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us…

In a time of war, no less.

Ask yourself, what would the political right be saying if it was Barack Obama standing in that same pose instead of Sarah Palin?

So, it all comes down to the political right’s view of what is patriotic orthodoxy. At this point they’re definitely not consistent about it, either. We’ll just have to go with *IOKIYAR.

*it’s okay if you’re a republican