Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh Joy! My 'Winger State Senator Defends the Flag

Photo by Flickr user cobalt123, used under a Creative Commons license.

My, I'm glad my state senator has her priorities straight. State Senator Joy Padgett's latest newsletter reports:
Padgett fights to end sale of foreign-made American flags

Senator Padgett recently introduced Senate Bill 316, legislation that would prohibit Ohio retailers from selling Ohio and American Flags that were not manufactured in the United States.

"The American flag is known throughout the world as a symbol of freedom and democracy," said Padgett. "Unfortunately, not only are our flags being manufactured outside of the United States, but a large number of foreign-made American flags come from China. The thought that the very symbol representing freedom from oppression could be made by a child worker in a sweatshop earning pennies a day is, to me, reprehensible."

SB 316 would make the retail sale of a foreign-made American or Ohio flag a third degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

(No link available, the newsletter came to me via snailmail.)
Sure, any reasonable person would conclude that we have a balance of trade problem, and that China is a big part of it. But I think redressing it will take more than just regulating the import of flags - to Ohio.

And of course Padgett is right that child labor is an issue. But since when is it unique to the manufacture of flags? Why doesn't she include sneakers or soccer balls if this isn't just pseudo-patriotic grandstanding?

Padgett is no newcomer to hypocrisy. This is the same vile politician who in her 2004 campaign for the state senate accused her Democratic opponent, Terry Anderson, of being anti-American and cozy with terrorists. A campaign flyer depicted Anderson meeting with a leader of Hezbollah.

Anderson is the former AP journalist who was held captive in Lebanon from 1985 to 1991, longer than any of the other hostages. His captors? Hezbollah.

Padgett won that race. We're still stuck with her.

That's why Padgett's newfound compassion for exploited children rings just a tad hollow.


Lynn said...

Right, what about the problems of the trade deficit and currency manipulation and child labor and human rights...these just apply to flags?

Aren't flags a small part of the market? What IS this!!!!

Hesperis said...

Don't you think that maybe it's ok with her if child labourers are making shoes but just don't let them get near the US flag, symbol of freedom and democracy (choke) that it is [was?]

Sungold said...

Hesperis, you're quite right; wouldn't want those shoes to accidentally trample on the flag (cough cough).

Lynn, I can't imagine that the profits to be made on flags account for more that 0.01 percent of any country's GDP. I just made up that figure but it's probably way overblown at that. And as for human rights: those are for wimps.