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"This Was Hypocrisy at Its Worst"

Heard last night on News Hour, during their regular face-off between liberal Mark Shields, conservative David Brooks, and host Jim Lehrer. As you expect, they're usually polar opposites, but last night they pretty much agreed on everything, but this exchange was particularly notable:

Jim Lehrer: The desecration of the flag amendment, the burning of the flag amendment, did not get its one vote it needed, the sixty-seventh vote it needed to become a constitutional amendment as far as the Senate's concerned. How do you read that?

Mark Shields: This one really made me angry.

Jim Lehrer: Made you angry?

Mark Shields: It made me angry because I listened to those speeches. I listened to the people advocating it, and they talk about our fighting men and women. If they really are remotely authentic or sincere about our fighting men and women and honoring them, how about body armor? How about armorning Humvees? How about not cutting veterans' benefits? How about not putting our troops in a position where they're ordered to perform tortuous acts? How about sending enough troops into battle? I mean, I just -- this was hypocrisy at its worst.

David Brooks: Mark and I burn each others' columns. We find that emotionally satisfying. I recommend that to everybody. No, I think it's a stupid idea. I sort of respect the immense popular support it has, and i somehow think people must associate it with something real. Personally, I think you should be allowed to burn the flag, I think that's in the Constitution, so I think that's -- mucking up the Constitution with this amendment is trivializing it to me.

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