Home / General / Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, and I agree that it’s her own damn fault

Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, and I agree that it’s her own damn fault

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Sam Alito will not recuse himself from 1/6-related cases, because his wife is the one who flew the seditionist flags, which [wink wink] had nothing to do with sedition:

Alito limits his partisan sedition to oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States, thank you very much!

Dahlia Lithwick observes that the defenses of the sedition flags would be a parody of as-applied originalism if there was anything of substance left to parody:

In 2023, when Arizona Sen. Janae Shamp flew the Appeal to Heaven flag, she used the same justification. After she roundly rejected the notion that her use of the flag supported Christian Dominionism or incitement to violence, she insisted it reflected her fervent need to protect “our liberty and freedoms” from “the too many wanna be kings who inhabit elected office and (government) bureaucracies.” In an email she sent to the Arizona Mirror at the time, Shamp further explained: “Something that has had a particular meaning for 250 years retains its original meaning, no matter which fringe group might seek to co-opt it.” And then she landed, of course, on the old foam-finger defense: “I hope and pray that my fight enjoys a similarly favorable outcome as (George) Washington’s original struggle, and that I will succeed in restoring at least some small measure of liberty before I’m done.”

In her own apparently poker-faced defense of poor, beleaguered Justice Alito, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel similarly offers the following critique of the Times’ effort to explain current publicly shared understanding of the flag:

The Times somehow fails to let readers know that the flag is a longtime symbol of independence; that it was designed by George Washington’s secretary; was flown on ships commissioned by Washington; has been honored, commemorated, and flown over state capitols; and is the official maritime flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Oh. It’s a symbol of independence. Well then, bygones. No need to think about the fact that it also hangs at Leonard Leo’s house.

It would seem, then, that as long as you root the symbology of this flag in what George Washington thought the flag meant in 1775, you’re gold, Ponyboy. The original public meaning of the statement was set in stone by George Washington’s secretary of the Navy. And, hand on heart, if you opt to stop time on that very day, you can arrive at the conclusion proffered by Speaker Johnson, and Arizona state Sen. Shamp, and the WSJ’s Kimberly Strassel. The flag means merely “I <3 George Washington.” Y’all who think otherwise are just the fantasists and haters.

Flag Originalism has many uses. For example, the swastika can be merely a benign ancient Hindu symbol. Pepe the Frog is a cuddly cartoon character. The Appeal to Heaven flag has nothing to do with Dutch Sheets, or the Proud Boys, or the Jan. 6 insurrection, or this chilling and violent flirtation with Christofascism. George Washington’s secretary of the Navy was the last word on public meaning.

[Flash forward to 2027] “It’s a Sanskrit symbol for ‘good fortune,'” yelled Mrs. Alito when asked by our reporter. “And what’s wrong with saying fourteen words?”

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