A proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw the burning of the American flag won the approval Tuesday of a Senate Judiciary Committee split largely along party lines.
Raised by some Republicans as a mark of patriotism this election year, the measure passed on a 11-7 vote and was sent to the full Senate for final congressional approval. While the Senate has repeatedly rejected such measures in the past, both sides predict a razor-close vote this time.
The Judiciary Committee's vote came a week after a divided Senate blocked a White House-backed bid to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, another issue Democrats have accused Republicans of pushing merely to rally their conservative base for the November elections.
In other words: "Damn, the gay marriage thing didn't divide the nation enough! It even kind of embarassed our control of the Senate. Quick! To the Flagmobile!"