Truth / Power

In Florida,Republicans act thusly:Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out "leftist totalitarianism" by "dictator professors" in the classrooms of Florida's universities.(...)

While promoting the bill Tuesday, Baxley said a university education should be more than "one biased view by the professor, who as a dictator controls the classroom," as part of "a misuse of their platform to indoctrinate the next generation with their own views."

In Washington, they act thusly: William J. Winslade, a bioethicist and law professor at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was more direct. Frist "has no business making a diagnosis from a video," he said.

In his comments on the Senate floor, Frist said that based on the videotape of Schiavo and court records, she "does respond" to outside stimuli. "That footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state." In a speech last week on the Senate floor, Frist said that "speaking more as a physician than as a U.S. senator," he believed there was "insufficient information to conclude that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state."

Republicans don't care about abusing power and misusing platforms. They only care about which ideology is in power.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)



Abuse of power.
The republican abuse of power laundry list is amazing, from Iraq war lies and deception to Terri Schiavo and everything in between. Significantly, it seems to me that the Schiavo event, in all its political ugliness, has the potential to finally focus public attention on this bigger political issue and appropriately rebrand the republican party as the one you cannot trust with government power.
by dicta 2005-03-23 08:03AM | 0 recs
Speaking truth to power
Speaking truth to power is a missing ingredient in our political discourse these days. You certainly won't catch the RWCM doing it. I remember distinctly the first time I ever noticed the phrase, "Speaking truth to power". It was during an episode of The West Wing.

The Nation and a few alternative print media sources still speak truth to power, and so does the left wing blogosphere. An isolated few conservative alternative media magazines and an isolated few conservative bloggers have started doing it. Credit should be given to David Brooks for his editorial yesterday. Bill O'Reilly makes a mockery of the phrase by pretending to do it. A few "left wing" editorialists like David Scheer get a little exposure in the print media and on NPR.  Air America and KPFK speak truth to power.

For the most part, the RWCM, both in print and over the airwaves, are Apologists For Power. It is a monumental disgrace the way the corporate media has abandoned their traditional role in letting the American people know what their political leaders are doing both to and with the political process.  

Does anybody know the origin and have a history of the phrase "speaking truth to power"? (Is there a liberal William Safire in the house?) I've been very curious about it ever since I first noticed it on that episode of The West Wing.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-23 08:05AM | 0 recs
Makin' me Google . . .
This article attributes the phrase to 18th-Century Quakers.

More liberal hippies.

by catastrophile 2005-03-23 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Makin' me Google . . .
Cool. Thanks for the link.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-23 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Speaking truth to power
This charge, to "speak truth to power," is something I'm finding cited as a charge given to 18th Century Quakers.

It has been reiterated since.

by Patricia Taylor 2005-03-23 10:02AM | 0 recs
Googling On Still...
In googling on (because this phrase "speak truth to power," is cropping up all over the place), I also found this reference to Friends' use of the phrase on

"Subject: (7.4) Speaking Truth to Power

Refers to the general concept of the child asking the Emperor "why aren't you wearing any clothes?" that is, that the truth often helps those in power stop deluding themselves."

And so, it seems, the phrase is APTLY used against self-deluding American politicians, left and right.

by Patricia Taylor 2005-03-23 10:15AM | 0 recs
How sad it is going to be seeing all those economics profs sued because of their right wing philosposhies in the class rooms...

What a shame.

by Nazgul35 2005-03-23 08:13AM | 0 recs
We need to go after Frist's medical license
Liberal Oasis was the first on this, and I saw a dKos diary about it shortly afterwards. Frist is publically practicing horrible medicine, and we should respend with what's done to doctors when they practice bad medicine, pull his license to practice medicine.

look under "quick hit"

by afs 2005-03-23 08:20AM | 0 recs
michel foucault is turning in his grave.
by srolle 2005-03-23 08:58AM | 0 recs
Bill vs. Debate of bill
The "dictator" and "totalitarianism" phrases were in the debate, but not in the text of this bill (Florida House 837).  That may seem like a minor point, but the bill is actually very similar--almost identical to the earlier bill put forward in Ohio.  

These bills don't defend against "leftist totalitarianism," per se, but they promote the University as a place where students must be protected from teachers who introduce controversy into the classroom.  

The counter argument is that the presence of controversy in the classroom is a sign that academic freedom is thriving in a university.  

Saying that a student needs to be protected from controversy in order to experience academic freedom is a bit like saying that a quarterback needs to be protected from practice in order to win in an actual game.    The whole point of university education is to give students the ball over and over and over again in challenging ways where they can get it wrong and still not get hurt.  Then, by the time they leave the safe environment of the classroom, their minds have become sharp enough to throw touch-downs in the real world.  

by Jeffrey Feldman 2005-03-23 09:49AM | 0 recs
Fine, but
But what is he public hearing here?  We're nitpicking details while they're reinforcing a larger strategic narrative: Republicans care about people, Democrats are elistists willing to let the weak die if they are inconvenient and in their way.  

You should have heard Limbaugh going on about this today.

Never mind polls showing Congress shouldn't interfere, etc.  Those are narrow issue points.  WE ALREADY KNOW that we win on issues.  But they win on the larger strategic narratives.  We know all these things and here we are doing it all over again.  

We're arguing the details of their lies instead of reaching the broader, general public with a larger narrative that reinforces public acceptance of the benefits of underlying Progressive values.

by davej 2005-03-23 11:50AM | 0 recs


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