Liberal Grace

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Speaking Truth To Power

"Speak Truth to Power" is a a Quaker term coming out of the cold war. Later is was a book by Anita Hill. I only noticed it recently as it was popping up in progressive circles.

I believe that Anita Hill has the right to use this phrase as well as Joe Wilson, Richard Clarke, and Coleen Rowley.

But isn't it the height of cynicism or stupidity to use this term for Mike Hayden who was just confirmed to head the CIA?

At the hearings,

Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said on the Senate floor on Thursday night that General Hayden had demonstrated "independence and objectivity and a willingness to speak truth to power."

Hmmm. Let me try to recreate Hayden's "speaking truth to power"

John Negroponte, "Hey Mike. The president wants us to bug phones without warrants. Get on that."

Hayden, "Yes sir."

Don't let the right co-opt a very useful term describing a very patriotic duty.

PS: Bravo to Arlen Specter for his lone Republican no vote. Is he the last old-school, principled conservative in DC?

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