Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Fighting Bob La Follette's Anniversary

I spent the day at the Capital in Madison, WI celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Bob LaFollette.
So what you ask? Well read this:

"People are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, denied the right to employ counsel, or to communicate with their friends, or even to inform their families of their whereabouts, subjected to unlawful search, threatened, intimidated, examined, and cross-examined. The most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are violated in the name of democracy. It appears to be the purpose of those conducting this procedure to throw the country into a state of terror, to coerce public opinion, stifle criticism, suppress discussion of the issues of the war, and put a quietus on all opposition. ... It is time for the American people to assert and maintain their rights."

That was Bob La Follette speaking out about the atmosphere in the US in 1917 for those expressing opposition to involvement in WWI. Sounds like it could be spoken today.

There was a panel discussion and I got to ask this question:
As you said Bob LaFollette would be against the War in Iraq if he were alive today. Of course Fox News and the right wing bloggers would smear him and try to marginalize him.Do you think he would have a more effective way to deal with this and what would that be?

His biographer Nancy Unger said he would continue to speak truth to power. (Sounds like Dean)
Ed Garvey wasn't so sure LaFollette would be able to survive in today's media.
John Nichols believed speaking truth would win out in the end.

It was a great event and would urge you to read some about Fighting Bob at The Capital Times.
And do check out Ed Garvey's Blog........ fightingbob.com

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