I Guess

…I can’t get upset when college administrators seem blissfully ignorant of the principles of free speech. It seems even congressmen have no idea. J.D. Hayworth — a Republican from Arizona whose only other crime, as far as I know, was supporting John McCain in the 2000 primaries — is looking to get the “million Mogadishus” professor at Columbia fired. He’s circulating a petition around Congress. Here’s a quote that could have come from any two-bit university president:

As members of Congress who stand for election every two years, we are no strangers to the frank exchange of ideas and vigorous debate, and we have a deep appreciation for America�s tradition of academic freedom. However, we also have an equally deep appreciation for the fact that our words have consequences.

For fun, compare this to the following statement from Jim Larimore, during the Zete fiasco in May 2001:

Some argue that anything that an organization can characterize as expressive conduct must be tolerated even though it violates the rules and standards of our community. They assert, in effect, that the Principle of Expression and Dissent “trumps” all our other rules-that it is a license for an organization to engage in any and all expressive behavior, subject to no standard whatsoever. I respectfully disagree….

Or this letter, from James Wright also with respect to Zete:

We do not have a speech code at Dartmouth [I beg to differ], but a related speech issue illustrates the way we need to confront tensions between individual rights and the values of the community.

Yep, Hayworth’s rhetoric sure does sound familiar…