Institutions of Lower Learning

The Florida House is looking into how best to stamp out freedom of speech and thought on college campuses. The bill was inspired by the works of David Horowitz, Fruitcake Nutcase. The Southwest Florida Herald Tribune reported today:

David Horowitz was the only invited speaker Tuesday for an unusual meeting of the House Education Council to discuss an “Academic Freedom” bill sponsored by the council’s chairman, Ocala Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley…

Horowitz is author of the recently published “Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left,” which asserts that “America’s liberals and radical Muslims stand on suspiciously similar ground in refusing to condemn Islam’s terrorism, in criticizing America and the West, and in opposing efforts to export capitalism and democracy,” according to a blurb at

Baxley filed House Bill 837 after a meeting last year in St. Louis where Horowitz spoke. Horowitz’s group, Students for Academic Freedom, has pushed virtually identical bills in a number of states.

This thing stinks so bad even Jeb is keeping his distance, explaining his position with his usual charm.

But he added that he isn’t likely to sign the bill should it make a long-shot journey to his desk. “The eight ball says, ‘Outlook not so good,'” he said.

The bill would protect young people from the bother of having to consider points of view unlike those of their parents and high school gym teachers.

A portion of the bill says students should not have their academic freedom “infringed upon by instructors who persistently introduce controversial matter into the classroom that has no relation to the subject of study and serves no legitimate pedagogical purpose.”

Baxley cited “totalitarian niches” in campuses that are “bastions of leftist thought,” saying tenured professors ruin conservative students’ grades and conservative professors’ careers.

I almost hope the bill makes it. As Cokie Roberts said of presidential term limits awhile back, Republicans were aiming at Roosevelt but they shot Eisenhower and Reagan. Certainly Florida’s Republicans, who recently decided “eight is NOT enough,” and upped the years one could serve in the House to 12, discovered this after they became the majority party. Suddenly term limits didn’t seem quite so groovy. I could easily see arch-conservatives, not unlike Horowitz himself, facing the same fate this bill proposes for liberals.

But it sounds like the Florida Gops have thrown in with a winner.

Only Horowitz was invited to speak in the House Education Council “workshop” Tuesday. He frequently flouted protocol by speaking out of turn until Rep. Ralph Arza, R-Hialeah, brusquely ended an exchange between Horowitz and a Democrat lawmaker.

In a series of press releases, House Democrats hammered Horowitz, citing his “extremism” in stances against evolution and blaming Rodney King for causing the Los Angeles riots for failing to lie prone during his arrest.


One thought on “Institutions of Lower Learning”

  1. “The eight ball says, ‘Outlook not so good,’” [said Jeb].

    Now we know the secret of the Bushes’ approach to governance – they use the Magic Eight Ball to make all their decisions. That explains so much.

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