Phil Hart wouldn’t want Ted Glick in the slammer

Ted Glick is in trouble with the law. He hung a big banner inside the Hart Senate Office Building. And now there’s a good chance he will go to jail.

D.C.’s Fox News: has the whole crime on video , below. Glick draped a long, green banner from a high balcony inside Hart: GREEN JOBS NOW! GET TO WORK!

Yeah. Glick, of Bloomfield was lobbying. As sure as the slick corporate lobbyists who trawl the Hart Senate Office Building every day, sniffing out decision-makers to influence, Ted Glick was there to do the same thing. It isn’t quite my lobbying style – the 30 young activists with him were making wind sounds and handing out tiny paper windmills. But as the 73-day-old largest oil spill in US history would suggest, maybe it’s time to replace a calm, detached style of lobbying, with the passion activists actually feel. Glick and his friends weren’t there about BP, but they were there because they knew over-reliance on fossil fuels was a story with a bad ending. I can’t see the harm in Glick’s action, certainly not one worthy of incarceration. In a better world, the Senate listens. Lobbying is something denizens of the Hart Senate Office Building are quite used to.

And I would argue, it’s something Phil Hart might have opened his door to. In his lifetime, Phil Hart was called The Conscience of the Senate –  a name that passed, upon his 1976 death  to Paul Wellstone & Robert Byrd. And context matters; the Hart Senate Office Building was named for Phil Hart.

Let me tell you a couple things about Phil Hart, who I knew just a little when I was a kid in Detroit.

First of all, he was married to Janey, a founder of NOW, one of the Mercury 13, whose training helped convince NASA (years later) to send women into space, who in 1972, refused to pay taxes toward the Viet Nam War.

As our friends at Michigan Liberal note, Phil Hart was a liberal in the best of traditions. He met with veterans protesting Vietnam when almost no one else did. He grew the only beard in the Senate, in solidarity with anti-war protesters.  Phil Hart was a fighter for social justice of an era when impassioned protest was common, unremarkable, and respected. Do you think Phil Hart would have let Ted Glick go to the slammer without intervention? No, he’d have been on the side of the saints, an agitator in the Senate itself, trying to move its direction.

He chaired the Antitrust and Environment Subcommittees in the Senate, for chrissake.

Let’s not send Ted Glick to jail.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *