"With great power comes great responsibility" may be the most quoted comic-book lines in existence. It is a credo and also, a warning, issued by Peter Parker's Uncle Ben around the time (unbeknownst to the uncle) young Peter became Spider-Man. Someone looking at politics without cynicism might say that the same could be part of the oath given to every public official all the way up to the President.
The point can't be made forcefully enough: politics is about power, increasingly great all the way up to Congress and the White House. Certainly, there are some dedicated public servants, perhaps on both sides of the aisle, who get into the business with altruism in mind -- but it is difficult to argue to power doesn't come with the position, and that the pursuit of that power is endemic to political campaigns, and the use of it is necessary to run government effectively.
Today, we'll look at power from a number of perspectives. First, we'll introduce the latest edition of This Week in Voter Suppression!™ (we're about to trademark that), digging through the fine print of Pennsylvania's voter-ID legislation. We'll look at how power is used in actual governance, from domestic to foreign policy. And as the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches this week, we'll examine the power of violence and terrorism in our lives, and how the definitions of those words have changed since that horrible day. Lastly, Melissa will end the show with a hopeful Footnote which you don't want to miss.
Our guests include:
- Judith Browne Davis, co-director of the Advancement Project.
- Mickey Edwards, former U.S. Congressman, vice president of the Aspen Institute, and author of "The Parties Versus The People."
- Amaney Jamal, politics professor at Princeton University and author of "Of Empires and Citizens."
- Valarie Kaur, Sikh American filmmaker and director of Groundswell, an initiative at Auburn Seminary.
- Eboo Patel, author of "Sacred Ground" and founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core.
- Kenji Yoshino, law professor at New York University.
As always, folks -- be sure to interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!