Editor’s Note: The day after Senate Pro Team Greg Treat’s (Oklahoma City – R) signature school voucher bill – SB 1647 – failed in the Senate, Treat met with the media to discuss the fallout. What follows is an analysis of that media session from Nathan Teague, a member of the Oklahoma Education Liberty Coalition – one of the most vocal opponents of that bill.
I highly encourage listening to the video referenced above, found below:
Below, I’ve cited particularly disturbing sections which illustrate Senator Treat’s continued militant push for SB 1647, or similar, the day after SB 1647 failed to advance on the Oklahoma Senate floor. Pay attention not only to what he said, but the way he said it, with tone of voice and facial expression. My analysis follows.
Senator Treat, in “Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat Media Availability 3/24/22” video, in relation to SB 1647 or similar agenda/initiative:
~ 30 sec: “We’re going to continue the fight, nothing’s over ever in this building…”
~ 1:15: “…I want to advance it this year, so I’m going to continue to advance it this year…”
~ 3:15: “…It’s only the 2nd bill I’ve ever lost in this chamber, the other one was in this committee in 2013, in this committee room.”
~ 4:15, when apparently asked how SB 1647 or similar can be advanced: “There’s always a way.” and ~ 5:00: “…There are a lot of hurdles, but the House wants some things as well… the deck is stacked against me obviously right now… I’m going to use everything within my power to try to get it done.”
~ 15:29: “…we do this if we pass it, and when we pass it I should say… I am convinced beyond any doubt that we’ve got to do this.”
~ 23:40, in reference to other states which have “recently taken this on”: “…the Georgia President Pro Temp lost a bill last week, 20-29 I believe…”
~ 24:35: “…I’m more excited about it today, then I was yesterday, I was disappointed, I was dismayed, I was frustrated with some people…”
And at the very end, at ~ 33:55: “…I’ve talked more about a bill that failed than I’ve talked about any that I’ve passed…”
– I hope I’m wrong, and I very much welcome the opportunity to be proven so, but Senator Treat appears to be so focused on winning, and his own self / his own agenda, that he is beyond the capability of being reasoned with on SB 1647 or similar agenda/initiative.
– His statement that the deck is stacked against him is particularly egregious/disturbing. Please allow me to shine light on that. The people of Oklahoma, overwhelmingly, are stacked against the agenda he is pushing! The rest of the cards were overwhelming stacked against US!!!
– A list of some of these other cards:
- Apparent large amounts of out-of-state money/influence
- A Governor who HEAVILY and FREQUENTLY pushed this agenda
- A State Secretary of Education who continually pushed this agenda
- An in-state “conservative” organization, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which heavily pushed this agenda, and which censored and silenced opposing/alternative viewpoint/narrative, on their Facebook page
- An aggressive push by Senator Treat, as Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore
– Any reasonable person would recognize that the prevailing of Oklahomans’ voices, through our elected Senators and against such overwhelming odds/cards, proves that Oklahoman opposition is clear and overwhelming. Either of the below possibilities, in relation to this truth, are very disturbing:
A. Senator Treat does not recognize this, and continues his militant push in ignorance of Oklahomans’ clear and overwhelming will, or worse yet,
B. Senator Treat does recognize this, and continues his militant push in spite of Oklahomans’ clear and overwhelming will.
– As mentioned, I very much welcome the opportunity to be proven wrong in my assessment that Senator Treat appears to be so focused on winning, and his own self / his own agenda, that he is beyond the capability of being reasoned with on this agenda/initiative. Should Senator Treat wish to discuss the matter with opposed / non-elected Oklahomans, myself and others would, to use his vernacular, “welcome that dialogue”. He has my e-mail.
My message to Senator Treat, should he ever read this, is as follows: It is okay to lose, Sir. It is also okay to be wrong, as long as one is capable of recognizing such and adjusting one’s thoughts and actions accordingly. It is NOT okay to continue an aggressive push of an incorrect and dangerous agenda, against Oklahomans’ will. Please consider that Oklahomans might just have a lot of wisdom to share on this matter. Public funds allocated to private education turns private education into public education, leading to erosion of Religious Liberty and Parental Autonomy in education.
Additionally, Oklahoma has an obligation to not only provide for a system of free public schools, but a QUALITY system of free public schools, that is as accountable to parents and to taxpayers as it can be. You, and the rest of Oklahoma’s elected officials, should be focusing on our state obligations. Also, please tell out-of-state meddlers to leave us alone, and go mind their own business. We are capable of thinking for ourselves and handling our own affairs in Oklahoma.
– Nathan Teague
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