July 30, 2008

Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.

Jodi Kantor tells the story of Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.
Mr. Obama... was well liked at the law school, yet he was always slightly apart from it, leaving some colleagues feeling a little cheated that he did not fully engage....

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”
What are we seeing here? A shy man? A cipher? A man with a hidden agenda?
Mr. Obama had other business on his mind, embarking on five political races during his 12 years at the school. Teaching gave him satisfaction, along with a perch and a paycheck, but he was impatient with academic debates....
This seems very practical. A good hypothesis is: Obama is a politician, through and through.
Mr. Obama arrived at the law school in 1991 thanks to Michael W. McConnell, a conservative scholar who is now a federal appellate judge. As president of The Harvard Law Review, Mr. Obama had impressed Mr. McConnell with editing suggestions on an article; on little more than that, the law school gave him a fellowship, which amounted to an office and a computer, which he used to write his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”
On little more than that... Come on. That was an easy decision. And we needn't be coy about what the "little more" was:
The school had almost no black faculty members, a special embarrassment given its location on the South Side....

His most original course, a historical and political seminar as much as a legal one, was on racism and law....
Clearly, the law school's interests were served as Obama used it to build his political career.
“Are there legal remedies that alleviate not just existing racism, but racism from the past?” Adam Gross, now a public interest lawyer in Chicago, wrote in his class notes in April 1994.
It's really rather funny to quote this long-ago law student for a point that is one of most common questions in the law of race discrimination. This is another example of presenting the ordinary as amazing.
For all the weighty material, Mr. Obama had a disarming touch. He did not belittle students; instead he drew them out, restating and polishing halting answers, students recall.
This describes nearly all law professors I've known (through a period that began in 1978).
In one class on race, he imitated the way clueless white people talked. “Why are your friends at the housing projects shooting each other?” he asked in a mock-innocent voice.
Well, this is a bit interesting. He had a "clueless white" person voice that he used it class for laughs?
As his reputation for frank, exciting discussion spread, enrollment in his classes swelled. Most scores on his teaching evaluations were positive to superlative. Some students started referring to themselves as his groupies. (Mr. Obama, in turn, could play the star. In what even some fans saw as self-absorption, Mr. Obama’s hypothetical cases occasionally featured himself. “Take Barack Obama, there’s a good-looking guy,” he would introduce a twisty legal case.)
I'm sure he was a popular teacher, but there are many popular law professors, and the locution "groupie" is not as uncommon as Kantor's prose leads you to think.
Liberals flocked to his classes...

But the liberal students did not necessarily find reassurance....

For one thing, Mr. Obama’s courses chronicled the failure of liberal policies and court-led efforts at social change...
Ahem! This is the conventional left critique of liberalism! It is a call to a stronger form of political consciousness.
... He was wary of noble theories, students say; instead, they call Mr. Obama a contextualist, willing to look past legal niceties to get results.
This was not at all special. This was absolutely standard lefty lawprof talk at the time.
For another, Mr. Obama liked to provoke. He wanted his charges to try arguing that life was better under segregation, that black people were better athletes than white ones.

“I remember thinking, ‘You’re offending my liberal instincts,’ ” Mary Ellen Callahan, now a privacy lawyer in Washington, recalled.
Offending liberal instincts was what lefty lawproffing was all about in those days. Anyone who reads this article and imagines that Obama has some conservative leanings is not getting the context.
While students appreciated Mr. Obama’s evenhandedness, colleagues sometimes wanted him to take a stand. When two fellow faculty members asked him to support a controversial antigang measure, allowing the Chicago police to disperse and eventually arrest loiterers who had no clear reason to gather, Mr. Obama discussed the issue with unusual thoughtfulness, they say, but gave little sign of who should prevail — the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposed the measure, or the community groups that supported it out of concern about crime.

“He just observed it with a kind of interest,” said Daniel Kahan, now a professor at Yale.
I would assume that colleagues strongly approved of "evenhandedness" in the classroom — which is the conventional pose, even among lawprofs who are politically engaged outside of class. The key piece of information here is that Obama either sought to avoid making a record of what he thought or he actually lacked opinions.

After his loss in the 2000 Congressional primary race to former Black Panther Bobby L. Rush, "colleagues noticed that he seemed exhausted and was smoking more than usual," and they offered him a tenured faculty position (with a job for his wife). Think about that! He never produced a word of legal scholarship, after all those years teaching, and now they would simply give him tenure — at the University of Chicago Law School, a top 5 school, where the faculty is known for voluminous scholarly publishing. The case for tenure in law school depends predominantly on scholarship. You don't get tenure for being a very popular teacher. The failure to publish anything should be fatal to the tenure case of a lawprof who was hired with a belief in his promise as a scholar, but here tenure is bundled into the original offer to someone who had demonstrated that he lacked that promise. So this is interesting. The University of Chicago Law School has some explaining to do.

It's also interesting that Obama turned down the sumptuous offer. He chose to run for the U.S. Senate. But is this hard to fathom? I don't think so. I think he'd figured something out. He had made himself into something and he knew what it was. He couldn't win the district that embraced a former Black Panther. That meant something bad, but also something really good. He was a black politician who could break out the old limitations. Running for the Senate seat was the most rational thing for him to do at that point. The run for President came soon after. He knew what he was and what he might do. And that — not anything he did as a lawprof — was amazing.

180 comments:

AllenS said...

Barack and Michelle have been affirmative actioned throughout their lives. It should make for an interesting administration.

Bissage said...

Wait a minute.

I think I get it.

The University of Chicago Law School is just like the desert.

Twelve years?

That's pretty impressive.

Eddie Thomas said...

I trust you that his performance was not amazing for a law professor, but it is worth noting that he seems to have been entirely competent as a law professor. Given that we are now judging him as a politician, I would say that being a competent law professor is a positive for him. I realize that your main point is that people are taking this information to mean more than it means, but we should take care also not to take it as less than it means.

I doubt I will vote for Obama, but knowing that he was a competent law professor at a prestigious law school does make me think more favorably of him.

downtownlad said...

AllenS is right - The only reason we even know about Obama is because of affirmative action.

Life is so easy if you're black. I mean there only about 35 million black people in this country - and positions like Editor of the Harvard Law Review and U.S. Senatorships are just being handed out like candy to them.

And let's not even talk about the millions of black women that grew up on the South side of Chicago that go to Princeton like Michelle did. Sheesh.

Simon said...

"'Are there legal remedies that alleviate not just existing racism, but racism from the past?' Adam Gross, now a public interest lawyer in Chicago, wrote in his class notes in April 1994."

I suppose that in April 1994 - nearly a year before Scalia eviscerated the concept in Adarand - it might be forgivable for someone to write such a thing if they really hadn't absorbed the lesson of Croson. But then, I suppose that Croson was being taught by that person in that time and in that place in much the same way one imagines Wainwright v. Sykes was taught at UW for a few terms until it became apparent that it was a manifesto rather than an outlier.

1jpb said...

More:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/inside-professor-obamas-classroom/

AllenS said...

I've got news for you dtl, life hasn't been easy for a lot of people. Me included.

UWS guy said...

The audacity of it all...

Allens: Ah yes AA. What will all the 86% of us white folk do now that the black 8% is gonna take all our jerbs!

Simon said...

Eddie Thomas said...
"I doubt I will vote for Obama, but knowing that he was a competent law professor at a prestigious law school does make me think more favorably of him."

Don't you have to inquire what he taught to make that assessment? Most law professors (or lecturers, in his case) don't teach "law," they teach a particular field within law. If he taught civil procedure, for example, would that make you think more favorably of him qua a Presidential candidate? I mean, I find civpro boundlessly fascinating, but I don't think it's particularly relevant to seeking political office. If he taught conlaw then maybe that would be relevant, but even then - what conlaw? Real conlaw? Or rights conlaw? So far as I can see, he taught seminars on a very narrow field of rights conlaw, something that isn't really that impressive a qualification for political office. I mean, if you were looking for a judge, maybe, but I would think that for a President, if teaching is a qualification, teaching Conlaw 1, or Crimpro, or even federal courts would be the sort of courses you'd look for.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The more I hear about Obama and Michelle, the more worried I get about our future.

He is a racist narcissistic megalomaniac and not as bright as he would like us all to think. Affirmative action indeed.

Be afraid be very afraid.

“Are there legal remedies that alleviate not just existing racism, but racism from the past?” Adam Gross, now a public interest lawyer in Chicago, wrote in his class notes in April 1994

As someone already said...translation...Make Whitey pay. Hmmmmm I wonder if I can get a discount because half of my family heritage didn't live in the US until after the Civl War and the other half fought in the war or were Quakers who helped liberate slaves. Naaaah. Probably not. White=guilty.

Be afraid people.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Just curious;

What is a privacy lawyer? How do you get THAT specialized?

I wonder too; none of the former pupils interviwed is a corporate attorney, or even in standard private practice. I wonder how those folks would describe Obama's classes? Were they too busy to talk to the press, too detractive of The Obama, or too few as grads of Chitown Law to matter?

AllenS said...

"And let's not even talk about the millions of black women that grew up on the South side of Chicago that go to Princeton like Michelle did." [Bold added].

How many millions of black women from the south side of Chicago go to college? I'd be willing to bet, that since Obama was a community organizer that more people from the south side of Chicago are worse off.

knox said...

downtownlad,

I am impressed by how sincerely passionate you are about so many social issues lately. Your words about "black men" and yes "black women" are insightful.

dbp said...

"...he seems to have been entirely competent as a law professor"

I don't think so. A major aspect of being a law prof. is to produce a body of scholarly work. Obama had nothing published while he was there. There isn't even any sign that he wrote articles and then had them rejected.

He didn't even try to be a competent law prof.

Headless Blogger said...

I am awaiting Prof. Althouse's grading of Prof. Obama's exam answer memos that are available at 1jbp's link. That could possibly be the first published critique of Prof. Obama's legal scholarship.

I got a kick out of the paragraph at the start of his 1997 memo.

"First, let me apologize for the extreme tardiness in getting this memo to you. Due
to a miscue between me and my secretary in Springfield, I thought it had been faxed to
the registrar and distributed over two months ago."

He couldn't be bothered to grade these exams on time, then he blames his secretary. A pattern that continues to this day.

Revenant said...

He had a "clueless white" person voice that he used it class for laughs?

Isn't that his normal voice?

Richard Dolan said...

At bottom, this just gets back to the Rev Wright's assessment that O is a politician and has been for a long time, and thus there's nothing odd about learning that O has been doing what politicians do for a long time.

The second fact that jumps out is Ann's observation that, from early on, "he knew what he was and what he might do." Yes, indeed. The power of autobiography -- how to make it, shape it and use it -- has been his message and the source of his appeal from his first campaign. It's interesting that it sold much better in a state-wide race than it did at first in the tougher precincts of inner city Chicago.

But he's losing his touch a bit. The pre-mature victory laps, and all the president-in-all-but-name stuff (e.g., that ridiculous seal), are turning autobiography against him. It's one thing to hold himself out as the agent of "hope and change," but it's a bit grating to act like Hope and Change personified. People are noticing, and it's working against him.

JohnTaylor88 said...

Isn't that his normal voice?

This is hilarious.

But, all black elites can do that voice. If you haven't heard it, then you are probably source material.

vbspurs said...

An absolutely fascinating skeletonisation of Professor Obama, thanks, Ann.

I think Obama feeds off of the power of politics, most of all.

If you go down the line of recent Presidents, they seem to exude this about why they became President:

Eisenhower -- To Lead
Kennedy -- To Challenge
Johnson -- For Power
Nixon -- For Redemption and Control
Carter -- To Better Humanity
Reagan -- For the Triumph of Values
Bush Sr -- For Duty
Clinton -- For Power, For Vanity
Bush Jr -- For the Triumph of Values & Redemption

Now we have McCain and Obama. What makes them tick? WHY do they want the Presidency?

McCain is another "Duty" guy, like the similarly liberal Republican from a good family, Bush Sr. He even has one-term written all over him, because it's just not enough to fire anyone's else engines.

But Obama mixes Johnson/Clinton with Carter, in what is a deadly mixture of narcissicist do-goodism.

Such people are dangerous, because they make others believe in their mission to raise the world up from the morass where it lies.

In so doing, they have nothing more to offer than programmes, feel good talk, and when it comes falling apart, directives from on-high which makes people stop loving them.

Should he be elected, the crash will almost be as fascinating to watch, as it will be gruelling because it's our whole country involved again.

Cheers,
Victoria

Bruce Hayden said...

Over at Vololkh.com, the biggest discussion is about offering him tenure and her a job.

I am personally fine with granting tenure to great teachers who under publish, esp. in law school. I have always felt that the pumping out of scholarly nonsense in order to get tenured does the students few favors. That is one reason that I am happy that I attended a small liberal arts school that pushed teaching over research.

But this does look very bad for Chicago, one of the top ranked law schools in the country. A lot of reasons have been given, including that the school desperately needed Black faculty to keep everyone (including the ABA) happy.

One troubling suggestion though was that Obama has been closely connected with the Chicago political machine (now days, the Daly(2) machine), and that he was being pushed by that machine. The school, being in Chicago, pretty much had to cave.

Which does bring up one of Obama's negatives that is rarely mentioned - that he is closely tied into probably the most effective remaining political machine in the country, and that comes with all the negatives of a political machine, including a lot of quid pro quod corruption (note some of his Chicago connections).

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, that was an interesting read.

Here's another interesting read, about John McCain, liar:

"For four days, Sen. John McCain and his allies have accused Sen. Barack Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers by canceling a visit to a military hospital because he could not take reporters with him, despite no evidence that the charge is true...

A reconstruction of the circumstances surrounding Obama's decision not to visit Landstuhl, based on firsthand reporting from the trip, shows that his campaign never contemplated taking the media with him."

From today's Washington Post.

And, and this is rich....
"Asked repeatedly for the "reports," Bounds provided three examples, none of which alleged that Obama had wanted to take members of the media to the hospital."

Yup. The McCain campaign just manufactured that charge from thin air.

vbspurs said...

Ann, I remember you said that you delete comments only if they're brought to your attention.

If so, I'd like to publicly request a deletion of the 12:19 comment, due to its extreme misogyny.

Cheers,
Victoria

Paul Snively said...

The power of autohagiography -- how to make it, shape it and use it -- has been his message and the source of his appeal from his first campaign.

Fixed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Trumpit farted out of his ass:Getting back to that miserable slime ball, DBQ, I bet you look just like John McCain albeit with big tits. You are throughly disgusting. You are one big wart - impossible to remove dermatologically without your disintegrating into a puddle of pus.

LOL... oh wait....boo hoo my day is ruined Trumpit doesn't like me. :-D Did I step on his wittle feelings by dissing his bestest boyfriend buddy Obama.

Doyle said...

For unintentional comedy, I don't know if it gets any better than Ann Althouse complaining about anyone else not being tenured law professor material.

Trooper York said...

"I bet you look just like John McCain albeit with big tits."

And as we all know, commenters with big tits should invest in the proper bra. I would suggest a Prima Donna brand bra from leeleesvalise.com. Available in sizes up to 46G, these bras are hand sewn and are quarrantied to be more supportive than Alpa Liberal is supportive of Barack Obama. Now that's support.

Available with matching panties is several exciting colors including basic black, taupe, chocolate brown, azure blue and a very, very sexy red.

Check it out on the newly improved website with three new webcasts.

Trooper York said...

And to answer your question, they are not, I repeat not machine washable. They should be hand washed and line dried so as to preserve the beautiful lace and the hand sewn underwire which is both functional and extremely comfortable.

vbspurs said...

Doyle, it's funny how you got from this article that Ann was complaining. I think most of us got that Obama was a "good white person" mimic, instead.

You know, like Reverend Wright mimicked Jack and Ted Kennedy in that NAACP speech.

Or should I say mocked.

Either way, Doyle, read it again. This time without the halo of resentment.

Cheers,
Victoria

Trumpit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. Rich said...

Better than the Althouse-average piece, Althouse. I'm prone to believe that Obama is running a con, and has been for essentially all of his adult life. He has all the qualities of a good con man, whose actual self always remains out of sight while he is involved in the caper: likeable, articulate, charming, persuasive, able to generate an endless amount of meaningless BS that moves things along toward a goal only he is pursuing.

The Obamessiah is a classic type of con man, the social savior who has appeared in various guises from the Pied Piper of Hamelin to Adolph. But in essence they are all the same - inherently dishonest and often dangerous, carefully hiding their true motives and intent until they have what they want.

john said...

Trumpit - you are one funny guy. I'm sure all the other guys in the dorm think so too.

vbspurs said...

But this does look very bad for Chicago, one of the top ranked law schools in the country. A lot of reasons have been given, including that the school desperately needed Black faculty to keep everyone (including the ABA) happy.

Bruce, I know you know, but this offering of the spouse (if qualified) a two-fer is not uncommon in academia.

Two competing universities who wanted my father a lot in the 80s, offered my mother a "lecturer" spot too.

People may reply, "but it's a Top 5 school, Vic!". Yeah, but consider the situation, the person, and the message.

Cheers,
Victoria

garage mahal said...

Bush Jr -- For the Triumph of Values & Redemption

I don't care who you are. That was fucking funny.

Henry said...

Bush Jr -- For the Triumph of Values & Redemption

C'mon V, in 2000 Bush Jr. ran because he was bored.

Doyle said...

Either way, Doyle, read it again. This time without the halo of resentment.

LOL. You have to understand that for me reading Ann's posts is the intellectual equivalent of running barefoot across a bed of red hot coals. It burns terribly, but it's kind of exhilarating when it's all over.

I got the first time that this isn't a wholly anti-Obama post, which is why I never characterized it as such. I was just amused at the irony of Ann saying "Him, a law professor??"

Also, it's a little bit silly for her to treat the "clueless white person" locution as if it came from him instead of the author of the NYT piece.

And what of it anyway? There are clueless people of all colors. Maybe Ann's the one wearing the resentment halo.

Triangle Man said...

Bush Jr -- For the Triumph of Values & Redemption

I thought this was the result of a $1 bet between two rich and powerful geezers.

Henry said...

this isn't a wholly anti-Obama post

Not wholly? Not at all. The post doesn't mock Obama -- it mocks Jodi Kantor's breathless prose.

The problem with Obama's lack of publications isn't a critique of Obama -- it's a critique of the University of Chicago. Ann, where's the "lameness" label?

If anything, Ann's takeaway about Obama is very positive.

amba said...

One troubling suggestion though was that Obama has been closely connected with the Chicago political machine (now days, the Daly(2) machine), and that he was being pushed by that machine. The school, being in Chicago, pretty much had to cave.

Which does bring up one of Obama's negatives that is rarely mentioned - that he is closely tied into probably the most effective remaining political machine in the country, and that comes with all the negatives of a political machine, including a lot of quid pro quod corruption (note some of his Chicago connections).


Bruce Hayden: your general point about Chicago politics is right, but I was listening to Ryan Lizza (who wrote the NYer piece on Obama's political coming up in Chi, my hometown) and it sounded as if he had been more connected to Harold Washington and the "independents" who opposed the Daly machine, until Daly Jr. came in and was a pretty good mayor and the lines became blurred. I haven't read the piece yet, though.

amba said...

Bush Jr -- For the Triumph of Values & Redemption

That's HIS OWN redemption, not ours!!

Doyle said...

Amba -

I have read the Lizza piece and your characterization of Obama's relationship with Daly is consistent with it.

He was never that closely tied to Daly, and these days Daly is tied to him.

The Deacon said...

I used to see this comment section as a bad car accident that would scar my brain to look at, but I just couldn't resist taking a peak. Now it's just a circle jerk. Neutral indeed. Where's the posts about McCain fuck-ups and flip flops? They happen quite regularly and you don't even need to read into them to get it. Didn't you notice?

john said...

The Deacon said -
Where's the posts about McCain fuck-ups and flip flops? They happen quite regularly and you don't even need to read into them to get it. Didn't you notice?

Who?

vbspurs said...

DBQ wrote:

The more I hear about Obama and Michelle, the more worried I get about our future.

Richard Dolan wrote:

The pre-mature victory laps

I wrote:

Such people are dangerous, because they make others believe in their mission to raise the world up from the morass where it lies.

P. Rich wrote:

But in essence they are all the same - inherently dishonest and often dangerous, carefully hiding their true motives and intent until they have what they want.

Different ways of putting. Same message.

Liberals said it of George W. Bush. According to them, he would be dangerous based on the person he was, and what he believed in.

So if you are one of those people who believed it came to pass, listen to us, the Conservatives, about Obama.

Because nothing makes one see more clearly, than peering down a chasm.

Cheers,
Victoria

john said...

Sorry, by "who" I meant that McCain guy you mentioned.

Doyle said...

listen to us, the Conservatives

ROFL. Not bloody likely.

vbspurs said...

ROFL. Not bloody likely.

Then reap the consequences, and bear the 8 to 10 years of insults.

1jpb said...

V,

You are all singing off the same sheet. And, it's a new version of the Rove theme. But, y'all can still further conserve words while staying on message:

BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote McCain.

ricpic said...

In one class on race, he [Obama] imitated the way clueless white people talked, "Why are your friends at the housing projects shooting each other?" he asked in a mock-innocent voice.

Well, why are blacks in the housing projects shooting each other? Not only is it not a clueless question, it is a perfectly legitimate question. Mock the question and the questioner all you like, Obama, it won't make off the charts black violence go away.

vbspurs said...

Actually, we just know a Chimera when we see one. Something which seems, but is not.

section9 said...

The late Hannah Holborn Gray was past President of the University of Chicago. Back in the Mike Bilandic/ Jane Byrne years, she a Democratic Commiteewoman for the 5th Ward, which controls what gets done in Hyde Park. Her tenure as a cog in the Machine was symbolic of the symbiotic relationship the City has with the University.

Daley and his consigliere (people like Axelrod, who have been around for ever), saw that a U. of C. tenured position would give Obama needed street cred. The University offered it to Barack because the boys Downtown wanted him to have it. Remember, by this time (2000-2002), Barack was wired in with Emil Jones in Springfield.

I'm a U. of C. grad. You don't get tenure at one of the Research Schools without any scholarship. PERIOD. Some muscle was applied. For the Law School to offer Obama tenure without Barack owning paper is akin to the Met Lab allowing the Maroons Football team to do atomic pile research under Stagg Field in 1942: Not Happening (btw-the original A-Bomb uranium pile research was done just west of where the Regenstein Library is today, last I heard that massive library structure was sinking into the ground....). The tenured position was clearly offered to burnish Barack's "legend".

By the time Obama was preparing his run at the U.S. Senate, Richie Daley was firmly in control of the City. That would include the Fifth Ward.

What do you think these Outfit Guys are, stupid? They've been massaging Barack's background since he got to Springfield. They know that if they get him to DC, it's gravy train time for every Ward Boss and Machine Goon from Division Street right on down to Springfield.

Barack's their meal ticket. And Althouse is going on about a little tenure? "I got your tenure right here, pal!"

Of course, Chicago still has the best pan pizza, bar none: Giordano's.

Doyle said...

Victoria -

What consequences could ignoring conservatives have that could possibly be any worse than the consequences of listening to conservatives?

They/you are just flamboyantly wrong about everything. Which conservatives are we supposed to be listening to, exactly? Jonah Goldberg? David Frum?

It's hard enough finding conservatives these days who can even be taken seriously, let alone listened to. The GOP of 2008 isn't a council of wise elders, it's a small and shrinking monkey cage.

Mark said...

Without commenting specifically on the Obama/UoC offer, I think tenure is an interesting concept at Universities. What is the primary mission of a Law School? Is it to teach and mentor the students to become competent lawyers? Or is it to have faculty pen articles for scholarly journals? These may not be mutually exclusive goals but in my University days (Economics) I rarely found a brilliant, widely published academic who could teach worth a damn (none actually). Those with real teaching skill were never ever the former. It would seem any good University needs a combination of both and a law school more of the later. (I work on Wall street and did a very un-scientific poll of 3 lawyer friends (all Harvard)at major firms; all & without exception said that the big name "scholars" were rarely seen and none added "dick" to their practical education and little to their theoretical knowledge.

Trooper York said...

I once thought that I had glimpsed a chimera. It was at a Mexican restaurant.

It turned out to be a chalupa.

Simon said...

section9 said...
"Daley and his consigliere (people like Axelrod, who have been around for ever)...."

You want consiglieri, the plural form of the singular noun consigliere.

SteveR said...

You know Doyle, I can understand how you might get enjoyment from reading Ann's posts and feeling the exhileration that comes from moral and intellectual superiority, but why, pray tell, take the time to try to explain all this to us?

I don't point out to the dog that eating cat shit out the litter box is stupid because only I know what stupid is not the dog. Stop wasting time on us. We are beyond hope and not worthy.

Simon said...

Mark said...
"What is the primary mission of a Law School? Is it to teach and mentor the students to become competent lawyers? Or is it to have faculty pen articles for scholarly journals? These may not be mutually exclusive goals...."

Not only are they not mutually exclusive, but the general consensus ) I had thought - is that writing about law is considered an integral part of teaching it.

KLDAVIS said...

The reason Obama didn't publish any scholarly work is because he doesn't have opinions, at least not any he has any interest in making publicly available. He has a combination of every academic's fear of being wrong and every politician's fear of being pinned down. He won't commit himself to anything that hasn't been focus grouped.

I was at Chicago (undergrad, though taking several classes in the Law School) while Obama was there, and he was the state senator for my district. Despite meeting him several times, I know next to nothing about him or his feelings on any issue. And, I have nothing positive to say about the man.

For the most part, he is an unknown, just like he planned.

1jpb said...

I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 1000.

OK mind readers, what is it?

vbspurs said...

Duplicate action error

Tried of Blogger giving me these errors, and having to retype.

Sorry guys, tennis awaits. Ciao.

Palladian said...

"I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 1000.

OK mind readers, what is it?"

666?

Jill M. said...

Obama? Boring! What about Ted Stevens?!?!! Althouse, c'mon!

Randy said...

The more some people on both sides of the aisle open their mouths (or in this case post comments), the more one is reminded of that sage advice:

Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.

Some prefer this version:

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Simon said...

1jpb said...
"I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 1000. OK mind readers, what is it?"

"It" is presumably a number, most likely between one and a thousand.

Simon said...

Jill,
Obama likes to talk about uniting the country. Ted Stevens is the real deal. Ted Stevens unites Republicans and Democrats alike in utter disgust and contempt for Ted Stevens, and you will find very few members of either party who aren't taking considerably glee in his indictment.

John said...

How do you not ever take a stand with your fellow law school professors? Professors love to argue and talk about their fields. That is half the reason you become a law professor is for the joy of being able to talk through your views with other elites in the field. How can anyone with an ounce of intellectual curiosity not want to sit down and go at it with Richard Epstein? Even if you think he is whacked, who wouldn't want a shot at that guy every day?

I don't know quite what to make of that fact. It could be that Obama just isn't very bright and was intimidated and afraid to really take a stand and engage with the likes Epstein for fear of being embarassed. Considering his Texas sized ego, that is unlikly. It could be that Obama really doesn't think about these issues and had no interest in talking about them. Maybe he just doesn't have a lot of intellectual curiosity. It could also be that he is cold and calculating and was afraid to say something that would someday come back to bite him. I think this is most likly.

All and all it seems that he is not a particularly nice or soulful fellow. I for the life of me can't figure out anything he has ever done that wasn't calculated to benefit him and his career.

Palladian said...

"For the most part, he is an unknown, just like he planned."

Just like a piece of wood might be carved into either a Grinling Gibbons or a broom handle. You just never know! Pull the lever! Vote Barack Obama! What have you got to lose?

Paul Zrimsek said...

It is the third-person singular neuter pronoun. But that's not important right now.

paul a'barge said...

Said in my most obvious "clueless white" person voice:

Not good enough. You're going to have to wash my car again if you expect to get paid".

Palladian said...

"How can anyone with an ounce of intellectual curiosity not want to sit down and go at it with Richard Epstein? Even if you think he is whacked, who wouldn't want a shot at that guy every day?"


No! Look at him! The guy's clearly eeeeeevil! (at least according to the New York Times' photographer)

Palladian said...

Ha, the photographer of that old NY Times piece is none other than Bruce Gilden, who someone here linked the other day.

MadisonMan said...

writing about law is considered an integral part of teaching it.

Alas, writing and teaching are fundamentally different skill sets. The number of people who clearly excel at both is vanishingly small.

Ann Althouse said...

Victoria, I sometimes delete comments without someone pointing out the problem first, but I don't see everything, so that's why I say people shouldn't complain about a failure to delete if they haven't tried asking for a deletion.

I have no idea what set Trumpit off there, but that was, I agree, in appropriate.

Ann Althouse said...

You know, I'm sure I'd have laughed too if a black lawprof had used a dumb white guy accent to express a dumb argument that some white people make. But can you imagine what would happen if a white lawprof used a dumb black guy accept to express a dumb argument that some black people make? He would probably be accused of racial harassment and subjected to university disciplinary procedures.

James said...

I hate to sound perhaps a little like a Doyle or downtownlad, but we have had so much about Obama lately, most of them negative, and nothing about McCain, even though lately there are plenty of negative aspects about McCain:

1) Going from "I will never raise your taxes," "Barack Obama will raise your taxes, I won't," to "nothing is off the table." (Sounds a lot like a recent Obama Iraq-related flip-flop that everyone criticized.)

2) The attack ad about him not visiting a hospital because reporters weren't allowed with him, even though there is no evidence of this whatsoever, and continuing to bring it up whenever he can even after this lack of any evidence has been brought to his attention.

3) The new attack ad, juxtaposing pictures of Obama with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, apparently because Obama is now only "the world's biggest celebrity."

People want to talk about how liberal the media is, but these things barely register a blip, while the Iraq flip flop and the fake story about the hospital were covered extensively.

I have to give McCain credit for his brilliant strategy here, however. He is taking advantage of the fact that the media and public focus is almost exclusively on Obama, and is throwing as much crap at him as possible, regardless of its truth or falsity, and hoping that enough of it sticks. On the other hand, so much for the "straight talk express".

knox said...

I think tenure is an interesting concept at Universities.

Me too... if by "interesting" you mean "stupid." My big beef with it is that it allows people to teach who often have little or no real-world experience. Professors are supposed to be wordly and all that, but it seems to me they strive for tenure so that they can settle in, surrounded by the same people for the rest of their lives. Forget publishing or whatever, professors should have to get off their asses and go get a job periodically.

Trooper York said...

Exactly right Knox. In the building trades, you learn by working with people doing the work, not with people who learned it out of a book. Why is that only good for a plumber but not for a lawyer or accountant?

But even more than professors, politicians should be required to have been people who actually have had a real world job, ran a business or worked for someone in a management position. You should never trust someone whose only job has been as a politician.

Simon said...

Knox, Trooper - see generally Jerome Frank, A Plea for Lawyer-Schools, 56 Yale L.J. 1303 (1947). I have to admit, I'm skeptical of this idea - scholars and practicing lawyers have quite different and sometimes incompatible mindsets. Scholars are impelled to think of law as a rubick's cube, a puzzle to be solved. The right answer is the right answer. Lawyers are impelled to think of law as a toolbox. The right answer is the answer that helps their client. Is legislative history a valid interpretative tool? You don't want the answer to be "sure, if it can be used to argue the court below should be reversed." That's why at both the fedsoc student symposiums I've been to, it's been stressed at workshops for aspirant lawprofs that you shouldn't spend too much time in private practice before coming back to the ivory tower.

JohnTaylor88 said...

You don't want the answer to be "sure, if it can be used to argue the court below should be reversed."

That's a traditional, conventional thought, but Heller relied on a fair amount of scholarship.

ricpic said...

No more dead serious posts from Troop.

You want to give all us pigeonholers a heart attack?

Trooper York said...

Blah, blah, blah...don't let them see you put the rabbit in the hat...blah, blah, blah....put in some big words, especially Latin to dazzle em'.....you know like abracadabra.....remember never let them see behind the curtain....that will be a $5,000
retainer...blah, blah, blah... ipso facto.

Ann Althouse said...

I have questions about the value of legal scholarship, but that's not the point. The point is there is a system, you get tenure based on qualifying, and there are standards, and the main one is scholarship.

You might question the quality and the quantity of someone's scholarship, but Obama had absolutely NONE. Good for him for rejecting that offer, which he did not deserve, and that probably would have affected how he was viewed but the rest of the Chicago faculty, the ones who excel in scholarship and publish more than any other law school.

Here's how I picture their thought process: We have this problem of not having enough black lawprofs, and here he is, an accomplished teacher that the students love, covering the race and gender course that they want to take, that a law school ought to have, and none of us want to bother with. And we can get the wife too -- and that will be one more black person here to keep the pressure off us. She can do a clinic. Simple!

***

But basically, the idea of doing scholarship is to work through your ideas carefully and see whether they really fit together. You can have a lot of opinions about law. It's easy. But can you make it all cohere in writing? That is not easy. Not even to try to do that is a real problem.

As for me, I had plenty of articles, in prestigious journals, and I received tenure a year early. I was promoted to full professor after that, and, based on further scholarship, I have an endowed professorship now. I'm sure that annoys the hell out of some of you.

Trooper York said...

I just paid a shyster a $5,000 retainer for some copyright, trademark bullshit that I could probably do myself on Legal Zoom if I had the time. So I really hate lawyers today.

More than usual.

LutherM said...

ANN;
I thought that was a perceptive, intriguing BLOG posting.
The University of Chicago, a non-governmental entity, can legally have a preference for a percentage of red-headed otters, as students or teachers.
Where the faculty is predominantly white, hiring a bright Harvard Law educated black who made Law Review is both politically correct and justifiable on the traditional grounds of merit-based hiring.
I suppose, given the track record of some liberal universities - a perusal of scholarship emanating from some Black Studies Departments is discouraging - offering tenure makes absolute sense; but I'm as amazed as you that U. of Chicago LAW SCHOOL offered Obama tenure without Barack publishing any scholarly work - I had thought better of them.
I wonder how often, if ever, Obama heard from his students the lines of Mr. Justice Harlan, “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens”

garage mahal said...

He is a racist narcissistic megalomaniac and not as bright as he would like us all to think. Affirmative action indeed.

Then he has alot in common with McCain, who did graduate, but 5th from the bottom of his class. Being a son of a famous Admiral he leap-frogged ahead of more qualified applicants and was granted a coveted slot to be trained as a navy pilot. The "rowdy, raunchy, underachiever" drove a Corvette and dated an exotic dancer "Marie the Flame of Florida", proceeded to crash 5 militay aircraft and the Navy ignored it and graduated him anyway in 1960. Stuff of legends.

Henry said...

He drove a Corvette?!

Randy said...

I have an endowed professorship now. I'm sure that annoys the hell out of some of you.

Despite living back of beyond, even I heard the gnashing of teeth and screams of despair.

As to your main point, about probable thought process involved at the U of C, that was close enough to my first thought as to make no difference. As you say, Good for him for rejecting that offer.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Then he has alot in common with McCain, who did graduate, but 5th from the bottom of his class. Being a son of a famous Admiral he leap-frogged ahead of more qualified applicants and was granted a coveted slot to be trained as a navy pilot. The "rowdy, raunchy, underachiever" drove a Corvette and dated an exotic dancer "Marie the Flame of Florida", proceeded to crash 5 militay aircraft and the Navy ignored it and graduated him anyway in 1960. Stuff of legends.

I don't care for McCain much so you aren't hurting my feelings in the least by pointing out that McCain isn't a very good candidate either. In fact I'm now more inclined to maybe vote for him now that I know he drove a Corvette and dated wild women.
I'd rather have a rowdy raunchy underachiever than a racist elitist emotionless self absorbed overachiever in charge of the country. Everything that Kerry was except for the racist part.

One of them has lived and had some real world experiences with real world working people...even a stripper counts as a working girl. The other has spent his life in an elitist academic bubble when he wasn't hobnobbing with terrorists and racist preachers and has no clue how the other half lives nor does he really care.

How we ended up with these two clowns is a discrace.

John said...

garage mahal,

Certainly McCain got his start in his military career thanks to his family. No one could argue that. And if that is all he did, you would have a point. There is however that sticky situation involving his Medal of Honor. He did not receive that because of daddy. He received that because he exhibited unbelievable character and determination in an unbelievably horrific situation. You should wake up every day and thank God that you get to live in this country and never have to make the sacrifices McCain and other Medal of Honor winners have had to make.

I am sorry but the "he was a bad pilot" shtick is insulting and disgusting. Winning the Medal of Honor doesn't mean you should be President. But, it does mean that you should never have the value of your service questioned by piss ants like you.

Randy said...

proceeded to crash 5 militay aircraft and the Navy ignored it and graduated him anyway in 1960. Stuff of legends.

No doubt.

I've heard versions of this story before, most of the authors hoping to convince the reader that this made McCain unqualified. Every time I hear it, I wonder just how many people walk away from an aircraft crash the first time much less a second or third. So, barring written proof that he was drunk & disorderly at the time, I'll give him a pass.

Scott Colom said...

Althouse:

I have some comments about this post.

First, it should be noted that the reporter characterized the accent, which was a product of a former student's interpretation. Obama surely didn't say this is the accent stupid white people use when they make a stupid argument. Why couldn't it been the accent of an Asian, Indian, or Hispanic American? What about another black person? Everyone makes dumb comments. Why do we assume race played a part in the accent at all? Why couldn't it have simply been the accent of a dumb person?

I imagine some people would assume the nature of the comment would likely mean the accent was racial. Nevertheless, I don't think that's fair to Obama, and it assumes the race of an individual can be determined by the content of the speech. I reject that. Honestly, I may have laughed at the statement, but only for the ridiculousness of it, not for a belief that it was assuming a particular race is likely to say it.

Second, in relation to your recent posts, I think the choice of subject matter has become a little one-sided. I know you have stated that you plan on supporting Obama in the election, and I absolutely believe you. However, you have recently spent an uneven time on Obama and mostly ignored McCain. I would be interested to hear your thoughts about some of the recent developments in the McCain campaign. I would appreciate a long piece looking closely at his campaign, negative or positive.

Cheers!

1jpb said...

"what would happen if a white lawprof used a dumb black guy accept to express a dumb argument that some black people make?"

This was a comment that avoided what BHO was mocking. The use of 'some' is different than assuming BHO is 'friends' with, or knows, or is responsible for all black folks who may shoot each other.

BHO wasn't suggesting that it's unreasonable to ask about black violence. But, some white folks need to learn that black folks are individuals.

The corollary would be if there were a lot of white professors being asked to account for and explain white serial killers precisely because they're also white. The question isn't just an ordinary dumb question, it's going up to someone of a different race and using racial characterizations and stereotypes to their face, that the insult is unintentional is irrelevant.

It's telling that some folks still don't see this double standard, even as BHO explicitly points it out. They can't psychologically grasp that it could be unrealistic and stupid to ask a black person to explain and account for other completely unrelated black people because they have the same skin color.

If one must be critical of BHO for using very soft humor to try and delicately point this out, they should still save most of their concern for the underlying phenomena to which he was referring.

And, there are a lot of folks making a lot of unfounded extrapolations from this one article.

Here's just one more data point.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oped0314obamamar14,0,7185898.story

And there are dozens of articles and a pair of books out there too.

One would expect more, you know, to make it all cohere in writing.

Fen said...

"He is a racist narcissistic megalomaniac and not as bright as he would like us all to think. Affirmative action indeed."

garage mahal: Then he has alot in common with McCain, who did graduate, but 5th from the bottom of his class. Being a son of a famous -

Ah, isn't funny how quickly the Left stumbles down the Tu Quoque. You don't even need to shove them.

And Ann, thanks for background context, ie. This was not at all special. This was absolutely standard lefty lawprof talk at the time. You are the only honest Obama fan I've met to date.

Palladian said...

Hey garage–

How's your candidate Hillary doing?

HAHAHAHA

bearbee said...

... professors should have to get off their asses and go get a job periodically.

You should be rigorously arguing that point against politicians who directly affect your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, who for decades occupy ivory tower power positions ......

garage mahal said...

John
I'm well within the parameters that have been set, and not by me. Remember Republicans attending their convention with purple band-aids? McCain signed a confession and declared himself a "black criminal who performed deeds of an air pirate." He received the nation's third highest award, the Silver Star, for what amounts to treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy. He received 12 medals for being in the air for 12 hours.

You tell me if his war hero status is overplayed or not....

John said...

garage mahal,

He signed that statement torture. The fact remains that when offered a chance to leave early and be used as a propaganda tool by the North Vietnamese, McCain turned it down. It was an act of unbelievable courage on McCain's part. He earned his Medal of Honor. Again, that doesn't mean he should be President. But there is no denying his courage.

It amazes me how liberals can shed tears over poor KSM being waterboarded but then drag that statement up to use against McCain. If only McCain were a murderous anti-American pschopath, he would get so much more love from liberals.

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
I have questions about the value of legal scholarship, but that's not the point. The point is there is a system, you get tenure based on qualifying, and there are standards, and the main one is scholarship.

Nonsense. Tenure is a built in system for the universities to have their people not questioned. What if you lose your mind? I've said this before, a long time ago, ME, blue collar worker, took a lawyer in front of the bar association, and I beat him. The thought that YOU are above having your views questioned is disturbing. What people who have tenure worry about is people like me. I never went to school after high school. But, I'll bet I can do more things than anybody who went to college can do. And, that includes court room settings. Tenure sucks.

knox said...

1jpb,

thank you for your insight on black violence, white folks, black folks, white professors, white serial killers, racial characterizations and stereotypes, black people, and skin color.

The hauteur and finger-wagging on race from our democrat commenters today is something else. Even dtl is on board on some thread or another.

Lawgiver said...

McCain had a corvette?

A real, honest to goodness corvette?

All I had was a lousy 6 cylinder Ford Comet.

I am so not voting for him now.

Ralph said...

I'm sure that annoys the hell out of some of you.

Everyone else's income is dependent on current performance in the marketplace. How many felonies does a tenured prof have to commit to lose his? Even a congresscritter has to raise money & stand for reelection, even if it's only a formality for most of them.

In Trollope's Barchester Towers, IMO his best & funniest novel, Dr. Stanhope gets several lucrative Church preferments and moves to Italy...for years.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I'm sure that annoys the hell out of some of you."

Only the ones who haven't read said articles.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:

Do you have one of those stripper's poles? Cause I think Mr. Colom just ordered you to get down on it.

Ralph said...

He earned his Medal of Honor
John, you're confusing him with Adm Stockdale.

garage mahal said...

John
It wasn't up to McCain to turn it down, there is no "early release". The Code of Conduct prevents it. Officers were to accept release in the order they were captured.

Simon said...

JohnTaylor88 said...
"[Simon said 'Is legislative history a valid interpretative tool? You don't want the answer to be "sure, if it can be used to argue the court below should be reversed."'] That's a traditional, conventional thought, but Heller relied on a fair amount of scholarship."

But no legislative history - indeed, it goes out of its way to take a shot at such. It doesn't conduct a seance to reconstruct the import of a detail that went into the Committee on Style and never came out. Heller's a wonderfully clear example of original meaning originalism - it looks at the text, asks how reasonable people contemporaneous with its proposal would have understood what the text provided, and procedes thence.

Lawgiver said...

He received the nation's third highest award, the Silver Star, for what amounts to treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy.....It wasn't up to McCain to turn it down, there is no "early release". The Code of Conduct prevents it.

I guess you haven't been exposed to any SERE training because it is clear you don't know what you are talking about.

For some reason that reminded me of Jeremiah Denton, another captured naval aviator, who used his eyes and blinked out " T O R T U R E" while simultaneously telling a TV audience what a criminal he was.

Fen said...

It's telling that some folks still don't see this double standard, even as BHO explicitly points it out. They can't psychologically grasp that it could be unrealistic and stupid to ask a black person to explain and account for other completely unrelated black people because they have the same skin color.

I think it stopped being "unrealistic" when record numbers of black males were either in prison or on parole.

"One in eight black men in their twenties and thirties are behind bars, compared to 1 in 63 white men. For black male high school dropouts, 41 percent of those between 22 and 30 years old were locked up as of 1999, and this astounding figure is probably even higher today."

Add to that the 80 percent of black children born out of wedlock, and its not surprising that our society began asking black males: what the hell?!

John said...

garage mahal,

Of course it would have been violation of the code you moron. That is why he was right in turning it down. Accepting it would have violated the code. At the same time, any mortal with normal fears and desires would have taken the chance to get out and the military would have never prosecuted them for it because of the extenuating circumstances. McCain turned it down and did his duty.

I don't know why it is so hard for some people to accept that someone on the other side politically can be a decent person. People like you are pathetic. You just can't grasp the idea that McCain could be wrong politically but still a brave and honorable American. No, you must denegrate everything about him because he is a Republican. He must be a traitor and evil regardless of the facts. The immaturity and childishness of a certain breed of person in this country never fails to disapoint me.

Fen said...

Good thing Edwards is out too:

Sept 2007. Edwards: "The idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating -- pretty soon we're not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They're all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two."

March 2006, Edwards: Young African American men see their options as going to prison or dying. As a result, they don't invest in their education, they don't invest in their futures and when they father children, they don't support them."

But wait, it gets better. Here's the Prophet Himself:

We have more work to do when more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America.
--Barrack Obama, NAACP forum, July 12, 2007.

/via ReasonOnline

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/122798.html

dr kill said...

Dear Ann, may I gently inquire if you feel you were tenured and endowed because you are female? The timing and school and everything seem just right for a woman to get the job. I bet the Whiskey Law School really wished Sammy Davis Jr.'s daughter was available.

Are you bothered that some people may think this?

I am not against affirmative action because the world does function on a whom you know basis. White men have used the Rabbi system for years, and it still gets more people hired than college job fairs.

I would rather be white than an affirmative action Harvard Grad. I am paying out the ass to send four kids to university this fall- Tulane (2), Florida State and Penn State, and that's OK with me. They are there on our own money, smart enough to get in and stay in without the help and oversight given to minority students.

I would like you to comment on the admissions practices and grading standards at your school vis-a-vis AA students, but I understand you may not wish to. Our children will not need all the help the Obama and Robinson kid needed. We make too much money, have been married for 30 years, and are WASP to the core.

But no one will ever wonder if our kids were admitted or allowed to graduate because of their color or sex.

Revenant said...

BHO wasn't suggesting that it's unreasonable to ask about black violence. But, some white folks need to learn that black folks are individuals.

But Obama expects us to see him as a historic example of America overcoming its past history of discrimination against blacks, despite the fact that neither Obama nor any of his black ancestors were around for it. The only thing Obama has in common with the victims of American racism is -- wait for it -- skin color. Not personal experience; not family history. Just similar levels of melanin.

There is also something perverse about a left-wing black politician whining about people being treated based on their race. I'll accept that complaint from left-wing blacks when they start opposing affirmative action and "reparations" for slavery. Until then, the reality is that people like Obama have absolutely no problem lumping all blacks and whites into two distinct groups and ignoring their individuality. They just only like doing it when it benefits blacks and/or screws whites.

AllenS said...

I'm all for affirmative action, if Doyle and downtownlad are replaced by people of color.

MadisonMan said...

I'd rather have a rowdy raunchy underachiever

Bush is running again?

Well, someone had to say it.

Revenant said...

He received the nation's third highest award, the Silver Star, for what amounts to treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy

If what McCain did counts as treason, does that mean we can finally shoot John Kerry and Jane Fonda?

garage mahal said...

John you say...
Of course it would have been violation of the code you moron.

Then why, in your words it was "an act of unbelievable courage on McCain's part" ?

But your concern is noted, but buck up, it's going to be a long election season. I intend on giving McCain the same exact respect and consideration that was given John Kerry. Why you get so upset over historical facts is not clear to me, but it's McCain who warms up the crowd at his townhalls with a video montage of his military and POW experience.

If what McCain did counts as treason, does that mean we can finally shoot John Kerry and Jane Fonda?

Did Kerry and Fonda make propaganda material and give military info to the enemy? And does that mean McCain would be shot too? Questions questions...

Randy said...

Then you are a bigger loon than most of us here thought. You sound just like one of those people who goes on and on about how Vincent Foster was murdered.

William said...

They say photography changed the way artists painted pictures and the movies changed the way novelists told stories. I don't know if the internet has changed the way journalists cover stories but it has certainly changed the way I read papers. Thanks for a very informative background post on this story.....This is an outsider's ignorant opinion but aren't there any qualities that trump scholarship in legal studies? Obama gave a good class and had written a best selling book. That surely is worth something. Miles Davis knew something about music that Julliard students could profitably study.

lewsar said...

DBQ sez:

How we ended up with these two clowns is a discrace.

this.

Revenant said...

Did Kerry and Fonda make propaganda material and give military info to the enemy?

Yes, they both made propaganda material for the enemy -- far worse such material than McCain did, and without being tortured first. So if McCain is guilty of treason, they must logically be guilty of even worse acts of treason.

As for giving out military information, I don't know. Kerry was a leader of the North Vietnam-backed Vietnam Veterans Against the War while still in the military; whether his assistance to them went beyond propaganda and phony grass-roots activism or not is anybody's guess.

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse: I agree with you that the University of Chicago has some 'splainin' to do. Amazingly, earlier this afternoon, NYT Reporter Jodi Kantor actually answered a reader's comment which inquired further about the "tenure on hire (with no published scholarship) point:

--------------------------
Jodi Kantor | 3:48 p.m.: ... When the law school tried to hire Mr. Obama after his failed 2000 congressional race, it was for a tenured job, according to Daniel Fischel, the dean at the time. In our interview, I asked him if he meant “tenure-track,” and he said no. “He would be hired as a tenured professor,” he explained. The faculty would vote, but Mr. Obama already had their support, he added.
--------------------------

My inference from this is that Dean Fischel may well have made the "tenure on hiring" offer based on his guess as to how the faculty would react, and perhaps his guess as to how they would respond to a fait accompli. Maybe he'd taken a straw poll; maybe he was simply confident that he knew how things would turn out in a show-down. Presumably he could have counted on support from Cass Sunstein and Abner Mikva (if Mikva, as another Senior Lecturer, got to vote on tenure issues, which he probably didn't). But certainly Prof. Richard Epstein's comments, for one, don't suggest he was willing to ignore Obama's lack of research and resulting publications.

You may also not have seen yet Yale Prof. Akhil Reed Amar's reaction to the "tenure on hiring" issue. Amar gushes that Obama's exam questions reveal him to possess a combination of the best qualities of Shakespeare, Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln. Amar volunteers that he was "very interested to hear that the University of Chicago Law School was willing to offer Obama tenure," but he sees Obama's exam questions and mock answers as sufficient justification for that.

Well, sure, I think Chicago Law would offer Lincoln tenure if they could reincarnate him. I guess.

(If Jesus weren't available.)

I think Obama wrote some pretty good exam questions, given the day and the nature of the courses and seminars he was teaching. I don't think they can be used to tag Obama today with any particular substantive positions. I'm willing to grant that he was a popular, capable, and effective teacher. I'm even willing to speculate that had he ever done the work, he might well have been able to produce the scholarship necessary to make it to the end of a conventional tenure track.

But insta-tenure? C'mon. What was Fischel thinking? (What is Amar thinking now?) Or was Fischel just responding to some analog of Chris Matthew's thrill up the leg, even though Fischel supposedly then thought that Obama's political career was finished?

And was anything said about Chicago's expectations for him to publish after he got insta-tenure?

As for Obama rejecting the offer: Presumably he was unimpressed with Fischel's premature death certificate for Obama's political career, and presumably he was unwilling to give up his two other part-time jobs (as a dilettante practicing lawyer and a state senator) in order to become a full-time faculty member.

Simon said...

William said...
"Obama gave a good class and had written a best selling book."

He gave a class that was enjoyed by the sort of people who are interested in attending classes on "law and racism." And he wrote a book that topped the New York Times best seller lst - an effort managed this year (so far) by such towering works of our time as "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography" and "I Am America (And So Can You!)," and in the same year as Obama topped the list, by "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" by Ann Coulter, a book that one suspects was conceived by someone answering the old saw about a thousand monkeys typing for a thousand years by asking what you get if you only give the monkeys six months. I'm sorry, but I don't count sales as a good indicator of quality where music, movies, and books are concerned.

The question has to be asked - some of Obama's students claim that he challenged their preconceptions. How many changed their minds? How many of the Mary Ellen Callahans whose liberal instincts were offended came to reevaluate an opinion or two in light of the class? Or at very least, who came to have a more solid and defensible basis for their opinions as a result?

Maguro said...

Then why, in your words it was "an act of unbelievable courage on McCain's part" ?

Because the Code of Conduct sets unbelievably high standards for people who are under extreme physical and mental duress.

Because McCain was beaten, starved, tortured, hung from his wrists with his hands tied behind his back and normal people want to end that sort of thing ASAP, codes and rules and regulations be damned. This is very basic human psychology and since you're a smart liberal I'm surprised you don't get it.

Following the standards set by the Code of Conduct under the conditions McCain endured was a big fucking deal. An enormous achievement.

Does that make him POTUS material? No, it does not. But it is certainly significant in its own right.

Simon said...

"[Prof.] Amar gushes that Obama's exam questions reveal him to possess a combination of the best qualities of Shakespeare, Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln."

What? The questions on the exams that were linked to above? Is he kidding?!

Trooper York said...

So I get the engagement letter and there are a couple of things wrong. Like my name. You know little things that a non-lawyer would not understand. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

1jpb said...

Fen,

Here's the problem. BHO, hasn't been in that very troubled demographic. That's the main point; folks (including black folks) are individuals. It isn't clueless to talk about problems in any community. It is clueless to assume that every black person is a black ghetto product.

Further, what is the point of the question? Do the questioning white folks seriously expect that BHO, or any black person, could possibly respond with some secret only-known-to-black-folks key that would explain it all?


Revenant,

1) He would be the FIRST black president, hence the historic chit chat.

2) If you paid attention to BHO in the past, or during his interview on Sunday, you'd know that you're spreading lies with the following statement:

"the reality is that people like Obama have absolutely no problem lumping all blacks and whites into two distinct groups and ignoring their individuality. They just only like doing it when it benefits blacks and/or screws whites."

Maybe, your deceit is purposeful, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this time.

Beldar said...

Simon, I kid you not, just click and scroll down (or do a search for the word "sonnet").

A cynic might say Prof. Amar was making application today for the first SCOTUS opening during an Obama Administration.

paul a'barge said...

I'm sure I'd have laughed too if a black lawprof had used a dumb white guy accent to express a dumb argument that some white people make

As someone else commented, please tell us what is so dumb about questioning why black people are killing each other at record rates in projects that were built to give those black people a better place to live.

Baron Zemo said...

Be silent you fool!

You do not mention the elephant in the room.

Even if he steps on your foot.

Revenant said...

Here's the problem. BHO, hasn't been in that very troubled demographic.

Barack Obama hasn't been part of black American culture, period. He grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, went to Harvard, and then taught at the University of Chicago. He's got little more practical experience with the problems and history of black America than the lily-white Ann Althouse does.

Yet he has declared himself qualified to lecture America on both the problems of black America and those of "typical white people" like his grandmother. If you accept that, you have to accept the idea of questioning him on black violence. He doesn't get to be black when it's convenient and "an individual" when it isn't.

That's the main point; folks (including black folks) are individuals. It isn't clueless to talk about problems in any community. It is clueless to assume that every black person is a black ghetto product.

But that's just it; Obama wants to be seen as an individual when it is convenient to him, and as a member of "the black community" when it is convenient to him. He can't have it both ways. If we judge him as an individual then his whole schtick about his "historic" campaign is revealed as bullshit, because as an individual he's just another career politician with an Ivy League degree who thinks he's entitled to be President.

Simon said...

Beldar - color me amazed. I would have hitherto said that if we have to have a liberal appointment to the Supreme Court, it would be hard to think of anyone better than Akhil Amar, but maybe I'll have to rethink that. If he's just sucking up, that's embarassing but understandable, but I find it hard to believe that those questions are regarded as deep and probing. One of the ones I read struck me as being almost a reductio ad absurdum of a liberal conlaw professor's conlaw exam.

But then again, what would I know. I'm one of these people who still doesn't understand why people think Obama is eloquent. I've seen him speak, and if that's people's idea of eloquence, people have developed profoundly low standards.

Revenant said...

If you paid attention to BHO in the past, or during his interview on Sunday, you'd know that you're spreading lies with the following statement

That depends on whether you assume Obama was telling the truth when he said he supported race-based affirmative action -- or assume he was telling the truth when he said he didn't. Given that he has voted in support of race-based affirmative action and has never supported laws aimed at ending it, the intelligent guess is that he was telling the truth in the first case.

Randy said...

WRT affirmative action, I was surprised to read an interview wherein Obama refused to say that his children should not be eligible for it. Can't remember when it was, probably a couple of months ago.

Trumpit said...

"I have no idea what set Trumpit off there, but that was, I agree, in appropriate."

What set me off was DBQ stating, "He is a racist narcissistic megalomaniac and not as bright as he would like us all to think. Affirmative action indeed."

I think those are highly insulting, fighting words and very inappropriate. Black people can certainly be racist but it's usually the other way around, and African-Americans have borne the brunt of institutionalized racism for centuries, so that make her unsubstantiated insult that much more hurtful. It has been a reoccurring theme that he is only where he is because he is black. That certainly was the case with incompetent Clarence Thomas being elevated to the highest court, but it a stretch and a half to think Obama's in the same category. Don't vote for Obama because he's black, if you operate that way, but how dare you tell me to do the same thing. It's racist and it stinks.

P.S. I think Ann Althouse should be V.P. no matter how many comments of mine she rightly or wrongly deletes. And I'm glad she's having fun in L.A., my home town.

1jpb said...

Revenant (and the last part is for Randy too),

You fell into the trap with this statement:

"Barack Obama hasn't been part of black American culture, period."

I repeat, that's the point. He is a black American, i.e. of black American culture. He is not the product of a black ghetto. Shockingly, to some, the two are not mutually exclusive. That is the point. At some point this may finally dawn on some of you, or it may not, time will tell.

You should note that it's McCain who has flip with the Arizona bill.

BHO has consistently supported non-quota affirmative action. And, he knows that affirmative action can, ironically, be bad for minorities. You would probably even agree with (and be surprised by) some of what he believes:

"While saying he is a "strong supporter" of affirmative action, Obama said it must also be structured so that it is not just a quota system.

"We are becoming a more diverse culture, and it's something that has to be acknowledged," he said. "I've also said that affirmative action is not going to be the long-term solution to the problems of race in American because, frankly, if you've got 50 percent of African-American or Latino kids dropping out of high school, it doesn't really matter what you do in terms of affirmative action. Those kids are not getting into college....There have been times where affirmative action has been viewed as a shortcut to solving some of these broader, long-term, structural problems."

Obama said minority children who come from wealthy homes should not be given greater consideration for college, for example, than "a poor white kid who has struggled more.""

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"That certainly was the case with incompetent Clarence Thomas being elevated to the highest court, but it a stretch and a half to think Obama's in the same category. ... It's racist and it stinks."

It takes a certain amount of sheer moxie for any liberal to make claims about racism in the same breath they invoke Clarence Thomas' name. The racist treatment - often explicitly racist treatment - that black conservatives receive from liberals boggles the mind.

What's even more galling is the attempt to have it both ways. If Bush 1 had replaced Thurgood Marshall with someone who wasn't black, liberals would castigate him and the nominee for that. And yet, even though the nominee was the best-qualified black conservative jurist in the country at the time, and has repeatedly vindicated his position on that court, they still castigate Thomas. The criticism really amounts to a howl of anguish that Bush didn't replace Marshall with a black liberal. You might as well moan that McDonalds didn't replace Hamburglar with Gordon Ramsey.

veni vidi vici said...

You can always tell the hard-lefties by their language:

"Where's the posts about McCain fuck-ups and flip flops?"

translated: "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck"

What bitter, cored losers. Even when they win (which is infrequent at best), with that attitude, they lose. Losers.

p.s. note I said "hard lefties", not "Democrats", "Obama Supporters", nor even "Lefties". It's the marginal trolls living off in fuckfuck-land that exhibit this delusional Tourette's-like tic.

p.p.s. Now I'll just wait to be called a "fucktard" by one of them, since by disagreeing that's what their hermeneutic hermaphroditic gasbagological sociopathy requires me to be.

p.p.p.s. again, losers.

thank you, carry on.

Revenant said...

I repeat, that's the point.

I get your point. I think it is silly to expect Obama to answer for inner-city black violence.

He is a black American, i.e. of black American culture.

He is a half-black American of white American culture.

That's the point you're missing. He's a white man with a tan. He uses his skin color to claim affiliation with black America because it is politically convenient for him to do so. He was raised by whites, was educated mostly by whites, and has lived around and worked mostly with whites; he has no black American heritage, and his black foreign heritage consists of sperm cells contributed by his absentee dad.

Despite the fact that he has less personal experience with black America than the average big-city white kid, he presents himself as being not only a part of black America, but uniquely qualified to act as its spokesman to white America. That is every bit as nonsensical as the notion that he's friends with the Boyz N tha Hood.

BHO has consistently supported non-quota affirmative action.

Which would be relevant if quota-based affirmative action was the only kind of racist affirmative action that judged people as members of a race rather than as individuals. Since it isn't, his supposed opposition to quotas is just a red herring.

What Obama supports is affirmative action programs which give blacks fixed advantages over whites (e.g. school admissions tests that grade blacks on a curve or grant them extra points). That isn't a "quota", because it doesn't set aside a specific number of spots for blacks -- but it is racially discriminatory, because it says "if you have a choice between a white kid and a slightly less qualified black kid, pick the black kid because of his skin color".

Obama has made this even more explicit by supporting poverty-based and class-based affirmative action as additions to race-based affirmative action. This highlights the fact that he views traditional affirmative action as being based exclusively on race, with actual need being irrelevant to it. After all, if you have need-based affirmative action but still need -- as Obama says we do -- race-based affirmative action, then you must be planning to give special advantages to non-needy people based on what race they are.

Obama said minority children who come from wealthy homes should not be given greater consideration for college, for example, than "a poor white kid who has struggled more.""

Obama says a lot of things. His actual voting record shows that he supports race-based affirmative action without regard for the actual need of the recipients.

If Obama truly thought that affirmative action should go to the truly needy he would support completely ending racial affirmative action and completely replacing it with a need-based program. He doesn't, ergo he doesn't -- no matter how many empty speeches he gives to the contrary.

Trumpit said...

"You might as well moan that McDonalds didn't replace Hamburglar with Gordon Ramsey."

Sometimes your funny, Simon. Even Gordon Ramsey would agree "British cuisine" is a an oxymoron and a stomachache rolled into one. Tell the true, the real reason you crossed the pond was in search of an edible hamburger, and only later did you decide to try to turn this country back into a British colony.

knox said...

It takes a certain amount of sheer moxie for any liberal to make claims about racism in the same breath they invoke Clarence Thomas' name. The racist treatment - often explicitly racist treatment - that black conservatives receive from liberals boggles the mind.

Isn't it funny how they can be all outraged and then not even see their own blatant racism? It's pretty creepy.

Fat Man said...

"I doubt I will vote for Obama, but knowing that he was a competent law professor at a prestigious law school does make me think more favorably of him."

I guess you don't know many law professors.

Revenant said...

Black people can certainly be racist but it's usually the other way around, and African-Americans have borne the brunt of institutionalized racism for centuries

Just because bad things happened to people you share certain traits with doesn't give you the right to demand justice for them. Sure, black people (and Asians, and Hispanics, and women, and Jews, and homosexuals, and...) experienced centuries of institutionalized discrimination in America. But what counts is the discrimination any given individual experiences -- for example, a Jewish kid from Los Angeles does not get to act like he was personally wronged by the Holocaust, because he wasn't alive for it.

Blacks were subjected to centuries of institutionalized racism, yes. But no black person under the age of about 40 was alive to experience it -- and others, like Obama, weren't around to experience it either. Discriminating against people on the basis of their race has been *illegal* (with the exception of affirmative action programs) since before most Americans were even born. You don't get to count stuff that happened to someone else as a personal wrong just because he was the same color as you.

Ernst Blofeld said...

Obama is a curious character. I don't know quite what to make of him from an intellectual standpoint. From the credentials he has one would expect brilliance, but I don't really get that impression from seeing him speak, or seeing him work through ideas on his feet. Too often in unscripted situations he winds up with something like an easy sneer or liberal shibboleth that flatters lefty listeners--see his remarks on speaking French and Spanish, or the "bitter" remarks. You don't get the glimpse of quicksilver thought racing ahead and playing with ideas that really brilliant people display. On the other hand I don't quite think he's a dope, either.

I suspect he's somewhat poorly educated. No, this is not a cheap gibe at Harvard Law. He hit the universities in the post-70's era, after the 60's radicals had ripped apart many of the core curriculums. Without seeing his transcript (he hasn't released it), I suspect he was not big on the rigorous classes and teachers, and heavier on the al la carte ethnic studies classes. If you run with this assumption--reasonably clever guy, huge gaps in his education that were not filled in during his post-academic career--his frequent gaffes come more into focus. His avoidance of the roundtables as well--he'd want to stay in his comfort zone, not in a broken field free- for-all. The same applies to his time at the Harvard Law Review, where he did not usually commit to one position or another, but instead tended to summarize the positions of others. If you don't commit, you can't get pinned down, and can make a show of being judicious.

I suspect he's a) smart enough, but not as smart as the credentials would imply; 2) a bit intellectually lazy, and prone to bullshit his way though situations with some gassy generalities, an approach that has worked well for him his whole life; 3) would be ripped to shreds by someone like Epstein or Posner.

McCain isn't running as an intellectual. And, of the five crashes mentioned, two were engine failures, one happened when a rocket from another plane hit his parked aircraft, and one was from enemy action.

The military has a sort of affection for low-ranked academy graduates, so long as they are of the right type of low-ranked graduate. Carousers, pranksters, and under-achievers have a place in leadership-driven institutions like the armed forces where physical bravery and elan have a role to play.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:
Fing Excellent smackdown of Trumpit who claimed Clarence Thomas was incompetent (because Trumpit says so) but Obama is not over-rated (because Trumpit says so).

1jpb said...

Revenant,

You fall into the trap again:

"less personal experience with black America than the average big-city white kid"

1) I repeat: not all black Americans live in big-city ghettos. This is not a litmus test that is required to become a black American.
2) White folks have never (except for a few who painted themselves for the experience) been black Americans for a single day. BHO has been one for his entire life. Hence he knows more about being a black American.

Regarding affirmative action based on race and income. I'm with the SCOTUS, such factors should sometimes be narrowly considered as a very small factor among many others to help maintain a level playing field when underprivileged folks are compared to folks who have had their positions handed to them with relative ease.

That said, as BHO noted, the real problem is getting minorities and poor folks ready for opportunities later in life. Throwing them into situations where they aren't ready is of no help to anyone. And, as he noted, our society is becoming more diverse at higher levels. Limited affirmative action is a limited tool that is working to make itself obsolete in the future. Apparently, not soon enough for you.

SukieTawdry said...

"What are we seeing here? A shy man? A cipher? A man with a hidden agenda?"

Well, let's review: he didn't publish anything in the Law Review (explaining later he didn't want to leave any kind of controversial paper trail should he decide to enter politics); he didn't publish anything at Chicago; as a legislator, he has studiously avoided "difficult" votes; people associated with him through the years tell of his contriving (usually successfully) to convince people on any side of any issue that he agreed with them; in Audacity, he writes "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."

Shy? Hardly. Agenda? Simple: to remain enough of a cipher to convince enough voters that he represents their views to get elected. An agenda he's had almost from Day 1 apparently.

Martin Gale said...

The failure to publish anything should be fatal to the tenure case of a lawprof who was hired with a belief in his promise as a scholar, but here tenure is bundled into the original offer to someone who had demonstrated that he lacked that promise.

Perhaps he plans to harness those totally awesome AA tailwinds as an alternative energy source. Yes, we can!

Trumpit said...

I'm actually working on a book with the tentative title - Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Jester. When it's done, I'll share some excepts with you.

Revenant, sadly, you live in dream world, when it comes to race in America. In 1980, I applied for a job to work in a Las Vegas casino. I got immediately got hired when I knew that dozens of people also applied before I did. The only clear difference was that I was white. Don't talk about things you know nothing about which is most things.

Fen said...

1jpb, for starters, thank you for remaining civil with me.

Further, what is the point of the question? Do the questioning white folks seriously expect that BHO, or any black person, could possibly respond with some secret only-known-to-black-folks key that would explain it all?

One, its not just white folks who are concerned. Two, I would expect Obama to respond with leadership, at least re his own Senate district.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"only later did you decide to try to turn this country back into a British colony. "

LOL. So let me get this right- I'm on the side of longstanding American tradition in almost all matters, you're a liberal who wants to make this country more like Europe and increase our obligations to foreigners, and I'm the one who wants to turn us back into a colony? Do you really mean to act as the cliche of the clueless liberal in the same breath as invoking the image of a jester? Bad timing on your part. And pretty far off base, too.

"I'm actually working on a book with the tentative title - Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Jester. When it's done, I'll share some excepts with you."

Why wait? I'll share some excerpts from your book with the group now: "That evil uncle tom's a race traitor [ad lib paraphrases for 200 pages]."

"Revenant, sadly, you live in dream world, when it comes to race in America. In 1980, I applied for a job to work in a Las Vegas casino. I got immediately got hired when I knew that dozens of people also applied before I did. The only clear difference was that I was white."

Ah yes, the descriptive power of an anecdote from nearly thirty years ago to tell us about race relations today.

Revenant said...

1) I repeat: not all black Americans live in big-city ghettos. This is not a litmus test that is required to become a black American.

I didn't say all black Americans live in big-city ghettos. I have never even implied it. You keep "repeating" a point I agree with completely and then complaining that I don't "get it". I suggest you remove your head from your ass before typing.

The reason I said "big city white kid" is because the big cities are where white kids are most likely to have black acquaintances. Not necessarily ones from "the ghetto"; most middle- and upper-class blacks live in cities too.

White folks have never (except for a few who painted themselves for the experience) been black Americans for a single day. BHO has been one for his entire life.

That is true in a strictly genetic sense. BHO has half the genes of a recent resident of Africa; a white kid does not.

But Obama has been an insider in privileged white American society for his entire life, from the white people who raised him to the elite private schools that educated him to the institutions that employed him. He has no idea what it is like to grow up as a member of black American society -- not poor black American society, not middle class black American society, not rich black American society. A typical big-city white kid has a much better understanding of that because a typical white kid grows up alongside black kids. Obama grew up alongside Asians and whites. The first time he lived around a significant number of black people was when he first prepared to run for political office.

Obama has no idea what it is like to be -- for example -- a member of a middle-class black family in America. He's never been part of one. He's never experienced the discriminatory environment that American blacks allegedly face. He's never lived, worked, or studied in a place where there was a risk of being judged by the color of his skin rather than by his credentials, unless you count the boost he got from affirmative action programs.

So no -- Obama has little more real experience with black America than the average American does.

Limited affirmative action is a limited tool that is working to make itself obsolete in the future. Apparently, not soon enough for you.

Because I'm smart enough to realize that the only policy which encourages group A to rise to the level of group B is one which holds A and B to the same standard. If your policy lets group A skate by with qualifications that don't cut it for group B, group A will remain inferior forever.

Which is why the "limited tool" of affirmative action shows no signs of ever going away -- after forty years of use. It isn't working to make itself obsolete; it is self-perpetuating. It says to black people "you're black, so you don't have to be as smart or hard-working as a white guy to get the same benefits". Why bother being an A student when you can get the same rewards with a B?

Revenant said...

Revenant, sadly, you live in dream world, when it comes to race in America.

I am not living in a dream world. I am, however, living in the 21st century.

In 1980, I applied for a job to work in a Las Vegas casino.

I'm willing to concede your theory that you can't possibly have been hired on the basis of your intelligence or qualifications, but you seem to have missed the bit where I said "under the age of about 40". 1980 was 28 years ago; add in the minimum age of 18 it takes to work in a casino and you get 46. So none of the ostensibly-qualified would-be casino employees were part of the group I'm talking about.

You also missed the phrase "institutional racism". Even if we overlook the fact that a 1980 Las Vegas casino is probably not a paragon of respect for the law, there's still the fact that the casino was not a government institution and its racial discrimination was not government-approved. Quite the opposite; that discrimination, like laundering money and burying card cheats in the desert, was against the law.

Trumpit said...

Simon,

It must really irk you that African-Americans in this country are overwhelmingly Democrats and they're going to put Obama over the top in the election in November. That is/will be an empirical fact. Why do so few blacks agree with your political philosophy? Maybe they know something about real life, and being black in America that you can only try to minimize and intellectualize away. I can understand why you feel the need cling to such an asinine anomaly like Clarence Thomas. That way, you can convince yourself that you don't have a racist bone in your body. Face FACTS: you will never serve on the Supreme Ct. You will be Borked so fast that your head will spin.

Martin Gale said...

Revenant, sadly, you live in dream world, when it comes to race in America. In 1980, I applied for a job to work in a Las Vegas casino. I got immediately got hired when I knew that dozens of people also applied before I did. The only clear difference was that I was white.

Would you play a game if you knew the outcome was rigged based on the races of the players? Doubtless the same year that Obama was handed a tenured position without the benefit of a publishing record some other poor sap was denied tenure because of inadequate scholarly output. What's worse, the same miscreants who blithely dispense this kind of injustice at our nation's top law schools often make their way onto the Supreme Court where they get to enlarge the offense by interpreting the constitutionality of AA for the rest of us. In this environment, when encountering a black person in a prestigious position should you take their achievement at "face" value or apply an AA discount? If the latter, are you a racist?

AlphaLiberal said...

McCain adviser criticizes attacks as "childish."

Hat-tip, TPM.


Meanwhile, more blatant and likely unpunished lawbreaking from the Cheney-bush Administration.

Man, the Republicans are losing ugly.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"Simon, It must really irk you that African-Americans in this country are overwhelmingly Democrats..."

It doesn't irk me so much as sadden me that the party that fought to keep them in literal chains has so effectively dispensed with the need for physical chains.

"Why do so few blacks agree with your political philosophy?"

Why do so few people period? White or black. My guess: People like a free ride. My political philosophy says that you're on your own and should work hard; the Democrats say that mommy is here to take care of you. Which do you think people are likely to gravitate towards?

"Face FACTS: you will never serve on the Supreme Ct."

Never occurred to me that I would ever be nominated, let alone rejected. There hasn't been a justice without a JD since Justice Reed.

vnjagvet said...

If that is the way the election goes, Trumpit, who wins if BHO gets 99% of the African American vote and then JMcC gets 65% to 70% of the white vote and 20% to 25% of the hispanic vote? Doesn't simple math dictate BHO loses?

Why isn't that a likely outcome to a racial polarization in the race?

Randy said...

1jpb: I am well aware what the senator has said on the subject, which is precisely why I used the term "surprised" to describe my reaction to his refusal to agree that his daughters should be ineligible for affirmative action. After all, the Obamas already spend between $30,000 and $40,000per year sending their daughters to the elite school that they attend. According to the records they have released, the Obama family has also earned around $10,000,000 within the past two years. By no stretch of anyone's imagination are these two girls disadvantaged, nor will they ever be, so the failure to answer "Of course they are ineligible" is mystifying if he genuinely believes what he has stated in the past.

Randy said...

While I agree with much of what you have written around here today, my life experience leads me to believe you are mistaken to maintain this statement is a fact:

He's never lived, worked, or studied in a place where there was a risk of being judged by the color of his skin rather than by his credentials

Lisa said...

Ann, your comments reek of the jealousy one would expect from a middling-to-poor UW law professor:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=594762&page=1

Good lord, you are transparent.

Revenant said...

McCain adviser criticizes attacks as "childish."

This is an adviser under whose tutelage McCain trailed the rest of the Republican candidates for President. Since he resigned, McCain has gone from being generally viewed as not having a prayer in hell of winning the nomination -- to being the Republican nominee and (as of this week) frontrunner for the Presidency.

McCain's ad may or may not have been childish, but the empirical evidence suggests that taking John Weaver's advice on how to win a Presidential race is a big mistake. :)

1jpb said...

Revenant,

You leave so much low hanging fruit.

I'll choose two of the ripest:

1)
"He has no idea what it is like to grow up as a member of black American society -- not poor black American society, not middle class black American society, not rich black American society."

Again, I repeat that his experience has been that of a member of black American society. For some reason you can't fathom that black folks grow up in any environment other some movie or TV version of a predominantly black neighborhood.

2)
"Obama has no idea what it is like to be -- for example -- a member of a middle-class black family in America."

I can see that BHO doesn't have the required credentials of a black person that you seem to have learned from TV and movie stereotypes. But, now he has his very own formerly middle-class (now upper-class) family. Maybe if you think of the Huxtable family you can better visualize how his is a genuine certified (aka there is a TV/movie precedent) black family.

I can't wait to read why his family isn't black according to you. This is great fun.

Randy said...

Lisa:

Feel free not to take her class.

M. Simon said...

You might like a look at this which links to a MoveOn video and a Chicago Tribune Column by John Kass:

Hope Head.

Kass excerpt:

Obama hopium was so powerful, that that first rush of it, well, it sent a tingle up my leg. Or down my leg. Then up. So now, when I read newspaper stories about Obama's political history, like a recent gooey, puffy profile in the Washington Post and it didn't mention Obama as a willing member of Chicago's Daley machine, well, I didn't get angry.

Not anymore.

Why? Because I'm a hope-head.

Now, I don't get upset when foreign and national journalists fail to mention Tony Rezko, or the Daley boys, or how the Chicago machine plans to staff the Department of Justice, and the new Department of Homeland Casinos.

Ann Althouse said...

"I know you have stated that you plan on supporting Obama in the election..."

Knowledge is a funny thing.

blake said...

Knowledge is a funny thing.

There's a whole lot of certainty in these threads.

Often in contradiction to itself.

sjackson said...

althousefullofnothing, you are a hater...you are jealous of obama! get in line with jesse. He's about to contribute to America better than any damn legal scholarly journal could...now sing the song...I see you, I’m a hater, I’m a hater...whack racist blog!

Scott Colom said...

"If I had to put a percentage on my tendencies right now, I'd say there is a 70-30 chance I'll vote for Obama."

Thus, I revise my statement: "I know you are leaning towards voting for Obama."

Roger J. said...

Re tenure: I have no problem with the U of chicago granting Obama tenure--There are any number of possible reasons for such award--as long as the faculty went along with the offer, its their faculty and they can invite anybody they want.

As to argument about McCain graduating 5th from the bottom in his class. The service academies usually wash out at least 30 percent of incoming middies and cadets, and they are weeded out at the end of every term. Class rank within class in not a good indicator of any graduates academic ability. The last man in my class ended up going on to medical school and is now on the faculty of a prestigious NW medical school.

Fen said...

I'm still sorting through all the Obama fans here who have responded with race-baiting. Trying to figure out which ones are live and which are parody.

Fen said...

McCain's ad may or may not have been childish, but the empirical evidence suggests that taking John Weaver's advice on how to win a Presidential race is a big mistake. :)

True. Having refrigerated the ad a few days after seeing it, I've changed my mind. It is effective, and not because it will reach out to swing voters or the base, but because it sets up the meme that Obama is a fad - like Paris Hilton, he's famous for being famous.

There's a large demographic that scoff at people who "worship" Brit and Paris. But because the media has been shielding Obama, these people have yet to realize they are following the same path as those groupies they have such contempt for.

So Team McCain sets up the meme. All it takes now is for Obama to step back into that meme a few more times. And, just like the folks that sheepishly admit to once wearing bell-bottom jeans, Obama supporters will pause and realize: "Barack Obama is not the man I thought I knew"

Fen said...

1jpb: not all black Americans live in big-city ghettos. This is not a litmus test that is required to become a black American.

Its not even a decent fallacy anymore. Black Americans that DO live in the inner cities are being driven out into the suburbs by hispanics.

This results in conflict between middle-class suburbanites and the newly arrived lower class, because the ghetto crowd brings their bad habits with them [broken window syndrome]. We'll see more conflict as this pans out, and we can expect the race-baiters to scream that its all about white vs black, when instead its about two different socio-economic groups trying to live side by side.

But lets keep pretending that Black America's problems are all caused by discrimination and racism. That's done so much for them in the last 30 years.

Fen said...

Trumpit: What set me off was DBQ stating, "He is a racist narcissistic megalomaniac and not as bright as he would like us all to think. Affirmative action indeed."

I think those are highly insulting, fighting words and very inappropriate. Black people can certainly be racist but -


Sorry man, but I don't find DBQ's remark to be unreasonable. Again, Dr. Cone, Obama supporter and champion of Obama's "madrassa", pointing to Trinity Church as the archetype for Black Liberation Theology which will only accept the love of a God that participates in the destruction of the White enemey.

Thats obviously racist, and has been Obama's religion for 20 years. So DBQ's accusation of racism is hardly without merit.

Fen said...

"Barack Obama is not the man I thought I knew"

There's your next ad, McCain. Several clips of all the advisors and mentors Obama has thrown under the bus while saying "...not the man I though I knew", sprinkled with a few of his flip-flops, then cut to a Democrat character sadly admiting "Barack Obama is not the man I thought I knew"

Bruce Hayden said...

Over at Volokh.com: The University of Chicago Law Faculty Never Voted a Tenure Offer to Barack Obama.

Jim Lindgren asked four or so Chicago faculty who were there at the time whether the tenure offer had been run by the faculty or if the faculty had voted on it. Apparently, according to his sources, no it had not. Apparently, tenure requires faculty approval, and that was apparently missing.

The general consensus there is that the dean probably offered it informally, or subject to faculty approval. But there does appear to be some question as to whether the faculty would have voted for tenure for an unpublished non-tenure track professor merely on the basis of the color of his skin (putting him on tenure track would have likely been much easier).

Ann Althouse said...

Bruce, Lingren has updated to reflect the story as I understood it all along. The dean made Obama an offer to hire with tenure, and he was assuming the faculty would vote yes, but Obama turned it down so there was no vote. But it is very clear that the offer was that he would start with tenure, though he had not published a word of legal scholarship. That's what I understood when I wrote the post, and I stand by what I wrote.

KLDAVIS said...

Professor, you said:

"He never produced a word of legal scholarship, after all those years teaching, and now they would simply give him tenure — at the University of Chicago Law School, a top 5 school, where the faculty is known for voluminous scholarly publishing."

By standing by what you wrote, you judge the faculty/school when your target should be the dean. I guess it's easy for the faculty to say in retrospect that they wouldn't have voted for him given his lack of scholarship. But, given that the offer was made by someone who was not in a position to bring it into effect, can you really impugn the character of the faculty or the school?

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

I am sure that you are much better connected in here than I, esp. given your line of work. But I really don't think that you and I are really saying anything that different, or if we are, it is my fault. I have no reason to believe that the dean did not make an offer to Mr. Obama. The only real question seems to be how official or firm it was. It appears to me likely that the offer would have been made subject to faculty approval of the tenure, and since he rejected it, it never went to the faculty for that approval. Which I think is what you just said.

Ann Althouse said...

1. The school is responsible for its dean. The dean speaks for the school. Are the faculty members condemning the dean for getting out of line?

2. The dean, it seems, purported to know what the faculty would do. We didn't get to see that faculty in action, but I believe the dean knew what he was talking about and what assurance he could give. In the bright sunlight of now, Chicago faculty may say oh nooooo we would never do that. Excuse me if I'm skeptical.

KLDAVIS said...

Thank you, I appreciate the sledge hammer.