December 11, 2023

Did the 3 university presidents fall into "Ms. Stefanik's prosecutorial trap"?

I'm reading "Questioning University Presidents on Antisemitism, Stefanik Goes Viral/The No. 4 Republican, a Harvard alumna with a fraught relationship with her alma mater, had a confrontation over campus responses to antisemitism that resonated across the political spectrum" (NYT).

The NYT writer, Annie Karni, is characterizing an interview with Stefanik:
The moment almost did not happen. It came at the very end of the five-hour hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee, after Ms. Stefanik had already tried four times to pin down the trio of administrators. She repeatedly tried and failed to get them to agree with her that calls for “intifada” and use of slogans such as “from the river to the sea” were appeals for genocide against Jews that should not be tolerated on campuses.

They had parried her grilling with lawyerly answers that, on their own, would not have made international headlines, but then they fell into Ms. Stefanik’s prosecutorial trap.

In an interview, Ms. Stefanik said she prepared for her final, viral round of questioning alone, during a break.

“Those questions were prepared by myself, with a pen and paper, at the end of the hearing,” she said, adding that she had studied the universities’ codes of conduct before the session.

“I thought, ‘How can I drill down on this and ask this question in such a way that the answer is an easy yes?’ And they blew it.”

Ms. Stefanik said she had anticipated a different line of follow-up questions, assuming the answer to her opening salvo would be clear-cut.

The "prosecutorial trap" lay ahead. They didn't fall into that trap! 

“I thought M.I.T. and Penn would answer it ‘yes’ and Harvard would be forced to say ‘yes,’” she said. Ms. Stefanik said she had planned to follow up by asking what disciplinary actions had been taken on campus in response.

They tripped and fell on the way to what Stefanik says she believed would entrap them. They wouldn't answer "yes" to what was, according to Stefanik, supposed to be the easy question. 

“I was so stunned,” she said, calling the responses “pathetic answers.”

Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools. I would credit them with foreseeing where Stefanik would go if they answered the set-up question "yes." We didn't get to see the set of questions that the NYT article only gestures at — "what disciplinary actions had been taken."

That was the trap, if you follow Stefanik's own account.

The 3 presidents chose to tumble into the non-trap and even persistently to decline to climb out of it. All 3 saw that as their best option. They looked awful in that non-trap, but they took shelter in it because they predicted the deadliness of the real trap.

102 comments:

rhhardin said...

I don't see the problem. Free speech is not about the other guy's feelings. Harassment and assault are illegal. It's the easiest thing for a university to stand up for because that's what a university is supposed to be. Determine the category and react accordingly.

They're not good on allowing the other guy's voices, is all. That's not about the Palestinians talking and so not about this incident, however.

Nancy said...

Defenders of Claudine Gay among Harvard students and faculty say she shouldn't lose her job over her foolish verbal response at the hearings. How about losing her job over her actions and inactions as president?

Kristo Miettinen said...

I think Stefanik missed an opportunity too. She could have come prepared with bills of particulars for a handful of recent incidents on each campus, and asked whether, in those specific contexts, University policies had been violated. But she apparently didn't anticipate the "it depends" dodge.

The Crack Emcee said...

McGill quit because, ironically, she was against the supposedly "antisemitic" book fair she was grilled by Congress over, and let it go on anyway - as she should've. The others won't do the same.

They weren't sick enough to host Marc Lamont Hill, like she was.

Antiantifa said...

If only there were a way to avoid this mess altogether. Say, by treating all people as worthy of respect and civility regardless of skin color or culture. As soon as our universities -- and later our cities -- allowed people to express rage for sins committed by dead people against other dead people by acting out against those who look or act differently than they do, this situation became inevitable. The elite universities walked into this trap in the 90s when they embraced the victim-based cultural norms of DEI.

holdfast said...

TLDR: These “elite” universities’ responses to the rampant antisemitism on their campuses is literally indefensible.

William said...

They made their own briar patch and now they have to sleep on it.

Big Mike said...

They had parried her grilling with lawyerly answers that, on their own, would not have made international headlines …. [My emphasis]

And then lawyers and law professors wonder why the audience cheers when one of Shakespeare’s characters says “First, let us kill all the lawyers!”

Dan from Madison said...

How about maybe run your university like something not resembling a cesspool and not having to worry about the trap at all?

gilbar said...

Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools.

this is America.. You are permitted to assume WHAT EVER you want
if you want to assume the world is flat.. you are permitted
if you want to assume the moon is made of green cheese.. you are permitted
if you want to assume that leftie idiots are not fools.. you are permitted
in America, you are permitted to assume WHAT EVER you want, no matter How moronic it is.

iowan2 said...

A trap?

I guess, if getting the witness to admitt they have always been gaslighting the population with double speak and lies.

Firing someone because they refuse to use inane pro nouns is the antithesis of free speech. Condoning the shouting down of speakers invited on campus, because some have their speech protected and others do not. Supporting a glaring double standard, and then lying about it.

It is a trap, in as much as the Elite who cannot be challenged, finally are hoist by their own petard. If the college deans don't understand that reference, stop by any grain elevator in Iowa and the farmers will explain it to you.

I still see this as a result of leftist having no core values. They have lived in the rarefied air of academia. Where seeking approval of group speak is the only thing that matters.
They all lie to each other and then give themselves awards for the lies.

Narayanan said...

how did USA culture -governance end up require traps be set/holes be digged-dugged-dodged etc for university presidents?

Leland said...

How could they not anticipate such a question? It is a good question, but not very difficult to imagine. And it certainly isn't a "yes", because no one was punished for such speech.

On the left coast, one could ask the same question to university presidents there regarding threats made to Riley Gaines. There is simply no standard of what threats of violence and bullying are punished and which ones are not. A woman voicing disagreement about disrobing in a female locker room with a biological male present is violence. A mob threatening that same woman with suggestions of rape is just a peaceful protest.

Howard said...

They didn't fall into the secondary trap because they were snared by the lure.

Enigma said...

It's pretty bad when one loses a job in a non-trap when avoiding even worse criticism.

What is a non-trap anyway? It was a trap of their own making. How about "painted themselves into a corner" trap? How about "put on ideological blinders" trap? How about "lived in 100% ingrown circle-j*rk culture for so long that they could not distinguish between the blue sky and the blue sea" trap? How about "there is no logical way to defend neo-Nazism" trap?

Moving forward they must admit that black-masked Antifa is just the next generation of the KKK with a color change to their white robes. Hispanics supremacists are now getting swastika tattoos and Palestinians are waving Nazi flags at rallies, etc.

The grossly overpaid university staff should conclude "We've met the enemy and 'they' is us."

lgv said...

"Your words are violence" era has ended. I assume "Believe all women" era had already ended a while ago.

What should have happened is that the anti-constitutional speech codes should have been eliminated and replaced with a simpler code against against calls to violence and actual harassment and physical confrontation. But the schools couldn't even do that for fear that they were simply appeasing the Hamas supporters verbal rants, yet their avoidance of picking a side trapped in a losing proposition of not being to defend anything. You can't appease everyone. It is not possible.

hawkeyedjb said...

rhhardin said...
"I don't see the problem. Free speech is not about the other guy's feelings."

I agree, but these (and most other) universities very much believe that free speech is completely dependent on "feelings." Thou shalt not commit microaggression.

The Crack Emcee said...

Antiantifa said...

"If only there were a way to avoid this mess altogether. Say, by treating all people as worthy of respect and civility regardless of skin color or culture."

Zionists, the colonizers, are murdering civilians with bombs, and lying about it - while calling the colonized "animals" and "savages" and ISIS and Nazis - so their supporters are incapable of "treating all people as worthy of respect and civility".

Dave Begley said...

The latest is that Chris Rufo has documented plagiarism by Gay. And Bill Ackman has added that to his Bill of Particulars.

Gay is gone.

Harvard can’t have a plagiarist as President. Heck, we can’t have a plagiarist as President.

Tina Trent said...

There needs to be Congressional hearings about the tactics used by these allegedly unthreatening protesters, the tactics they plan and use, and the police chiefs and DAs who abet them and prosecute cops instead -- see Austin for example, and definitely watch the film The Fall of Minneapolis. When police are told to stand down and not enforce the law, at the threat of being not only assaulted and killed, but also sued, prosecuted and imprisoned, we have lost control of our country.

For one example, did any of these student "protesters" get permits to protest? If so, where were they supposed to do it? The answer is probably none did (one can't imagine getting a permit to chase a Jewish professor into a locked room), and so all of them were violating conduct codes. In a law abiding society, protesters are supposed to stay off roads and bridges, not block cars, not chase people. But now, police are not allowed to arrest them for breaking those laws. This isn't really about speech: it is about premeditated tactics to intimidate and occupy public space.

If just one of these proto-fascist student groups were arrested as soon as they swarmed public spaces outside of the area for which they had obtained a permit, that would show the public how far we have gone down the path of destroying all laws. And people choosing not to be harassed by them could simply avoid the permitted protest site.

Breezy said...

My comment on an earlier post about this on this blog:

What are the consequences for a student who has been found to be harassing others, hence violating the Code of Conduct? Are they suspended or expelled? Were the presidents trying to avoid a mass action against hundreds of its customers and its employees? Is that what Stefanik was after?

12/9/23, 11:18 AM

We got caught up in the Code of Conduct vs Free Speech debate, and didn’t think about other possible reasons behind the apparent ineptitude of the U Presidents. Remember, it had come out earlier that some students were effectively forgiven because not doing so would cancel their visas. So I think the presidents were sparing the fallout of real Code of Conduct violations. And, they didn’t want to say so…. Now why would that be, hmm?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

How about a series of lectures/seminars, with the idea of producing a book?

1. How the Jews came to be the majority in Israel. Just another white settlement?

2. Israel, South Africa, North America: similarities and differences.

3.Is European colonialism/imperialism: worse than other kinds? The ancient Athenians defended their empire by saying they may not have been better than anyone else, but they were confident they weren't worse.

4.Is imperialism bad for the imperialists? Does multiculturalism solve major problems?

5.Are the people who arrived on Tuesday always morally superior to the people who arrived on Wednesday? If new immigrants arrive on Thursday, how is it that they are once again morally superior?

The Crack Emcee said...

President Crack, do you think Israel has a right to exist?

"No"

Why not?

"Star Wars: Just as Luke - the hero of the story - joined the Resistance after the Empire killed his Aunt and Uncle, I stand against Zionism after seeing the full extent of their treachery, deceit, barbarity, and crimes against humanity.

Blow up the Death Star"

rehajm said...

The 3 presidents chose to tumble into the non-trap and even persistently to decline to climb out of it. All 3 saw that as their best option. They looked awful in that non-trap, but they took shelter in it because they predicted the deadliness of the real trap

Thats accurate and a decent strategy to boot. When you genuinely stick your foot in your mouth, wedge your other foot in. Never apologize. Double down. Triple down. No concessions. You identify yourself as the idiot you’re accused of being but eventually people will give up and move on…

It’s been a while but as I recall Penn isn’t as…well endowed as the others. Harvard, despite their best intentions to eff it up, still has more money than Musk, so I suspect their idiot isn’t going anywhere…

Sally327 said...

I don't know about the three University Presidents being fools or not. I think they are accustomed to operating in an environment where they are treated with a great deal of deference and that whatever they say is to be accepted as wise and enlightening.

I assume they were going more for a cerebral approach with less focus on the empathetic but ended up seeming kind of callously doltish so neither smart nor caring.

boatbuilder said...

Whether you are a lawyer, a politician, or a reporter, if it is your job to question witnesses publicly about important issues of the day, it is malpractice not to have a line of questions ready for answers which are contrary to what you expect. You don't simply accept the "lawyerly response" and let it pass. It's not a "prosecutorial trap" to ask that the witnesses square their answers with their actions.

It does make people uncomfortable, though.

rehajm said...

‘Prosecutorial trap’??? That has to be a clever play on words. Nobody except Stefanik is vulnerable to prosecution here…

BamaBadgOR said...

Great analysis by Prof. Althouse - thank you.

narciso said...

Miss karni who wrote that nc 17 hagiography of hillary that was promptly remaindered is skilled at missing the obvious

DanTheMan said...

"The 3 presidents chose to tumble into the non-trap and even persistently to decline to climb out of it. All 3 saw that as their best option. They looked awful in that non-trap, but they took shelter in it because they predicted the deadliness of the real trap."


You can't be serious. This is the excuse of a child who falls off his bicycle... "I meant to do that!"

There was no trap. They just gave an example of the Leftist definition of freedom: "You are free to say anything we agree with."

narciso said...


Robert muellers firm among others

https://buffalonews.com/one-law-firm-prepared-both-penn-and-harvard-for-antisemitism-hearing/article_dbdcfa86-47b2-5610-918b-b6a0e9492c69.html

Cappy said...

A prosecutorial trap. Good move. I'm getting old, and it's harder to pounce, as a Republican.

Stick said...

I thought Stefanik, a 2006 Harvard graduate, was an idiot according to SNL?

Magill resigned, but will keep her tenured professorship & continue to spew hate.

Gay, literally a diversity hire, plagiarized her doctoral thesis. She's probably gone.

Two down.

But these places are full of rot & will only be fit for matriculation when they are community colleges.

gilbar said...

Just to review..
At Harvard, calling someone who claims to be a guy a "her", is violence, and results in punishment
At Harvard, calling for genocide of ALL Jews, is just "free speech": No punishment

MartyH said...

Stefanik’s original line of questioning could have resulted in a dialog. The presidents would have an opportunity to explain their positions. Instead, their responses made good theater and thus went viral.

Gusty Winds said...

Best is now that she's in the spotlight, plagiarized paragraphs have been found in Harvard President Claudine Gay's Doctoral Thesis.

Mega donor Bill Ackman, who helped push Liz Magill out of Penn's presidency, is all over it. Seems the plagarism analysis is well documented. Examples and quotes on X.

College is a bullshit scam. Ms. Gay was awarded Harvard's "prestigious" Robert N. Toppan prize, for her plagiarized dissertation. The prize is now just another Pulitzer.

Remember. The Wizard didn't give the Scarecrow a brain. He gave him a diploma.

I have to admit. This is delicious.

Temujin said...

This is such a moment of academia overthinking, parsing, and dissecting something that does not need to be any of these. The answers and what has taken place on our campuses is so clear to the average person around America, it requires no 'academic perspective'. That perspective has not shown itself to be based in reality over the past few years.

The atmosphere in our universities is objectively and empirically failing. The results coming out of our universities from certain departments are abysmal. (the actual sciences still produce productive people. I do not include the social sciences in the 'actual' science category. Also not sure about psychology, though I'm sure you psychologists would disagree.)

To have our journalist and commentary class work to dissect this, examine it, as if there are nuances yet to be discovered seems like an act of propping them (the universities) up, rather than taking the moment to give a good hard look at how they've been failing. These are the leaders of the muddle headed thinkers. These women represent the checked-off boxes of hiring in DEI, not great thinkers or leaders. They represent social justice (whatever that is), not intellectual pursuit. To pretend otherwise is to pretend reality can be whatever you want it to be.

It cannot.

Gusty Winds said...

How is a simple question like this a "trap"?

Elise Stefanik: “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules regarding bullying or harassment?”

President Gay: “It depends on the context.”

Ms. Gay thought that was a clever, nuanced answer. All three of those women did. Liz Magill even smirked as if answering Stefanik's question was beneath her.

Bet they ALL wish they had just said..."YES".

narciso said...

Leave it to Crack to miss the palestinians are the sand people, or thd Storm troopers, now self defense against haj amins armies financed by fritz grobba the kind that orde wingate provided

MadisonMan said...

Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools
They are fools in a way, I think. They are in a bubble, surrounded by Yes Men (and Yes Women) and therefore never seriously consider opposite points of view, because why should they? They've placed themselves in a bubble where that kind of thought is not needed or even tolerated.

Gusty Winds said...

The public doesn't pay much attention. But this failure on the part of University DEI hires is well timed the University of Wisconsin's Board of Regents rejection of the $800 million compromise offered by the WI GOP Legislature.

They rejected $800 million to protect 43 DEI administrative positions.

Perfectly timed. Stupid is as stupid does.

Humperdink said...

Although SCOTUS judge Ketnaji-Brown probably won't recognize her a female, it's a good thing Rep. Elise Stefanik was doing the questioning. Imagine the outcry if say, Matt Gaetz was berating these poor helpless ladies.

narciso said...


The rest of the story

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctechnews/article/jwhsqhrat

Aggie said...

Objection, your honor. Calls for speculation.

I think you're giving these officials too much credit, when one considers the tone of the conversations in the public sphere over the past few years - the absolute, pathetic ridiculousness of it, generally. I think that's what Stefanik was trying to highlight: The obtuse, determinedly ignorant refusal to recognize that calls for genocide are not appropriate for any setting, but might just be protected under Free Speech rules. The university presidents are supposed to stand for the exchange of ideas over all else.

The issue of Free Speech has been debated endlessly in our society, in many different guises. These university presidents, and others like them, and societal leaders everywhere, have allowed Free Speech to be thwarted, and the rules to be applied unevenly, as a matter of preference. Just ask Dr. Murray, or Milo, or Heather, who have ad to run from mobs thanks to the cowardice of people like these three women - people in a position to stand up and set the tone. Wasn't Stefanik trying to make this point?

I personally think that calls such as 'river to the sea' are morally corrupt, repugnant - but are probably also protected Free Speech - as long as it's peacefully expressed. And I don't mind seeing these sentiments expressed in public - because it gives me an opportunity to see the faces espousing those views (which should be the rule - no masks). But the rules have to be impartially applied - and that failure is what Stefanik was trying to show. I agree she got a different - much worse - response than she was trying for. But I wasn't surprised.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What disciplinary actions have been taken - was that really such a trap? The standard response to such questions is that you can’t comment on individual cases. Harvard, at least, has initiated disciplinary action against 14 students.

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2023/11/11/thayer-proctor-relief-of-duties/
https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2023/11/21/mass-hall-protest-letter/
https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2023/11/11/thayer-proctor-relief-of-duties/

Meanwhile, a letter urging Harvard President Claudia Gay not be removed was signed by over 500 faculty including the “deeply troubled” Laurence Tribe. Note: Meade will be amused by this correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled the name of Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe.

West TX Intermediate Crude said...

The 3 U presidents are not fools, but they are ignorant and malicious. In the same way that 10 year old Palestinian boys believe that Jews should be viewed as less-than-human and therefore fit only for extermination, they believe, in all their hearts, that oppressors are evil and the oppressed are good. It's the way they were brought up. They have to believe that in order to be in the position that they hold- any whiff of doubt would have caused them to be shunted off the tenure track in academia.
The "context" that they were blabbering about was shorthand for the relative position of harassers and harassed on the intersectionalist hierarchy. They really believe that and have no problem enforcing it on their campuses. Because they were prepped by lawyers who have at least one foot in the real world, they did not give a wholehearted defense of their previous insane acts, but equivocated in a way that only lawyers and educators can.
I wish that I had some confidence that their successors will be any better. They will only be more circumspect.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

sounds like NYT butt-hurt.

Wilbur said...

Frankly, any reasonably skilled trial lawyer could have reduced them to sputtering and tears within a few minutes. That's what happens when you smugly attempt to defend the indefensible.

They got off very easy, IMO.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

"Zionists"
"Social Justice"
"Gender Affirming care"
"they/them" pronouns

all toxic constructs.. and terms used by hive-minded idiots, intellectual nit-wits, and child abuse groomers.

Anthony said...

iowan2 said...
They have lived in the rarefied air of academia. Where seeking approval of group speak is the only thing that matters.


It's really a very cloistered place, the modern university. They say the stupidest things, but within their context....it still doesn't make sense, but that's not the point, the point is to say the right things.

Sebastian said...

"The 3 presidents chose to tumble into the non-trap and even persistently to decline to climb out of it. All 3 saw that as their best option."

One reason is that they were thinking of the prog campus blowback. Whaddaya mean, sanctioning pro-Hamas lefties? Why protect genocidal oppressors from righteous anger?

"They looked awful in that non-trap, but they took shelter in it because they predicted the deadliness of the real trap."

Probably so. But with a little skill they still could have looked better: of course, I and my administration abhor speech that denigrates an entire group in those terms, and we would take action to assure Jews of our support and protection, as we have and as we will do more, and we would speak out ourselves. If speech specifically promotes violence aganst one of our constituencies, that indeed may trigger a conduct review, but how that happens depends on what is said. Etc.

Their real problem was that no one believes they had taken free speech seriously before, so any appeal to evenhanded application of "1A principles" inevitably came across as phony and insincere.

Static Ping said...

It is not much of a trap when it is painfully obvious.

Todd said...

So when a non-liberal asks for and expects the truth from liberals, that is a "trap"?!?

Funny, if the "leanings" were reversed, I can't see the headline being worded that way.

Gusty Winds said...

Blogger West TX Intermediate Crude said...
The 3 U presidents are not fools, but they are ignorant and malicious.

They are "wise fools" who never really made it past sophomore year.

Bonkti said...

Has Stefanik ever explained why she didn't follow up FBI Director Comey's "sensitivity of the matter" answer?

Old and slow said...

Treating the Palestinians as "worthy of civility and respect" does not preclude one from bombing them into submission. In fact, in these circumstances, it demands it. If they were unworthy of respect, then it might seem one should treat them as unable to be held to account, as pathetic victims lacking agency. They launched this war, and now they are reaping the consequences. Civility all around would be far preferable for everyone.

rcocean said...

Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools. I would credit them with foreseeing where Stefanik would go if they answered the set-up question "yes." We didn't get to see the set of questions that the NYT article only gestures at — "what disciplinary actions had been taken."

Thank you. Yes, the Presidents are smart and well aware when someone is setting them up with a "Yes Or No".

But then Althouse is not a rightwinger.

The R/W or conservatives alway do a shallow analysis of the Liberal/Left. Whats weird is they always impute good will to the liberal/left, but also attribute their actions to being "Stupid" or "Crazy". They rarely impute intelligence, and then ask why would a smart liberal/leftist say/do this?

That would require a level of complex analysis they can't attempt. And would also lead them to understanding how power operates and why it does what it does. Something they want to remain ignorant of.

Original Mike said...

"The "context" that they were blabbering about was shorthand for the relative position of harassers and harassed on the intersectionalist hierarchy."

Thanks, I've been wondering what "context" would justify calls for genocide.

Iman said...

Sunlight on their doings makes ‘em snarky.

From the classrooms to teh dorms the campus must return to teh Norms!

Dude1394 said...

Another "republicans pounce" propaganda piece from the Democrat Times.

J Severs said...

3 peak academicians failed to respond adequately to a standard rhetorical question, the dilemma.

PB said...

If students don't understand that "from the river to the sea" is not a call for Jewish genocide, they are too stupid for college. If the presidents don't understand it, they are too stupid or dishonest to hold their jobs. Calling for genocide might be free speech. But it also must be cause for suspension, or expulsion. Saying a member of your community should be murdered requires your removal from that community.

gilbar said...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ivy-league-mask-falls-antisemitism-higher-education-4592d0c0?mod=hp_opin_pos_1
The Ivy League Mask Falls
Antisemitism is one example of a much deeper rot on campus.

The world was appalled by the equivocation of the academic leaders when asked if advocating genocide against Jews violated their codes of conduct..
But as everyone paying attention knows, these schools don’t protect speech they disagree with. They punish it..
Harvard’s Title IX training says using the wrong pronouns qualifies as abuse. Harvard was 248th out of 248, and Penn was 247th, in the annual college ranking by the free-speech Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression..
But because Jews in Israel are seen in the progressive canon as white oppressors and colonizers, it’s not a clear campus violation to call for murdering Jews because it depends on the context..
The schools may attempt to mollify the fury by adding Jews to the classes deemed oppressed. That may make antisemitism less tolerated on campus. But it won’t change the deeper rot of anti-American, anti-Western instruction that dominates so many campuses.

Mason G said...

"So when a non-liberal asks for and expects the truth from liberals, that is a "trap"?!?"

The Left: "The truth? It depends."

That's why they see it as a trap.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

The "calls for genocide" were repugnant but what horrified most Americans was the rampaging mobs, surrounding Jewish students in libraries and dorms and other places, and the relevant context for those Jews sheltering is that universities had declared so loudly how their campuses were "safe spaces" throughout the Trump years and since then whenever a conservative jurist ventures onto campus to discuss law with alleged students of the law.

Safe spaces became riotous mobs so fast America wants an explanation, but the smirking and parsing is unacceptable and still leaves the question begging. They cannot possibly tell the truth that marxist DEI brainwashing has replaced all their principles, so they equivocate and/or vacate their positions to allow the next braindead marxist drone to assume the leadership role.

RigelDog said...

No one ever expects the Prosecutorial Trap.....mwwaahaahahaha!

Oso Negro said...

What is to be done about the West African colonizers who displaced Crack’s ancestors and sold them to the slave traders? Let’s look to reparations from West Africa nations

Yancey Ward said...

Althouse gets it!

Their position was logically indefensible and all three presidents and their lawyers knew it. These people aren't terribly bright, but they aren't as stupid as, let's say, Rich or Chuck from the commentariat.

Here are the scenarios that could have played out:

(1) The presidents answer, "Yes, those are cases of abuse and harassment." Then you can expect Stefanik to follow-up with asking what penalties have been handed out to these students. There, of course, have been no penalties handed out, nor will there be. Winner, Stefanik.

(2) The presidents answer, "No, those are not cases of abuse and harassment." Then Stefanik follows up with previous examples of students who have been cancelled by the three universities' speech policies in the past (these aren't hard to find, and I, unlike a commenter above, think Stefanik had these ready at hand had the university presidents chosen this tactic.

In either case, the defense fails. The only way forward was to either take the fifth, so to speak, or provide the non-answer they ended up giving. Double-standards are indefensible by their very nature- even the really dumb people can grok this. Saying, "You are damned right, it is a double-standard and we are proud of it and you can't do a damned thing about it," isn't tenable either from an optics point-of-view.

Butkus51 said...

2023

Nuanced talk of genocide.

For too many its complicated.

Save the rainforest!

mikee said...

Here's the thing about a university disciplining a student: It can be done in such a way as to actually punish misbehavior, or it can be performative, a kabuki of paperwork that allows the university to prove "discipline" was done without anyone really noticing.

I once violated my undergrad college's rules and was disciplined by having a letter added to my permanent record, stating vaguely that I had violated a college rule and that if I did so again, "further measures would be taken." It was a wonderful example of something less painful than a wet noodle hitting my wrist, and I have used the same wording in "disciplining" subordinates often in the decades since, for harmless misbehaviors.

Sure, the universities will "discipline" misbehavior by their ideological allies if forced, but don't expect any pain and suffering by those going through the process. As for ideological opponents, expect them to be gone from campus before the ink dries on their kangaroo court documents. And so it will go, until real reform of campus governance occurs.

hombre said...

The presidents had the usual lack of self awareness and connection to reality of progressive elites. That and their arrogance made them easy meat for someone outside the bubble.

Kevin said...

The problem is "never again" isn't clearly defined.

And it can't be, because it would severely impair the core mission of the DEI folks.

Greg the Class Traitor said...

Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools.

Well, they're either fools, or scumbag worthless piles of shit who are pro genocide of Jews.

So which is it?

Joe Smith said...

"Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools."

Really? Why would you assume that for even a second?

I mean, not slobbering idiots, but clearly they are all DEI affirmative action hires.

I would bet a million dollars that the search committees excluded white, heterosexual men from consideration unless as a last resort.

Like the explosion of black (often lesbian) police chiefs in major cities over the last few years.

It's a sham, and as a result we get unqualified people doing supposedly important jobs.

And you wonder why this country is so fucked up...

Mason G said...

"So which is it?"

Could be both.

Real American said...

They are adherents to a DEI philosophy that doesn't allow them to punish anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist bullies at their universities because DEI is based on the premise that (among other ridiculous notions) Jews are oppressors because their skin is (believed to be) a lighter tone than that of Arabs.

There's simply no reason to assume they're not colossal fools.

alanc709 said...

Haven't been here in a while, but I see Crack has embraced his inner Nazi.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I don't know about the three University Presidents being fools or not. I think they are accustomed to operating in an environment where they are treated with a great deal of deference and that whatever they say is to be accepted as wise and enlightening.”

One of their problems is that 5hey forgot who their bosses are. It’s not the students - they can be replaced in a heartbeat by just as qualified applicants. Not the mediocre faculty who got their posts through DEI, etc, or indeed the DEI hierarchy, who are easily replaceable drones. They need to keep their top tier faculty happy, and really haven’t. And they need to keep their donors happy, which includes their alumni. And they need to keep the public happy and respectful.

The Jews were the canary in the coal mine. The reality is that they have been victims for the last almost two millennia. They moved to Israel to build a sanctuary from being victimized, after 7 million of them had been murdered by the real Nazis (with whom many Muslims happily collaborated). They bought much of the land that they originally had, and literally made the desert bloom. The Muslims, as they have long done, and Christians had also long done, want to take it from them. Throughout the last 1300 years, Muslims have almost never been victims, but rather the oppressors, and that continues to this day. And, yet, today, they are treated as being at the very top of the oppressor pyramid, by DEI and the left.

The Jews have, for a very long time, kept their heads down, and essentially let their money do their talking. It has long bought them some protection, and even, throughout much of the 20th Century, power, esp in the US. This includes heavily contributing to top colleges, and universities - the same ones, in many cases, that openly and ruthlessly discriminated against them a half a century ago. Contributing to the elite colleges and university no longer buys as much protection, nor does it work nearly as well with Democrats. They are waking up to that, and realizing that with the DEI Culture on the left, and in academia, it no longer works. And with that, their reason to give generously to these schools is disappearing.

And that is the big sin committed by these three DEI tainted elite university presidents - they actively ignored that their Golden Goose was being openly butchered through leftist zealotry. They continue to defend the corrupt system that encourages rampant discrimination, and even violence against whites, Asians, and esp Jews. And the money from these groups, through donations and tuition is what pays their salaries, as well as the salaries of the army of administrators that have grown up on their campuses to enforce leftist orthodoxy. And, yes, it is the kids of these groups, attending these universities and colleges that make them elite schools.


Oligonicella said...

Crack's favorite ethicist's POV on Crack's POV.

The Crack Emcee said...

alanc709 said...

"Haven't been here in a while, but I see Crack has embraced his inner Nazi."

So does that mean you're the one who's going to provide evidence of "widespread raping" to cure me of my affliction? That's all it would take. (John Lennon: Just gimme some truth.) The 40 decapitated babies were a lie - that Joe Biden saw - clear as day. And he and the Zionists keep telling us things that, I guess, they don't expect us to keep track of, to see if they're true. Because, every time I do - every time - they're not. Like claiming "from the river to the sea" is antisemitic, and then finding out even Benjamin Netanyahu says it. Huh? Who's bullshitting who here? They're always leaving out the important information - because it incriminates them as bullshit artists and con men for ethic cleansing. It's like Zionism is this myth they're trying to prop-up through deceit.

And, if that that makes me antisemitic, so be it.

Joe Smith said...

'Haven't been here in a while, but I see Crack has embraced his inner Nazi.'

Inner?

He seems quite proud of it...

Bruce Hayden said...

“The schools may attempt to mollify the fury by adding Jews to the classes deemed oppressed. That may make antisemitism less tolerated on campus.”

Not going to happen. Antisemitism is too deeply embedded in the left. And, yes, when these elite schools stopped openly discriminating against Jews, a half a century ago, they quickly found that Jews quickly became greatly over represented, sometimes, at elite schools, approaching 50% (unlikely to happen these days, thanks to Asians, who are also discriminated against to keep their numbers down).

Dagwood said...

Pretty hard not to step in pig sh!t when you've been enthusiastically wallowing in the muck for years.

n.n said...

The presidents fell into the social justice trap that was carefully laid out by the presidents et al. With Stefanik's empathetic aid, they were effectively hoisted by their own petard.

Dude1394 said...

"Blogger Kristo Miettinen said...
I think Stefanik missed an opportunity too. She could have come prepared with bills of particulars for a handful of recent incidents on each campus, and asked whether, in those specific contexts, University policies had been violated. But she apparently didn't anticipate the "it depends" dodge."

I think that you are missing how these things work.
- You get 5 minutes.
- If you use that 5 minutes to actually show data, the media will ignore it, and the rest of the ADD country will snore and go to sleep.
- ONLY by gotcha politics does much of anything get done.

loudogblog said...

"Permit me to assume for a moment that the 3 university presidents are not fools."

That's a big assumption. Especially given the news today that President Gay plagiarized parts of her doctoral thesis.

How could you not know that you would be caught doing that in this internet age unless you are a fool?

The fact is that the three college presidents went into the congressional hearings holding a losing hand. It's defensible to have a speech code as long as it is applied equally. Because their speech codes were not applied equally, they had no logical leg to stand on.

If they had let conservatives have free speech, then the case could be made that they had to let Palestinian supporters also have free speech. But they didn't.

As a Libertarian, I'm all about free speech. I just think that it needs to apply to everyone equally.

loudogblog said...

The Crack Emcee said...
"McGill quit because, ironically, she was against the supposedly "antisemitic" book fair she was grilled by Congress over, and let it go on anyway - as she should've. The others won't do the same."

She was forced to quit because her lack of backbone cost the university at least $100,000,000 in donations.

If you're going to punish students for fat-shaming or trans shaming or abortion shaming, you need to punish students for supporting war crimes against Israel.

Christopher B said...

Turn the question around. I've heard it said a good lawyer never asks a witness a question if the lawyer doesn't know the answer beforehand. Why would Ms Stefanik have known, or at least suspected, that her question would be answered the way it was?

loudogblog said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Antiantifa said...

"Zionists, the colonizers, are murdering civilians with bombs, and lying about it - while calling the colonized "animals" and "savages" and ISIS and Nazis - so their supporters are incapable of "treating all people as worthy of respect and civility"."

War is an ugly thing and Hamas started this war, not Israel.

I think that it's apparent that Hamas specifically targeted Israeli civilians with kidnapping, rape, murder and mutilation on 10/7. Then they posted up all their war crimes on the internet for the world to see. On 10/6, Israel was not occupying Gaza and there was a cease fire in place.

Now it is a war and it's also apparent that Israel is really trying to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. But it's hard do do that when Hamas puts their military assets in hospitals, mosques and schools.

I think that Israel flooding the tunnels is a great move. That is a slow process and will give Hamas, and their hostages, a chance to get out safely. But they can't use those tunnels again.

In 2005, the Palestinians were given the opportunity to have a free, independent nation. They rejected that and decided to support terrorism instead.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

loudogblog said...

The Crack Emcee said...

"And, if that that makes me antisemitic, so be it.


Truth.

The Crack Emcee said...

loudogblog,

You are the latest asshole to just pop-up out of ether deciding to make me famous. Thank you.

Mason G said...

"Especially given the news today that President Gay plagiarized parts of her doctoral thesis."

And we're told voter id is racist because blacks have a hard time getting copies of necessary documents- ironic, no?

holdfast said...

Good to know that Crack wants to erase 7,500,000 Jews - the majority of the Jews in the world. But that's not at all genocidal at all, nope. Not at all.

Oh, he doesn't think that all those 7,500,000 should necessarily be killed, they should just "go somewhere else"? Uh, huh.

But isn't that just the same as the extreme Likud types who think that all the Palestinians in the WB and Gaza should just "go somewhere else". Without specifying where or how, of course.

Crack, the Rhodes Scholar that he is, doesn't care that Jews were in Israel thousands of years before Muhammad meandered around the Middle East. He doesn't care that many Jews were displaced from Israel by White Christian SETTLERS and by Arab Muslim SETTLERS and by Arab Turkish SETTLERS and by many other SETTLERS and COLONIZERS, and yet despite all the invasions and deporations, some Jews continued to live in Israel continuously from Biblical times through the founding of Israel.

Nope, he thinks that history started in the 20th century, and he only knows the history he read in his Franz Fanon coloring book.

The Crack Emcee said...

Judge Joe Brown thinks Stefanik is an "idiot" who reminds him of the Nazis.

The Crack Emcee said...

Judge Joe Brown had me laughing so hard I was CRYING over his comments about Stefanik, saying she'd never fight that hard for blacks, and it's women like her who made life hard for blacks in the past. He also said she's a bigger threat to democracy then antisemitism, and it's the GOP pulling "fascist" shit like this that's going to blow any attraction to the party Trump may hold for blacks and other minorities, bothered by the Democrat's previous fascistic actions to get Trump.

I told you this was a loser for the right.

Old and slow said...

Wow Crack, you really let the mask slide here.

"You are the latest asshole to just pop-up out of ether deciding to make me famous."

Not that it was a mystery. You're pretty obvious. This whole shtick of yours is all about attracting attention to yourself. Don't get me wrong, I don't question your pro-terrorism bona fides. You are for real in that regard. It's just your constant posting as a cry for attention that is pathetic. You were once young and edgy. Moderately talented and unusual perhaps. Now you play the black right wing Hamas supporting contrarian. It's great for attracting attention isn't it? The black part is the only thing that buys you any time. Right wing people just love a black man who takes their side in anything. They'll overlook a LOT! Does that make you a sort of Step and Fetchit character? Minstrelsy with a hard edge? Meh, I don't know.

Feeling more comfortable now?

The Crack Emcee said...

Elise Stefanik doesn't care about Jews: she's an ethno-nationalist

GingerBeer said...

Dave Begley: Plagarism at Harvard? The horror. Perhaps Gay won't survive, but I won't hold my breath. HLS's Charles Ogletree and Lawrence Tribe have both proven plagiarists. Harvard MA, PhD, and Overseer Dorris Kearns Goodwin too. As for the President, he is known to have plagiarized when at Syracuse Law. And wait for it... in the "Harvard Journal on Legislation" while serving in the US Senate. Not a dismissal or tarnished reputation amongst them. Plagiarism is the Mother's Milk of success at Harvard.

holdfast said...

Sorry, is this the Althouse Blog or the Crack-Hates-Israel-And-Most-Jews Show?

I really can't tell.

And, Crack? Ya ain't famous, you're just really, really obnoxious. And have way too much free time.

Tina Trent said...

I'm sorry but the Jews have not been the canary in the coal mine for decades, because the majority of Jewish leftists subsidized this behavior.

Let's be very clear about this.

Now, however, they are the canary in the coal mine, and my sympathy as a woman and a white person and the product of a civilized Western culture are entirely with them.

Sorry again, but on the ground, facts are facts.

Althouse parsed the speech issues, but that's not the point. Enforcing the laws regarding protesting is the point. I have attended many of these meetings and actions incognito. EVERY one of them was un-permitted or violated their permit, planned in advance. Every single one used dupes -- hipster parents with their baby carriages; college students getting ready to cut off their genitalia to achieve victim status, Asian kids playing special victim, Native American Indians making cash from the gig, and pretend Native Americans too.

Simply let the police enforce the law. They leave the protest permit are, block traffic, harass people trying to avoid them outside the protest area, they get arrested.

Do this five times and we might get our country back, without all this debate about free speech. At the very least Black Bloc and ANTIFA can't hide behind idiot leftist intown mommy parroting "from the river to the sea."

Tina Trent said...

Crack, Stefanic has done a hell of a lot of economic good for blacks in her district, which I know well. At some point, facts matter.

alanc709 said...

The Crack Emcee said...
alanc709 said...

"Haven't been here in a while, but I see Crack has embraced his inner Nazi."

So does that mean you're the one who's going to provide evidence of "widespread raping" to cure me of my affliction?

No, it means your derangement has seized control of you. And yes, I am a Jew, and yes, you are an anti-Semite.