When Scholars Subvert Truth to Politics

A while back, I wrote about an accusation that my criticism of Trumpism was poor strategy, since it did not serve the conservative cause. Herewith, what happens when scholars subvert truth to politics: CNN has published John Eastman’s chilling memo outlining how then-Vice President Mike Pence could declare Donald Trump to be the choice of the Electoral College in 2020. Eastman was a law professor when he wrote it, though he resigned shortly afterward. There is a long tradition in Western thought of the scholar-statesman, from Cicero to, more recently, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. It is an admirable tradition. Moreover, no … Continue reading When Scholars Subvert Truth to Politics

Recommended Reading

This post by Paul Campus at Lawyers, Guns & Money captures something important about the asymmetric expectations that commentators tend to have of the two parties. Campos looks at the results of the 2020 election demographically, and shows how much extra credit Republicans get when they manage to eke out support from any minority. He points out how Hispanic/Latino men voted for Biden over Trump by a 2-1 margin. White men voted for Trump by the same margin. Everyone acknowledges that the latter indicates overwhelming support for Trump. But pundits also take the former as “great” support for… Trump! Campos’ … Continue reading Recommended Reading

Supreme Court Rejecting Texas Case

In his post today about the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the Texas lawsuit without so much as an explanation, Jeffrey Tulis wishes that the Supreme Court had written a more extensive statement explaining why they threw it out. Tulis cites a similar piece by Tom Goldstein making roughly the same argument. Both Tulis and Goldstein want the Court to have written a more extensive opinion which, to use Goldstein’s words, “decimates” the lawsuit. Although I agree that this lawsuit was not only ungrounded but dangerous, I would suggest that a more lengthy “decimation” would have been a serious … Continue reading Supreme Court Rejecting Texas Case

The Gathering Storm?

The Supreme Court declined to take up the case from Pennsylvania. But the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, has now asked the Court to take another case. Over at The Bulwark, Kim Wehle has an excellent take on the latest effort to overturn the election: “Paxton is asking five unelected justices with jobs for life to cancel the millions of votes legitimately cast in four states, and tell the legislatures in those states to give the electors to Trump.” Like the Pennsylvania suit, it’s not going to work. But asking whether it’s going to work is the wrong question. … Continue reading The Gathering Storm?

Michael Flynn meets Alexander Hamilton

Even the Washington Examiner realized this was sedition! Democracies have always died at some point. The Federalists worried that they could never survive because they had never survived. Ours has always depended on certain constitutional norms that insured the peaceful transfer of power. More than anything else, our democracy has avoided the fate of others because we have accepted the constitutional processes that ensure that our regime is based, to use Hamilton’s words, on “reflection and choice” rather than on “accident and force.” The founders’ Constitution separated us from prior democracies because it created institutions through which the democracy could … Continue reading Michael Flynn meets Alexander Hamilton

Our Near Death Experience

You are welcome, New York Times and Susan Rice, for my metaphor and some of my argument. I remind myself of something that Teddy Roosevelt purportedly said: “As long as they are going my way, I don’t care who gets the credit.” He probably did care a little bit, as I do. But we care more that people heed the message.  Click the headline in the post to read the New York Times piece. Here is my version from November 5, a couple of days after the election: Continue reading Our Near Death Experience

Trump’s “Hail Mary” Pass

Is Donald Trump’s strategy of pressuring states in their choice of electors a legitimate “Hail Mary” plan to secure a second term? Dr. Jeffery Tulis thinks not. In this article, Tulis challenges his readers to “engage in a broader constitutional conversation than is common for the judiciary” when thinking about the role of the Electoral College.
Continue reading Trump’s “Hail Mary” Pass