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Why so much anti-Republican prejudice on university faculties?

At least since I was an undergraduate, I have noticed that some of the most intolerant leftists I have come across hold tenured positions on university faculties. Those who should be best equipped to wrestle with ideas at odds with their own often show the greatest outrage when students present such ideas.  The latest example comes from the Hawkeye State:

University of Iowa professor who studies same-sex relationships was so upset by an email from a campus Republican group promoting “Conservative Coming Out Week” that she fired off a vulgarity aimed at all Republicans, according to messages released by the school Wednesday.

“F— you, Republicans” was professor Ellen Lewin’s response Monday to the recruiting pitch from UI College Republicans. She sent the email from her school account, drawing outrage from conservative students and one Republican lawmaker.

UI President Sally Mason responded to the incident Wednesday by condemning intolerant political speech.

The university president may have condemned intolerant political speech in broad terms,* but she did not single out, as she should have, the professor nor even identify her political views, as if such intolerance were not legion on the left.  The university should be questioning why a scholar who reacts as Ms. Lewin did was doing on its faculty.

A conservative who spoke out as did she would likely be subject to sensitivity training.  Instead of grappling with her prejudice, this academic used her apology to lash out against Republicans.  In an “email to the leaders of the College Republicans,” Ms. Lewin explained “that she had just finished reading about ‘fresh outrages committed by Republicans in government’ when she received the pitch”:

“I admit the language was inappropriate, and apologize for any affront to anyone’s delicate sensibilities,” Lewin wrote.

But she said the group’s email contained several statements that were “extremely offensive, nearly rising to the level of obscenity.” She said she was upset that Republicans used the “coming out” language to describe the week given what she called their general disdain for gay rights. She said the email also mocked labor protesters in Wisconsin and animal rights.

This woman just can’t let go of her prejudices and even includes a jibe against those critical of her angry riposte — dubbing their sensibilities “delicate”.  Would she consider a gay man’s sensibilities delicate if he were outraged that a professor replied to his invitation to a talk on anti-gay bigotry with, “F*** you f****t”? (more…)

Too early to dwell on “weak” Republican field for 2012

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:09 pm - April 21, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

“Paul Ryan,” we read today in the Washington Examiner is, “underwhelemed with [the] current GOP field“:  “We don’t have the presidential candidates right now,” the Wisconsin Republican told New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, “The field hasn’t materialized yet, so we’re out there doing it ourselves.”

At least, Ryan acknowledged that the field hasn’t materialized yet, but other pundits gnash their teeth and wring their hands about the apparent weakness of the apparent Republican field.  It’s as if the presidential election were this summer and not next fall.  “The way things are going,” James Taranto quips today commenting on a Times piece on the absence of passion for Republican candidates, “President Obama will be impossible to beat this year.

Why all this focus on the 2012 presidential race when we’re barely in the second quarter of 2011?  Could it be that those dwelling on Donald Trump want to show us the sorry state of the Republican presidential field?  Or could it be that we’re dwelling on the upcoming presidential contest because Americans increasingly feel the incumbent is not up to the job?

It’s way too early to speculate on the 2012 contest.  Perhaps some candidates who today sit on the sidelines will toss their hats into the ring when they realize the opportunity a weak economy and unpopular incumbent afford.

Thought control at public employee unions?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:25 am - April 21, 2011.
Filed under: Hysteria on the Left,Public Employee Unions

From friends and acquaintances here in the Golden State, I have accumulated anecdotal evidence that public employee unions, particularly the California Teachers Association send multiple e-mails* to their members, often to their government computers, while contacting them regularly telling them how to vote in various elections.  In contested partisan races, they almost always “encourage” their members to vote for the Democrat.

Now, Mike Ames and Mike Elk of The Nation magazine are in a lather because, gasp!, Koch Industries has done something similar:

On the eve of the November midterm elections, Koch Industries sent an urgent letter to most of its 50,000 employees advising them on whom to vote for and warning them about the dire consequences to their families, their jobs and their country should they choose to vote otherwise.

The Nation obtained the Koch Industries election packet for Washington State—which included a cover letter from its president and COO, David Robertson; a list of Koch-endorsed state and federal candidates; and an issue of the company newsletter,Discovery, full of alarmist right-wing propaganda.

This, the left-wing magazine’s editors dub, “Thought Control.” Ben Smith believes the expression, “thought control . . . seems rather strong“:

The mailings don’t ask for feedback from employees or suggest their jobs are dependent on whom they vote for, much less what they think; it seems to give the workers very little credit to imagine that they’ll have their thoughts controlled by this document, as opposed to by the campaign literature they get from candidates or, for some, from their unions.

It would be interesting to compare the language Koch Industries used in its letter to the languages union officials use in theirs.   And to compare their vote-getting tactics as well.  I’m sure Ames and Elk are already on top of this, working feverishly on just such an article.

(H/t Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner.)

* (more…)

Gay marriage not priority to NH Tea Party Protesters

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:43 am - April 21, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay Marriage,Tea Party

On Tuesday, a left-wing blog reported something that our readers have been noticing now for at least since the dawn of the Tea Party movement two years ago, that those joining these grassroots protests against excessive government spending are, by and large, not concerned with gay issues:

During a recent trip to Concord, New Hampshire, to cover a Tax Day Tea Party sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, I [Igor Volsky] asked attendees how the state’s 2009 same-sex marriage law has affected the state or their private lives. New Hampshire Republicans have promised to repeal the law next year and conservatives in the state have promised to turn the marriage issue into a litmus test for potential 2012 presidential contenders.

But at Friday’s event, not a single Tea Party activist told me that expanding marriage to gays and lesbians has undermined their relationships or in any way changed the state. In fact, everyone I spoke to insisted that changing the marriage law was not a priority

A number of the participants said that gay marriage just wasn’t a “priority” for them.  They’re more concerned with “bigger problems.”  Nice to see a left-wing blog helping debunk the (false) narrative of Tea Parties being a socially conservative movement where gays are unwelcome.

(H/t Memeorandum.)

Postpartisan president calls sensible Republican reforms, “radical”

Ah, the new civility.  I had been meaning to do a followup post on the president’s missed opportunity to offer a serious response to the serious budget reform proposal House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) had presented earlier this month.  I would have quoted from the speech itself to show how the president treated Republican ideas as he would those of an opponent against whom he’s running in a hard-fought election and those of the leadership of one legislative chamber with whom he’s negotiating to set federal fiscal policy.

Yet, to show just how divisive this supposedly new kind of politician is, we don’t need go back to an important speech he delivered last week, just turn to a townhall he conducted yesterday in Palo Alto, California where he attacked Republican plans with campaign-style rhetoric rather than attempt to approach differences in a less divisive manner, as he had promised in his successful presidential campaign in 2008:

President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that congressional Republicans are pushing a radical plan to trim Medicare and Medicaid, ramping up the rhetoric before a friendly Facebook crowd at the headquarters of the popular social networking site.

Still, as Obama and Congress approach crucial decisions on spending and the national debt the president said he thinks a bipartisan accord is possible.

“I think it’s fair to say that their vision is radical,” Obama told a town hall gathering that included questions posed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and sent in by site users.

“I don’t think it’s particularly courageous,” he said of the GOP plan to convert Medicare to a voucher program and make big cuts to the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor.

“Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless, or don’t have lobbyists, or don’t have clout,” Obama said.

Once again, he resorts to the old Democratic tactic of class warfare, attacking Republicans as indifferent (or perhaps even hostile) to the less fortunate.  It seems he’s living in the world of the perpetual campaign where one must always be on the attack and where one’s noble sentiments matter more than his record.  He hints that Republicans respond only to the pleas of lobbyists and those with clout, as if no one had documented his own administration’s cozy relationship with lobbyists.