A Rare Glimpse of America’s “Elite” Showing Their True Colors
I can envision what must have happened in Washington…
A phone call to the talent agency…
“Hello, Central Casting? I need a few pompous, arrogant, off-putting, egg-head law professors to come before Congress and discuss the Constitutional basis for impeaching President Trump.”
And presto, from stage-left came three scholars (ahem…):
- Pamela Karlan, BA/Yale, MA/Yale, JD/Yale; now teaching at Stanford.
- Noah Feldman, AB Harvard, PhD/Oxford, JD/Yale; now teaching at Harvard.
- Michael Gerhardt, BA/Yale, MS/London School of Economics, JD/university of Chicago; now teaching at University of North Carolina.
Clearly, Central Casting dug deep; struck gold, even. These players drip with academic wax and ribbons. The more, the better.
Still, while some may see three distinguished Constitutional scholars… I see the Three Stooges.
To be fair, the trio of lawyers are well-known players among legal circles. Their followers include academic wonks who attend legal seminars, watch C-Span interviews, and listen to legal analysis on National Public Radio.
No mere ambulance-chasing, dog-bite lawyers in this trio.
But outside the law school campuses of America? These three are definitely Off-Broadway, so to speak.
Whether they’re superstars or bit-players within public consciousness, however, they had “just one job,” as the saying goes… Go out into the arena and nail President Trump.
And the fumbles, whiffs, unforced errors and own-goals made a remarkable spectacle. It was like watching the old Saturday Night Live parodies, when they used to be funny.
Begin with Prof. Gerhardt. Legal scholar or no, he bounced from one disjointed point to another, like a highly polished steel sphere in a tilted pinball machine. He stumbled and stammered through an opening statement that he seemed not to have read beforehand.
Gerhardt denounced Trump for using a well-recognized concept known as “executive privilege.” Per Gerhardt, that’s “obstruction of justice.” That is, defending oneself via proper legal process is now legal basis for impeachment.
Indeed, Gerhardt pompously declared, “If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning.”
In other words, impeachment is now a self-licking ice cream cone. It’s there to be savored by whichever political party holds the House majority during the tenure of a President whom a lot of people may not like. There’s your Constitutional analysis.
And how about Prof. Feldman? He’s Harvard’s latest word on the U.S. Constitution, some say…
Before we go there, I recall a younger Noah Feldman who journeyed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. As a 33-year old whiz kid, Feldman advised the government of that then-wrecked nation on how to rebuild itself into a better-run place, post-Saddam Hussein.
Without going deep into details, let’s just say that Feldman was not quite the cup of chai for the hardline Islamicists who ran Iraq at the time.
Okay, yes… With U.S. troops occupying their country, Muslim Iraqis listened to advice from the nice Jewish boy from Boston. (Are you beginning to see the problem?) Then, they reestablished the nation as a Shiite Islamic Republic, filled with insider-oligarchs who still run the country.
Nice work, Noah.
More recently, Feldman has become the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard. It’s quite a title, and definitely a palladium-level bullet-point for the resume.
Using his impressive office and title, Feldman has espoused the necessity of “impeaching” Trump since at least March 2017, about six weeks into Trump’s presidency. Credit the man for consistency, but it’s also worth knowing that his recent, so-called “Constitutional analysis” of the matter was preordained.
That is, with the ring of empirical certainty, Feldman announced in his opening statement that Trump has been acting for “personal gain” as President. Apparently, Feldman knows this, despite never having met Trump.
Meanwhile, even Harvard Law School still teaches courses in evidence. And within the long-standing, black-letter law of that particular subject, the finding of “intent” is a fact question. Somehow, though, there’s no need to ascertain facts when it’s Trump in the crosshairs. Prof. Feldman just plain “knows” stuff.
And then came Prof. Karlan. Ugh…
Karlan began by explaining – or “whining,” to be more accurate – that she read deposition transcripts all through her Thanksgiving break. She even had a pre-cooked turkey sent in so that she could munch bird and read previous witnesses’ hearsay testimony at the same time.
After establishing her bona fides as a Thanksgiving martyr, Karlan issued a gratuitous, cheap shot at President and Melania Trump’s teenage son; she said, “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility … so, while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”
Clearly, it was a rehearsed line. I’ll wager that Karlan has previously said something like that in the Stanford faculty lounge. And her snarky remark even drew a few stupid laughs from the usual cabal of rabid partisans in the packed hall.
As for the rest of the country? Well… It was like watching a confused hockey player slap the puck into her own team’s goal cage.
As fate would have it, I watched the Karlan “joke” unfold on CNN, in a waiting hall within the Philadelphia International Airport. From my read of other passengers’ reactions to Karlan, I could feel the needle move towards Trump on the national sympathy meter. Others might agree, because Karlan later issued a half-hearted apology towards the Trump family.
Some say that Karlan was on President Obama’s short list as a potential Supreme Court justice; she might be there now if there had been a President Hillary. Yikes! We sure dodged that bullet!
Still, I pity students who attend law school these days. I can only imagine some unfortunate lawyer wannabe, sitting in Karlan’s classroom for the first time, listening to her pontificate about her favorite bête noir, and wondering – nay, agonizing – if he/she should just stand up and walk out.
Then again, Karlan teaches at Stanford, where an ambitious student can go find a computer nerd and come up with some new pizza-ordering app to sell into Silicon Valley.
Last week, we saw prime examples of America’s so-called “elite” on display, testifying to Congress. And what a national disaster it was. Hyper-partisan witnesses, verging on delusional, ranting like a bunch of drunks on barstools.
Perhaps the upside in all of this is that the nation’s educational crisis is also on glaring display. Watch the silly twit professors, preaching conclusions based on deeply-held biases.
Clearly, U.S. legal – and by implication, political “science” – studies have reached a nadir of mindset. We have top-level practitioners who teach this body of material; and apparently cannot recognize basic facts or follow the path of reality.
More broadly, it’s no wonder that U.S. governance – and certainly, the country’s foreign policy – have sunk to such low levels. Think of the small armies of students who get taught by people like Karlan, Feldman, Gerhardt and their ilk.
Foreign competitors of the U.S. – in business as well as at national levels – must be laughing, if not thanking their gods. No wonder Chinese and Russians run circles around the U.S. in key matters across the world.
With professors like this leading the charge, the U.S educational system doesn’t train people to recognize or respect facts, let alone to come up with a means of controlling outcomes.
As for deplorables such as we? Well… when we point out the flaws in what’s going on, our instruction is to go home, shut up and don’t rock the boat.
Face it… America’s “elite” cadre are awful and incompetent; but they refuse to go away. They’ve hijacked the country, and every day the rest of us are just passengers along for the ride, locked out of the cockpit.
Sometimes, though, the elite do screw up. Like now… Because they put their worst features on display… and thus does the new class struggle move to the forefront.
On that note, I rest my case.
That’s all for now… Thank you for subscribing and reading.
Managing Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder
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