Welcome to my world all you people appalled by the testimony of professors presenting Constitutional grounds for impeaching President Donald Trump.
Are you disgusted by the display of feminist rage, graduate student earnestness, and droning about the “framers” by tenured elites who have built careers presenting the Constitution as a “living document”?
Ha! Welcome to my world where I spent 20 years until 2013 studying and teaching college English.
I would still be in that world, having to listen to morning-after faculty lounge debates about the relative merits of these three scholars, were it not for the fact that a department chair, and then a college president, did not like op-eds I wrote, because the First Amendment applied only to people with their views. Then the privately funded program under which I was teaching at Emory University ended.
It’s not that I could get beyond the low-paying year-to-year contracts. My thesis and dissertation focused on dead white male cis-gendered (with no “homosexual,” or even “homo-social” tendencies) Christian writers. So I never had a chance.
During my years of struggle, I would try to convey what it was like to those on the outside—family members, friends, and people I met. I described the witchy cackling at meetings, screams about oppression from lecterns, inquisitorial stares from colleagues passing by in hallways, and examples of “scholarship”—like the poster with the giant phallus (and more that I can’t describe in this forum) adorning the office door of the head of “Sexuality Studies,” which was within the English department at Emory. Every day I trudged past that looming phallus, above the poster of Shakespeare in drag advertising a “Shakesqueer” conference.
Oh, that’s just those crazy English professors, said people in the business world and in the sciences. They looked at me slant-eyed after I stammered, “but, but … the giant phallus, and …”
Today, the standards of academe have infiltrated the business world. My former skeptics on the political right no longer post political comments on Facebook. Techies such as James Damore and CEOs are fired for their words and actions that have nothing to do with their job performance. Math and science professors are required to sign statements pledging allegiance to diversity, which means admitting less-qualified women and minorities. They’re required to believe their magical diverse powers will ensure that bridges do not collapse and patients, with their skulls cut open on the operating table, do not die. They must embrace Afrocentric math, “women’s ways of knowing” anatomy, and the path-breaking theory of Lysenkoism.
My world was the faculty lounge (the office with broken-down furniture where several instructors at one time held “office hours”). It’s a world where even such poorly paid hacks thought they were better, smarter, and holier than the majority of Americans and 100 percent of Republicans.
These people need not even look at evidence or consider scholarly shoddiness because they know that if it comes from the wrong source, it is wrong, as an Amazon review respondent who agreed with commentator “Prof. JayG” that I had not cited “any evidence” in my book “Debunking Howard Zinn,” affirmed. My book is simply “right-wing trash.” No doubt, philosophy professor David Detmer still believes I suffer from “Zinnophobia.”
Such “profs” do not need to read entire books and review footnotes because of their superior abilities to “deconstruct” texts. The deconstructionist theorists I had to read in graduate school saw the real meaning of an author’s words. While mere mortals may attach the signifier (the word) to the signified (the thing or concept), the deconstructionists could see beyond. They used this ability to also discern the motives of outsiders: white people, heterosexuals, men, Republicans—and those inside and outside these groups (excluding Republicans) who did not adhere to their ever-evolving standards of what today is called “wokeness.”
These people, unlike mortals, do not need facts. This was true about Donald Trump’s election. They knew there was cause to impeach him immediately after the election, and they said so to their students. I saw this here in Clinton, New York. Mere days after the election, professors chaperoned students from Hamilton College on the “hill” to the village square, where they marched and yelled “Impeach!” before they got on the luxury buses for the mile-and-a-half ride back to campus.
This ability to see beyond evidence has been honed for a long time. Back when a few middle-class Americans dared to form a “tea party” movement to protest with speeches, bunting, and prayer against the newly elected “global citizen” President Barack Obama’s agenda of “transforming” this country, the Ph.D.s and other super-intellects discerned that this was not really the desire of law-abiding, hard-working Americans to prevent their country from turning into Cuba. They knew, just knew, that this was racism.
So were the questions about Obama’s longtime “god-damning America” pastor, Weatherman friend Bill Ayers, brobuddy Hugo Chavez, and Communist Party USA mentor Frank Marshall Davis. Obama’s fundraising party comments about “bitter” Bible- and gun-toting Americans were simple truth. His declaration of being able to rule with his pen and phone was not any threat to the Constitutional separation of powers at all. The Obama Youth Brigade Formation’s chants of “because of Obama I’m inspired to be the next” architect, engineer, lawyer, etc., repeating points of Obama’s platform, and shouts of “Yes, we can!” were signs of rejuvenated youthful optimism.
Whereas professors had proudly sported bumper stickers proclaiming “Somewhere in Texas a village has lost its idiot” during the George W. Bush administration, they recognized Obama’s words as poetic genius.
Michelle Obama, a broad-shouldered statuesque woman was treated like the most beautiful and fashionable woman in the world—even when she dressed up like a giant banana. But a supermodel married to a Republican can have no fashion sense. Melania Trump’s white coat in a Christmas video among white-themed Christmas decorations, “exude[d] cold, dismissive aloofness”—so unlike the Santa Clausy Mao Christmas tree decorations in the Obama White House!
The fact that such reactionary outlets such as Fox News reported this as if there was something wrong with having the author of the famous Little Red Book on the tree alongside a drag queen and Obama etched into Mount Rushmore proves how close-minded they are. They’re incapable of seeing the brilliance of a theory developed by the natural genius Karl Marx whose social justice work was supported by the wealthy industrialist Friedrich Engels. (And isn’t it nice that George Soros and other billionaires support similar scholarship these days?)
Marx understood history so well because he had deconstructed it and could see the patterns. Therefore, he was able to predict the future. And he could tell what would usher in a paradise.
When everyday people, like peasants, or reporters doing reporting instead of going to the Kremlin’s fancy parties, presented counter-evidence (in the case of peasants by dropping dead from starvation), the professors shot back. They accused the few reporters jotting down the numbers of beggars and dead bodies (like William Henry Chamberlin and Eugene Lyons) of being reactionaries. They accused the peasants of bringing on their own starvation by not working enthusiastically enough on the collective farms the government had so generously provided them.
Even after Kruschev had denounced Stalin for errors, the professors did not lose faith. They knew socialism could work—if only the “right” people were in charge.
The professors in the 1960s kept teaching about the superiority of socialism, hoping as Bill Ayers and company did, that through the reeducation of their charges they would usher in and rule over a socialistic utopia. And even though the Vietnamese fled North Vietnam, the people there really wanted a communist government. These thinkers knew that Ho Chi Minh was more of a democrat than the slave-owning writer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.
So, when I recently watched the testimony by the Constitutional scholars Pamela Karlan (Stanford), Noah Feldman (Harvard), and Michael Gerhardt (University of North Carolina), I thought, welcome to my world.
Welcome to my world where someone like Karlan, who at a 2017 conference claimed she had to cross the street from Donald Trump’s hotel (the building apparently shoots cootie rays onto the sidewalk) and to know that Trump did not “believe in” democracy, “the rule of law,” or a “free press.” The legal scholar had denounced “voter suppression” (no, no, not about New Black Panthers outside the Philadelphia polling station in 2008; those were civil rights activists) and claimed that Trump’s sexual assault record was higher than “99.99% of all of the people who have entered this country illegally.” (Let us hope the FBI takes note of this inside information.)
In addition to being an ace legal mind, she was able to go beyond Freud and diagnosed Trump as not being able to tell the difference between truth and falsity. She claimed that he was trying to “destabilize the courts” and predicted that he would blame a Muslim on a future terroristic attack like the one in Oklahoma City in 1995.
At the hearing, she explained that “one of the most important provisions of our original Constitution is the guarantee of periodic elections for the presidency.” Therefore, this president needed to be removed. There are so many reasons—like the president’s reference to “Russia, if you’re listening,” i.e., to get on it about Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. All smart people know that this is not a joke, for Republicans are incapable of making jokes.
But those with Ph.D.s learn all the clever inside jokes at conferences. It was too bad that the rubes didn’t understand Karlan’s witty reference to the president’s 13-year-old son. She told Americans that “Trump is not a king” and that he could “name his son Barron” but could not “make him a baron.” But they just didn’t get it. So she magnanimously gave a “qualified apology,” pointing out that Trump had much to apologize for himself—like being born. And like all those feminists attacking phallologocentrism in “Paradise Lost” and “Huckleberry Finn,” she was applauded for “schooling” a “Trump crony,” Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.).
In my world, earnest graduate students presented comparison/contrast papers at conferences knowing, just knowing, that someone would recognize their genius. Noah Feldman may have known that his “insights” had been discussed thousands of times before at such insider events, but for the benefit of the folks he spelled it out, explaining that the “framers provided for the impeachment of the president because they feared the president might abuse his power of his office.”
“Let me begin now,” he continued, “of why the framers provided for impeachment in the first place. The framers borrowed the concept of impeachment from England, but with one enormous difference. The House of Commons and the House of Lords could use impeachment in order to limit the ministers of the king, but they could not impeach the king. And in that sense, the king was above the law.”
He then asked his enthralled audience, “I would like you to think now about a specific date in the Constitutional Convention, July 20, 1787. It was the middle of a long hot summer. …”
Feldman had been cogitating on impeachment for a while. Back in 2017, Feldman and Jacob Weisberg compared and contrasted “the collusion of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia” to Watergate, likening “Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and warnings to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller” to “President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre.”
Feldman also contributed to a collection edited by Cass Sunstein, who served in the Obama White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Titled quite originally “Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America,” the book delved, naturally, into Trump’s authoritarianism. (Sunstein’s earlier book, “Nudge,” spelled out how the government could “nudge” citizens to do what it knew was good for them.) Sunstein, in his introduction, took some creative Sinclair Lewis-like liberties, presenting a future as Lewis did in his novel, even though it was fiction and did not come true then—even under a president who tried to pack the Supreme Court so he could fully take over the economy and who let in British spies to encourage war fervor.
Gerhardt (who has evolved on the Constitution since the Obama presidency) also lectured about the difference between the British system under monarchy and “in our constitution” where “no one, not even the president is above the law” and where there is “a separation of powers.” He concluded “from the public evidence” that the president had attacked the Constitution’s “safeguards against establishing a monarchy in this country.”
With all this talk of kings and monarchy I was reminded of the June 18, 2018, issue of Time Magazine, which on the cover presented Trump looking into a mirror and seeing his reflection with a crown and a king’s regalia—not that I’m doubting that the three professors came to their opinions after a careful review of the evidence—even over a pre-cooked mail-order turkey on Thanksgiving.
Then there was Jonathan Turley, an independent who has always voted Democrat, but who just didn’t get it. He blasphemed in stating that he didn’t believe that there was enough credible evidence to impeach and that Democrats were offering “passion” instead of “proof.” He dared to write about it, along with describing receiving “threatening messages and demands” that he be “fired from George Washington University”—even before he had finished his testimony. I fear that he may fall victim to the kind of purge to which others have succumbed, like Trotsky, and like the more recent one attempted on feminist professor Laura Kipnis.
Over 500 legal scholars after the testimony affixed their names to an open letter to Congress, stating their agreement with Karlan, Feldman, and Gerhardt. Turley had better see the light—that the king must be impeached—soon!
Whoever let him teach at George Washington Law School anyway?
The American people do not appreciate the wisdom of their betters, but President Bernie Sanders will be sure to remind them of how lucky they are to live in a country where the government provides all the food they need and where all they need do is stand in line for it, and not even worry their little brains about what to eat because the Director of the Department of Nutritional Guidance, Provision, and Distribution, Michelle Obama, will see to it that every American gets as much as he, she, they, or it truly needs. Now let’s move! Hop on that tractor! You have a quota to fill.
Mary Grabar holds a doctorate in English from the University of Georgia and is a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. Grabar is the author of “Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History that Turned a Generation against America,” recently published by Regnery History.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.