President Obama has come to the defense of Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem at the beginning of a San Francisco Forty-Niners football game. The president is right to defend free expression as a part of what he called the “messy” democratic process. But he is wrong to say that Kaepernick was “exercising his constitutional right to make a statement.”
Jim Huffman | All Articles
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Jim Huffman is Dean Emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School and a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
In 1939 the president of the University of Chicago, Robert Maynard Hutchins, pulled the university out of the Big 10 Conference and terminated the school’s football program in the conviction that commercialized sports are incompatible with the academic and intellectual missions of the university. Few schools followed his lead, but Chicago has ever since adhered to Hutchins’ view of the appropriate role for athletics in the university (now including football which was restored in 1969 but with no aspirations for past glories like its 1905 national championship victory over Michigan.)
A growing number of Republicans are declaring that they will not vote for their party’s nominee Donald Trump. They and other Republicans should take one more step – they should abandon the Republican Party, at least until it once again warrants their support. That is what I have done, six years after being the Republican nominee for United States senator from Oregon.
Oh my! This was to be a Republican year. With Hillary destined from the start to be the Democrat nominee, regaining the White House was almost a sure thing. She’s a lousy candidate and a worse liar. With her heading the Democrat ticket Republicans were certain to hold the House by a large margin and have a better than even shot at retaining a Senate majority, notwithstanding that far more Republican than Democrat senators are up for reelection. But Republicans have squandered their advantage. Their ship is sinking under the load of Donald Trump’s pending nomination as the party’s standard-bearer.
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s insulting and degrading comments about millions of good people, ranging from Mexicans to Muslims to women and even prisoners of war. He has been roundly condemned, and that is as it should be.
If the so-called Republican establishment is successful in thwarting Donald Trump’s nomination at the Republican convention this summer, there is a good chance Trump and his loyal supporters will launch a third party run. Given the Donald’s propensity for naming things after himself, it might even be called the Trump party. But if Trump does secure the Republican nomination, it is possible that Ted Cruz or John Kasich could run under a third party banner. Both, along with Trump, are now hedging on their earlier pledges to support the party’s nominee.
Bernie Sanders is killing it with young voters. According to Iowa caucus entrance polls, Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent among Democrats aged 17 to 29. Among Democrats aged 30 to 44 the Sanders advantage was 58 percent to 37 percent. Polling in advance of today’s New Hampshire primary indicates that Sanders leads Clinton 89 percent to 11 percent among 18 to 29 year olds and 72 percent to 22 percent among Democrats aged 30 to 39.
The morning after the Iowa caucuses, The Daily Caller headline read “Ted Cruz Wins Iowa Caucuses, Edging Out Trump and Rubio.” At the same time Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ declared “Cruz Crushes Trump and Rubio in Iowa.” Which was it, an edging out or a crushing?
When asked at an Iowa town hall meeting whether she would consider appointing Barack Obama to the U.S. supreme court if she is elected president, she reportedly said “wow, what a great idea!” If you didn’t already have ample reasons to oppose Clinton’s candidacy, her declaring it a great idea to appointment Obama to the high court should be reason enough.
After seven years of demonizing republicans, President Obama concluded his state of the union address with a call for civility in our politics. Good for him. Better late than never.
The Daily Caller reports that Brittany Mirelez, a student at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Phoenix, Arizona, has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the college violated her First Amendment right to free speech. Mirelez had set up a table in the college’s ‘free speech zone’ without the required permit. The DC reports that the ‘free speech zone’ consists of 0.26 percent of the campus and that permits must be acquired two days in advance.
Have they no shame? Are there no limits to 350.org’s willingness to attribute human suffering of every description to climate change? Consider what Nicolas Haeringer, a French spokesman for the group, has communicated in an email blast (also on the 350.org website).
Did you know that Hillary Clinton is a liar? Everybody knows that. Everybody also knows that many of our leaders and aspiring leaders, liberal and conservative alike, are liars. It is part of what leaders do to achieve their goals. Because liberals generally share goals with their chosen leaders, they ignore the liberal lies. So, too, conservatives ignore the lies of conservative leaders. Sadly we live in a world of bipartisan lying and partisan defense of those who lie to advance their public policy goals.
Last March, on the 5th anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama declared the act a success. Last week, Obama administration cheerleader-in-chief Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times that “the Affordable Care Act is an overwhelming success.” Are the president and Krugman right, or was conservative commentator Sally Pipes correct when she wrote last year in Forbes that “the Affordable Care Act has failed to deliver what its name formally promised”?
It turns out that Atticus Finch is no better than William Willoughby and the other white trash of Maycomb County, Alabama. Atticus is not the heroic civil rights champion author Harper Lee led us to believe in her book To Kill a Mockingbird. Generations of young Americans have been duped. It is now revealed in Lee’s second (really first) book, “Go Set a Watchman,“ that Atticus is a bigot.
Like millions of other Americans, I am a registered Republican. According to Timothy Egan, writing in yesterday’s New York Times, that makes me responsible for the vitriol and inanities currently being spewed by Donald Trump. Trump, writes Egan, “is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so.” Not some Republicans, mind you, but all Republicans including those who might disagree with Trump but have allowed “any amount of gaseous buffoonery [to go] ... unchallenged.”
Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe has been getting a lot of press in advance of his representation of Peabody Energy in its dispute with the Obama Administration over the constitutionality of the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide emission regulations. The New York Times reported (April 6) that many of Tribe’s colleagues at Harvard Law School are “bewildered and angry.” Jody Freeman, director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law School, told the Times that Tribe’s claims of unconstitutionality are “baseless.” Freeman and respected law professor and Supreme Court advocate Richard Lazarus wrote on the Harvard Law School website that Mr. Tribe’s arguments are “ridiculous.”
If you have read any of the last hundred or so columns by the New York Times’ celebrated Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, you will know pretty much what his next column will say. He beats the Keynesian drum with a repetitive vengeance to the delight of those who prefer taxing and spending over serious thinking about how government policy affects the entrepreneurs and business people who constitute our national economy.
Wednesday was signing day. Amazingly, and sadly, the vast majority of readers will know what that means.