Monday, March 20, 2006

Sumners at Harvard--views from Dershowitz and Hewitt

I have not written about Lawrence Summers' ouster as president of Harvard, but Alan Dershowitz has:
...The Faculty of Arts and Sciences includes, in general, some of the most radical, hard-left elements within Harvard's diverse constituencies. And let there be no mistake about the origin of Summers's problem with that particular faculty: It started as a hard left-center conflict. Summers committed the cardinal sin against the academic hard left: He expressed politically incorrect views regarding gender, race, religion, sexual preference, and the military.

...In the minds of at least some vocal members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, expressing such politically incorrect views is the academic equivalent of provoking Islamic extremists by depicting Prophet Mohammed in a political cartoon. Radical academics do not, of course, burn down buildings, at least not since the 1970s. Instead they introduce motions of no confidence and demand resignations of those who offend their sensibilities (while insisting on complete freedom of speech for those with whom they agree -- free speech for me but not for thee!).
And here is Hugh Hewitt comparing the Sumners debacle at his alma mater, Harvard, to the Taliban debacle at Yale:
I'm so happy about Yale, because my alma mater had so embarrassed itself with the dismissal of Lawrence Summers last week, that I thought we would be in the basement of stupid moves for a long, long time. But evidently, they've dug a floor in the cellar, and Yale's gone into it, led by their dean of fundraising at Yale Law School. Tell people how he reacted to critics of the Yale Taliban.