Pro-Free Speech Students Reclaim Campus Expression From the Fascists

Amidst the modern overwhelming rancidness of illiberal, Enlightenment-hating, antediluvian campus fascists violently rioting and shouting down university speakers whose ideas offend their “social justice warrior” snowflake sensibilities, the University of Chicago has consistently managed to stand above the fray.  In early 2015, Chicago’s president-appointed Committee on Freedom of Expression produced a refreshingly pro-free speech administrative report, which was ultimately circulated amongst similarly-minded institutions of higher learning as the eponymous “Chicago principles,” and even prompted then-Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens to write glowingly about his alma mater in a widely-shared column.  Chicago again made headlines last August for its decision to tell all first-year students that, as an institution, it emphatically rejects “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”  This past February, the Journal once again celebrated the University’s intellectual and moral leadership on this issue.

Now, with modern campus brownshirts pusillanimously causing mayhem from Middlebury College all the way to UC-Berkeley, Chicago is once again assuming the mantle of national leadership.  Specifically, my dear friend Matthew Foldi, a current third-year at the college and a precocious activist who appeared on Fox News last August to discuss the University’s strong anti-“safe space”/”trigger warning” stance, worked closely with the University’s administration to organize an initial pro-free speech national student conference, which took place this past weekend in the Windy City and included 25 student leaders from around 20 different colleges.  Students heard from pro-free speech speakers hailing from across the political spectrum, with the ultimate goal of crafting a unified statement of principles to widely disperse.

Foldi, as the University of Chicago College Republicans’ president and a passionate pro-Israel advocate (he is the nephew of prominent American-Israeli pundit Caroline Glick and, truthfully, is just an all-around awesome guy except for the lamentable fact that he is…somehow…a vegetarian), is no stranger to the censorious bed-wetting temper tantrums of the anti-intellectual freedom crowd.  He describes thusly the impetus for his working to organize the national student leader conference:

Far too many believe that college students monolithically support shutting down speech.  Some of the bravest activists I know are standing up for free speech and expression, from California to the Midwest to New England, and beyond.  We think this meeting was particularly important because it is a chance to show how an entirely student-run group can come together and work to change a dominant narrative.  We’re already incredibly encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from around the nation, and are looking forward to continuing this momentum.

Why do this?  A key component of a college education is challenging our beliefs, and free and open discourse is a crucial component of that.  Without rigorous inquiry, education is incomplete and meaningless.  The recent violence at events from across the country is deeply disturbing.  Additionally, our discourse has suffered with people siloing themselves from others who disagree with them.  It was fantastic to have students from all over the country of all ideologies at the conference, all of whom agree that this is an issue worth fighting for.

The first annual free speech national student conference was successful, and Foldi worked with all attendees to craft a statement of principles.  The full statement reads:

WHY WE’RE HERE AND WHO WE ARE:

The Free Speech Movement began as an entirely student-led initiative.  However, free speech has been increasingly undermined by attempts of students and administrators alike to silence those with whom they disagree.  We seek to reclaim that original tradition with this student-created Statement of Principles.

We, the undersigned, stand united in our shared conviction that free expression is critical to our society, in spite of our differing backgrounds, perspectives, and ideologies.

WHAT WE BELIEVE:

A central purpose of education is to teach students to challenge themselves and engage with opposing perspectives.  Our ability to listen to, wrestle with, and ultimately decide between contending viewpoints fosters mutual understanding as well as personal and societal growth.  The active defense of free and open discourse is crucial for our society to continue to thrive as a democracy premised on the open debate of ideas.

The only way to achieve this is by cultivating a culture where all are free to communicate without fear of censorship or intimidation.  While some speech may be objectionable and even hateful, constitutionally protected speech ought to be held and enforced as the standard and must not be infringed upon.  As Justice Louis Brandeis observed exactly ninety years ago, “those who won our independence believed . . . that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievance and proposed remedies,” and that “the fitting remedy for evil counsels” is not disruption, violence, or suppression, “but good ones.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our vision is to foster a nationwide community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other friends who support free expression.  If you share our passion for free speech, viewpoint diversity, and open discourse, please sign onto this Statement of Principles and encourage your community to do the same.

I am a proud University of Chicago alumnus this week, and I also could not be prouder of my good friend Matthew Foldi.  Together, along with other pro-free speech student leaders such as Foldi’s own cousin Steven Glick, the forces of intellectual freedom and open discourse can—and will—rebuff the modern campus fascists.

In the interim, you can help this noble cause by lending your name to the Statement of Principles.

The Fight Against Affirmative Action Returns to the University of Texas

Close observers of U.S. Supreme Court litigation over the last five years are no doubt familiar with the trials and tribulations of one Abigail Fisher.  Miss Fisher, over the course of a lawsuit that seemed to last longer than the wait time for a kidney transplant in Toronto, sued the University of Texas at Austin over its race-conscious admissions policy and found her way up to the high Court twice.  In 2013, the supremes effectively punted on procedural grounds; just last term, in 2016, Justice Philosopher-King Anthony Kennedy disastrously held for a 4-3 Court that UT’s codified admission preferences, as applied in 2008 and factoring in race as part of a holistic determination, passed muster under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Chief Justice Roberts memorably wrote in his plurality opinion in 2007’s Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1; alas, due to yet another Justice Kennedy catastrophe, state-sanctioned racial discrimination was to remain the official admissions policy at UT.

But perhaps not for very much longer.  The group Students for Fair Admissions (“SFFA”), led by notable conservative legal provocateur Edward Blum and having previously already led affirmative action lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (gratuitous and tangential aside: “Go Duke” – me), has just launched a new website called UTNotFair.com.  SFFA, via UTNotFair.com, seeks to have those students who were disaffected by UT’s affirmative action policy share their stories in the hopes of eventually finding a plaintiff with whom to mount a fresh lawsuit.  Considering UT’s already-colorful history of having its affirmative action policies legally challenged and its high-profile status as the flagship institution of higher learning in the nation’s most iconic red state, such a suit would instantaneously attract national attention.

SFFA is basing the planned challenge on the fact that the 2016 Fisher case emphasized the need for UT to continually and conscientiously update its admission policies.  My fellow Texan and good friend Cory Liu, who I first met on Capitol Hill when we were legal interns for Sens. Ted Cruz (Cory) and Mike Lee (me), has recently volunteered to be SFFA’s new executive director.  Cory explained to me the theory behind wasting no time, post-Fisher, in vying to launch a fresh lawsuit against UT:

The Fisher decision [of 2016] took great pains to explain that it was narrowly limited to the admissions policy that existed when Abigail Fisher applied in 2008.  It has been almost ten years since that decision, and UT has changed its admissions policy to increase the percentage of students admitted through the holistic process that considers race.

Anti-affirmative action activists have plenty of reason to be excited about the potential legal success and symbolic heft of this new challenge.  Cory, who I have personally known for years to be passionate about this subject, put it to me this way:

My parents immigrated to Austin from China in 1987, just three years before I was born.  My mom worked at the UT cafeteria to pay her way through community college.  I grew up speaking a language other than English at home.  This is the story of millions of Asian-American families across this country.  But under UT’s racially discriminatory admissions policy, it is harder for an Asian student to be admitted than a white, black, or Hispanic student.

Naturally, Cory is right.  In fact, the extent to which Asian-Americans are severely discriminated against in the college admissions process today by affirmative action policies directly mirrors the more blatant anti-Jewish university quotas of last century.

SFFA is, of course, on the correct side of this issue.  State-sanctioned racial discrimination is here, there, and everywhere wrong and ought to be verboten—no matter how ostensibly “beneficial” the intended discrimination may be.  As Justice Clarence Thomas phrased it in his concurrence in the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court case of Adarand Constructors v. Peña:

These programs not only raise grave constitutional questions, they also undermine the moral basis of the equal protection principle.  Purchased at the price of immeasurable human suffering, the equal protection principle reflects our Nation’s understanding that such classifications ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society… there can be no doubt that racial paternalism and its unintended consequences can be as poisonous and pernicious as any other form of discrimination.  So called “benign” discrimination teaches many that because of chronic and apparently immutable handicaps, minorities cannot compete with them without their patronizing indulgence.

Justice Thomas is right about the immorality of paternalistic “benign discrimination,” and my friend Cory Liu is right about the flagrantly unfair way against which contemporary Asian-American applicants are discriminated today.  State-sanctioned racial discrimination in university admissions simply must end.

I’m proud to stand with SFFA, and you should be, too.  If you know any students who have recently been disaffected by the University of Texas at Austin’s racially discriminatory admissions policy, have them visit UTNotFair.com.

Trump Backs Away From the Two-State Solution. Here Are Five Thoughts.

I feel a bit like the dog owner who comes home from a date night to find that his irritable bowel syndrome-afflicted beast has fortuitously managed to hold it in for a few hours: “Well, I’ll be!  Good boy!”

It was not two weeks ago that I reacted—contra many others in the broader pro-Israel community—quite negatively to Trump’s seeming continuation of his benighted Oval Office predecessor’s fixation on “settlement” activity as the alleged bête noire of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  So peeved was I that I slammed Trump’s statement as “only one or two incremental steps better than that which we might expect from an inveterate fool like John Kerry or a Hamas mouthpiece like Peter Beinart.”

But much like the Lord of the Rings fanboy who was gullible enough to think The Return of the King was going to end the first second third fourth time it seemed like it would, I’ve never been happier to be so wrong.  Cue Time:

Breaking with decades of U.S. foreign policy, the Trump administration will not insist on a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when President Donald Trump hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday…”Maybe, maybe not,” one official said of the two-state solution.  “It’s something the two sides have to agree to.  It’s not for us to impose that vision.  But I think we’ll find out more about that tomorrow.”…”A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said.  “Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want or something else, if that’s what the parties want, we’re going to help them.”

If President Trump follows through and acts upon this vision, it would represent a monumental—and profoundly beneficial—shift in U.S. policy toward Israel.  Here are five thoughts on that shift.

1. I was wrong.  Last July, at the height of #FreeTheDelegates fervor, I wrote a piece where I contrasted the Republican Party’s overwhelmingly pro-Israel platform with the hitherto expressed “neutrality” of its soon-to-be presidential nominee.  In the aftermath of the nomination of David Friedman as his Ambassador to Israel and, now, this symbolically salient reneging upon the “Obamacare of foreign policy,” I think it is safe to say that—much as with my initial take last May on Trump’s unveiled SCOTUS list—I was ultimately proven wrong with respect to Trump’s credibility on the issue.

2. This is a potentially “yuge” shift in U.S. foreign policy.  This cannot be emphasized enough.  In May 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel approximately eleven minutes after the State was promulgated by Zionist leaders and, ever since then, the traditional two-state solution—by which we mean the Jew-hating “international community” decides to carve out a newly sovereign Arab terror state somewhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea—has been either official or de facto U.S. foreign policy.  Never before has a U.S. President ever used the weight of his high office to truly confer legitimacy upon potential alternative solutions to the conflict.  Trump’s complete lack of a moral center means he could change his mind tomorrow just as easily as Lena Dunham could decide to make the buffet line great again, but today is still a good day for Naftali Bennett’s hawkish Bayit Yehudi party and the other (usually religious) parties which make up the rightmost flank of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

3. Conservatives should fully embrace alternatives to the failed “two-state solution.”  As I noted on February 3, the post-Oslo Accords framework for a two-state solution has, since at least the time of the Second Intifada, been deader than a Samantha Bee comedy routine.  It is long past time for pro-moral clarity, pro-Western civilization, counter-jihadism conservatives to eschew the hackneyed bromides of the Council on Foreign Relations echo chamber and think outside the box on this issue.  I described my ideal solution in November, and Hebron’s “settler” proud Jew Yishai Fleisher explained another five alternatives in an incisive New York Times op-ed yesterday.  To say that there are no alternatives to the traditional two-state solution is, to borrow Erick’s phrasing, a “talking point of hacks and morons.”

4. It is time for right-of-center pro-Israel groups to once and for all reject Oslo.  This directly follows point number (3).  Many right-of-center pro-Israel groups, such as Christians United for Israel (“CUFI”), the Zionist Organization of America (“ZOA”), and the Republican Jewish Coalition (“RJC”—a group with which, in the interest of full disclosure, I am fairly involved), have long tried to strike a balance between being avowedly skeptical of a post-Oslo two-state solution whilst simultaneously not rejecting it outright.  But much like Cosmo Kramer throwing in the towel in The Contest, learning when to fold a losing hand can be indispensable to long-term individual or organizational success.  Oslo was a mistake to begin with, and it has been at least 16-plus years since the commencement of the Second Intifada first demonstrated it.  With the White House now truly seeming to position itself with American and Israeli hawks, there is no longer any need or excuse for CUFI, ZOA, and RJC to shill any longer for the demonstrably failed Oslo Accords.  Be gone already.  Think outside the box.

5. AIPAC (and the Jewish establishment, more broadly) needs to figure out what it is that it still stands for.  AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League arguably represent what we might call the mainstream “Jewish establishment” better than any three organizations in the nation.  All three organizations have emphatically endorsed the two-state solution.  And all three organizations subsequently have egg on their faces today.  The fact remains that the official policy of the President of the United States is now positioned to be unambiguously more pro-Israel than that of these three mainstream Jewish/pro-Israel groups.  AIPAC in particular, increasingly torn between its historically Democrat-leaning donor base and a Democratic Party increasingly in bed with Israel-haters and anti-Semites, needs to figure out what the heck it is that it still stands for.  I suspect there will be much in the way of further soul-searching for AIPAC in these coming weeks—as, quite frankly, there should be.

Kudos here to President Trump.  There are many issues—infrastructure, trade, potentially healthcare—on which Trump’s jarring non-conservatism should be fiercely resisted by congressional conservatives in the Republican Party.  But this is not one of them.  Trump’s example here should be followed by American conservatives, who should once and for all reject the failed Oslo Accords peace framework and unequivocally stand with our ally Israel in our joint civilizational clash against barbaric Islamic jihad.

Dear White House: Stop Making Nice With the Palestinians

A funny thing happened during the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument for Zivotofsky v. Kerry—the 2014-2015 term separation of powers case involving U.S. passport issuances for American citizens born in Jerusalem.  The late Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps letting slip his underlying policy preference in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, had this gem of a line about career (almost invariably Leftist) diplomats serving in the U.S. State Department:

…But your main position is this [congressional statute stating that these U.S. passports should be marked, “Jerusalem, Israel“] is not recognition; it just has an effect on—on the State Department’s desire to—to make nice with the Palestinians, and your position is Congress has no—no compulsion to—to follow that, assuming it can’t recognize.

The results of U.S. efforts “to make nice with the Palestinians,” dating back to the Oslo Accords, might charitably be described as falling somewhere between “horrendously counterproductive” and “civilizational jihad-abetting lunacy.”  Unrepentant terrorist Yasser Arafat responded to Ehud Barak’s 2000 offer of full Palestinian statehood by launching the Second Intifada—a sustained jihad that shocked the Israeli national conscience and dramatically escalated the bloodshed from the pre-Oslo First Intifada via its series of harrowing suicide bombings deep in the heart of the Jewish state.  (Incidentally, Israel’s subsequent post-Second Intifada construction of a border wall with Palestinian-occupied Judea and Samaria was a remarkable success, and ought to serve as an inspiration for pro-sovereignty border hawks in the U.S.)  After the Second Intifada, Israel forcibly uprooted every Jew living in the Gaza Strip and gave the Palestinian Arabs a chance to demonstrate their commitment to peace by building their own “Singapore on the Mediterranean“; Arabs in Gaza responding by democratically electing Hamas, a sharia supremacist terror organization which calls in its founding charter for both the destruction of Israel and the death of every global Jew, and subsequently launching three wars’ worth (thus far) of rockets into southern and central Israel.  Notorious Holocaust-denying kleptocrat and current Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmoud Abbas, in 2008, rejected Ehud Olmert’s offer of full Palestinian statehood.  Abbas also refused to directly negotiate with Israel in 2010 after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated goodwill by freezing “settlement” construction for ten months.

The facts are quite clear.  No matter what the Jew-hating “international community” or foreign policy establishment might say, it is Palestinian Arab intransigence and civilizational defiance of the very notion of Jewish sovereignty over a bloc of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that is the very crux of the decades-long conflict.  “Making nice” with the Palestinians, to borrow Justice Scalia’s phrasing, has never gotten us anywhere even remotely good.

And now, unfortunately, it seems that someone needs to relay all of this to the White House.

Yesterday, suspiciously following a meeting with King Abdullah of the actual Palestinian state Jordan, the White House released the following statement:

“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years.  While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.  As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.  The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

Almost two years ago, during the height of the Iran deal debate, Erick had a post at RedState on the Sen. Tom Cotton-initiated Republican letter to the Ayatollah Khamenei in which he referred to charges of Cotton’s having possibly violated the Logan Act as “the talking point of hacks and morons.”  Similarly, blaming Israeli “settlement” activity on the lack of a sustained peace between Israel and her obstreperous Arab foes is “the talking point of hacks and morons.”  It is downright jarring to see a Republican President, even one with Trump’s rather shaky track record on this issue, issue a statement only one or two incremental steps better than that which we might expect from an inveterate fool like John Kerry or a Hamas mouthpiece like Peter Beinart.

Moreover, as my friend Daniel Horowitz recently explained and my friend Eugene Kontorovich has expertly demonstrated, Israel actually has a stronger legal claim than does any other entity to the disputed territory in Judea and Samaria.  Israel also, of course, has a far stronger moral claim: it is that land above all else, and not the areas around the modern population center of Tel Aviv, which served as the biblical home for the Jewish people thousands of years before the founding of Islam.  Far better for President Trump to focus not on the stale “two-state solution,” but on the more morally sound and potentially satisfactory “new state solution.”

Donald Trump, misbegotten isolationist foreign policy proclivities aside, frequently speaks in broad strokes about the civilizational clash between liberalized West and illiberal jihad.  I strongly support his very modest recent immigration restrictions targeted at war-torn (and Obama-selected!) Islamic nations, and early signs on his taking the kid gloves off with the theocratic zealots in Tehran look promising.

But all of this makes it even more peculiar that Trump fails to comprehend that Israel is the West’s canary in the coal mine—its man on the spot—in its ongoing struggle with the global jihad, and that the dispute over Judea and Samaria plays an indispensable role in this civilizational clash:

It is true that Trump’s statement yesterday could have been much worse.  The statement does not explicitly reference the “two-state solution,” and it actually may tacitly condone some new “settlement” construction.

But so what?  There was simply no need to release this statement, in the first place.  This is Council on Foreign Relations-esque echo chamber speak, and it needlessly distracts the nation’s attention away from the Islamist threat at a time when it has never been more important to stay focused like a hawk on that threat.

Trump ran as an iconoclastic outsider who would not be afraid to openly flout the global establishment’s sundry long-held follies.  This is a White House that releases official statements condemning a fired Acting Attorney General not for being unfaithful to her constitutional duty, but for being—just like Jeb! Bush during the presidential primary campaign—”weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”  This is a White House that simply relishes its current state of open warfare with the mainstream media.

Do not be afraid to be similarly bold here, President Trump.  Recognize that there is a correct side in this conflict, and that there is a moral imperative to stand with Israel.  Recognize the civilizational stakes in Judea and Samaria, in particular.  Stop flirting with the “two-state solution.”  And stop making nice with the Palestinians.

White House Continues to Hire Top Talent from Cruz World

Word is spreading today in conservative media that President Trump, via his National Security Council, has tapped longtime Sen. Ted Cruz foreign policy adviser Victoria Coates to serve as a senior director for strategic assessments.  This follows last Thursday’s news that Trump had also tapped movement conservative warrior and ex-Cruz Chief of Staff Paul Teller, which itself followed the previous news releases of the White House’s hiring of ex-Cruz hands Zina Bash (regulatory reform), John Zadrozny (justice and homeland security policy), and Ryan Newman (Office of Legal Policy).

As with the hiring of my friend Paul, I have nothing but exceedingly kind things to say about Trump’s hiring of the wonderful and talented Dr. Coates, who worked for then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-Texas Governor Rick Perry before joining the Cruz team.

A longtime conservative activist and former RedState blogger turned Senate foreign policy/national security aide, Dr. Coates combines two exceedingly rare vocations: she is both a highly respected art historian and an exceptionally knowledgeable expert on all things related to Middle East geopolitics and countering the jihadi threat.  She has been instrumental in developing Cruz’s rather unique brand of foreign policy advocacy, which eschews more traditionally “neoconservative” quixotisms in favor of a more hardened counter-jihadi realism.  In fighting the jihad, then, Coates rejects much of “conventional wisdom” in favor of a soberer, perhaps more narrowly tailored militaristic and diplomatic approach.  In comparing the differing foreign policy doctrines of Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio last February, I noted:

…Rubio has much more fully and unapologetically embraced the [neoconservative] doctrine from the George W. Bush era.  Cruz, on the other hand, subscribes to what Matt Lewis has called “militaristic pessimism“: Cruz starts out from hawkish first principles about American Exceptionalism on the world stage and our imperative to fight the jihad on the jihadis’ shores before they reach our own shores, but those precepts are then duly constrained by a post-Iraq War realist sobriety about the limits of using the U.S. military for nation-building purposes.

Like her (now) ex-boss, Dr. Coates is an unwavering and tireless friend of both the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.  She gave a fantastic interview to The Jerusalem Post last March where she (properly) described Israel as being “in the trenches with the United States” in existential opposition to the global jihad.  She is, quite frankly, one of the truest friends of the Jewish State in all of American politics, and I have no doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is personally ecstatic to hear of her hiring by the White House.  When I wrote last April that Ted Cruz is “is almost assuredly the most philo-Semitic and genuinely pro-Israel candidate to ever seek the Republican presidential nomination,” it was certainly with Dr. Coates partially in mind.

I continue to have serious qualms with Steve Bannon’s role in this White House; similarly, Friday’s omission of any specific reference to the Jews in the White House’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement was so exceedingly stupid as to be utterly vile in effect, if not necessarily in intent.

But what a truly wonderful hire the White House has just made here.  Donald Trump has taken yet another measure to reassure the pro-Israel and counter-jihad communities of his commitment to our causes.  I am so very happy for Victoria.

JUST IN: An Outstanding Hire by Donald Trump

The Daily Caller is reporting that President Trump is set to hire Paul Teller, former Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee (“RSC”) and ex-Chief of Staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, to be the White House’s chief liaison to Capitol Hill conservatives:

The new role will put Teller in charge of ensuring that conservative congressmen in the House Freedom Caucus, Republican Study Committee and Senate Steering Committee are on board with the administration’s most important new policies.

Like many others in the conservative movement, I have known Paul in an on-and-off capacity for a number of years now.  Besides our mutual passion for Duke Blue Devils basketball, I personally know Paul to be a genuinely kind man.  He met with me a few times back when I was a recent college graduate considering a career on the Hill, and was very helpful to me at that time.

Perhaps more relevantly, Paul is also a ferocious and unapologetic warrior for the conservative movement to which he has devoted his professional life.  He is a full-throttle, no-holds-barred conservative.  He is ardently in favor of limited government, gun rights, the pro-life cause, the pro-Israel cause, counter-jihadism, and so on.  His work on the Hill is a testament to that; it is no accident that, after he was let go by the RSC for essentially being too unyielding (itself a move that highlighted the ideological watering down of the once-selective RSC and the need for the formation of a new group like the Freedom Caucus), he was soon hired by no less a stalwart than Ted Cruz himself.

This new role is perfect for Paul.  He will not shill for the Trump Administration if it goes wayward, but will work to right the ship.  The conservative movement is in good hands with Paul in this role.

This is an outstanding hire by Donald Trump.  Kudos to the White House.

Pass a Constitutional Amendment Just to Show We Still Can

I emphatically endorse this post by Mike Rappaport at the University of San Diego School of Law’s Originalism Blog:

…the constitutional amendment process is essential to originalism and to a desirable constitutional law….

At this point, it would be beneficial to pass a constitutional amendment, even if it is a minor one, just to show that the process can still function…

If I had my druthers, I would pass a broad constitutional amendment that cut back on lame duck actions following both presidential and congressional elections, but that probably could not pass.  So let’s just try a narrow one.

That we have drifted so far from the proper Article V means of amending the Constitution has only exacerbated the feedback loop of judicial empowerment and judicial supremacy.  Rappaport’s take here is smart.

Ted Cruz Owned Deadspin and It Was Glorious

Leave it to the lifelong Duke Blue Devils fan and former Ted Cruz presidential campaign volunteer to write this one up, I suppose.

If ESPN is “MSNBC with footballs,” as Ben Shapiro sometimes refers to it, then the sports gossip website Deadspin is “Vox with a field hockey skirt.”  The site is partially a half-assed attempt at Barstool Sports-style “humor” and partially just inane left-wing propaganda.

It seems that an agitator at Deadspin named Ashley Feinberg took a peculiar interest in the fact that Sen. Cruz has taken it upon himself to organize a recurring Capitol Hill pickup basketball game for his fellow Senators.  Deadspin then tweeted out a request for photographic evidence, and, well, Cruz took it from there:

That Duke’s Grayson Allen looks shockingly like a young Ted Cruz has been an ongoing Internet meme for well over a year now.  To my knowledge, this is the first time Cruz has acknowledged it.  The more cordial “new Ted Cruz” may not want to emulate Allen’s somewhat infamous likability problems—I would submit that he is probably the third-most widely despised Duke player of the Coach K era, behind only Christian Laettner (that shot, though) and J.J. Redick (those three-pointers, though)—but one must confess that the Allen/Cruz resemblance is rather uncanny.

Deadspin, whose editors surely must all now see a proctologist over their overwhelming butthurt, responded to Cruz in typically vulgar fashion.  But not content to let them get the last laugh, Cruz responded with a classic Ron Burgundy GIF:

Scoreboard: Ted Cruz 1, Deadspin 0.  Well played, Senator.

Now, if only Duke might regain its mojo this season on the actual basketball court…