Littwin: GOP storms the liberal ivory tower · 12 September 2003


Rocky Mountain News September 13, 2003

In Colorado, where Republicans control the House, the Senate, the governor's mansion, both U.S. Senate seats and five of seven U.S. House seats, that overwhelming degree of control is, for some, apparently not enough.
In Colorado, where the legislature rigged a last-minute redistricting in order to help Karl Rove keep Republicans in control of the House to go with their control of the Senate, White House, Supreme Court and John Ashcroft's choir group, that apparently, for some, is also not enough.

In Colorado, where the family-values crowd wants to make sure that their values are imposed in every schoolroom, where we get vouchers (though twice voted down by the voters) and where we get students forced to pledge their allegiance to the American symbol of liberty and where we get bills that would put the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls, that apparently is still not enough.

The problem, you see, is there are a few Democratic cells left in the state, and one of those is composed of Trotskyite history professors huddled in dark corners of the state's campuses whispering to passersby: "Psst, Al Gore actually got more votes than Dubya," and that, apparently, is too much. Much too much.

And so if you're Senate President John Andrews, or if you're Gov. Bill Owens, you insist: This shall not stand.
Meaning, with the help of David Horowitz (more on him later), Andrews and Owens are getting behind a so-called Academic Bill of Rights, which you'll never confuse with the real thing.

And for you irony buffs, which, I'm guessing, is a bipartisan group, the way to get more Republicans in faculty dining rooms is to employ - and excuse the capital letters, but my God - AFFIRMATIVE ACTION in the hiring process. Yes. Can I get an exclamation point? Yes! I'd love to see how that might work - maybe plus points for every professor who can recite from the Project for the New American Century. (You never heard of it? Blame the liberal media.)

There's some question about how you would enforce this policy, and Owens has suggested there might be a problem with quotas. I mean, who will be the first to point out Republican professor "quota kings" driving their Cadillacs?

Look, I'm sure the numbers are right in that English and history and other social sciences departments are overwhelmingly Democratic. But you might ask yourself exactly how many Republicans are applying for jobs in the women's studies department.
And let's face it, virtually every conservative black and Latino the Republicans can scrape together already has been nominated for a federal judgeship.

Maybe this is the time to turn to Mr. Horowitz, who wrote in these pages that he's a nonpartisan free-speech advocate. He left out a few parts of his curriculum vitae, such as his radical youth in which he was possibly the last defender of the Black Panthers or his right-wing old age in which he issues manifestoes on how to elect Republicans.

He's a provocateur and not expected to be taken seriously outside of places like the Wall Street Journal editorial page. But Colorado officials have rushed to embrace Horowitz's plan.

His previous big push was his battle with the slavery-reparations movement. Among his reasons for opposition, he wrote, was that blacks have been repaid "in the form of welfare benefits." And there's this: that blacks already owe a debt to "white Christians" for creating the "anti-slavery movement." Why didn't Frederick Douglass think of that?

Now Horowitz is taking on campus political correctness, which is, of course, fertile territory. But, notably, he didn't release any data on faculty political representation in business schools or in economics departments. You think they have any Republicans?
I'm trying to figure out where the danger lies in having a surplus of liberal English scholars. I found this course in the fancy-shmancy liberal school my daughter attended: "Corsets, crinolines and codpieces: Literature and fashion." Horowitz claims the political disparity in English departments shows a bias against Republicans who, it could be argued, know just as much as Democrats about corsets, crinolines and possibly even codpieces.

The counter argument is that we're seeing self-selection. Let's start listing the many conservative poets you know. I mean, since T.S. Eliot, who started out as a banker.

Besides, why not let the markets take care of this? Isn't that the proper Republican solution? If this were a problem, wouldn't, say, The Citadel be overflowing with applicants?

But if this works, I wonder where they might strike next. There are places, even now, in America where Republicans are underrepresented. I've listed just a few:

• Anywhere in Boulder outside the offices of Soldier of Fortune magazine.
• Wherever they test drive the Toyota hybrid.
• Hollywood movie sets, except those where Arnold Schwarzenegger is working.
• Kennedy family gatherings, even when Arnold is there working.
• Vermont.
• Dixie Chicks concerts.
• Anywhere near my desk at work.

Mike Littwin's column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Call him at 303 892-5428 or e-mail him at littwinm@RockyMountain News.com.