March 15, 2005
CONSERVATIVES CHORTLE as the Harvard Arts & Sciences faculty votes no confidence in Larry Summers. Stanley Kurtz:
I think the vote of no confidence in Lawrence Summers is a wonderful thing. Harvard continues to discredit itself with the American public. The faculty is trapped. If Summers resigns, this extraordinary example of political correctness will come back to haunt Harvard, and the entire academy, for years. But if Summers hangs on, the faculty itself will have been humiliated–checked by the very fact of public scrutiny. Either way, Harvard is tearing itself apart. So long as the public simply writes of the academy, the mice can play. But the intense public scrutiny in this case puts the captains of political correctness into a no-win situation. Like the closely watched Susan Estrich fiasco, this battle is doing lasting damage to the cultural left. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Summers is an awfully smart man. Could this have been his plan all along?
Meanwhile, Richard Bennett looks at one of Summers' critics and asks: "What kind of a man supports the presidency of Babangida but not that of Summers?" A bit harsh, perhaps, but I do think that this will work out badly for the Harvard faculty.
James Joyner piles on.
UPDATE: Power Line: "The vote essentially represents the conviction of President Summers for not believing in the gods of the city."
ANOTHER UPDATE: Chris Bray notes that the vote was close. I suppose that's heartening, but for all I know, the legendary state legislative vote to make pi equal to three was close, too. . . . It's not the vote count that people remember.