VOLOKH at mail.law.ucla.edu
Tue Oct 22 11:42:25 PDT 2002
Well, obviously there's lots of hostility to the Republican Party on
this list, and to various Republican office-holders. There are labels being
thrown around, such as supposed "authoritarianism," a singularly ill-defined
term. Look, if people want to loathe the Republicans, that's fine. I'm a
Republican, and I think that a lot of the charges being thrown around about
the party are grossly insulting and unsubstantiated. But how on earth could
one have a sensible debate, on a constitutional law listserv, about a
subject as mushy as "authoritarianism"?
If the claim is that the Administration -- or the Democrats in
Congress, or anyone else -- is proposing some proposal that's
unconstitutional, that's fine: I'd love to talk about it. But if the
debate focuses on the supposed character defects of Republican
officeholders, does anyone really think that this is likely to be remotely
Let me give an analogy -- following Waco and Ruby Ridge, lots of
people I know were making pretty much the same sort of accusations about
Clinton et al. Do you remember a single *useful*, interesting
constitutional law debate that was focused on the abstract question of
whether various members of the Clinton Administration were "authoritarian"
or "Orwellian" or "congenital liars" or "threats to America" or whatever
else? I sure don't. When the debates in the Clinton era were focused on
actual constitutional law questions, they could be very productive; but when
one side came to the issue with a proclamation that Clinton was this or that
or the other thing, and then the Clinton defenders of course said that no,
he wasn't, and it was actually his enemies who were this or that or the
other thing, they almost never were.
Exactly the same thing, I think, applies here.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof