OneEightyFour Blawg Review Done Right
Monday, November 3, 2008
The Obama Effect Continues
Around law schools across the nation, there has been a detectable drop in faculty productivity over the past two months. In the immediate aftermath of the conventions, surveys suggested that faculty continued to teach and write at a normal level – with the usual variance between faculties and research methodologies – but in the last thirty days, as liberal anxiety over an inevitable Obama loss has surged, we have noted a dramatic move from reasonably efficient to barely useful to utterly absent. The biggest drop has been among cellphone only professors who started at extremely high levels of efficacy and have plunged, in recent days, to what can only be called electoral catatonia. Only in the last 72 hours, as professors began to focus on the risk of university budget cuts and attendant layoff risks, and simultaneously recognized that they will have absolutely no impact on the outcome of the election, has this remarkable shift stabilized.
We continue to think that there is a 99.2% chance that the election will be over by next Wednesday and that faculty are likely to return to work soon thereafter.
Bonjour Sarah, Are You Free To Speak?
Peter Black, at Freedom to Differ, highlights that funny phone call between Governor Palin and a Faux Sarkozy. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that French-Canadian comedians are goofing on Sarah Barracuda. Apparently, some blogging Canadians are obsessed with this election! Meanwhile, Eugene Volokh weighs in on the Gov’s profound misunderstanding of the First Amendment – albeit with far more tolerance than we might extend someone who seeks the Vice-Presidency. And Marc Randazza wishes the Prez - whomever it turns out to be - would just shut up and stop attaching signing statements to new legislation.
Benedict Arnolds Unite!
We’ve heard that some high profile Conservative-Americans have turned tail on their party. In the law world, eyebrows shot northward when not only Douglas Kmiec endorsed Obama, but Charles Fried did as well. Meanwhile, David Post announced that he’d Barack the Vote over at the Volokh Conspiracy. It isn’t just the commentariat that’s peeved by these betrayals. Professor Bainbridge thinks its time to drum these turncoats out of the conservative movement! No wonder he's worried. Turns out that conservative law profs are a discrete and insular minority. Not to fret, however. You don't have to be a liberal to have shared an apartment or a Law Review photo with Obama. And let's all take a deep breath and wait a bit. Remember, 64% of Americans ultimately voted for JFK. It just took them a while to get comfortable with it.
He Didn’t Realize McCain’s A Comedian
Jack Balkin critiques John McCain’s attempt to justify his implication that Obama is a socialist. Balkin apparently thinks that this dialogue, and the use of the S word, is something to be taken seriously. No. John McCain is a comedian. Or maybe just a practical post-modernist.
Criminals Are Massing At The Gate, Or Perhaps Just The Polls
Doug Berman takes a well-justified swipe at Steven Calabresi. Calabresi suggested, in a WSJ op-ed, that if Obama becomes President, we may see “the mass freeing of criminal defendants.” Doug tells the George Dix Professor of Law to take a deep breath. Then there's Talk Left. Three days before the election Jeralyn Merritt cheerfully blogs about Getting Out the Inmate Vote. Jeez. Is she still voting for Hillary or something?
A Call For Citizen Soldiers
At Citizen Media Law Project, David Ardia notes public anxiety over election misconduct and has an idea: get citizens involved in recording what’s going on at the polls. When I was a kid, parents were supposed to take their kids to vote. It was a great civics lesson. But back in 1967, they couldn’t have even imagined a cordless, cell-based telephone with video capability….let alone a Voter Suppression Wiki! So leave the tot at home, troops, and let’s take back our election from the evil-doers. Then there are the citizen politicians. Mark Randazzo is not impressed with Joe the Plumber's foreign affair savvy.
On The Road: On The Left Coast
Meanwhile, out West, in the land that Hiram Johnson built, citizens are considering the usual platter of initiatives. Kaimi Wenger sets the record straight about what Prop 8 does and does not do, while Wise Law Blog delivers a Prop 8 video clip which we just knew was an offensive parody of Christians until we discovered it was serious. Cathy Gellis, for her part, just wishes the damn propositions (and their supporting material) were written better!
Trick or Treat!
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.