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“It’s not as though the twelve Republicans on this campus pose much of a threat to the tenured bully pulpit”

“It’s not as though the twelve Republicans on this campus pose much of a threat to the tenured bully pulpit”

UW-Madison grad student defends student fees for CPAC attendance

WAJ intro — I saw a letter Jason Morgan, a Ph.D student in History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, had written to the Badger Herald, ‘Fracas’ over CPAC trip unfounded, regarding objections by liberal students to student organization funding being used to pay for several students to attent CPAC. I invited Jason to expand upon that theme for Legal Insurrection.


Over the past week, I have listened to the Democrats’ eructations and bloviating (surely a Lenten penance if there ever was one) concerning the folderol over Associated Students of Madison (ASM) members’ proposed Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) attendance. In spite of themselves, it seems as though our friends on the left are managing to make three passably cogent arguments, which I beg to address below.

First, the Democrats object to the fact that ASM is angling to send some of its own members to CPAC.

This argument is actually straightforward and plausible, but the rebuttal is equally plain: tough. If you do not like how the ASM representatives conduct their business, then unseat them. There is a process for doing just that–elections. Or, if you can’t wait that long, why not try a recall? I’m sure the Democrats have some drums, bullhorns, and body paint left over from the last time they tried that exercise in adult citizenship (with most of their unbiased professors signing on for the ride). But if the recall route seems so 2012, then quit whining and start grooming your candidates for the next regular election. This is, after all, what democracy looks like.

As a codicil to this point, please let me also add that if the objection is that it is bad management practice for a member of a student government body to use segregated fees to attend the conference of her choice, consider the opposite scenario to see if the logic holds–is there anything that says she must *not* do this thing, that she must *necessarily* recuse herself from attending any sponsored conference simply because she happens to be a member of ASM? If the rules say she must, then so be it. But if not, then please re-read the paragraph immediately above.

Second, the Democrats seem to say that CPAC will not benefit all students at our great university, but only the handful who plan to attend the conference.

To this I reply, Have you ever been awake in one of your classes here? Have you done any of the reading? Perhaps I’m in the wrong discipline, but “leftist hagiography” is hardly hyperbole when used to describe the readings we’re assigned for most weeks. Or, perhaps our Democrat friends were out fishing when the entire university was turned into a staging ground for the attempted coup at the other end of State Street.

Surely UW undergrads saw their TAs in the crowd, self-righteously beating on their mom’s Tupperware and shouting the latest slogans from Marx and the boys. If nothing else, CPAC attendance might inspire some brave soul, perhaps two, to answer the shrieking left and start what could turn into a nice, civil debate, much like the one in which your humble correspondent is currently engaged.

If CPAC is “blatantly partisan,” as the College Democrats semi-articulately contend, well, welcome to Madison. It’s not as though the twelve Republicans on this campus pose much of a threat to the tenured bully pulpit, or to the students whose administration forced them to click “I’m in for Barack!” in order to attend the “educational” speech by our Dear Leader here on campus last fall.

Third, the Democrats contend that the proposed CPAC attendance would violate Article IV, Section I of the ASM Constitution. (I heartily congratulate the Democrats for finally respecting at least one constitution, even if it’s just this one. Everyone must start somewhere.)

It will be noted, however, that the ASM Constitution, august though it surely is, is nevertheless not Magna Charta. And the people who wrote it, be they ever so prescient and wise, nevertheless do not have quite the same cachet as Moses coming down from the mountain.

Whatever the reach of that epochal document for the ages, I think all candid minds will agree that the ASM Constitution does not have the force of unalterable law, and likely does not extend to people who wish to attend an off-campus conference where they will, horror of horrors, be called upon to think for themselves. (I will leave for a later discussion the fact that the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion policy leads to the killing of baby girls at an overwhelmingly higher rate than the killing of baby boys, which is “discriminat[ion] on the basis of sex” of an entirely different order of magnitude than the one we’re considering today.)

One does not alter human nature by fiat; one does not moralize by majority rule; one does not substitute political point-scoring for the natural law. Let whatever legislative body you like scribble whatever they please on as many sheets of paper as they can fill, the sifting and winnowing will continue, and it will continue whether the dictatorial relativists say it can or not.


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This argument is actually straightforward and plausible, but the rebuttal is equally plain: tough.

Yes. Can we make this young man Speaker of the House?

What fun!!

Calypso Facto | March 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

A few bucks for a conference is certainly a pittance compared to shutting the entire campus down for last year’s Obama rally.

And the voluntary student conference attendance can not compare to the unavoidable intrusion of the rally. My son got confronted by a Secret Service K-9 unit just for skipping the rally and trying to study in an APPROVED lab area. A good lesson in true gov’t overreach and corporate (in this case, the education industry) cronyism.

Well written but alas, I doubt the author will enter the field of Journalism. Our side could use a couple of blue chippers like Jason. This is an example of what I sense is a growing backlash against the left. For too long our side has been tolerant of their positions but no longer. Jason’s one word response says it all: tough. What are you going to do about it? Most likely, nothing. Interestingly, he begs for the patented response, the dreaded Recall and asks: how’d that work out for you. The left is losing the battle and people like Jason and Rand Paul are on the front lines. If the left won’t follow the law (can you say illegal immigration?) than neither will the right. Bravo Jason!

    gasper in reply to wayne. | March 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Wayne: I agree we need more journalists, but it is equally true that we need more conservative historians. Our history is becoming more and more distorted and preaches self-hatred for the supposed sins of our past, and raises mediocre people to a level they don’t deserve because they happen to belong to a more and more expanding minority group, i.e, ethnically, gender-wise, or because of sexual orientation. It helps if they display disrespect to their country. I’m sure more Muslims will be included shortly, if they are not already. Of great concern is the effort of today’s journalists to “make” history through their God-like portrayal of Obama. Everything he does is better, greater, and more profound than anyone has ever done in the past.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

Twelve Republicans? Are you sure you didn’t double count a few?

I don’t understand the problem here. Obviously the UW constitution is ‘Living’ and has penumbras about it that can easily be used to justify not only sending students to CPAC, but to dozens of other conservative events in order to promote ‘Justice’ and ‘Equality’ with the recent historical prejudice shown to conservatives. Don’t they care about prejudice? Have they no sympathy for the historical record put in place by their predecessors who are no longer there, and must therefore be reverse-discriminated against with no ending deadline for repeal of said reverse-discrimination?
Sauce for the Goose…

Jason Morgan — what heart! And thank you for your outrage — inspiring.

Interested enough in what the nature of the ASM constitutional objection was regarding your Third point, I did a modest internet search.

Per the Badger Herald (Madison UW student newspaper), this objection was authored by the LGBT Caucus Chair of College Democrats, Jacob Hollnagel. ““Article IV, section I of the ASM Constitution states that ASM shall not discriminate on the basis of sex or sexual orientation. ASM funds paying for registration to CPAC would violate that article and its spirit.” Hollnagel says his objection was based on CPAC’s 2012 banning of GOProud.

Here’s the actual section in question:

“The ASM shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, arrest or conviction record, amount or source of income, political ideology, command of the English language, or known relationship to anyone in any of these protected classes, unless pursuant to an exception recognized by state or federal law.”

The internet search also brought up the most recent list of ASM grants I could find (from 2008-9). I’m assuming subsequent grants are similar. Among the recipients:

Polish Student Association, Chinese Students & Scholars Assocation, Armenian Students’ Association, Indian Graduate Students Association, India Students Association, Asian American Student Union, Atheists/Humanists/Agnostics at UW-Madison, Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Madison, Women of the Sacred Earth, Madison Association of Turkish Students, Wisconsin Latina/o Student Psychologisal Association, Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars, Wisconsin Black Student Union, Wisconsin Black Engineering Student Society, Society of Women Engineers … and Men’s A Cappella.

What happened to the ASM Constitution? What’s all this dough going to groups of specific race, creed, color, sexual orientation and national origin?!!

And did any ASM dough go to underwrite that Dear Leader campus visit?

The grant details illustrate so well that “some discrimination is more equal than others” that I wanted to share them with any LI reader who wanders down to the bottom of these comments.

(I’m not taking up the sad destiny that may befall us should the more equal animals prevail.)

BannedbytheGuardian | March 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm

During the term of the previous fed guvmint here All university student union fees were made voluntary.

This completely cut student politics off at the knee just below their board shorts.& put $600 in the pockets of students who are increasingly likely to be part employed & to busy for this shit.