What The Hell Is Going On At Conserva-CU?

CU’s new “visiting scholar of conservative thought” John Eastman.

Two must-read related stories from the Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez today about politically incendiary developments at the University of Colorado, which despite the state’s general leftward trajectory is controlled by a Republican majority Board of Regents–who recently appointed a highly controversial ex-GOP Congressman President to succeed retiring Republican kingpin President Bruce Benson.

Under Benson’s term as President, CU took an unapologetic turn toward “conservative affirmative action”–with Benson regularly calling for “ideological diversity” on campus, and creating a “visiting scholar of conservative thought” position in faculty at his namesake Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. As our readers know, these “scholars” have not distinguished the institution–starting with Steven Hayward, whose gratuitous insensitivity toward LGBT students in particular outraged basically everyone on campus except Benson and the Republicans on the Board of Regents.

With that in mind, this update is not really very surprising:

The University of Colorado Boulder’s chancellor said Monday he will not rescind the appointment of John Eastman following national outcry over the visiting conservative scholar’s essay in Newsweek questioning whether Sen. Kamala Harris is eligible to serve as vice president because her parents were born outside the United States…

“Even if he did not intend it, Professor Eastman’s op-ed has marginalized members of our CU Boulder community and sown doubts in our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion,” Chancellor Phil DiStefano wrote in an email to faculty Monday.

“Without minimizing those harms, and recognizing that we must repair that trust, I must speak to those who have asked whether I will rescind Professor Eastman’s appointment or silence him,” DiStefano wrote. “I will not, for doing so would falsely feed a narrative that our university suppresses speech it does not like and would undermine the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom that make it possible for us to fulfill our mission.”

That’s right, folks–the 2020-2021 “Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy,” John Eastman, is the same John Eastman currently on the receiving end of national ridicule for his roundly-condemned Newsweek opinion piece, speculating that Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris may not be eligible to serve–on account of, you know, her parents’ foreign-ness. The Hill, in case you missed it:

Newsweek has apologized after an op-ed it published about Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, drew an avalanche of criticism that it perpetuated a racist conspiracy theory about her eligibility to be vice president.

The magazine added an editor’s note late Friday to a piece authored by Chapman University law professor John Eastman in which he suggested Harris, who was born in Oakland, was not a natural-born citizen because her parents were immigrants.

It’s pretty much exactly what we said about Steven Hayward–if the intent here is to outrage the CU student body, and in doing so reinforce their generally liberal predilections, great job! If the goal was to in any way make conservatives look good, we must report that John Eastman has failed his conservative benefactors mightily.

And that segues into the other story in the Denver Post today from Elizabeth Martinez about CU:

The University of Colorado has instructed communications staff on the school’s campuses to avoid partisan language and submit any statements dealing with “sensitive” topics — including COVID-19 science, race relations, climate change and the First Amendment — to the office of President Mark Kennedy prior to publication…

Regent Linda Shoemaker, D-Boulder, said she recently learned of the memo and felt it has a “chilling effect” over the campuses. She said she believes it could pressure CU’s campus leaders to censor themselves as to not offend the Republican majority on the Board of Regents.

While the “visiting conservative scholar” drags the reputation of the University of Colorado back to the stone age, communications staff at the university must now submit any communications on “sensitive” topics to the ex-GOP congressman President of the university for appropriate censorship. Makes perfect sense!

Republicans have held a majority on the CU Board of Regents for the last 40 years. In 2020, a pivotal battle for the CD-6 Regent seat being vacated by Republican John Carson could end that majority, and with it one of the last remaining vestiges of Republican power at the statewide level.

All told, a very strong case is being made for change–by Republicans themselves.

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  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    I hate to get into lookism, but there are some people in this world who really do look like a putz. John Eastman has a face that screams putz.

    I feel bad for saying it, but it's true.

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Does Republican Regent Heidi Ganahl support the 14th amendment to the US Constitution? It says any person born in the US, including Kamala Harris, is automatically a citizen.

    Being a constitutional conservative myself, I'd like to know where Ms. Ganahl stands on this.

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Another instance of where I think MORE speech, not less, is appropriate. 

    I'm hoping members of the campus faculty AND the media will identifying those who were instrumental in bringing him to campus — both those making the suggestion of him as a candidate AND those voting to approve.  It would be helpful to identify those choosing Prof. Edwards as an illustrious "conservative" voice.

    When Prof. Edwards is on campus, I hope he is asked if he offered a similar constitutional analysis with the candidacies of Justin Amash or Marco Rubio — and if not, why not. And if, after having the publication in Newsweek roundly criticized, he continues to hold the same opinion.

     

  4. kwtree says:

    Tiffany Trump played that violin “The libs and the media are suppressing our voices!!” pretty hard in her speech at the RNC. She just graduated from U Penn law school. She didn’t have any examples, of course, of actual suppression of conservative opinions – just that conservative students “might feel intimidated from speaking up”. 

    And she had a lot of anti-masking rhetoric – “some politicians” are masking their evil intent, wearing “a mask of decency”, etc.

    Boo fricking hoo. Cross another Trump spawn off the list for a tell-all book. I’ll pin my hopes on Barron in another 6-7 years.

    • Duke Cox says:

      I noticed the placard on the podium at the Main stage gives Donnie and Mike top billing over the Republican National Convention. It got me to wondering about the nature of these two events. 

      Have they always been only about the presidential race? Are the caucuses not conducting business?

      • JohnInDenver says:

        RNC abandoned any effort to write a new platform, pledging instead to back DJT's "America first" policies. Whatever they may be, apparently.

        RNC did not celebrate the accomplishments of state governors. 

        RNC did not tout the accomplishments of their majority in the Senate.

        RNC did not announce any plan to assist the House minority to pick up seats.

        It's a very, VERY different world.

         

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