Halperin Award Nominee

Matt Bai gives Mark Halperin a run for the most vacuous and insipid political writer working nowadays.

I was going to write a post on the insipidness, vacuity, falsity, and ahistoricism of Matt Bai’s moronic Page One piece in the New York Times today, but Mark Schmitt beat me to it, so just read it yourself.

Sullivan seems to get a lot of mileage out of his awards, so we’ll start one here: the Halperin goes to, well, vacuous, insipid, false, and ahistorical press coverage by major MSM figures.  Nominate away.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

6 thoughts on “Halperin Award Nominee”

  1. Not my generation, but I wonder whether the opposite might be true: that Rand Paul is evidence that to many Americans, the 60's never happened at all. How else to explain the sort of amnesia that leads people to seriously consider if it might be OK that we allow discrimination.

    This seems a part of the larger view of race, where racism no longer exists and we're in a kind of post-racial utopia where racial caricatures of Obama are simply "expressions of political anger", and there's no such thing as racial bias.

  2. If private institutions and business were allowed to discriminate, probably most of the discrimination would be minorities against other minorities and non-minorities.

  3. I think the posting rules limit my responses to CharlesWT's comment. I will only say that even if he were to be correct, it would not devalue but emphasize the accomplishments of the Civil Rights Act.

  4. Schmitt's critique is also ahistorical: It is nonsense to say that Blumenthal "volunteered and served." In the Vietnam years, the Reserves were NEVER called up. At the time it was very well understood that the Reserves and National Guard were simply a minimally respectable path to dodge the draft, but one open only to the well-connected — like Dan Quayle, George Bush, and even Bill Clinton (until he got a high draft number). Blumenthal took that route when deferments were ended and he drew a low draft number. I do not criticize him or anyone the decision to avoid the draft in an insane war. I do object to people like Quayle, Bush and Blumenthal who took advantage of that option then but now pretend that they "served" in the military.

  5. Like Blumenthal, I got a high draft number so, when I graduated from college and my student deferment ended, I joined the Reserves to dodge the draft. I chose the Reserves over the National Guard because I didn't want to be called upon to shoot my former college classmates. What David A writes is accurate except that you didn't have to be well-connected to join the Reserves or National Guard — I wasn't. It is true, however, that college grads were more likely to be aware of the option, and we predominated among the Reservists.

  6. My impression is that, while connections were not necessary to join the Guard or the Reserves, there were special units that did require connections to join, and that the unit from which George W Bush went AWOL was among the most exclusive. I have no idea about Quayle's unit.

Comments are closed.