Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Founded by Mark Kleiman (1951-2019)
Weekly Standard Childishness Watch
It is it too much to ask for someone at the Standard to have an emotional maturity greater than that of a toddler?
Recently I’ve been casting about for reviews of Gordon S. Wood’s recent volume of the Oxford History of the United States, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.Â This has been harder than expected: for such an important recent work of history, Wood’s volume has been pretty much ignored by most major newspapers and magazines (at least from what a Westlaw search reveals).
Much to my surprise, the Weekly Standard published a review by historian James Banner, and even more to my surprise, it was quite a thoughtful review.Â But this is the Weekly Standard, and so we get snippets like this, when (accurately) discussing the bitter political hatreds of the early national period:
Yelling “You lie!” at the president is nothing compared (for example) with the hammer-and-tongs fight on the floor of the House between Federalist Roger Griswold and Democrat-Republican Matthew Lyon that helped inaugurate congressional history.
Emphasis mine.Â You see that?Â Democrat-Republican.Â As far as I know, the Jeffersonians were never called the “Democrat-Republicans.”Â Sometimes they were called Democrats, and sometimes Republicans, and sometimes Democratic-Republicans, but never this.
Was this Banner’s mistake?Â I doubt it.Â Rather, what obviously happened was that some moronic copy editor changed “Democratic” to “Democrat”, or more likely, the Standard programmed their computers to always change “Democratic” to “Democrat.”Â It’s sort of like when Christian newspapers wound up referring to sprinter Tyson Gay as “Tyson Homosexual“.
Given what is now the casual stream of outright lies, support of treason, and calls to violence now spewing from American Right, this isn’t huge in the grand scheme of things.Â But it would be nice if someone in the Conservative Movement had an emotional maturity greater than that of a toddler.
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.
View all posts by Jonathan Zasloff
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