The more upside-down the view of off-campus life that professors take, it seems, the more likely they are to be successful in their chosen field. Take Peter Edelman of the Georgetown Law Center who the D. C. bar describes as a “legend.”
An Obama supporter, he is pained to note of the president’s economic policies that, “In spite of all that, we’re not doing too well.” Similarly, he bemoans the “flood of low-wage jobs that built up in this country for about a quarter century” without acknowledging that virtually all of last month’s job gains came from McDonald’s.
Edelman moderated a panel at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on “Strengthening American Families.” His own diagnosis of what ails them might strike those same families as counterintuitive.
“We have a criminal justice system dedicated to keeping families apart,” he said at CAP on June 9, 2011. “They are locking up two million disproportionately African-American and Latino” prisoners. Edelman did not mention that a glance at police logs show that the rape and murder victims of criminals also tend to be African-American and Latino.
Conversely, Edelman is impressed with the “stunning successes” of LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual and Transgender) activists, particularly in overturning the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” bar on homosexuals serving in combat. He did not mention that polls show that this might lead heterosexuals to avoid reenlisting.
“In October 2008, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) conducted an online survey on whether the military should allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military,” Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness noted early last year. “The majority (52 percent) of the 1,664 respondents to the survey opposed repealing the 1993 law, and 68 percent believed that repealing the law would have a moderate to very negative impact on troop morale and readiness.”
A revolving door academic, Edelman served as a staffer to Democratic Senator Robert Kennedy and later took a leave of absence from Georgetown to work in the Clinton Administration. His ratemyprofessors.com ratings are mostly positive, although one naysayer offered a reflection that goes beyond the complaint of absentmindedness that Edelman’s other critics offer.
“He tries to help people understand but seems to get a bit impatient and also seemed to somewhat alienate students with opposing views,” one reviewer wrote.
“More interested in telling which Justices he likes than any legal reasoning,” another reviewer claimed. “Sometimes does very well in teaching concepts, other times rambles on and loses everyone.”
“Occasionally becomes a good professor.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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