The Plot Against AOC

Ruth O’Brien, Editor

Assassinating AOC? Wow. Trump seems to have literally succeeded in hiring a hit man the Trump way (no need to pay for it when you can incite folks to do the dirty work for free).  A good thing it didn’t work.

As a female professor in the nation’s biggest urban public university, at the campus with the strongest research record, years ago — in 2014 — I launched Heretical Thought, a book series I solo-edit with Oxford University Press, USA, that emanated out of my doctoral seminars in American political thought.  Now we are up to 4 books: Assembly, by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri; The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism, by Catherine Rottenberg; Insurgent Universality, by Massimiliano Tomba; and Call Your “Mutha,” by Jane Caputi. This compounds my existing series, The Public Square, from 11 years earlier, including Jill Lepore’s award-winning The Whites of Their Eyes, about the Tea Party, and a forthcoming book by Anne-Marie Slaughter. The schtick about Heretical Thought is that if you don’t have a fatwa or witch-burning against you, your ideas aren’t significant enough to be published by the oldest university press in the world.

Global in nature, Heretical Thought takes an image my direct ancestor could relate to, since she was mentored by the only woman to be banished from the Mayflower community, who later got a patent of land in Gravesend (now Coney Island).  Once the British took over, Penelope returned with her large family to the soil she had first landed on, in Sandy Hook, present-day New Jersey, where her first husband was killed and scalped, and Penelope herself was scalped and impaled but survived, being rescued by a matrilineal indigenous tribe.

I was taught this history by a great-aunt who disguised her own gender, not once but twice, in Esquire — to publish an article alongside Ernest Hemingway. I listened to Great-Aunt Mary, who heard my entire 600-page dissertation from UCLA when she was blind, as she advised me that I didn’t have to be a Frick; I could relate just as much to the Stouts. I have tried to live up to the Penelope Stout name.  Like her, I’ve had a lot of firsts as a woman in academia in a field that practices systemic sexism — being a member of one of the first classes with women to graduate from Claremont McKenna College (as it is now known, though my diploma has the distinction of saying Claremont Men’s College even though I was born female), and the first female EO of the CUNY Graduate Center Political Science Ph.D. Program, where I hired three central lines, including Peter Beinart for the Writing Politics specialization that I designed.  Meanwhile, APSA has only now started writing reports about PS misogyny, to some avail, and its journal now has 12 editors who reflect diversity.  I have had the honor (dis) of being named a “doctoral major” haha.

Courageous 10 (GOP House of Representative Members) Impeaching Trump

white house

Photo by Aaron Kittredge on Pexels.com

Here are the names of the courageous ten GOP members impeaching Trump.

Representative John Katko of New York was the first Republican to publicly announce that he would back the impeachment proceedings. Not holding the president accountable for his actions would be “a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Tuesday evening that she would vote to impeach, citing the president’s role in an insurrection that caused “death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.”

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, joined his Republican colleagues on Tuesday evening, saying the nation was in uncharted waters. He said that Mr. Trump “encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.”

Representative Fred Upton of Michigan issued a statement saying that he would vote to impeach after Mr. Trump “expressed no regrets” for what had happened at the Capitol.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State issued a statement saying, “The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have.” (An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated which state Ms. Herrera Beutler represents.)

Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington announced that he was backing impeachment, attacking his party’s core argument, that the process was being rushed. “I will not use process as an excuse,” he said during the impeachment debate, to cheers and applause from Democrats. Mr. Newhouse also offered a mea culpa, chiding himself and other Republicans for “not speaking out sooner” against the president.

Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan said that Mr. Trump had “betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week.”

Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers in the House and Senate “had their lives put in grave danger as a result of the president’s actions,” adding, “When I consider the full scope of events leading up to Jan. 6 including the president’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”

Representatives Tom Rice of South Carolina and David Valadao of California also voted for impeachment.

 

Gendering a Traitor

HANDOUT PHOTO:
Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed in the Capitol Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Timothy McEntee)

When women fought and won the right to fight, it wasn’t to then be romanticized as “poor her.”  She got killed. No.  She — Ashli Babbitt —  was trained by the U.S. military.

She knew the difference between the police — who shoot to kill in America — and enemy combatants. There’s no exception for the U.S. Capitol Police.  So stop gendering the woman’s right to die – by combat — her choice when she stormed the Capitol as a traitor.

It’s shameless for the GOP to invoke “due process” now.  So, Senator Ted Cruz is trying to steal the flag and the constituents who followed Trump.  Hopefully, he’ll thrown out by Texans who are now forming a blue wave in their state.

President Thomas Jefferson’s phrase “we are all Americans” came only after his election to office when he buried the Federalists — temporarily — and caught his own party wave as Jeffersonian Republicans captured both sides.  The United States never planned on having political parties — and their existence is a constant extralegal — potentially disruptive — disastrous force.  The GOP now can finally grab their party back from Trump.  What’s stopping them?  (Oh, the 75 million mob-sters — a gang of misogynistic white supremacists men and women — like Ashli they want to shamefully use and abuse to take power. Mob-ocracy.  What a silly word.)

Essential? Whose Body is It Anyway?

Essential is such a funny word.  Having watched doctors fill in forms for my reasonable accommodations since the 1990s you start to get a feel for medicine and why some physicians are M.D.s and some are O.D. or D.Os as well as who is entrepreneurial in the field of medicine starting, for instance, physical medicine (dominated now by Physical Therapy or PT) and even more importantly what doctors contribute to the ever increasing and expansive field of “public health.” Were I home, look at my  neighbor Cornell Tech and its initiatives.

Not surprisingly public health is one of those fields that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg favors. Doing good by algorithm or at least taking the drama (read female) out of who lives or dies. To me, public health is really about what or whose bodies matter. The politics behind it, forget economics, gets translated into law.

I mean with behavioral economics out there like Freakeconomics, we don’t need to think there’s any one rational person that creates a standard for all. Thanks to AI we can quantify irrationality as well as rationality. This is actually quite serious or essential when you think about it. The American rule of law is based on that so-called rational person or human being, yet AI has replaced it with some courts going so far as mandating their judges use algorithms to determine sentencing.

Now that we’ve got “essential” workers (truck delivery, restaurants, meat processing plants, K-12 teachers), as opposed to those on the frontline in public health, what is to become of them?  

The term is perverse, risking your life and the life of your extended family all for minimum wage and life in a gig economy that cements working poverty as well as institutional racism and injustice. 

Checking out careers and professions as I’m won’t to do with two sons in their twenties, I noticed that K-12 teaching as a profession dropped out of the top fifty professions.  What a shame.  Meanwhile, of all things, Political Scientists still don’t beat economists, but one site had them ranked as 47th. I can never get comedian Robin Williams’ pronunciation of the term out of my mind.

Meanwhile, those on the frontline can feel proud as they helped stop death and hindered harm.  

The rest of us, as Harvard’s Ethic Professor Danielle Allen noted, are remote and will be the last to return to work.  I got notice that CUNY is going back. No more remote. I’m happy for what I learned but I can’t wait to get back into the seminar room.  

It’s hard to know how well one connects remotely unless we get great training. Fall 2019, I happened to be teaching one seminar on social justice and the ADA in the workplace at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies (SPS). Being the semester before COVID I happened to have gotten excellent training.  I was so happy to have learned my way around Blackboard. 

One happy surprise was that the post writing aspect of remote work makes the online teaching sometimes profound, more profound than utterances in the seminar room.  I suppose we all have a voice and some integrity late at night or in the wee hours of the morning when we’re composing our thoughts and committing them to our online or remote machine.

3

These posts reflect my original interest in American politics, history and political theory broadly cast. I’m interested in exploring the nexus between American Political Development (APD) and American Political Thought (APT) as well as American Studies and Africana Studies or all regional “studies,” including working with Gajo Petrovic a leader in Praxis published in the former Yugoslavia.

This was the reason I stayed in politics for my Ph.D. rather than leaving for law school, history, sociology or business school as faculty kept trying to convince me to do in undergraduate and graduate school after spending a gap year reading Heidegger’s Being and Time with University of Zagreb philosophy professor Gajo Petrovic, who spent time at IAS and working with the author of the former Yugoslavian Constitution, the one that stuck — written in the 1970s.  The latter scholar attended the Sorbonne in the 1930s and ended his career as the Dean of the best law school in Belgrade.  In the 1980s the Fulbright funded his scholarship on Jefferson at Claremont Graduate School.  I worked with him for my B.A. thesis on Marx, existentialism, phenomenology and Yugoslavian self-management supervised by Claremont Men’s College’s public law professor Winston Fisk.