Let’s get something straight: there was absolutely nothing racist or sexist about a pair of tweets by Ilya Shapiro last week criticizing President Biden for his blatantly racist and sexist decision to consider only black women for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Every single person who saw them knows that — especially the people who immediately tried to get Shapiro fired for it.
That’s really what this is all about. The feigned outrage over Shapiro’s tweets is nothing more than a pretext for trying to get him run out of his new job at Georgetown Law School, where this week he’s supposed to begin as executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. The left thinks it owns places like Georgetown, and for the most part it does. The message of this coordinated campaign to cancel Shapiro is simple: if you’re right-of-center, stay out of academia because it’s ours.
For years, Shapiro worked at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank where he was lately the vice president and director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies. In that role, he distinguished himself for his first-rate constitutional scholarship and hundreds of amicus briefs to the Supreme Court, including one of the most epic and hilarious defenses of free speech ever filed before the court. No one in the corporate press or in academia or the legal community would likely have batted an eye at Shapiro’s tweets if he hadn’t just been hired at Georgetown.
How do we know? Because the cretinous blogger at Slate who first whipped up the Twitter mob admitted as much:
And with that, the knives were out for Shapiro (who, full disclosure, has contributed lots of great columns to The Federalist over the years). The dean of Georgetown Law, William Treanor, issued a cowardly and dishonest statement once the mob formed, calling the tweets in question “appalling,” and falsely claiming that Shapiro was suggesting that the best Supreme Court nominee “could not be a Black woman.”
Of course, he suggested no such thing, as anyone with a brain can clearly see. The Slate blogger who started all this dishonestly claimed Shapiro’s tweet suggested that, which was apparently enough for Treanor to roll over and say what the mob wanted him to say.
But you could see right away this was not about the substance of what Shapiro said but about pressuring Georgetown to fire him. The first Twitter blue checks to weigh in on the faux controversy all said some version of, “Georgetown must do better.” We all know what that means.
Some on the right have come to Shapiro’s aide. Dan McLaughlin at National Review and Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner have both penned fine defenses of Shapiro, both of the man and his tweets. I’m not going to defend Shapiro or his tweets because neither needs a defense. The tweets were great, in fact, because they highlighted the appalling racism and sexism of Biden’s approach to filling a Supreme Court vacancy.
When the president of the United States says he will only nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court, Shapiro is entirely correct to point out that that means we are almost certainly not going to get the most qualified candidate. Why? Because the only consideration for such a post should be the quality of a nominee’s legal scholarship and jurisprudence, nothing else. This is not hard to understand, and in fact everyone in America understands it perfectly.
Biden’s race-based and sex-based criterion is how we got Kamala Harris as vice president, a woman who isn’t remotely qualified and never should have been chosen for the post. The only reason it ended up being her is that Biden pledged to nominate a black woman — not a particular black woman, just a black woman. For Biden, checking a diversity box and appeasing the far-left wing of the Democratic Party was more important than picking the right person for the job. Again, everyone in America understands this perfectly.
Checking that diversity box has its limits, of course. If a person happens to fit Democrats’ race and sex requirements but has the wrong political beliefs or background, then they must be stopped. That’s why Biden and a host of his erstwhile Senate colleagues filibustered and tried to block the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005. That’s why Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a dozen of his fellow Democratic senators opposed the nomination of Judge Ada Elene Brown, a black woman and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 2019. Democrats do this all the time, and have been for years.
Here’s hoping this ginned-up controversy will die down and the mob will move on. If it doesn’t, and Shapiro loses his new gig at Georgetown over this, understand that that was the purpose of the outrage and the smear campaign against Shapiro. They don’t want someone like him at Georgetown, not because he’s a racist but because he’s not a leftist. And they will say and do anything, including launch an entire smear campaign based on a lie, to get him out.
John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Texas Monthly, The Guardian, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.
Originally Posted on: https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/29/leftist-nutjobs-try-to-cancel-ilya-shapiro-for-opposing-racist-hiring-quotas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leftist-nutjobs-try-to-cancel-ilya-shapiro-for-opposing-racist-hiring-quotas
[By: John Daniel Davidson