Lynne Cheney must be home banging her head against the wall. First she finds out that all but a very few of the men her hubby has been keeping in Gitmo are innocent after all. Now the culture wars have been set back a century or so by a Denver jury, in a recent ruling that University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill was wrongfully terminated.
It is amazing to me (and makes me all teary about the Constitution) that juries often really get the nuances of a thing. Churchill was awarded attorney’s fees, but only $1 in damages because of the plagiarism charges that arose in midst of the controversy. Churchill did appropriate someone else’s work: there is no doubt about that. But the reason he was summarily fired, the jury argued, was because of political speech that was unpalatable to the governor of Colorado and the Colorado legislature. And that, they agreed, was wrong.
Satisfactory all around if you ask me. And just in case you think the Radical is a big Ward Churchill fan, guess again: you don’t have to talk to too many Native Americanists to figure out what a thorn he is in the side of the field.
However, I am a big fan of due process, thank you very much. And by the way: I wouldn’t have called all those Wall Streeters Nazis after 9/11 either. It was mean and factually incorrect besides. But I must say, popular attitudes toward the New York money people have changed eight years later, haven’t they?