Skip to comments.Elena Kagan and the Yale-Harvard Nexus (A preponderance of Yale-Harvard grads in elite positions)
Posted on 05/11/2010 9:06:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
On Monday, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to succeed John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Kagan's resume is incredibly thin. She was named dean of an Ivy League law school after only four years on its faculty. Kagan has never been a judge, and she had never argued a case in court prior to being named Solicitor General in 2009. But Kagan has one qualification that trumps nearly everything else: she's an alumna of Harvard, and formerly a faculty member there.
If it sometimes seems that the nation is governed by an elite liberal clique of college fraternity and sorority pals who are out of touch with average Americans, that's because it's largely true. Every president, and almost every presidential candidate for the last two decades has been a graduate of Harvard or Yale, and if Kagan gets confirmed by the Senate every member of the Supreme Court will have been a Yale or Harvard attendee, too.
The 1988 presidential election was a contest between Harvard law grad Michael Dukakis and Yalie George H.W. Bush. Yale Law grads Bill and Hillary Clinton came to power in 1992, beating Washburn alum Bob Dole.
The election of 2000 produced an interesting result: George W. Bush, a graduate of both Yale and Harvard (but according to his leftist critics the dumbest president ever) beat another Harvard grad, Al Gore, who is supposedly so brilliant he won a Nobel Prize. And in 2004 Bush beat fellow Yale grad John Kerry, whose grades at Yale were worse than Bush's grades.
The election of 2008 saw the ascension to the presidency of Harvard graduate Barack Obama, who beat Navy grad John McCain. According to his supporters like Michael Beschloss, David Brooks, and Colin Powell, Obama is "brilliant" and "transformational" - yet oddly, he never published anything as first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and unlike Bush, Kerry and McCain, his grades have never been released.
On the Supreme Court, Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Thomas are Yale Law grads, while Scalia, Roberts, Breyer and Kennedy all went to Harvard Law. Justice Ginsberg graduated from Columbia Law, but she attended Harvard before transferring there. The odd man out is the retiring Justice Stevens, who got his law degree from Northwestern, soon to be replaced by Harvard's Kagan.
What shall we make of this preponderance of Yale-Harvard grads in elite positions of our society?
First, we ought to ask what kind of places Yale and Harvard are.
In recent years, Yale has instituted an annual "Sex Week at Yale," in which the university invites porn stars and bondage and leather fetishists to lecture (in various stages of nudity) students on various sexual techniques and the use of assorted sex toys.
Harvard is home to "scholars" like Charles Ogletree, who advocates reparations for slavery, and "Skip" Gates, who caused a race-baiting stir last year after an incident with a white cop in which President Obama took Gates's side without "knowing all the facts." Prior to coming to Harvard, Gates testified on behalf of the1980s rap act 2 Live Crew in an obscenity trial over lyrics about "bustin' vaginas" and other assorted perversions. Radical black professor Cornel West used to teach at Harvard; when former Harvard president Larry Summers criticized him for passing off a rap CD as academic work, West left in a snit for Princeton. Summers himself was later forced out after offending campus feminists. And Kagan was a chief proponent of banning military recruiters from Harvard over the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays.
Second, it is evident that for all the blather we hear about "diversity" from politicians and academics, the reality is that there's almost no diversity among our political elites. Somehow graduates of Howard and Grambling never make it onto the list of possible nominees when a vacancy appears on the Supreme Court, do they???
It seems there are never any graduates of West Point, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas, UVA, or Brigham Young considered for any of the top slots in the judiciary or for the presidency. Engineers, businessmen and military officers are notably absent from the candidate pool dominated by lawyers, career politicians and political activists. If Kagan's nomination is approved, only one member of the Supreme Court - Justice Alito - will have had any military experience. Obama (who spent much of his early life stoned on drugs) has no military experience, either.
Protestants, who comprise the majority of the American population, will be entirely shut out of the Supreme Court when Stevens retires. Catholics will constitute two-thirds of the Court while Jews, who comprise 2% of the population, will hold 33% of the seats on the Court.
If we contrast the educational backgrounds of the Yale-Harvard clique with some of the leaders of the conservative movement of the 1980s and 1990s, the differences are astonishing. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College, Speaker Newt Gingrich obtained a Ph.D. in history from Tulane, and congressional leaders Phil Gramm and Dick Armey obtained doctorates in economics from the University of Georgia and the University of Oklahoma, respectively. During their tenure in office we had sane fiscal, defense, immigration and tax policies. The same cannot be said today.
If diversity is a positive good, it is the diversity of education, opinion and experience in an atmosphere of open debate, not the faux diversity of skin color and gender. True diversity has clearly been sacrificed among the most powerful members of our society, who have increasingly spent their formative years being educated in a left-of mainstream Yale-Harvard bubble.
This inspite of the fact that America is stil a predominantly protestant/evangelical Christian country.
Also, it will be interesting to note that 4 of the justices will be from the City of New York.
Ruth Ginsberg from Brooklyn Antonin Scalia from Queens Sonya Sotomayor from the Bronx and Elena Kagan from Manhattan
Samuel Alito grew up not far from New York --- Trenton, NJ
She’s a political hack.
interesting. but it will have a practicing lesbian.
RE: interesting. but it will have a practicing lesbian.
I keep hearing people say that, but I can’t find a reliable source for this factoid.
I do believe that Crimson/Yalies in both parties have done an incredible job of screwing up the country and their campuses have become nests of communist/socialist thought. Every major incorrect policy seems to come to us from a Crimson or a Yalie. Were I president, I would disqualify from my cabinet anyone with a Harvard or Yale background.
Every mess this country is in, the error of thought can be traced back to these “elite” halls of “knowledge”.
I know I sound like a broken record, but at the end of the nineteenth century Harvard and Yale’s political orientation were the exact opposite of what they are today; Harvard and Yale were terrified of the radical socialist William Jennings Bryan.
An article in the early eighties in the Atlantic Monthly detailed the same axis involved in the staffing of all congressional offices in the House and Senate. Conservative, mid-west legislators were burdened by socialist staffers from that axis, and had no supporting staff from the midwest. The gradual shift of the Republican party to the left (both parties are to the left of center) was influenced by the staffing practices of past decades.
Socialist staffing of Congress and the Senate paralleled the socialization of the professorial staffs of US univerisites and K1-12 as well.
This same type of system worked so well for the Brits... NOT! Coming to a country near you.
I absolutely agree with this. Having spent a considerable amount of time in an Ivy I can confidently say that there is absolutely no legitimate reason to cede control of the government to people with ‘designer label’ university backgrounds. You don't have to be a genius to be at Yale or Harvard or Penn etc.
Frankly, it's just as likely that you'll find very bright people at a state school since they are cheaper and many very bright people don't want or can't afford to spend tons of money on their education. Also, the admissions policies at places like Yale and Harvard tend to favor people like Obama, with atypical backgrounds, and this can count more than the absolute objective measures of your academic achievement.
In short, it's a very, very big mistake to oversample from specific backgrounds when choosing elected or appointed government officials. The mess that we're in is indicative of that.
Yale-Harvard-and the most important third party in the triumvirate: Goldman Sachs
Surely she must be an expert lesbian by now.
But the problem is that there is not much in the way of diverse thought or experience.
I saw a pic on tv this morning of her with a man and children. Does she have a family?
Absolutely correct. If you can predict someones views and behaviors based on where they work and/or what they do, then there is very likely an element of conformity involved.
RE: Goldman Sachs
And they RECRUIT HEAVILY FROM YALE-HARVARD. You are more likely to get into Goldman with a Yale-Harvard degree than from any other school.
While all SCOTUS Justices attended Harvard or Yale, Thomas and Scalia did their undergraduate and much more formative years at Holy Cross and Georgetown respectively.Neither school when these justices attended, was considered an elite school. They were attended mostly by first college generation Catholic men. One thing both had in common was that their education was organized under the framework of the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum. A rigorous structure which required an answer to the question “Why” to defend every student response and opinion. While this method has eroded a bit through the years, when these two Justices attended their undergraduate schools the Ratio Studiorum was alive and well.
Yale has instituted an annual “Sex Week at Yale,” should read instituted anal sex week at Yale. This is the new norm the left is pushing.
In Canada people are rebelling:
“It is unconscionable to teach eight-year-old children same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Charles McVety, head of the Canada Christian College. “It is even more absurd to subject sixth graders to instruction on the pleasures of masturbation, vaginal lubrication, and 12-year-olds to lessons on oral sex and anal intercourse.”
But it’s all coming from the universities which will try to influence government.
Last I checked, Evangelical Christians were about 20-25% of the population.
As far as folks in elite positions generally coming from the Ivys or the Chicago/Northwesterns/Stamfords, etc., hasn't this been the case for a century and a half? Admission is greatly tied to SAT scores, so the "cognitive elite" tend to attend such institutions.
Since it does impact how she may rule on gay and lesbian issues, I wonder what the exact wording should be to ask her I can think of some fun ones that are repeatable on this site, however there has to be a diplomatic and legal way to pull that question off as it is important to cases that could present before the court in the future.
lol. Yes. But practicing all the same. :-).
My God she is unattractive. Makes Sodameyer look like a beauty queen.
I’m a Harvard alum, but from one of the professional departments (i.e., not the ones infested with radicalism).
I’m a social conservative, Lutheran covert to Orthodox Christianity, pro-Serb, pro-Arizona, pro-American, totally anti-obama. Go figure!!!!
Democrat administrations are stocked with Ivy Leagers. Always have been.
Leagers = leaguers
The circle is not complete.
By extension most “elected” politicians are their enablers. They make policy not in the citizens’ best interests but in their own mega corporate and secular self interest.
Maybe it was her brother or someone. LOL - you know - just for looks.
Did you hear about her nomination on the radio, or see it on TV? I'm guessing you must have HEARD it because SEEING is believing!! . She's 50 and doesnt have a man/family....the top two searches under her name are "husband" and "marriage" ....A LOT of people are asking the same question...
One of the great ironies of this administration is that it hires from PRIVATE universities while they insist that government is the solution to all of our problems. If the government is the answer to all of our problems, why do they keep going to the PRIVATE university system. What is wrong with the great government university system that we all pay for?????????
Believe me, Bryan would not be welcome at either place.
He spoke for folks outside the northeast who didn’t have a lot of money.
They don’t let more than a token number of people like that into those places. No one there wants to associate with the little people like that.
Besides, Bryan didn’t like the money houses. Lots of Harvard and Yale types make their money on Wall Street or in Hedge Funds located in Connecticut.
Nope, Bryan would not be welcome.
Look to see if she wears a thumb ring!
Incredible that of the hundreds of law schools in the entire country, only two will have alumni on the SCOTUS!!!
Traditionally, there had been some geographical diversity on the SCOTUS because it made good political and practical sense: not all the legal wisdom of the country comes from a single region. Apparently, today's left elitists don't give a hoot about anyone who doesn't have Ivy league credentials.
Well, at least the Ivy League still can't play football very well - at least for the last 60 years!!!
In fact, graduates from the Ivies often do not perform as well on standardized tests as do students from lesser name universities. Somehow I don't believe Al Gore's SAT scores were above the 95th percentile.
Incidentally, if you heard any of Obama’s recent graduation address you heard him say ...”rather than the means of e-pants-ipation” (he was supposed to say ‘emancipation’). So much for assuming that an education at an Ivy makes you one of the smartest people in the world.
According to the article, Obama never published anything as first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and unlike Bush, Kerry and McCain, his grades have never been released.
Yet, the mainstream media never actually even TRIED to investigate these.
From what we’ve seen coming out of Yale and Harvard they appear to be greatly over-rated schools.
The Liberal machine runs on theory, and it dreams of bending reality to fit it.
Speaking of Socialist staffing, this article gives us a glimpse into Elena Kagan’s personal ideology...
The Daily Princetonian has an illuminating article on the young Elena Kagan, Class of 81. Under the tutelage of Sean Wilentz lefty historian, friend of the Clintons, and notorious Bush-basher Kagan wrote a thesis called To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933, which first raised eyebrows when Kagan was being considered for Souters seat last year:
Americans are more likely to speak of a golden past than of a golden future, of capitalisms glories than of socialisms greatness, she wrote in her thesis. Conformity overrides dissent; the desire to conserve has overwhelmed the urge to alter. Such a state of affairs cries out for explanation.
She called the story of the socialist movements demise a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialisms decline, still wish to change America In unity lies their only hope.
Much of the rest of the article is concerned with friends and colleagues from Kagans Princeton days defending her politics as mainstream, e.g.
I dont remember her participating in marching, protesting, things like that, [one colleague] said. I would probably describe her back then her politics as progressive and thoughtful but well within the mainstream of the sort of liberal, democratic, progressive tradition, and everything with lower case.
But there is another revealing glimpse, via an opinion piece Kagan wrote in the wake of the 1980 elections. Kagan avows herself a liberal, and expresses her wish that the future bring American disillusionment with conservative programs and a more leftist left.
I absorbed liberal principles early, she said. More to the point, I have retained them fairly intact to this day.
In the piece, Kagan also expressed her dissatisfaction with the state of the political left at the time, lamenting the demise of real Democrats not the closet Republicans that one sees so often these days and the success of anonymous but Moral Majority-backed avengers of innocent life and the B-1 Bomber, these beneficiaries of a general turn to the right and a profound disorganization on the left.
She hoped that the future would be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore.
“’’Not merely should they be kept well away from the levers of power”
Actually, they have been, but they shout orders to the lever-pullers and they obey them because they think intellectuals know something.
The story is that LBJ appointed Ramsey Clark as Attorney General in order to get Clark’s father to retire from the Supreme Court. Maybe “Patches” Kennedy’s retirement from the House of Representatives was designed to make it easier for his twin sister Elena Kagan to be confirmed for the Supreme Court.
He spoke for folks outside the northeast who didnt have a lot of money.
They dont let more than a token number of people like that into those places. No one there wants to associate with the little people like that.
Besides, Bryan didnt like the money houses. Lots of Harvard and Yale types make their money on Wall Street or in Hedge Funds located in Connecticut.
Nope, Bryan would not be welcome.
You're completely missing my point. I am aware that Bryan would not be welcome but today Bryan would be a conservative and the Ivy League moneyed types are radicals. Back when he was alive the moneyed Ivy Leaguers were actually conservative and considered Bryan a dangerous socialist revolutionary.
Somewhere along the line the Coastal Elites and the Heartland literally traded ideologies.
Now that was a whopper of a gaffe!!! Mark Levin broadcast the tape repeatedly on his show last night. He defined "e-pants-ipation" as removal of one's pants!
But I'd be surprised to see anyone on an MSM comedy show bring it up at all.
If it had been Bush who made that gaffe the snickering by the MSM would be incessant.
Thanks for the ping!