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Burt Prelutsky / October 23, 2021

In Defense of Claremont

Claremont has taken to the barricades to defend law professor John Eastman.

Claremont Institute, which along with Hillsdale College and a very few other colleges and universities, still upholds academic standards, is currently under siege by the cancel culturists.

Claremont has taken to the barricades to defend one of its senior fellows, law professor John Eastman.

As a Claremont press release explains: “John Eastman, acting as counsel to the President of the United States at a critical stage during the 2020 elections in December 2020 and January 2021, offered legal advice that has since been maliciously misrepresented and distorted by major media outlets. Following this disinformation campaign, some professional organizations have imposed a blackout on the Claremont Institute or on John, making it very difficult to present the truth.

"The purpose of this statement is to correct the record and state the truth about two important elements of John’s legal advice having to do with the procedure of counting electoral votes in the presidential election.

"1) Contrary to almost universally false news accounts, which have done great damage, John did not ask the Vice President, who was presiding over the Joint Session of Congress where electoral votes were to be counted on January 6, to ‘overturn’ the election or to decide the validity of electoral votes. John advised the Vice President to accede to requests from state legislators to pause the proceedings of the Joint Session of Congress for 7-10 days, to give time to the state legislatures to assess whether the acknowledged illegal conduct by their state election officials had affected the results of the election.

"2) If the state legislatures had found sufficient illegal conduct to have altered the result, and as a result submitted a second slate of electors, John advised the Vice President that, despite credible legal arguments to the contrary, the Vice President should regard Congress, not the Vice President, as having the authority to choose between the two slates.

"Inspired by deliberate misrepresentations of John Eastman’s advice on these legal and constitutional questions, various media persons and others have made false and slanderous statements about the Claremont Institute, our scholars, staff, and fellows. Despite such false statements and slander, truth can prevail in a democracy, as Thomas Jefferson said, when truth is not ‘disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate.’

"Unfortunately, that disarming is now occurring. A campaign is trying to prevent the Claremont Institute or its scholars from presenting our views. This is coming from several fronts, including two organizations that exist precisely to air important political disagreements: the American Political Science Association (which effectively cancelled our participation in this year’s annual meeting for the first time in over 35 years) and even more disappointingly, the Federalist Society, which has refused to allow John, a Claremont fellow and highly credentialed law professor, to discuss essential constitutional questions. This is particularly galling given John’s prominent role in Federalist Society activities for the past 20 years.

"These attempts to limit the Claremont Institute’s and John Eastman’s ability to express their views mark a dangerous escalation in the censorship now threatening American democracy. The Claremont Institute will not remain silent in the face of widespread lies peddled by malicious domestic political opponents. We welcome debate, and so should our opponents and especially our friends.”

This statement of conscience was signed by Ryan P. Williams, the Institute’s president, and Thomas D. Klingenstein, its chairman.

It clearly indicates how far the Left and the cowardly Right have gone in order to silence anyone who questions the results of the 2020 presidential election, a farce in which we, taking our lead from the Supreme Court, are expected to accept that Joe Biden received 16 million more votes than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in spite of the fact that Donald Trump received 10 million more votes than he had in 2016.

Wesley Forgue let me know that he dreams of pulling the tumbril through the streets of Washington, D.C., when the revolution finally takes place. “I picture Nancy Pelosi as one of my first passengers.”

Although I think Mr. Forgue will require a lot of help pulling that tumbril to the site of the guillotine once it begins to fill up with swamp creatures and Deep Staters, I picture myself sitting next to Madame Defarge in the front row, both of us busy knitting.

After I wrote about Cook County’s state prosecutor Kim Foxx (what’s with the extra x?) turning a blind eye to a shoot-out in the streets of Chicago because only gangbangers were killed or injured, Bryan Nielsen wrote: “Since we’re talking about Chicago, I can’t help but think of the public’s rather Laissez-faire attitude towards the gangs killing each other during the beer wars of the 20s. That is, up until the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre where, apparently, killing seven at once became the threshold. Turning a blind eye towards criminal-on-criminal murders is a time-honored tradition in the windy city, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Only,” I replied, “up to a point. The main difference between then and now is that the old mobsters tended to be better shots, even using tommy guns. Today’s punks, because they tend to hold their guns sideways like the cool dudes in the movies, are as likely to kill five-year-old’s as they are to rub out their business rivals.”

It occurs to me that we are on the verge of entering the holiday season, which includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday, and it’s not too soon to begin shopping for gifts. Especially when the lack of truck drivers is likely to result in a lot of empty places on store shelves.

And who better to supply those gift items than your favorite daily columnist?

My little warehouse includes DVDs of two comedies I’ve written: “Angels on Tap” (Ed Asner, Jamie Farr, Marion Ross) and “Hobson’s Choice” (Sharon Gless, Richard Thomas, Jack Warden, Lillian Gish) and two of my televised (delightfully candid) interviews.

The books include three collections of interviews I’ve conducted:

“The Secret of Their Success” (Billy Wilder, Art Linkletter, Steve Allen, George Carlin, Dennis Prager, Jerry Herman, Sid Caesar, Gerald Ford, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, Dinah Shore, Henry Mancini, Ginger Rogers, and others).

“Portraits of Success” (Andrew Breitbart, Pat Boone, Newt Gingrich, George Kennedy, Charles Krauthammer, Ralph Peters, Gary Sinise, John Stossel, Joe Wambaugh, James Woods and others); and

“67 Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die” (Tucker Carlson, Phyllis Schlafly, Joseph Wambaugh, Pat Robertson, Bernard Goldberg, Ben Shapiro, Pat Boone, Curt Schilling, Mike Gallagher, Caroline Glick, Rick Perry, Lee Greenwood, Hugh Hewitt and 54 others.)

Other books include “Conservatives Are from Mars, Liberals Are from San Francisco” (containing such chapters as “Diversity, Schmiversity,” “Does Fido Have a Soul?” “A Hero’s More Than a Sandwich” and “Most of the Racists in America Are Black”)

“Liberals: America’s Termites” (containing such chapters as “Justice is Blind, Also Deaf & Dumb,” “Islam is a Peaceful Religion, and If You Don’t Believe It, They’ll Cut Off Your Head,” “Why Do 80% of Jews Vote Like 90% of Blacks?” “Why Do 90% of Blacks Vote Like 80% of Jews?” “Sex, Sex and More Sex” and “A 12-Step Program for Recovering Liberals”)

“Angels on Tap” (the basis of the movie)

“Finding Angel” (how a man and a dog rescue each other)

And last but not least, “The Story of My Life,” an amusing account of my life with the boring parts left out, dealing specifically with those times when my life intersected with the likes of Groucho Marx, Oscar Levant, Andy Warhol, Jack Palance, Susan Strasberg, Jimmy Stewart, Jill St. John, William Saroyan, Bob Hope, Lizabeth Scott, George C. Scott, Stan Laurel, Spiro Agnew, Dick Van Dyke, Farrah Fawcett, Dalton Trumbo….and SONNY TUFTS?!

If you’re interested, contact me for price information and special deals.

The supply is limited, so don’t dawdle.

You can email Burt directly at [email protected]

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