The steady deterioration of former Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe is truly a cautionary tale. Bias makes you stupid, but Larry had IQ points to spare, once. Trump Derangement makes you stupid, and this strain of political hostility is far, far worse than the Clinton, Bush and Obama strains. Once Tribe was infected, his intellect was in peril.
Then he became addicted to Twitter. I tell my legal ethics seminar attendees that Twitter lowers a lawyer’s IQ by anywhere from 40-60 points. Once, Larry could have sustained that and still given me a good game of Scrabble. On top of his ossifying liberal bias and the ravages of Trump Derangement, however, Twitter delivered the coup de gras to his gray matter.
We saw the beginning of this in 2016, when he shattered a basic legal ethics tenet–Larry used to teach this stuff–with a mind-blowing tweet. After Trump’s election, Tribe began making silly claims that the President was impeachable, and took to Twitter to spread batty “resistance” conspiracy theories, while calling a White House aide “non human.”
Now it seems beyond dispute, sadly, that Lawrence Tribe is in the end throes of Anti Trump Brain Virus infection.
You will recall that I flagged President Trump’s infantile tweet about Al Franken for the presidential self-humiliation that it was. To refersh your memory, it went like this:
The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..
But Larry saw something more, and sinister, and so he tweeted….
“Was it an accident that Trump had to override autocorrect to come up with the one distinctively Jewish spelling? Freud would say it was at least subconsciously antisemitic. I’m inclined to agree.”
Bye, Larry. We have a nice, clean room for you, overlooking a pond, at Madam Louisa’s Home For The Bewildered.
a) There is no autocorrect that would make such a change.
b) Trump makes spelling mistakes in his tweets all the time.
c) THIS spelling mistake I make all the time.
d) Why is reversing the i and the e “subconsciously antisemetic?”
Writes Ann Althouse (who does not use Twitter):
I’m so embarrassed for Tribe, dipping into this kind of crap. I wonder where his hands go when he’s typing out tweets that he chooses not to publish to the world? This is what he thinks is impishly cute or brilliantly smart or importantly alarming??…And the dumbest part of it is, who thinks of “Frankenstien” as “distinctively Jewish” in a way that “Frankenstein” is not? There are many Jewish names that end in “-stein.” If anything, the “-stein” ending might cause me to think Jewish. But of all the names that end in “-stein,” the last one I’d think of as Jewish is “Frankenstein.” Who thinks of the Frankenstein monster as Jewish? …I can’t believe the badness of that Laurence Tribe tweet. Maybe the idea is something like: Trump’s bad tweets work for him. Bad is good. You’ve got to tweet badly.
That’s gallant of Ann, to resist stating the obvious. The next step for Larry is going to be showing up in his old classrooms, dressed like Harvey Weinstein.
Beware anti-Trump mania!
If it can happen to Lawrence Tribe, it can happen to you.
Pointer: Ann Althouse