AARGH! The University of Michigan Firing Its President Made Me Think About Bill Clinton Again!

Mark S. Schlissel, the president of the University of Michigan, was fired  yesterday after an emergency meeting of the Board of Regents His relationship with a subordinate at the university had been revealed by an anonymous whistleblower who was, ironically, named Linda Tripp. Nononono! I’m sorry: damn flashback again.

The Board easily concluded that Schlissel had violated university policy and behaved “in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the university.” His employment was terminated effective immediately, canceling a contract that would have continued paying him his base salary of $927,000 for four more years. The letter to Dr. Schlissel informing him that he was being fired said the complaint had arrived on December 8. “There can be no question that you were acutely aware that any inappropriate conduct or communication between you and a subordinate would cause substantial harm to the dignity and reputation of the University of Michigan,” the letter said.

The month long investigation triggered by the anonymous tip revealed dozens of email exchanges using “inappropriate tone and inappropriate language,” and showed that Dr. Schlissel used official business to carry out the relationship. His conduct was “particularly egregious,” the letter said, because he had taken a public position against sexual harassment, handing out pens to feminists like Bella Abzug after signing into law an anti-sexual harassment…no, I’m sorry, that was Bill Clinton.  Schlissel had only used the occasion of a university provost, Martin Philbert, being accused of sexual misconduct in August 2020 to send a letter to the university intoning that “the highest priority” was to make the university “safe for all.”

Dr. Schlissel, who is married and has four grown children. His wife, in response to the firing, immediately declared his demise to be the result of a vast right wing conspiracy. DANG! There go those flashbacks again!

I vowed a while back not to write any more about Bill Clinton. It was, as a few of you remember, the revolting ethical blindness revealed by Clinton’s defenders during Monica Madness and the even more revolting hypocrisy by passionate feminists who refused to condemn the POTUS’s text-book sexual harassment of a lowly intern (Bill supported abortion, you see, so that gave him immunity) that got me into the ethics blogging trap in the first place.

As an ethicist, I found the rationalizations being thrown out to get Clinton off the hook copious and nauseating, beginning with “Everybody Does It,” Number One, and including the worst of all. #22, “It’s not the worst thing!” Even though Clinton used Monica Lewinsky as his personal inflatable sex doll in his workplace, during work hours, with the knowledge of other subordinates, Democrats and pundits insisted on dismissing this as “private, personal conduct.”

Not a peep of the intellectually dishonest “private, personal conduct” has been heard in defense of Schlissel, because it’s laughable, and was then. But Clinton’s defenders were so patronizing about it—I know, I had to endure many of their sneers as I listened to their warped, bias-based logic.

I can’t say that the rallying around Clinton despite his lies, cover-ups, obstruction of the investigation and scorched-earth tactics to avoid accountability was the first time I began to understand that the political Left lacked integrity and principles. It was the first time I realized that the news media and TV talking heads were completely ignorant regarding basic ethics. (The major exception was Jonathan Turley, who even then was focusing on the right issues while virtually everyone else was either deliberately ignoring them or too thick to perceive them).

The first time that it dawned on me that progressives talked one way and walked another? That would probably be when my Massachusetts neighbors voted Ted Kennedy into office. Robert Bork’s confirmation hearings, Anita Hill’s attack on Clarence Thomas, Clinton’s scandal, and later, the acceptance of his enabler and co-conspirator, Hillary, as a feminist warrior almost closed the circle. The lock on it was provided when, incredibly, the Democrats continued to treat Bill as the martyr of “the culture of personal destruction” by those mean Republicans, even using him as a keynote speaker at its national convention dedicated to women.

My head was exploding for a week!

Then came Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo, and eventually Bill was “canceled” as he should have been decades earlier, but not before he and Hillary influence-peddled their way to millions, and Bill nearly became the first “First Man.”

Of course, Schlissel should have been fired, and the fact that the Regents did so confidently and with little likely backlash shows that a university regards the office of its president more important and influential regarding the necessity of setting standards of conduct than our nation regards the President of the United States. This is how we ended up having to choose between Trump and Hillary. This is how we found ourselves with a manipulated, semi-senile President and a Vice President with no leadership skills whatsoever.

I’m sick of thinking about it.

Make it stop.


2 thoughts on “AARGH! The University of Michigan Firing Its President Made Me Think About Bill Clinton Again!

  1. There is nothing progressive about progressives.
    I feel like we have surrendered to calculated Orwellian doublespeak every time I hear or read that word.
    Why not replace with the word regressive in all communication? It might catch on.

  2. I doubt he was fired because the Regents cared about sexual harassment. If this was something they could have kept quiet, they would have just paid people off. He was most likely fired because they couldn’t keep this information quiet and they realized the liability U of M had if they didn’t fire him. I wouldn’t be surprised if others were doing similar things and he was sacrificed so they could prove they take these matters seriously. University Presidents aren’t that important, normally, to the universities.

    Politically powerful presidents may be treated differently.


    To be fair, the criminal investigation of Boren, a former governor and ex-US Senator, resulted in no indictments.

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