Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Live, It’s The Ward Churchill Show!

Did anyone catch Ward Churchill on C-SPAN Saturday night? (Shows how boring my life is if I’m watching C-SPAN on a Saturday night. . .) Three observations:

1) If this is the face of the Left today, they haven’t much of a future. Pathetic.

2) What’s with the burly security perimeter around the dude? The audience was whooping and hollering for the guy; there was no threat of disruption or harm to the speaker. The security people, with their fake paramilitary-looking vests, made the thing look like a low-rent Nuremberg rally--which is what it was, come to think of it.

3) When the Italian-American chap asked why he shouldn’t have his free speech rights to hold a Columbus Day parade, Churchill offered an absurd explanation involving the Ninth Amendment and international treaties. To repair once again to the Gertrude Stein-on-Oakland remark, "There’s no there there" with this guy. It is all posing and hatred. At least the SDS in the 1960s had a manifesto, the Port Huron Statement. This guy probably writes in crayon.

Prediction: Whether this guy is fired or not, he is going to be a leading Left celebrity for the next few years. Watch for book contracts, appearances with Michael Moore, TV shows, T-shirts, etc. But all the while don’t ever forget how American represses dissent.

Discussions - 36 Comments

I am a librarian and legal research instructor at a university I see my share of kook left wing professors but this guy was a parody of a kook. His paramilitary security guards were Nation of Islam rejects and all the smelly unwashed leftists in the crowd who were clapping had their heads in the bong a little too long.

I say that Psychiatric Ward should just keep talking.

As an aside, it does show how low liberal arts have sunk in our nation’s upper level universities and college.

It always amuses me how those on the left who decry the capitalistic system and call for socialism, can be found in the front of the line when it comes to depositing the profits from the system they despise.

Ward Churchill is a fraud. His whole "career" is built on a lie and soon he will be another footnote in history. I only hope that more people will now understand how dangerous the control of the left of academia is for the future of America.

I wish he would speak to an audience who would laugh at him. Not whoop or anything - just laugh. I can see it now, he comes out with his Che beret and his badass glasses surrounded by his sullen mofo posse. And the audience laughs. They don’t say anything, they just laugh. It would make my day.

As the Left idolizes more and more people like Ward, I see my desire to have strong 2 party system becomes more and more hopeless.

Ellen. You are right. That would be tremendous. It would be the best response, would make him angry, and show the crowd’s good sensibilities. Great idea.

If Ward Churchill is the newest celebrity on the left, it’s right wingers who have made him so. Give me a break. No one ever heard of him before a few weeks ago, and no one really cares what he says except a bunch of right wingers attempting to get a two-fer by slamming the academy and slamming Democrats at the same time (oddly, since Churchill is no fan of the Democrats). It’s as if someone publicized the writings of Thomas DiLorenzo and then started railing about "the right’s" essential neoconfederacy. Whatever.

I didn’t watch him on C-SPAN. Everything about this guy screams fraud time and again. For Americans to be deceived by this pretender is a sorry commentary about our society. Then again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we need people like that to represent those who hate America first. Where is Joe Pine when we need him?

I just watched him online via What’s with the native tom-tom on the applause lines? Talk about whoring your people (I mean, if you were really an Indian).

I’ll give him this: he doesn’t look 57. Which he’d pretty much have to be to be a Vietnam draftee.


The whole thing seemed staged. Churchill’s "Brethren" making sure they have his back on stage, dressing like some pretend Hell’s Angels for effect. The whole thing was as contrived as Churchill’s family tree. Educators on either side of the spectrum should be angry that he’s currently the face of Academia.

Is it just me or does this guy sound just like John Kerry? The firm jaw out hanging it all out on the point of a patrol. What’s that you say? It didn’t really happen that way? Well, the general public won’t really know will they so I will just pump up my story and make myself bigger than life. Is that "seared seared" in his memory or did he "just" drive a truck in the RVN and serve the country he hates in a perfectly good way.
Just what we need here in Colorado, another US hating Walter Mitty wannabe.

Here’s some disturbing quotes from the guy:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."


"I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes."

Brett, come on. If someone writes a piece (granted, it was a couple of years ago) and throws around terms like "little Eichmans", then you know exactly what you are getting into. Especially if you work as a university professor.

Everyone who is following this Ward Churchill story

Did you know that he does not possess a terminal degree in his field? He has a Masters degree.

Or that his degrees came from an obscure school in Illinois which during his time on campus did away with grades?

So tell me what this says about the process at Colorado in granting professorships?

Why should we believe it is any different at other institutions?

I saw the C-Span piece. One of the things that struck me was the intellectual contortions this man made in an effort to tie everything from Columbus to 9/11, from Native Americans to Palestinians, together in one big condemnation of the U.S. It was depressing to listen to him. He is the quintessential anti-American. Not only is America not ever a force for good in his eyes, it is ever a force for evil.

I also noted he was pretty adept at stifling the free speech of the opposition, even as he defended his own right to speak. One method of doing so was highlighted when Churchill made uncomprehensible use of the ninth amendment to curtail another’s first amendment rights. In other words, Professor Churchill seems to believe the Constitution exists for his purposes and for his purposes alone.

Finally, as distasteful and obscene as this man and his speech is - he has every right to it. His right to teach however, is not constitutionally guaranteed. Professor Churchill seems to conveniently equate the one with the other.


Come on. He does not sound like John Kerry. At least John Kerry wanted to make the United States better (even if you all think he was trying to do it in the wrong way). Churchill (if you’ve looked at the scary statements Mr. Maxwell and Mr. Pinenz pointed out) is more than a little frightening in his rhetoric. Do University professors have a right to opinions like that? Of course. Is he wrong? Yes. Is he crazy? Maybe, a little. But he is, in no way, a reflection of "the left" or John Kerry. Quit beating the dead, unelected horse. He lost. Poor guy. :(

Matt, I suspect what SB meant is that both are fantasists, vividly describing an autobiography that never happened. Churchill as indian "point man" in Vietnam. Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia. And then there’s Fairfax Hotel’s Al Gore clearing farmland with a hand axe. Or Bill Clinton’s lifetime membership in the NRA and watching negro churches burn.

What would be scarier -- that they cynically made these things up? Or that their lives were shaped by false memories of things that never actually happened?

I must have been REALLY bored, I watched the C-Span barf-o-rama twice!
The Italian American guy pinned him good and his 9th Amendment argument was childish. The young Republican guys in front held him well too, but they only got ’one question’!
When "Psychiatric" Ward equated himself with the victims of 9-11 in that, he too straps himself into those 350,000 pound cruise missiles, it exposed his massive ego. I wish someone would have asked him whether he would have resisted the 9-11 hijackers, or assisted them in their ’understandable struggle’ against the ’baby murdering’ Americans.

I attempted to watch ’professor’ Ward and gave up quickly because he is a liar, fraud, coward, and traitor to the United States of America.

What makes it worse is the defense he has courtesy of the mainstream news media and the administration at CU- Boulder.

This wingnut has a right to his opinion, and the right to make an ass out of himself. But he also has the obligation to accept and deal with the consequences of doing so. He’s a fraud who built his entire career on a lie, and he knows his opinions are highly unpopular, or else he, as a relatively obscure college professor, would have no need for a goon squad to accompany him. Indeed, he doesn’t need the goonies, but just the fact that he thinks he needs them is telling. Grow up, Ward. You’re a nobody.

If your life was really boring, you would have taped it and typed up a transcript.


It’s as if someone publicized the writings of Thomas DiLorenzo and then started railing about "the right’s" essential neoconfederacy.

Well, I’m sympathetic to the argument that Churchill is best ignored, or perhaps laughed at, but I see a real difference between his relationship to the Left and DiLorenzo’s with the Right. There are deep philosophical differences between DiLorenzo and most mainstream conservatives, regarding fundamental constitutional issues. It has, therefore, been conservatives like Harry Jaffa and Tom Krannawitter who were the first to jump on DiLorenzo’s work on Lincoln.

On the other hand, once you strip away the extreme rhetoric from Churchilll’s argument, there’s very little that’s fundamentally different from what Howard Dean’s "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" believes--namely, that 9/11 was just retribution for America’s sins against the world. This, I think, explains why only right-wingers seem to be talking about him; liberals, on the other hand, are rather nervously avoiding the whole subject.

Perhaps Churchill can go on tour with this man, from whom he was separated at birth.

To Matt Mingus (and anyone else interested),

Sorry, MY MISTAKE, the quotes I listed were from the OTHER "W. Churchill," as in Winston Churchill - the leader so beloved by the NoLeftTurns crew.

-Mark Pinenz

Ah. Sorry nobody rose to your bait, Mark. That must’ve been most disappointing.

John: thanks for the reply. Now I understand. This really is about Dean and the Democrats. That would also explain the timing. That Churchill is a professor is pure luck.

The most articulate proponent of the view that "intervention causes terrorism" is Pat Buchanan, that consistent paragon of "the Left." I suppose now we’ll have to have a discussion about whether Dean’s supporters have sufficiently disavowed Buchanan. This is a pointless line of argument that is only designed to further an enemy construction, I fear. But I will grant that it may be effective politically.

Brett, your sarcasm is unbecoming. That there are Buchanans on the right is obviously undeniable, although he retains enough sense not to characterize the victims of 9/11 as "little Eichmanns." The point is that there has been vigorous debate on the Right regarding foreign affairs--characterized a bit unfelicitously as one of neocons vs. paleocons. I could be wrong on this, but I do not get the sense that the same debate has been taking place on the Left.

Republicans are only able to use Ward Churchill for the purposes of demagoguery as long as Democrats let them. One way they could stifle the issue would be for Howard Dean--the de facto leader of the Democratic Party--to issue a statement repudiating Churchill’s views. What I’ve seen so far, though, has been an attitude best characterized as "no enemies on the Left."

I saw your post in The Corner, and read it in my Podcast today, including a clip of the exchange with the guy who wanted to march in the Columbus day parade. I also include lots of other Churchill trivia, but not his lack of PhD.

Listen if you get a minute.

Charlie Quidnunc

The CU faculty page made interesting reading. Thank you, Mr. Tootle(comment 7).

I may be wrong, but I get the impression that this CU staff is like a lefty deli serving up thin or thick sliced academic baloney.

Now, Mom and Dad think again what your $100,000 investment is going to.


The point of Hayward’s post was that "the Left" would celebrate Churchill, and your point is that liberals are "nervously avoiding" him. Unless you’re making a subtle distinction between left and liberal, I hope you can forgive me for assuming that we really can’t win here.

And sarcasm aside, do you really believe that attacks on "the Left" need any sort of consistent empirical referent? Last week it was a PBS cartoon bunny, this week it’s Clint Eastwood. The right needs enemies and will create them regardless of any policy position by the head of the DNC or anyone else. That’s how movements work.

Going down the repudiation road is silly and only serves the agenda of those making the accusations; no politician in their right mind would ever give in to that strategy from his opponents. I’ve never heard Ken Mehlman or Trent Lott repudiate DiLorenzo. . .why not? Everyone I read has said Churchill is an idiot, which is manifestly true. Why isn’t that enough?


I don’t recall DiLorenzo getting anywhere near the publicity that Ward Churchill is getting. Mehlman and Lott could publicly repudiate him… but would 90% of America even know who he is? If his opinions were highlighted by the mainstream media and it was being inferred by many on the Left that DiLorenzo represented the mainstream of the GOP, I think you can bank on the fact that a repudiation from the GOP would be forthcoming.

Actually, Brett, I think that we agree more than you believe. It probably IS unfair that Republicans are going to use Ward Churchill as a stick with which to beat anti-war Democrats. It probably IS unfair to expect Howard Dean to repudiate him. My statement is more descriptive than normative; if Dean and other prominent Democrats publicly distance themselves from Churchill, Republicans will quickly stop talking about him. My suspicion, though, is that the vast majority of Democrats are too afraid of losing support from the left-wing fringe to make such an announcement.

I think a worthwhile comparison might be Gen. Mattis’s comments, which received so much attention a couple of weeks ago. If the Iraq War were truly unpopular in this country, Democrats would no doubt be using this as an issue, basically daring Republicans to denounce the general. One can easily imagine this happening in the early 1970s regarding Vietnam, for example.

John Moser said "...once you strip away the extreme rhetoric from Churchilll’s argument, there’s very little that’s fundamentally different from what Howard Dean’s "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" believes--namely, that 9/11 was just retribution for America’s sins against the world."

I disagree. I don’t think that liberals (the "Democratic wing") or Ward Churchill believe that 9/11 was "just retribution" of any kind. Now, I know you all aren’t fans of nuance, but there’s a BIG difference between saying that 9/11 was "just retribution" (where/when did Ward Churchill say that exactly?), and saying that 9/11 should have been an expected and unsurprising event, based on U.S. foreign policies and military actions. There are several things to find fault with in Churchill’s essay, but that he found 9/11 "just" isn’t one of them.

John Moser: On the other hand, once you strip away the extreme rhetoric from Churchill’s argument, there’s very little that’s fundamentally different from what Howard Dean’s "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" believes--namely, that 9/11 was just retribution for America’s sins against the world.

Howard Dean doesn’t believe that, I don’t believe that, and I think that not one in a thousand Democrats believes that. Where do you guys come up with this junk? Why do you believe it? It’s a smear and a slander, and you should apologize. We Democrats are just as patriotic as you Republicans. All of us.

there’s a BIG difference between saying that 9/11 was "just retribution" (where/when did Ward Churchill say that exactly?), and saying that 9/11 should have been an expected and unsurprising event, based on U.S. foreign policies and military actions.

Pardon me, but when Churchill refers to folks who work in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns," what do you think he’s trying to say? Don’t you know what happened to Eichmann? How can this not be characterized as calling 9/11 "just retribution"?

As for your alleged "BIG difference," it doesn’t look quite so big from where I sit. Either way, it amounts to saying that the United States is to blame.

I’m not sure anyone’s going to see this, but for the record I never claimed that most Democrats believe that 9/11 was "just retribution." I don’t believe that most Democrats think that U.S. foreign policy was to blame for the terrorist attacks. Joe Lieberman doesn’t believe it, Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe it, and I don’t think that even John Kerry believes it. The problem is a relatively small but vocal substratum of the Democratic Party--the one that has rallied around Howard Dean--that wants a radical realignment of American foreign policy, particularly toward the Middle East. The danger comes from the possibility that this group is coming more and more to speak for the Democrats at large, and that the grown-ups in the party are afraid of speaking out against them.

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