April 4th, 2012

I don’t know what’s worse

Is it that the author of this piece, David Dow, is actually a professor of law?

Or that he actually might believe what he’s saying?

Or that perhaps he doesn’t, but is just saying it to stir up ye olde masses?

Whatever it is, it’s very clear that Professor Dow has no idea—I mean absolutely no idea—what federalism or the 10th Amendment are. Or perhaps he has a very good idea and yet thinks none of his readers do, so he can get away with ignoring all that silly stuff.

But I should cut him some slack, because after all he’s only a law professor. A real law professor, like with tenure and everything, at the University of Houston Law Center since 1988, and with a J.D. from Yale Law School.

22 Responses to “I don’t know what’s worse”

  1. Steve Says:

    Maybe he is just trying to sell his 2009 book titled:

    America’s Prophets: How Judicial Activism Makes America Great

  2. Curtis Says:

    Does the Bible’s account of the Great Flood represent the idea that mankind (oops, sorry), mankind and womyn kind, can reach a point of collective and individually shared stupidity and cupidity that redemption is impossible and unwantable?

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve: I know, I just saw that’s a book he’s written. Mindboggling. But of course he would say activism for progress is good, and conservatives’ activism is regression.

  4. Parker Says:

    “But I should cut him some slack, because after all he’s only a law professor. A real law professor, like with tenure and everything, at the University of Houston Law Center since 1988, and with a J.D. from Yale Law School.”

    I cut children under 12 and those whose IQ is on the left side of the bell curve a bit of slack. If anything is to be done with the professor, the rope should be tightened.

  5. Curtis Says:

    The only question on the Obama American citizen test:

    A. George Zimmerman is white.
    B. The Constitution does not limit federal power.
    C. The long birth certificate of Obama is legitimate.
    D. Tacos are good.

    You idiot, we tried to help you in every way to pass our American citizen test, and you failed by picking D is for Dummy. Never trust your senses. Only trust what we tell you. There, there, shuuuuuh. Good baby, good baby. Hush now.


  6. texexec Says:

    When I went to Rice, we used to call the University of Houston “Cougar High”.

  7. Curtis Says:

    What is “Little Shop of Horrors” other than a call to feed white people to black people? Notice they end the video right before they show the very white Steve Martin. Go to 4.10 of the tape.


    The Communists have always relied mainly on race because class had less appeal. Now, that race is in the bag for them, they are appealing heavy to class.

  8. holmes Says:

    What’s really sad is how many on the Left probably silently agree with him. They finally got nationalized healthcare (I almost said national socialism…sorry, two very different things. I think) and it does not matter to them that it violates the Constitution. They don’t care if it does or does not. They’ll say it’s not violative, of course, but based on what? There’s no precedent. They’re really saying they don’t care if it does- it’s too important. And that’s reason enough never to allow the Left to rule again.

  9. LAG Says:

    “A real law professor….” neo, I sense an unkind comparison–ouch!

  10. rickl Says:

    I’ve always said that the difference between leftists and conservatives is that leftists have a desired outcome in mind (such as legalized abortion, gay marriage, or income equality) and will do whatever is necessary to achieve that outcome.

    On the other hand, conservatives believe that there are right ways and wrong ways to do things, and there are rules which must be followed regardless of what we may desire.

    This explains why leftists so often see the Constitution, laws, values, and traditions not as guideposts but as obstacles to be overcome.

  11. Gringo Says:


    When I went to Rice, we used to call the University of Houston “Cougar High”.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t go too far down that road, as Professor Dow got his B.A. in History from Rice.

    When we are talking about put-downs for schools, it might be argued that the put-down for the University of Southwestern Louisiana- University for Slow Learners- was the most effective, as the school is now called University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

    Preview works fine. Thanks, Neo !

  12. Baklava Says:

    I couldn’t make it to the second page. Worst thing I read this year…

  13. John Says:

    “Jefferson believed Supreme Court justices who undermine the principles of the Constitution ought to be impeached”

    Did Jefferson also believe a congress that passes a law that undermines the Constitution should be impeached? What about a president who signs such a bill?

    One thing is clear, David R. Dow is educated beyond his intelligence.

  14. Nolanimrod Says:

    Oh. Yale law school. Isn’t one of their most famous alumni a guy who thought the meaning of the word is was a real poser?

  15. texexec Says:


    You made good points about Rice/U of H. I was so mad at the guy, I couldn’t resist slamming him any way I could.

    And hooray for preview, Neo. Lord knows I need it.

  16. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    OK, I made it to the end and was just bowled over by the man’s reasoning ability, or lack thereof. Take this statement, an effort to explain why Obamacare is “obviously” Constitutional:

    “First, Congress’s authority in passing the law rests on an elementary syllogism: You don’t have to drive, but if you do, the government can make you buy insurance. The logical structure at work here is that if you are going to do something (drive, for example), the government can make you purchase a commercial product (insurance, for example), so long as it has a good reason for doing so (making sure you can pay for any damage you do). That logic is obviously satisfied in the health-care context. You are going to use medical care, so the government can make you buy insurance in order to make sure you can pay for it. Liberty, like every other human and constitutional right, is not absolute. Under some circumstances, it can be regulated.”

    Let’s just pick it apart a little. Dow admits that one reason auto insurance is fair is that “you don’t have to drive.” Then he skips right past that admission to insist that the same logic is “obviously satisfied in the health care context” even though there’s an obvious, fundamental difference — we don’t have a choice about living inside our bodies.

    Also, the only auto insurance that governments require on vehicles is liability coverage — that is, insurance that protects OTHERS against risks we create by choosing to drive. Even there, we have choices. The government requires a minimum level of coverage, and beyond that we can add whatever bells and whistles we want and can afford. That’s entirely unlike Obamacare, which mandates Cadillac coverage for everybody without regard to what the individual wants, needs or might be able to purchase privately. As for collision coverage on vehicles — which is more comparable to health insurance in that it protects the insured person’s own property — the government doesn’t intrude into the vehicle owner’s decision whether to purchase that. Instead, that question is between the owner and the lender, if there is one. If the owner has acknowledged the inability to pay for damage to the vehicle by having to borrow its purchase price, the lender is going to insist on covering its collateral with collision insurance. But again, this expense can be avoided: either don’t drive at all, or drive a vehicle you can afford to pay for in the first instance, and take the risk that you might lose your relatively small investment if it’s totaled.

    But there’s a far, far worse error in the reasoning of this “real law professor, like with tenure and everything.” STATE governments require auto insurance. Obamacare is a FEDERAL law. As Dow must know — dear God, I hope he knows — the Commerce Clause does not control state governments; it is a limitation on federal power alone. The states’ general police power to regulate things like auto insurance is completely irrelevant to the question whether the federal government’s limited power under the Commerce Clause is broad enough to deprive private citizens of the freedom to decide whether or not to enter into private contracts. States arguably do have that freedom under the police power, and if a state does impose such a regulation (as with Massachusetts) citizens have a choice as to whether to comply — they are free to opt out by moving to a different state. Under Obamacare, the only way out is to leave the country. Notice Dow’s careful use of passive voice in the last sentence of this argument — “Under some circumstances, [liberty] can be regulated” — to avoid acknowledging that the central question here is who can do the regulating.

    And then there’s Dow’s second argument on behalf of Obamacare — that overturning it will kill poor people. I can’t even begin to follow the pretzel path of “reasoning” he uses to get through this, but apparently in Dow-World, repealing Obamacare will also require the repeal of laws like EMTALA or the Hill-Burton Act that require hospitals to provide medical treatment to the poor. This doesn’t have to be explained with any actual reasoning, because it allows Dow to get to the favorite argument of liberals — Conservatives want the poor to die! Argument over, we win, yay!

    What’s most depressing is Dow’s success in mis-educating his readers, as reflected in the comments over there. Can law professors — even those “with tenure, and everything” — be impeached?

  17. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Correcting myself: the Commerce Clause is not a “limitation” on power, it’s a GRANT of power — a limited grant, or at least we used to think so. The power must be granted because unlike the States, the Federal Gov’t does not have general police powers and instead has only the enumerated powers specifically granted in the Constitution.

    Must go to work!

  18. Mr. Frank Says:

    Mrs. Whatsit is right on. It’s all about enumerated powers. Mr. Lawprof seems to have missed that point.

  19. Occam's Beard Says:

    “A real law professor….” neo, I sense an unkind comparison–ouch!

    Yeah, Dow is a law professor, but he’s angling to move up to adjunct lecturer.

  20. Paul in Boston Says:

    My grandfather had a saying that the stupidist people in the world were lawyers and school teachers. This guy is a two’fer. He’s trying to compete with our wanna be MA Senator, Elizabth Warren.

  21. vanderleun Says:

    To see just how illiterate and ignorant this Dow character actually is check out his “blog” at


    Deeply embarrassing on every level.

  22. Parker Says:

    “Conservatives want the poor to die! Argument over, we win, yay!”


    We all know conservatives want poor people to pull themselves up by the boot strap and lead productive lives. Teach a man to fish…

    ‘Progressives’ want poor people on a ball and chain voting for more demeaning welfare from Big Brother.

    Q: Who seeks to devour the human spirit? A: ‘Progressives’.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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