How can this connection be made? In short, Summers represents the moderate wing of the Democratic Party (motto: "All the smarts, none of the dough"). The faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard represents the hard left of the party (motto: "If you disagree with us, you're stupid, immoral, or both, but even if you aren't, we're richer than you"). Summers would like to take a stand, but the hard left is to entrenched in academe and too important to the party's financing.
Follow the link above to get Taranto's links for more, but don't miss this personal note from Taranto, which we know will be of interest to some gentle readers:
Academia is the left's biggest remaining redoubt, but here too there may be alternatives. During our vacation we paid a call on Ken Starr, dean of the law school at Pepperdine University, and he told us with great enthusiasm of how undergraduates on campus were doing serious work--actually studying great books, no less.
This ought to be perfectly unremarkable. That a university administrator boasts about it tells you something about the state of higher education in America. But it may be that in the coming years schools like Pepperdine will benefit as those like Harvard squander their prestige on left-wing faculty politics.
So, gentle readers at Pepperdine, are they reading great books on the beach at Malibu?