DISPATCHES FROM POST-WEIMAR AMERICA: College presidents expose the moral rot within their institutions.

Presidents Claudine Gay of Harvard, Elizabeth Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, and Sally Kornbluth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology basically stuck to giving name, rank, and serial number. They repeated carefully rehearsed phrases obviously pre-cleared by lawyers and comms teams.

Gay particularly kept restating the same phrases, not even bothering to find different variations. One formulation she clung on to, as though it were a talisman that would save her from the bad men and women that had her pinned on the stand, was, “We are deeply committed to free expression, but not when it violates our policies against bullying, and intimidation, and harassment. Then we have strong disciplinary processes in place.”

Gay invoked “processes” in other contexts, too, despite diminishing returns that, by the end of the ordeal, had turned the term into an object of derision.

“I didn’t ask about your processes,” an obviously exasperated Texas Rep. Nathaniel Moran spat out at one point. “I am asking for action. How many students have been disciplined? How many have been held to account?”


On questions about expelling foreign students, who have obviously been a substantial part of the anti-Jewish demonstrations, Gay’s magic words were, “Our international students are an enormous source of pride for Harvard and part of our strength as an institution. But we hold those students accountable to the same set of disciplinary processes that we hold all of our students accountable to.” This was repeated again and again, only demonstrating that someone had sat with her and worked out messaging.

“Antisemitism has no place at Harvard” was another incantation Gay hurled over and over, despite the enormous evidence showing Jewish students being harassed at Harvard and the school’s long and shameful history of Jew hatred.

But her robotic answers notwithstanding, Gay did not have the most horrific answers of the day. That dubious distinction goes to either Magill or Kornbluth. It’s a tossup, so I’ll let the reader decide.

Magill’s came in an answer to Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York. Stefanik asked, “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct or rules regarding bullying and harassment?” To which the smiling Magill eagerly affirmed, “It is a context-dependent decision.”

“That’s your testimony today? Calling for the genocide of Jews is dependent upon the context?” said an incredulous Stefanik. “That’s the easiest yes, Ms. Magill!”

Or as America’s Newspaper of Record reported: