A guest post from your comrade Gary Legum. Here is the sum total of facts your Wonket knows about Emory University: it is located in Atlanta, and Emory’s current president, one James Wagner, is dumber than a bag of hammers. Okay, perhaps that last one is more opinion than fact. Here, let us read this stupid thing he wrote about how awesome the Three-Fifths Compromise was, enshrining the unequalness of all God's created men right thar in Jesus's Amercia Bible, to see if we change our minds!

During a Homecoming program in September, a panel of eminent law school alumni discussed the challenges of governing in a time of political polarization…One of these distinguished public servants observed that candidates for Congress sometimes make what they declare to be two unshakable commitments—a commitment to be guided only by the language of the US Constitution, and a commitment never, ever to compromise their ideals. Yet, as our alumnus pointed out, the language of the Constitution is itself the product of carefully negotiated compromise.

Political polarization…writing the Constitution involved making compromises…so far, so boilerplate.

One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress…As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation.

True. Morally repugnant, but an undeniable fact. History! We wrestle with it!

Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator…

Lowest common denominator? That is an interesting label for an action that allowed the continued enslavement of human beings in America. We don’t like where this is going.

I rather think something different happened.

Please proceed, President Wagner.

Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union.

Ground-proximity alert! Pull up! Pull up!

They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it…The constitutional compromise about slavery…facilitated the achievement of what both sides of the debate really aspired to—a new nation.

Too late. We’re going in.

As I write this, our country’s fiscal conundrums invite our leaders to wrestle with whether they will compromise or hold fast to certain of their pledges and ideologies about the future of our nation’s economic framework. Whatever the outcome of this fiscal debate over the next months or years, the polarization of our day and the lessons of our forebears point to a truth closer to our university.

As they say in Georgia, bless his heart! The three-fifths compromise might have enshrined slavery in our country’s revered founding document, an act that needed a couple of hundred years and incalculable amounts of blood and terror to rectify (and, to use Wagner’s own phrase, some might suggest this racial animus still deeply infects the national character), but at least it was a principled compromise. Just like the feral morans currently infesting the nation’s Congress must find a principled compromise over whether the country continues paying for programs that millions of our citizens need to eke out a marginal existence, or chop the hell out of the budget and turn America into Thunderdome with marginally better parking.

But no matter what, the Emory community must strive, like our Founders, like our current political leaders, to always include as many points of view as possible, whether the issue is to keep funding the Romance Languages department, build another research lab, or classify enslaved people as less than full humans in direct contravention of the spirit in which we claimed to be founding The Greatest Country in the History of the World™.

Wagner posted a walk-back of his statement wherein he apologized for his “clumsiness and insensitivity,” adding “I just reread my original column and realized that I sound so fucking clueless people might rightly wonder if I can tie my own shoes. You see, I’m a trained engineer, which means I have the people skills of an eggplant.” (Ed.’s note: he did not actually say this.)

Emory University president James Wagner, you have just won the award for Worst Shoehorning of an Analogy to Fit Your Thesis, a title you will probably hold only until Thomas Friedman writes his next column.

Oh PS, speaking of white people and slavery, Mississippi just corrected a paperwork oversight and ratified the amendment banning slavery. But again, just a paperwork oversight. They actually ratified it way back in history, in the totally reasonable year of 1995.

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On Monday, someone attempted to murder George Soros by putting a bomb in his mailbox. Also on Monday, someone threw a rock into House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office. Also, I spilled some hot coffee on myself. These are all things that happened on Monday, and were by some measure unpleasant. While most people might say, "Yes, all of those things are unpleasant, but they are not equal degrees of unpleasant," most people are not Chuck Schumer.

In what appears to be an attempt to get someone on Fox News to describe him as a "reasonable guy," Schumer sent out a tweet today lamenting the "despicable acts of violence and harassment" being done by "both sides."

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Republicans are KILLIN' IT in Florida, you guys! No worries about election day, Gators. It's all smooooooth sailing for the Sunshine State GOP. Just take it from Governor Rick Scott's lead pollster Wes Anderson, who produced a whimsical, unskewed poll for the campaign, featuring nostalgic jams about high Republican turnout in those good old days, telling the Tampa Bay Times,

As the linked slides indicate, Governor Scott currently leads Senator Nelson 51% to 46%, a lead that is outside of the margin of error.

It should also be noted that this sample from last week is very robust at 2,200 interviews of likely voters, stratified by county to reflect historic mid-term turnout. Our sample shows the Republicans with a one-point turnout advantage, even though we believe we will end up with a two- or three-point advantage. For historical context, in the past two mid-term elections Republicans had a four-point advantage in 2010 and a three-point advantage in 2014. At R+1, that makes our current sample a very conservative take on the likely partisan composition of this year's electorate.


No other pollster has replicated those numbers, with SurveyUSA, Quinnipiac, and CNN/SSRS all finding Bill Nelson in the lead, but if OnMessage, Inc. says Scott is running way ahead, then it must be true! Only OnMessage promises to "take your principles, your experience, and your opponent's weaknesses to develop a winning message plan that the voters will embrace." And who wouldn't trust a push pollster, right?

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