Democracy Watch: Vermeule and Co.

Whether common good constitutionalism supplants originalism remains to be seen. But the idea that it can impose the society it wants through its own interpretation of “the common good” is a sign of just how far the right has moved toward authoritarianism

That’s what you get when your campaign manager is Adrian Vermeule.

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has formally launched his campaign to reclaim the presidency with a ferocious broadside against his rival, Jair Bolsonaro, who he claimed was “possessed by the devil”.

Catholic Integralist Vermeule has taken a leave of absence from Harvard to run Lula’s campaign. Should be interesting.

‘The list of contemporary postliberal thinkers that [Matthew] Rose provides makes for dizzying and confusing reading since they have such varied commitments, ranging from Curtis Yarvin (an anti-democrat who has professed a kind of monarchism) to Peter Thiel (the libertarian plutocrat) to Adrian Vermeule (a Catholic theocrat) to Steve Sailer (a “scientific racist” of the Charles Murray school). Do these thinkers have anything in common aside from a hatred of modern liberal democracy?’

Isn’t that more than enough for them to have in common?

This is the very first group Adrian Vermeule and his recherché burners at the stake are going to burn.

Filthy stupid yahoos who give the whole enterprise a really bad look.

Adrian Vermeule: “So, nu?”

Italy’s Church of Saint Ducea: The wave of the integralist future.

We have followed Adrian Vermeule on this blog for some time.

Vermeule (scroll down) is a standard-issue Trumpian who continues gassing on about election fraud. He is a theocrat – I mean, a real one, as in he wants the United States ruled by Jesus, and, if Jesus doesn’t want the job, by His designated ayatollahs. We can anticipate that these would include the much-laureled Josh Hawley, plus, well, Adrian Vermeule.

Vermeule’s one peculiar distinction is that he’s a Harvard law professor; and it turns out that more than a few of his students are now officially really really creeped out to be in the same room with the dude in various required classes. UD is all for these students complaining about him; indeed, intellectual self-respect rather demands that his students make a public statement of some sort about the odd fact of their being taught, at the nation’s greatest university, by an off-the-charts anti-democratic fanatic.

No punishment allowed, of course; Vermeule finds himself a tenured Harvard professor and fine. But squawking about the obscenity of having to endure the presence of a freak who wants to destroy your country – excellent.

Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule Finds His Dream Lover.

[Sen. Josh] Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right. Mr. Hawley is not shy about making the point explicit. In a 2017 speech to the American Renewal Project, he declared — paraphrasing the Dutch Reformed theologian and onetime prime minister Abraham Kuyper — “There is not one square inch of all creation over which Jesus Christ is not Lord.” Mr. Kuyper is perhaps best known for his claim that Christianity has sole legitimate authority over all aspects of human life.

“We are called to take that message into every sphere of life that we touch, including the political realm,” Mr. Hawley said. “That is our charge. To take the Lordship of Christ, that message, into the public realm, and to seek the obedience of the nations. Of our nation!”


Sing it.

Every night I hoped and prayed

My dream lover would come my way

A man to rule in Jesus’ name

To blacken freedom with his holy flame

Cuz I want

The state

That Christ

Will bring

And I found Josh Hawley

To crown our Savior’s earthly king

Someday, I don’t know how

I hope he’ll hear my plea

Someway, I don’t know how

He’ll rule both you and me

Dream lover, until then

I’ll pray to God and dream again

That’s the only thing to do

Til my Rule-by-Jesus dreams come true

Cuz I want (repeat chorus)

A reminder about Harvard Law Prof Adrian Vermeule.

‘Vermeule is confident that his fellow Americans will eventually learn to love theocracy:

Subjects [writes Vermeule] will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.’

NEEneeneenee NEEneeneenee NEEneeneenee…

You just crossed over into… The Twilight Zone…

Two days before [a] symposium [about Adrian Vermeule’s ideas] was set to begin, my phone pinged with a message from [Mario] Fiandeiro informing me that my credentials had been revoked and the symposium closed to all press. (As far as I could tell, I was the only member of the media who was actually planning to attend, and Fiandeiro wouldn’t tell me who didn’t want me there.) My frustrated appeals to Fiandeiro and the higher-ups at the Federalist Society — which touts an open press policy on its website — failed…

… [Vermeule’s] arguments read an awful lot like a defense of a pseudo-constitutional dictatorship, or at the very least as a plausible legal justification for a right-wing coup. Vermeule doesn’t go to great lengths to obscure this conclusion. At the end of the section on subsidiary, he cites the Catholic theologian Johannes Messner to argue that in some cases, a limited form of dictatorship may “be compatible with the principle of subsidiary.”

Maybe there’s a more charitable way to read these passages so that they don’t lead to such a startling conclusion. But if there is, I certainly didn’t hear it in Cambridge.

NEEneeneenee NEEneeneenee NEEneeneenee NEEneeneenee

America’s Theocrats Might Want to Take a Look at What’s Happening in Iran.

Our Christian Nationalists, Cathophate-Planners, and assorted hierocrats need to start thinking about how hard they’re willing to crack down – once they take over the country – on what’s emerging as a more and more secular American population.

Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule and his Xian Morality Brigade fully expect that, when we spiritually parched people taste the blessings of the strict – but loving – Xian state, we will be blissed out, flooded with gratitude, and utterly obedient:

Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.

I’m thinking their Mullah-Doubles over in Iran must have felt just as confident when they decreed deadly divine dicta for everyone (but specially for breasty hairy femmes); yet a glance at the current situation in that glorious theocracy tells you you got trouble right here in Isfahan City.

See, when a small group of woman-reviling fanatics who think they have a pipeline to God take over a government and start imposing their twisted morality on everybody, things might not turn out all that well. Iran’s on fire, sparked by the Morality Police’s inevitable murder of a young woman whose body swaddling was insufficiently tight to excite the squad. Bad girl and now we will beat you and kill you wow did that feel good.

Not sure how much longer the fun can last. The orgasmic release of harlot-homicide may be less and less available to the pious men of Iran as the country’s population torches the cities.

Hell yeah.

And that’s Kansas, right?

NARAL comments:

Kansans protect abortion access in the first public vote on reproductive freedom since #SCOTUS overturned Roe.


Voters are putting MAGA Republicans on notice: When you come for our rights, we’ll show up at the ballot box.


“Staggering” turnout, and No to ending abortion rights wins by more than 60%. In some counties, the vote against ending the right to abortion was 95%.


Oh, but authoritarian common good freaks know what’s best for America. You can’t just allow these… referendums to take place all over the country, since most (all?) of them will simply reveal that Americans don’t understand God’s will. As soon as Ginni Thomas and Adrian Vermeule take over, we’ll happily bow to their divinely-inspired wisdom.

In the wake of Viktor Orban’s “pure Nazi” speech, all of the high-profile American Orban enthusiasts say…

not one word. Vermeule, Dreher, Deneen…? Any interest in disavowing, or at least distancing?

Au contraire! Sing it!

 Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise our Viktor!
He shall win the victory!
Freedom dead, old Europe finished,
Full redemption now we see!
Vanquished all the evil powers
Through the Cross triumphantly!

Praise Him! Hitler resurrected!
God hath raised him from the dead!
Liberty and reason swallowed,
We from life to death are led!
Shattered is the light of wisdom
And His pow’r exhibited!

Praise Him! Orban’s now ascended!
God hath raised Him to the throne!
Far above all rule and power,
He the highest Name doth own!
All authority receiving
Till democracy is done!

Hallelujah, praise our Viktor
Triumphed on Mt. Budapest!
Hallelujah, resurrected,
Rayed in fascist holiness.
Hallelujah, now ascended,
He shall reign eternally!

Waxing Myalgic

Amy Wax is one big pain in the ass. A bombastic white supremacist, she likes to spoon with Tucker Carlson and pant about the beautiful paleskin future.

She is also a walking advertisement for the perils of tenure, because U Penn can’t think of any way to get rid of this every day/every way embarrassment. She’s eminent, see, with spectacular credentials (Yale College! Harvard med! Columbia Law!) and impressive research. As with her Harvard doppelganger, Adrian Vermeule, you can’t just toss berserk brahmins out on their behinds; but you do need to find some way to sorta neutralize them until they die or leave (Wax is almost seventy, and getting nuttier by the minute; Vermeule, at 54, has many years of Harvard-havoc-wreaking ahead of him). What to do? Free speech being what it is, what to do?

Well, Penn has lately pulled together a faculty committee to review her years of vile banter, with an eye toward rigging up some sort of official justification for booting her. She’s so out of touch with their institutional ethos that she is actually a force of destruction, especially in regard to students. Something like that.

I say don’t go there. I say stuff like that imperils free speech for everyone. I say do two other things:

  1. Get really serious about students boycotting her classes. Publicize her horribility among entering students as openly as you can, short of encouraging a boycott. That the university cannot do. But organizations of law students certainly can talk boycotts, and should.
  2. Denounce her aggressively, and often. She is indeed a grotesque blot upon the school, and the school should not hide from this, but on the contrary should dramatize it every chance it gets. On its website, for instance, under faculty news:


Professor Amy Wax once again brought shame on the school when she sat down recently with Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and spewed disgraceful racist rhetoric.

Etc. Don’t look Ivy Leaguily away. Get down and dirty.

‘Prime Minister Lapid denounced the violence as “unacceptable,” and called Israel “the only Western state in which Jews don’t have freedom of worship.”’

Seems richly ironic, but once you drift into theocracy you can certainly expect this outcome.

And I know you’re more taken up with not being annihilated in an American gun massacre, but keep in mind that Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule and his merry band of authoritarian theocrats would love it if America looked like Israel. Only ruled by reactionary Catholics, not ultraorthodox Jews.

Whoa! Meine Kleine George Washington University EMPLOYS the Dude!

From an email UD just received from the dean of GW’s law school.

We … have received requests from some members of the university and external communities that the university terminate its employment of Adjunct Professor and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and cancel the Constitutional Law Seminar that he teaches at the Law School. Many of the requests cite Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which he called the substantive due process doctrine a “legal fiction.” Justice Thomas has been a consistent critic of the Court’s legal philosophy on substantive due process for many years. Because we steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation, and because debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission to train future leaders who are prepared to address the world’s most urgent problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions.

We really know how to pick ’em. Our next-best appointment after this one was plagiarist/madman Rand Paul. Why not ask Jim Jordan and Louie Gohmert to team-teach a course at GW on a subject of their choosing?

I agree that we shouldn’t fire the doodoo; the way to go here is boycott. Recall that both of John Eastman’s classes during a visiting gig at the University of Colorado were cancelled due to virtually no enrollment. Think of the movement at Harvard Law to make the school offer two sections of way-icky theocrat Adrian Vermeule’s course on administrative law. (Apparently the guy’s got a monopoly.) Ignore them, and they’ll go away.

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