Speaking at a Yale College Master’s Tea last week, Columbia Professor Todd Gitlin lamented the condition of the American Left: “There is currently a degree of intellectual paralysis, public fog, and collective and enthusiastic ignorance that defies comprehension,” he moaned.
Professor Gitlin may as well have been speaking of Yale itself these days. Upon learning that Yale admitted former Taliban “rising star” Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi as a non-degree special student, America became “pig-wrestling mad”—to quote the usually less colorful Economist—and retaliated with a sustained barrage of invective, ridicule, and outrage that has lasted well over a month. Yale’s response was to issue a brief non-response, and then to stick its head in the sand. A promised debate on the subject at the Yale Political Union was ungracefully scuttled. The Yale Daily News, whose editors at first demanded answers from the Yale administration, is distancing itself from the controversy and, according to a student source, does not wish to cover the story further. Even the tour guides have been instructed not to discuss the issue.
Although Yale won’t defend itself, others are trying to do so. On Thursday, I examined three of the arguments Yale’s defenders are offering. There are more attempts to defend the indefensible, including a bizarre rationalization by the members of the Foundation that foots Mr. Rahamtullah’s bill.