But here in Colorado, during an election that broadly pits the people vs. the professors, you’d have to say that Republican CU regent Steve Bosley, an aw-shucks businessman, is better positioned than Harvard grad and Boulder law prof Melissa Hart, his Democratic challenger, in their race for a term of six years in the at-large seat. He needs that edge, because she’s no lightweight, having won a 2008 campaign to block color-blind college admissions. And the right needs him, because the campus left has big plans if the GOP’s 5-4 majority is reversed. According to a regents’ vote last February, “diversity of political perspectives… to ensure the rich interchange of ideas” is a guiding principle for the University of Colorado. CU’s website features a link to President Bruce Benson saying so. Convulse with laughter if you must – I did – but then consider that having the governing board on record for such an aspiration is at least a start, even though faculty conservatives remain scandalously scarce up there.
And next consider that if Professor Hart becomes Regent Hart, this academic heresy is over, kaput. Nanny McPhee is having none of it. “It is very unfortunate when intellectual diversity gets mixed up with political diversity,” she told a reporter. Translation: we’ll diversify our post-modernism between Foucault and Derrida, but no way we’re cohabiting this campus with limited-government reactionaries and pro-life primitives.
Will the professorial crowd or the populists prevail? Does San Fran Nancy fall to Ohio John Boehner for Speaker of the House -- and in Colorado races, bookish John Hickenlooper to biker Tom Tancredo for governor, urbane Michael Bennet to bluejeans Ken Buck for senator, faculty-club Hart to gun-club Bosley for regent? In ten days we’ll know.