How Could an Ivy League President Be So Dumb?

Mike Weisser
3 min readDec 10, 2023

So, the Presidents of MIT, Harvard and Penn go up before a Congressional committee holding a hearing on college anti-Semitism and manage to all say the wrong thing, which gets one of them (the President of Penn) get fired and the other two probably hanging onto their jobs by a slim thread.

The Committee member who asked the question which got things started was Elise Stefanik, who happens to be a GOP leader in the House and may be the last human being in New York (the state she represents) who still believes that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.

Stefanik happens to be a graduate of Harvard and was serving on the University’s Advisory Board when she was booted off after January 6th for making statements about the 2020 election ‘fraud.’

One good kick in the ass deserves another, don’t you think? Which is why Stefanik responded to the firing of Liz Magill by saying (on X/Twitter, where else?) “one down, two to go.”

This incident can be looked at two different ways. On the one hand, Stefanik is trying to find some kind of bridge between middle-of-the-road and MAGA votes. On the other hand, it also demonstrates the degree to which people like Liz Magill and her colleagues at the so-called ‘elite’ universities have absolutely no understanding or even awareness of how or what the average person thinks and believes.

Her now-deceased father was a federal judge, her brother is a state judge. Since 1997 she has been an academic and a scholar of constitutional law, and has served as Professor, Dean and now President at Virginia, Stanford and now Penn.

Don’t worry about Liz. You won’t see her standing at a red light in Philly holding a sign saying she’s homeless and needs some financial help, because she’s not only staying on until the school hires and installs another President, at which time she can rejoin the Law School faculty as Professor of Law.

It’s a really tough life, isn’t it?

Now you would think that someone who served as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Senator Kent Conrad before she went to law school would know enough about Washington to know that there would be someone on the House Committee which held this hearing on college anti-Semitism who would…