Okay, this annoys me, because Steve H. asserts that I was annoyed by something, which I wasn't — I was just making fun of him — but I'm going to talk about it anyway, not to demonstrate that I'm nowhere near as irascible as you may think, but because it looks somewhat interesting.
Titled "The Dalai Obama v. Karma/Pedal Your Tricycle Back to the Faculty Lounge," it begins with an assertion that Steve has the "wonderful feeling" that Obama has "royally shafted himself over the last month," a time period which, I note, includes the "fortnight" Andrew Sullivan has termed "objectively miraculous" for Obama. (Actually, it would be objectively miraculous if Obama could royally shaft himself.)
But Steve's idea of the self-shafting consists Obama's failure to admit that he was wrong about the surge, his waffling on offshore drilling, and his increasingly apparent egotism. He connects egotism to law professing and says he's "horrified by the prospect of a law professor running the country" (the point he's supposedly made before that supposedly annoyed me).
What's so bad about lawprofs? Steve thinks they are the "idiot-savants of the profession," who couldn't "hack it" in legal practice, and took "asylum" in the cushy world of law school where we are paid too much — he estimates the salary at $100,000 — and work very little — he estimates 15 hours a week. In Steve's view, most lawprofs are "pathetic," "socialist nutwads," who act "brave and rebellious, while working tenured jobs with outstanding benefits, and while toeing the administration line with a scrupulousness worthy of OCD." We "rebel by doing exactly what people in authority tell" us to do. Protected from the demands of the real world we ran away from, lawprofs spend our lives concocting phony theories that would self-destruct on contact with the real world.
That's Steve's theory anyway.
So let's see.
1. Of course, it's fun to attack lawprofs, and many of us have retreated from the demands of clients, billable hours, and the practical application of legal knowledge. It's fun to attack lawyers too, and not being the lawyer type could be seen as a good thing. A lawyer must work in the client's interest — which is why everyone else is rightly suspicious of him — but a law professor wants to take a wider view and be free to look at problems from different perspectives.
2. Obama did not retreat from the world to become a law professor. He even turned down the job of full-time, tenured lawprof. He was always pursuing his political career, working as a legislator, or doing "community organizing," while putting in extra hours hashing through the constitutional law cases with students. He was only attracted to the teaching side of the lawprof job, the part that puts you in a lively room full of demanding, competitive individuals. He entirely eschewed scholarship, so it's irrelevant that a lot of lawprofs while away their time with unworkable theories or sucking up to other academics.
3. You certainly wouldn't want a typical lawprof to be President, but Obama was a lawprof the way Bill and Hillary Clinton were lawprofs. That is, he's a politician. Basically, we always get a politician for President.