Tuesday Talk*: The Right Time For Regs

Charles Dickens, writing of the years before the French Revolution leading to the Jacobin Reign of Terror, opened a Tale of Two Cities with these ominous words.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Much as they might apply to any time, as they aptly describe the human condition, the question of whether this particular moment in time is the right time for the Secretary of Education to issue regulations to undo the unlawfully issued Dear Colleague Letter and its ironically-named guidelines on the conduct of Title IX sex tribunals. Eighteen Democratic attorneys general, the American Council on Education and the National Women’s Law Center contend it’s the worst of times.

In its letter, ACE argued that “at a time when institutional resources already are stretched thin, colleges and universities should not be asked to divert precious resources away from more critical efforts in order to implement regulations unrelated to this extraordinary crisis.” The NWLC letter spoke similarly, but leaned harder on the supposed harm to students: “Finalizing the proposed rule would also unnecessarily exacerbate confusion and uncertainty for students who are currently in pending Title IX investigations and hearings, which have already been delayed and disrupted by the pandemic.” The letter from the attorneys general expressed similar language.

Who needs all this massive upheaval and disruption at the very moment colleges are desperately trying to deal with a pandemic? KC Johnson and Justin Dillon answer this emotionally charged question.

While it’s hard not to admire their chutzpah, their arguments are provably nonsense.

Provably? Well yes, and they offer three arguments to nail it down.

First, the universities have known for more than 16 months — since November 2018 — that these regulations were coming.

There have been innumerable hours spent formulating comments, op-eds, arguments in opposition to the anticipated tepid changes that might introduce some due process into the inquisition. It’s not as if these changes haven’t been the subject of massive scrutiny and consideration for the past year and a half, at least.

Second, do you know who’s going to have a lot of time on their hands in the next six months?  Title IX coordinators. Why? Because the number of Title IX cases is about to drop precipitously.

Over the past decade, a massive bureaucracy has emerged on campuses that contributes nothing to teaching, nothing to education, and exists only to prosecute male students who are accused by female students of sexual misconduct. Now that classes are canceled and students have been sent packing, they have nothing to do with themselves and tons of free time to ponder ways to circumvent whatever regulations are issued.

Third, it’s clear that these interest groups — and their political allies — are just trying to delay long enough for a new administration possibly to take over.

There is no politician who has been more dedicated to “believing the woman” and “It’s On Us” than the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. He was at the forefront as vice president and has made it clear that he intends to continue it should he be elected. Except for Tara Reade, but that’s completely different.

But then, with the potential for change come November, and the battle for due process likely to morph into the war against the rape epidemic, would that be a bad thing?

And you don’t have to take our word for it. ACE president Ted Mitchell called these new regulations “a step in the wrong direction,” saying they would “impose[] a legalistic, prescriptive ‘one-size-fits-all’ judicial-like process” on universities. The NWLC was even more blunt, calling the proposed regulations “disastrous,” “confusing and illogical,” and “devastating for survivors” (emphasis in original), and even opining that “‘due process’ is clearly a red herring.”

So what time is it, the best time for regs or the worst?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.

30 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: The Right Time For Regs

  1. Guitardave

    There’s a crisis. It’s suddenly given us a lot of time. Time to look at what we do. Time to fix things that aren’t working. But no, we must wait. There’s a crisis.

  2. Guitardave

    I also had the thought, in answer to your musical question,…maybe you should acquire a watch or two… :-0

      1. delurking

        He meant ones that actually work. They typically cost like $25, and have no moving parts.

        1. Guitardave

          No D, I did not mean that.
          As an individual who has a very casual relationship with time, and an experience based respect for fine craftsmanship, I’d take a non-functioning work of art over some beeping, battery powered, vibrating stone driven piece of crap, any day of the week.
          PS: I’m happy if I’m right twice a day, so why should I expect more from a watch?

          1. delurking

            One might think SHG’s mechanical artistry needs would be satisfied by the car, but no! Clearly he’s a secret wannabe engineer.

  3. Sgt. Schultz

    Is the problem that they won’t have the opportunity to figure out how to comply with the new regs or to figure how to circumvent or avoid them and be forced to simply ignore them?

  4. albeed

    It is never a bad time to correct institutionalized injustice except to the woke and their allies.

  5. Jeff

    I recently made a colleague absolutely incensed when I claimed that the watch he wears is an affectation; it’s not worn because you need to see what time it is, as we have all sorts of devices now with a clock built in and most people will glance at their phone over their wrist, but instead more to say “look at me, I have a fancy tasteful and most of all expensive piece of machinery on my arm, isn’t it impressive?”

    I stopped short of calling it a surrogate penis, but not by much.

    Maybe that’s why he doesn’t talk to me anymore. Huh.

    1. Jeff

      You know, I _was_ replying to delurking, but your captcha was broken so I refreshed.

      I’m going back to bed. Not much else to do

    2. SHG Post author

      There’s a difference among watch aficionados between watches that are worn to impress, like Rolexes, for example, as opposed to watches that are appreciated for their quality, workmanship, utility and rarity. I have Pateks and a Timex, but that means nothing to heathens.

      1. Hunting Guy

        My father won one like this off a B-17 pilot in a poker game. I carry it every day and get lots of comments when I pull it out to check the time. There are some problems with using it – lots of pants no longer watch pockets and finding someone to service it are becoming much harder to find.


    3. Grant

      On the other hand, I’ve never seen a judge tell someone to turn off their watch in a courtroom.

  6. Howl

    Completely off topic, but maybe the Tuesday Talk rules will allow this message about the importance of not leaving things sitting around where others can reach them:

    Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen:

    MAN: “Hello.”

    WOMAN: “Hi, honey, it’s me. Are you at the club?”

    MAN: “Yes.”

    WOMAN: “I’m at the shops now and found this beautiful leather coat. It’s only $2,000; is it okay if I buy it?”

    MAN: “Sure, go ahead if you like it that much.”

    WOMAN: ”I also stopped by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked.”

    MAN: “How much?”

    WOMAN: “$90,000.”

    MAN: “Okay, but for that price I want it with all the options.”

    WOMAN: “Great! Oh, and one more thing… I was just talking to Jamie and found out that the house I wanted last year is back on the market. They’re asking $980,000 for it.”

    MAN: “Well, then go ahead and make an offer of $900,000. They’ll probably take it. If not, we can go the extra eighty-thousand if it’s what you really want.”

    WOMAN: “Okay. I’ll see you later! I love you so much!”

    MAN: “Bye! I love you, too.”

    The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths wide open.

    He turns and asks, “Anyone know whose phone this is?”

  7. B. McLeod

    Right now, the Kafkaesque star chambers are encouraging “social distancing.” If anything, the campuses would probably want to beef that up with an added threat of forcible castration. Because, pandemic (it’s for the children).

  8. Chris Halkides

    The 2011 system, which required preponderance of the evidence, was more “one-size-fits-all” than the proposed changes in this regard.

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