Quotations from Chairman Jim

How Chairman Jim turned the NEH into a tool of the Obama administration  

Featured image We’ve had a lot of fun here in the past few years with the buffoonery of former National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach, whose recently concluded tenure at the NEH offered a near-daily target-rich environment of pompous windbaggery and pseudo-learned posturing, while betraying not a speck of knowledge about or interest in the humanities themselves. Leach’s speeches will stand for years to come as monuments of educated illiteracy, »

Jim Leach resigns

Featured image The Age of Leach at the National Endowment for the Humanities now draws to a close. On Tuesday NEH Chairman Jim Leach announced his resignation effective the first week in May. Leach’s resignation calls for some kind of a reckoning. Judith Dobrzynski notes Leach’s resignation here. From inside the world of the arts and the humanities, she tactfully takes the measure of Leach’s tenure and finds it wanting. There is, »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, History Day edition

Featured image We’ve faithfully followed the pronouncements of the Obama administration’s National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach in our Quotations From Chairman Jim series. Leach is the Joe Biden of the humanities. His sayings are lengthy, verbose, opaque, and pseudoliterate. The NEH has posted two new Leach speeches. First is his introduction to a Holocaust film that NEH co-sponsored. According to Theodor Adorno, “to write a poem after Auschwitz is »

Another nonquote from Chairman Jim

Featured image In “A nonquote from Chairman Jim” we noted that the voluble National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach has gone uncharacteristically silent. Asked for comment on the Illinois NEH affiliate’s offer of dinner for six with proud terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Leach has declined to comment. Mona Charen has now devoted a good column to the offered dinner and Leach’s theme of “civility.” Like Thomas Lindsay, she »

A nonquote from Chairman Jim

Featured image We’ve faithfully followed the pronouncements of the Obama administration’s National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach in our Quotations From Chairman Jim series. We have found the sayings of Chairman Jim to be lengthy, verbose, opaque, and pseudoliterate. Nevertheless, it is clear that civility of a certain kind — civility, Obama style, as Andrew Ferguson has called it — has been the theme of Leach’s speeches. Now, however, Thomas »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, education edition

Featured image Jim Leach is the Obama administration’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the subject of this long-running series. The NEH has now posted Leach’s keynote speech at the 2011 meeting of the National Academy of Education 2011 on October 28 at George Washington University. The speech is long, running more than five pages. Reading it through is not easy. Listening to it must have felt like a »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, digital edition

Featured image Jim Leach is the Obama administration’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the subject of this long-running series. The NEH has now posted Leach’s remarks last week at the Digital Public Library of America Conference. In these remarks Leach touches in passing on the subject of illiteracy “in the citadels of academia” or, as I have called it in a previous installment of this series, educated illiteracy. »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, Bowdoin edition

Featured image A perceptive eyewitness writes to report on the appearance of National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach last week at Bowdoin College and to make a special contribution to this series. Our correspondent writes: NEH Chairman Jim Leach visited Bowdoin College last week to meet with faculty who had received NEH grants and those who were applying for future grants to hear about their projects. Mr. Leach also spoke »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, European edition

Featured image We resume our series on National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach for what appears to be a preview of coming attractions. Leach has posted comments for the November Humanities Symposium to be held under the auspices of NYU’s Brademas Center in Florence. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the highlights selected by Chairman Jim himself: “The irony is that one of the oldest queries in education – the role »

Civility, Obama style

Featured image Andrew Ferguson has undertaken the difficult task of wading through the collected speeches of Obama administration NEH Chairman Jim Leach. Having done so myself, as Andy kindly observes, I can say with authority that he has suffered for his readers. The Weekly Standard has made Andy’s report the cover story of its new issue, out this morning. The appointment of Leach to the NEH represents the degradation of the arts »

Quotations From Chairman Jim: End of the road

I’ve been following the tenure of National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach as he has undertaken a series of speeches seeking to spread the gospel according to Barack Obama. Shortly after his installation as chairman Leach commenced a 50-state “civility” tour preaching the gospel. Not even Bruce Springsteen has thought to pull off a 50-state tour, but then again Springsteen has to pay his own way. Like Springsteen, »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, part 7

Jim Leach is the former congressman who is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We’ve been following Leach’s tenure as he has undertaken a series of speeches seeking to spread the gospel according to Barack Obama. Shortly after his installation as chairman Leach undertook a 50-state tour preaching the gospel. The tour is in progress and the song remains the same. Most recently, we posted a week-long »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, part 6

In August Leach’s 50-state tour also took him to Colorado, where he gave another speech and posted a column instructing the opponents of President Obama on their incivility. The peasants were revolting, and Leach was none too pleased about it. Leach observed: “Citizens are increasingly losing confidence in the institutions of our nation, particularly government, and are becoming disrespectful of their leaders, other faith systems and each other.” What “faith »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, part 5

So Leach has undertaken a 50-state tour as chairman of the NEH to instruct Americans in the virtues of civility. Yet while instructing his audiences in the virtues of civility Leach provides instruction of another kind. He shows how the advocacy of civility can be used as a political tool to disparage your political opponents and invite them to stifle themselves. Leach was at it again in his April 2010 »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, part 4

In May 2010 Leach gave a speech in Philadelphia to the American Council of Learned Societies. He titled the speech “Jurisprudence and the humanities.” He returned to the themes of his earlier speeches and took a walk down memory lane, recalling another speech he gave to the council four years ago. He quoted himself: Would it have been helpful for the leader of the free world to have read Greek »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, part 3

Leach has made himself something of a schoolmarm, both pompous and insipid, while continuing to curry favor with the Obama administration. Leach returned to the themes of his “Bridging cultures” speech in “The tension between speaking and listening” in February 2010 at Wayne State University Law School. In the speech Leach opined at Castroite length on politics, civility, the Supreme Court, and just about everything but the humanities. Unlike any »

Quotations from Chairman Jim, part 2

What does Leach have to say in his speeches? In his September 2009 speech “Bridging cultures: NEH and the Muslim world,” Leach explained his support for Obama during the campaign: “[O]n a personal note, I chose as a Republican to endorse Barack Obama for President because I was convinced that never in American history was the case for a course change more compelling in international relations and because I had »