by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
American journalist H.L. Mencken once observed, “Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.” Despite an unending respect for Mencken, this is an occasion in which I found him mistaken, after I violated the Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not testify for Republicans.”
Worse yet, I am a recidivist sinner, after testifying as a constitutional expert in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings. Like all mortal sins, the violation of the Eleventh Commandment comes with not just eternal but immediate damnation. What is most striking about this commandment is that it does not matter if your testimony is made in good faith. For example, under the Ninth Commandment, you are only guilty if you give false evidence against your neighbor. Under the Eleventh Commandment, it does not matter if your testimony is true or false. A law-fearing academic must not give any testimony for Republicans. …
… None of that matters under the Eleventh Commandment, however. It is the act of testifying for Republicans that is a sin against the legal academy. Indeed, what followed was a series of false stories attacking not my testimony but me, personally. The falsity of these stories is a warning to any academic who considers straying from the Democratic path.