Damn it feels good to be a gangster

Being on the governance committee is sweet. As the commenter wryly observed below, “Nick, why don’t you be quiet already about ‘democracy’? Since when has any nonprofit needed to have a ‘means by which they might be contradicted’? Why would you think the board owes you something?” I know, right? There comes a time in any powerful person’s life when he realizes, “Hey. Wait. I don’t have to answer to anyone. Why the hell didn’t I think of that sooner?” Then you go absolutely gangster on the hoods crimping your style. Press the red button on your office phone and say your pleasure. “Hey, could you fire those attorneys? Yeah. Just fire ’em. Thanks. Buh-bye.” Gangster!

But gangsterhood is in decline, I’m sad to say. Time was that no wise guy worth his salt would even let someone say “blog” in his presence, or badabing–fuhgeddaboudit. Now, sweet mother of pearl, they’re doing podcasts. This one has some adorable swagger, such as when Christine Bucklin asks alumni to keep the cash coming, a request issued in the same tone she might use while asking a hapless waiter to warm up her soup. But, even for that, I wouldn’t invest thirteen minutes in it.

Instead, why don’t you read the National Association of Scholars’ stern reprimand of this weekend’s debauchery?

Faced with the results of four successive elections in which the independent candidate beat the administration’s hand-picked candidate, the Dartmouth administration clearly had to act. The appropriate action would have been for President James Wright and his compliant chairman of the board, Charles E. Haldeman, to resign their positions. The Dartmouth alumni had, in effect, voted no confidence in their leadership in four consecutive elections. Instead of resigning, however, these individuals conspired to diminish the role of the Dartmouth alumni in governing the College. Their recourse, when faced with serious criticism, was to build a Chinese wall to keep the critics out.