Surprise! Gorsuch 'Fascism Forever' club a joke
For three days, the media have been breathlessly reporting that President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, was president of a club they called "Fascism Forever." Could this sink the jurist's nomination when it barely got started?
As it turns out, most of the media proved that they lack not only brains, but a sense of humor. The club, say numerous sources who were attending or working at the school during that time, was a joke.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, claimed that he founded a student group called Fascism Forever Club to tweak lefties at his elite high school, according to a report.
The 49-year-old conservative Republican tapped to succeed the late Antonin Scalia made the claim as a freshman at the Jesuit all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School near Washington, DC, the Daily Mail reported.
He served as president of the group until he graduated in 1985, according to his yearbook, the paper reported.
"In political circles, our tireless President Gorsuch's 'Fascism Forever Club' happily jerked its knees against the increasingly 'left-wing' tendencies of the faculty," said the yearbook.
But a Jesuit publication, America magazine, said the club never existed.
It was "a total joke," said Steve Ochs, a history teacher at Georgetown Prep who was the student government advisor during Mr. Gorsuch's junior and senior years at the school, told the publication.
"There was no club at a Jesuit school about young fascists," added.. "The students would create fictitious clubs; they would have fictitious activities. They were all inside jokes on their senior pages."
Gorsuch – the youngest Supreme Court nominee since 43-year-old Clarence Thomas in 1991 – is seen in a yearbook photo reading William F. Buckley's 1959 conservative tome "Up from Liberalism."
He listed other school activities as "President of the Yard, Student Government" and president of the "Committee to reform The Beast" – and branded himself a "Lousy Spanish Student."
In another photo, he leans over a railing – tie undone – as he sticks his tongue out at the camera.
Among the alumni of the prestigious Georgetown Prep are Sen. Chris Dodd, several congressmen and members of the Kennedy clan.
"We are proud to have a son of Georgetown Preparatory School, a Catholic, Jesuit school founded the same year the United States Supreme Court was established, nominated to the nation's highest court. All of us at Prep send our prayers and best wishes," the school's president, the Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, said on the school website.
Not only did prominent media buy into the "truth" of the story, Twitter exploded in alarm:
Hey guys! So, it's a bad idea to have SCOTUS justice who started a club called "fascism forever."
This is a non-partisan statement.
— shannonwoodward (@shannonwoodward) February 2, 2017
— Mary Gosline (@APGsMom) February 2, 2017
Utterly oblivious to their own ignorance.
I can recall a few friends and me forming a "Richard Nixon Fan Club" when we were freshmen in college. Watergate was at its height, and although we weren't an "official" club on campus, we attracted some attention from the anti-Nixon crowd with our "recruiting posters."
How anyone could have taken the "Fascism Forever" club seriously is beyond me. Normal, rational people recognized immediately what it was: a way to tweak liberals on campus. Getting a rise out of your political opponents is always fun – especially when they make fools of themselves in the process.
We can now advise Gorsuch opponents that they can relax – they have made the world safe from fascism.