Will new UCI Professor John Campbell use “Atlas Shrugged” as a textbook?

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The University of California-Irvine (UCI) today announced that former Congressman John Campbell (R-Irvine) has been named visiting professor in UCI’s school of social science.  And yes, I laughed too because my first question is “will John Campbell teach courses in running for office without actually campaigning” or “Being named ‘Legislator of the Year’ by the Irvine Chamber of Commerce for voting ‘No’ on everything.”

From UCI’s breathless announcement:

Former U.S. Rep. John B.T. Campbell III has been appointed the 2015-16 Dean’s Visiting Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Previously held by former California Assemblyman Jose Solorio, the position involves teaching two undergraduate courses: The U.S. Congress and The American Legislator, the latter of which is a new class Campbell is developing for the spring quarter.

“The School of Social Sciences is all about marrying basic research with public impact,” said social sciences dean Bill Maurer. “And having that impact requires a deep understanding of the political process. We’re thrilled that Rep. Campbell has agreed to share his expertise on American politics as a visiting professor.”

Before serving in Congress from 2005 to earlier this year, Campbell was a California state senator from 2004 to 2005 and a California assemblyman from 2000 to 2004. In addition to teaching at UCI, he’ll make public presentations on campus and help the Department of Political Science and the Center for the Study of Democracy coordinate visits from distinguished guests.

“Rep. Campbell will bring the real world of state and national politics into our classrooms,” said Louis DeSipio, interim chair of political science. “Our students will learn how law is made from an experienced state and national legislator who can share practical examples from Sacramento and Washington. Rep. Campbell’s experiences will undoubtedly enrich our curriculum and help shape the career goals of some of our students.” 

Other course Campbell could teach: “Bailing out failing industries you built your fortune on while voting no on any other bailout.”  “Winning elections by never campaigning on issues.”  And, “Losing your party’s endorsement and twisting arms until you get it again.”  But the easiest class to take should just be, “Vote NO on anything Democrats do and YES on anything Republicans do.”

Campbell, famously known for making interns and staffers read Ayn Rand’s awful “Atlas Shrugged” novel and asking “Who is John Galt?” (answer, a fictional character) while suggesting America was going through an “Atlas Shrugged” experience. Students at UCI would be wise to agree with the Congressman on issues in exchange for that good grade

  9 comments for “Will new UCI Professor John Campbell use “Atlas Shrugged” as a textbook?

  1. RHackett
    July 22, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Poor kids.

    I can understand his fascination with Atlas Shrugged. I would imagine he is personified by the James Taggart character.

    Inherited his wealth and position and has no problems supporting his fellow crony capitalists.

    Campbell voted for TARP while he claims to be a worshipper of the free market.

    • July 22, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      My reformist friend Allan Beek tried to speak to Campbell about his idea to make Medicare more solvent and open it up to more people. Campbell told him, “You don’t understand, I want to GET RID of Medicare.”

      This was back in 2005 or 6, before any other Republicans were admitting to that. (Or before they went through a little phase of pretending that OBAMA wanted to destroy Medicare.) I guess you could say he was ahead of his time that way.

  2. junior
    July 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Some are saying that John Campbell did not really exist. Similar to the chupacabre, he has never been spotted by his constituents.

  3. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Well, I was surprised to find John Campbell once got a 100 percent rating from the John Birch Society to get that you have to be pretty far right even Dana Ronabacher who I think is more interesting since in his early years than Campbell since Dana was an anarchists for real. Samuel Konkin, the black market no government Libertarian was once Friends with Dana. The Birchers only gave Dana a 90 percent. I don’t know why people on the right like Rand since she strongly disliked religion, had abortions and had her philosophy since her family suffered under Lenin. There are so-called right wing Libertarians that they can drawn upon I think Frank Meyer was one. Buckley was sort of but John Campbell probably never read about them being a Republican instead of a libertarian type..

  4. Cynthia mae Curran
    July 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Well, I was surprised to find John Campbell once got a 100 percent rating from the John Birch Society to get that you have to be pretty far right even Dana Ronabacher who I think is more interesting since in his early years than Campbell since Dana was an anarchists for real. Samuel Konkin, the black market no government Libertarian was once Friends with Dana. The Birchers only gave Dana a 90 percent. I don’t know why people on the right like Rand since she strongly disliked religion, had abortions and had her philosophy since her family suffered under Lenin. There are so-called right wing Libertarians that they can drawn upon I think Frank Meyer was one. Buckley was sort of but John Campbell probably never read about them being a Republican instead of a libertarian type..

  5. Ted Lawrence
    July 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    He will do well, because he knows politics from the inside. Give him a chance.

    • July 22, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      He’ll get his damn chance. But I wouldn’t assume he knows politics from the inside as he did very very little for a very short time. I hope he puts more work into teaching than he did representing, or gets shown the door.

    • July 24, 2015 at 8:41 am

      He never demonstrated any ability while in Congress; what can you point to as Campbell’s signature accomplishment while in office other than voting to bailout the automobile industry?

      • RHackett
        July 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        And violating the tenants of Ayn Rand by voting for TARP?

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