Huffington Post Blogger Charged With Incest

A Columbia University political science professor that blogs at the Huffington Post was charged Thursday with having a sexual relationship with his 24 year old daughter.

As the Columbia Spectator reported:

[David Epstein] was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with one count of incest in the third degree at an arraignment hearing on Thursday. According to police, the relationship appears to have been consensual.

Epstein declined to comment when reached on his cell phone Thursday evening.

His wife, Sharyn O’Halloran, chair of the executive committee of the University Senate and a tenured professor, also declined to comment when reached by phone.

The New York Daily News reports, "Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations."

Epstein was not a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, but what he did write was quite liberal.

His September 2009 "The President's Health Care Speech: Elevating the Terms of the Debate" was practically a love letter to President Obama, Barney Frank Frank, and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow with a dash of Bush Derangement Syndrome:

Just listen to these two clips back to back; the first is the ending section of Obama's speech last night, and the second is Rachel Maddow interviewing Barney Frank about the speech and events surrounding it.

How long has it been in this country since we were able to have a president make a major speech with actual historical themes in it, analyzing today's issues in the light of long-running discussions in the American political and intellectual tradition? And then have a major talk-show anchor and an elected representative be able to not only pick out the major themes of the speech ("only timidity passes for wisdom"), but discuss them and elaborate on them as well?

Makes you want to reach for the airsickness bag, doesn't it?

But even better, his July 2009 "Palin Proves Voters Were Right in 2008" indicates that along with having very bad judgment involving sexual partners, this political science professor doesn't have a very strong grasp of politics:

President Obama was elected because he was smart, good on policy, and would bring hope to a dispirited country. He's performed exactly as advertised, with the single exception of his banking policy, which has been far more timid than circumstances warrant. But on the stimulus plan, the budget plan, his attack on health care, the environment and other issues, Obama has been forthright, substantive, and probably more politically savvy than would have been anticipated. [....]

Democrats gained seats in the House and (now, thanks to Biden) a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate because they were seen as more willing and able to work seriously on the problems facing the country. Here again the public was right -- the Democrats are making tough policy choices and even playing their role as a check on the administration, especially in economic and financial policy, while the Republicans have become not just an ineffectual out-of-power party, but a parody of an ineffectual out-of-power party, spouting mean-sounding nonsense on major policy issues ("Government spending doesn't work!" "There is no such thing as global warming!" "Hunger is a good motivator!"), and taking hypocrisy in their personal lives to new levels of self-indulgent weirdness ("It wasn't just an affair, it was a love story!"). It's as if they're trying to get a head start on another 40 years in the wilderness.

That's some crystal ball this political science professor has, huh? Bear in mind this was written as Tea Partiers were storming town hall meetings across the country and Obama's polls were plummeting:

But Palin's decision disappointed a lot of her supporters and even casual observers (my 9-year old daughter, rather out-of-the-blue, said "I didn't think she was a quitter, or a resigner"). She may well end up happier this way; she can make money on her book deal, give lots of speeches, and maybe even found a populist-PAC, supporting Republican candidates whom she approves of and be a player within party politics. But she will never hold elected office again, and voters can rest a bit easier with that knowledge, and the knowledge that they chose wisely in all respects last year.

Well, Mr. Epstein, the voters that went to the polls five weeks ago apparently don't agree with your view of the world. 

This was particularly true in Pennsylvania, as Epstein in May 2009 told his readers that Arlen Specter's defection from the GOP was a winning move:

[G]iven that his erstwhile opponent Pat Toomey (whom Specter beat 51-49 in the 2004 primary) is now running unopposed and will probably get the nomination, Specter will indeed face off against Toomey again, but in the general election rather than the primary. And here, Spector seems right now to be odds-on favorite to retain his seat.

Specter of course lost his primary battle with Joe Sestak, and Toomey will be sworn in as Pennsylvania's junior senator next month.

One can only hope the students this man has been teaching all these years have been skeptical of his political forecasts.

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Noel Sheppard's picture

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