Thom Lambert Profile picture
Feb 4, 2021 16 tweets 5 min read Read on X
My former colleague @HawleyMO, whom I recruited to Mizzou Law and consider a friend, penned this @firstthingsmag piece. He argues that Robinhood’s restriction on GameStop trading was a Big Tech conspiracy to hold down the little guy. A few thoughts. 1/x…
@HawleyMO is lying. I hate to say that of a friend, but it’s true. He’s saying things he knows are false. As many have explained, Robinhood halted certain trading to deal with a liquidity crisis. He knows there was no conspiracy to protect hedge funds. 2/x…
But that fact doesn’t support @HawleyMO’s campaign to rail against the sort of coastal elites that, like him, went to schools such as Stanford and Yale and now, like him, have amassed power. This campaign, he hopes, will endear him to regular folks. 3/x
So he’s said stuff he knows isn’t true. Just like he’s done when discussing Section 230. And the First Amendment. And the antitrust laws. And the validity of election challenges. 4/x
I know @HawleyMO to be a good man. We’ve discussed matters of faith, and I truly believe he desires to glorify God by doing the right thing. So why does he say things that he knows are not true and that so harmfully divide people? 5/x
I believe he does so because he thinks it will help him win elections, which will empower him to make constructive changes that he thinks (and I often agree) would make our society more just. It’s an “end justifies the means” thing. 6/x
The problem is that the end doesn’t justify the means, at least not for Christians. Jesus clearly taught that his followers are to *be* certain sorts of people, not to achieve certain ends. And a smart person who misleads others to gain power isn’t who we’re to be. 7/x
Which brings me to @firstthingsmag. The name “First Things” refers to a C.S. Lewis essay emphasizing the importance of keeping matters in their proper place, of not overvaluing (admittedly good) things that are of secondary importance to other things. 8/x…
Doing so, Lewis warned, may ironically destroy the value of the second thing that was improperly elevated above the first thing. 9/x
As Lewis elsewhere put it, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose *both* first and second things.” 10/x
For the Christian politician, electoral success and advancement is a second thing. Christian virtue—truthfulness, kindness, humility, peacemaking—must come first. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” 11/x
This new breed of Christian nationalist may retort, “Yeah, that’s a recipe for continued electoral defeat and ultimately anti-Christian policies.” To which Jesus responds, “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul?”12/x
@firstthingsmag used to understand this. Its founder, Richard John Neuhaus, famously said that “culture is the root of politics and religion is the root of culture.” Get that? Religion (Christian virtue) is the first thing. Culture, and ultimately politics, follow. 13/x
The sort of “muscular” Christian who views political success as paramount for protecting religion, and thus as an objective to be achieved however necessary, puts second things first. As Lewis warned, we’re likely to lose both first things (virtue) & second (elections). 14/x
I’m sad to see @firstthingsmag invert the order of things. I’m even sadder to see a good man, who I truly believe wants to do right, compromise on truth-telling.15/x
Come home @HawleyMO. I personally miss the old you, and we Missourians want you to lead us with integrity. My hunch is that if you do so, you’ll advance politically. But even if you don’t, you will have put first things first. END

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More from @profthomlambert

Oct 19, 2023
Lots of folks are asking why conservatives don't embrace FTC Chair Lina Khan, who is using her position to constrain progressive Big Tech and the giant corporations that often seem hostile to the right. Perhaps it's b/c Khan's agenda conflicts w/ three pillars of conservatism. 🧵
Before I explain, let me say that I have no antipathy toward Chair Khan. She seems like a nice person who is pursuing ends she believes are good. She's also accomplished a ton in her short career, and I respect that. Her agenda, though, is far out of step with conservatism. 2/
First, Khan's agenda reverses the presumption of liberty in the commercial sphere. Conservatives have long understood that the defining feature of government is its monopoly on the rightful use of force, and they've sought to constrain that extraordinary right. 3/
Read 18 tweets
Aug 3, 2023
DOJ has filed a bonkers motion in limine in the Google search case. The motion asks the court to bar Google from offering evidence that the conduct the govt has challenged improves Google’s products and is therefore not anticompetitive.🧵 1/14…
DOJ’s lawsuit challenges Google’s efforts to ensure that Google Search is the default search engine on mobile devices, web browsers, and search-enabled products like wearables. The primary complaint is that Google pays for default status. 2/14…
This is a problem, the govt says, because search engines improve as more people use them. By paying for default status, Google deprives its search rivals of the scale they need to improve their products. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
Nov 5, 2021
This is unbelievable. @FTC staffers are opposing a request by a group of professors (including me) to file an amicus brief in its administrative challenge to the Illumina/Grail merger.🧵…
The staffers insinuate that we amici have been bought off by the merging parties and that our views should therefore be ignored. As an initial matter, it’s awfully rich for FTC to cry bias in an administrative proceeding in which it acts as both prosecutor and judge. Moreover,
I can assure you that I have never received a penny for expressing a view in this case. Nor, to my knowledge, has any entity with which I am affiliated. I oppose the FTC’s challenge for reasons I stated in this blog post:…
Read 6 tweets
Dec 7, 2019
1/6 - So many bad ideas in @ewarren’s antitrust proposal. Most of the chatter so far has been on the merger prohibitions, but as this article shows, there’s much more. Some thoughts on a couple of provisions:…
2/6 - According to the article, the bill reverses Trinko and saddles dominant firms with a duty to share essential facilities (incl data?) with their rivals. This would impair dynamic efficiency by reducing the incentive to create valuable amenities in the first place.
3/6 - Why build it if you have to let your rivals use it? And why make your own when you can use your rival’s?
Read 6 tweets
Jun 18, 2019
What do @HalSinger, @geoffmanne, @RichardAEpstein, Keith Hylton, and yours truly have in common? We all believe @FTC blew it in its 1-800 Contacts decision. We joined @WLF to ask the 2nd Cir to vacate FTC’s order.…
In settling trademark disputes, 1-800 and some rivals agreed not to bid on search ads keyed to each other’s trademarks. FTC said this was “inherently suspect” and condemned it under the “quick look” approach. Two problems with that:
First, SCt has required full rule of reason in cases involving more extensive ad restrictions (Cal Dental) and IP settlements threatening greater anticompetitive harm (Actavis). If no QL there, then surely not here. Also, FTC ignored a key procompetitive benefit of restrictions:
Read 5 tweets

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