Time to go

Todd Henderson —  21 September 2010

This episode has had a profoundly negative impact on me. To be sure, I deserved and even welcomed criticism of my remarks. But the firestorm this created was completely unanticipated. Lies and misinformation, like that our family earns $450,000, spread uncontrollably. One of the perpetrators, Henry Blodget, has graciously agreed to correct this mistake. (Thank you, Henry.) I cannot begin to undo the problems this has caused. So I will stop and let the fire burn out. I don’t want or need pity from anyone. As bad as things are in this for me, many have it far worse. A wise and dear friend sent me a Yiddish saying: for a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish. This worm is caught in a horseradish, but I can see beyond it.

The reason for this note is because I’ve decided to hang up my blogging hat. I was a fool, and I didn’t anticipate how this kind of thing could happen. As many of our readers and my students know, I’m opinionated and willing to push boundaries. This is what I think is the role of a professor, and blogging allowed me to do it in an informal and diverse manner. But I misunderstood the technology, and the consequences are devastating for me personally. I wish I had just stuck to blogging about corporate law and such, but I couldn’t help myself. Self restraint would have been the better course. Perhaps someday I will return and limit my commentary to my academic areas of interest. For now though, I have to say good bye. I’ve enjoyed the experience and the interactions I’ve had with readers and, of course, my co-bloggers. I am sad to leave, but my family has to come first, and my blogging has caused them incalculable damage.

A final note: I am especially saddened that my post was misconstrued as being about anything other than the impact that tax increases will have on people at the lower end of the high-income bracket. Agree or disagree, certainly questions like this need to be part of the equation. I understand the suffering of the world and the good fortune I have. The debate is not, or should not, be about whether we should try to improve the well being of everyone in our neighborhoods, our country, and around the world, but how. I have different ideas about this than many of our readers and my critics, but my motives are the same as theirs. I’ve never made up stuff about them, distorted their arguments, or questioned their good intentions. I would expect the same in return.

Farewell.

5 responses to Time to go

  1. 

    Todd,

    Today you write this:

    “Iā€™ve never made up stuff about them, distorted their arguments, or questioned their good intentions. I would expect the same in return.”

    And yet, in your original post you wrote this:

    “. . . and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay.”

    It seems to me, that when you wrote lines like that in the small bubble of your blog’s readership, you received nods of agreement. But when your ideas were exposed to a larger marketplace of ideas, some found your argument wanting and some found it repellent. Some found the above line a distortion of the world we currently live in. And they told you so.

    Welcome to the world of adults.

    I’m sorry you feel bad about the whole episode. But it’s time to stop blaming others for a situation you created.

  2. 

    Shouldn’t the title of this post be “Todd Shrugged”?

  3. 

    It’s better to be in the first trench and take the hit, than be the lone samurai living in a jungle cave and polishing his rifle for 30 years. Telling the truth costs nothing if nobody notices.

  4. 
    Prof. Henderson Fan 21 September 2010 at 8:15 am

    Sorry to hear this Prof H. Good luck to your family and your new baby.

  5. 
    North Fork Investor 21 September 2010 at 7:59 am

    Probably a wise decision. I will miss your very professional posts on the law. Stay well grasshopper.