Don't Try An' Dig What We All Say

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The Wall Street Journal, taking the required biweekly swing at anti-war lefties, makes a self-defeating argument in an unsigned editorial.

Rude college kids and left-wing professors are hardly a new story. But the ugliness of the New School crowd toward Mr. McCain reveals the peculiar rage that now animates so many on the political left. Dozens of faculty and students turned their back on the Senator, others booed and heckled, and a senior invited to speak threw out her prepared remarks and mocked their invited guest as he sat nearby. Some 1,200 had signed petitions asking that Mr. McCain be disinvited.

Iraq War backers should probably think twice about equating angry college students with "modern politics" on the left or the right. It was just three years ago that New York Times reporter Chris Hedges was heckled, his microphone unplugged, as he gave a commencement speech at Rockford College. A year later, E.L. Doctorow was booed when he made anti-war, anti-Bush remarks in a Hofstra University address. Neither event inspired any hand-wringing about the crazed student right or the implications for the pro-war movement. And you could argue Hedges' and Doctorow's speeches were, by their nature, less objectionable. Unlike those authors, McCain had actually voted to start and prolong the Iraq war—and unlike them, he was using the speech to test out themes for a presidential run. You can guess why they might be pissed.

UPDATE: Blogger Gateway Pundit notes that Rep. William "Lacy Clay" made anti-war remarks in a commencement speech this weekend, and was heckled and shouted down by angry students. This is proof, says the blogger, of—of course!—the depravity of the anti-war movement. Hate the heckled, love the hecklers.

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  1. You can why they might be pissed.

    Can… guess?

  2. Ummm, there’s a difference between a commencement speach and a regular campus speach…

    Your job as a commencement speaker is to be funny, inoffensive, and most importantly, quick. It was not the students who were being rude…

  3. Perhaps they’re pissed because many freshmen emerge from High School unaware of fallacies like arguments from authority or arguments from emotion and are unable to properly form or defend a thesis: Therefore the activist culture of 90% of college campuses finds easy pickings among these products of our sorry educational system….

  4. Perhaps if they had better breeding, Bubba, they would have done something civil. Like waive band aids with purple hearts to mock the Senators’ war wounds.

    Damn lefties got no respect.

  5. Your job as a commencement speaker is to be funny, inoffensive, and most importantly, quick.

    You sure you aren’t thinking of a toast at a wedding?

    Good commencement speeches are often funny, and often not. Good commencement speeches are often quick, and often not. A commencement speech that offends everyone is probably no good, but that is also true of a commencement speech that offends no one.

    And there is a difference between a regular campus speech and a commencement address, but is it the difference that explained the different reactions? I doubt it.

  6. College kids have unsophisticated views and are overconfident in their ability to make A Statement?

    The world is truly coming to an end.

  7. In a commencement speech, both the speaker and the audience should be polite, inoffensive, and apolitical. The New School students began their protests long before McCain spoke. It had nothing to do with any political content of his speech. It seems that in the cases where left-wing commencement speakers were heckled, the conservative audience was respectful until the speaker politicized the event.

    In all of these cases, the leftists were the first to politicize the event and I think the deserve the majority of the blame. Ideally, the conservative audiences should have remained silent during the leftist speeches and McCain should avoided mentioning Iraq, but they were just responding to a contentious political environment that the other side created.

  8. many freshmen emerge from High School unaware of fallacies like arguments from authority or arguments from emotion and are unable to properly form or defend a thesis: Therefore the activist culture of 90% of college campuses finds easy pickings among these products of our sorry educational system….

    Same is true for the easy pickings that military recruiters find.

  9. I disagree with John McCain about a lot of things. That said, he is a great American. You should wake up every day and thank God that you never had to make the kinds of sacrifices for this country that McCain made. Some people by the nature of their sacrifices or accomplishments deserve your respect an attention. When I was in college too many years ago, I had the opportunity to go an hours luncheon and meet and hear the late Justice Thurogood Marshall speak. Now, I thought and still do think that Marshall was a moonbat a Supreme Court Justice. That said, agree with his views on the Constitution or not, Marshall did things for this country that I will ever do and endured things that no one should ever have to endure. I can’t imagine refusing to listen to his speech or acting these jerks did at the New School did. If I had, even my Goldwater voting parents would have been ashamed of me.

    Does attending an elite college automatically mean that you are obnoxious jerk? I don’t see why Reason is whining about this so much. In the same way the Left uses idiotarians like Pat Robertson to smear everyone on the right; the Right uses people like this to smear everyone on the Left. That said, you can disown the New School brats all you want, but they are hardly unusual on college campuses. The question isn’t so much about anti-war versus pro-war, it is when are college campuses going to clean up their act and join the rest of society. Never is the answer, but I can at least dream.

  10. The also called Bob Kerrey, a medal of honor winner and President of the school, a “war criminal”. All class man, all class.

  11. That is never do. God, I can’t type this morning.

  12. “you never had to make the kinds of sacrifices for this country that McCain made.”

    Were those “sacrifices” necessary? Was the effort put in worth the results achieved? How did they benefit me and fellow Americans? Like most “wars” declared by this government (Iraq, WW1, Drugs, Terror, Poverty, “Hate” Speech) – Vietnam proved to be a colossal waste of time, lives, and treasure.

    I can respect McCain for personal courage & perserverance, and I’m sorry that he sacrificed 7 years of his life in serving the ambitions of the state – but serving in the military in a questionable war does not grant McCain any more legitimacy of his policies.

  13. Ironchef: The legitimacy of his policies should have nothing to do with his fitness as a graduation speaker, especially if his speech is apolitical. The New School students were outraged by McCain long before they had any reason to believe that there would be any political content in his speech.

  14. Ironchef,

    Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you should act like a jackass. The things that Thurogood Marshall did, didn’t make all of his opinions on the Supreme Court right, it just meant that when he showed up to speak somewhere he deserved a fair hearing an to be treated with respect. I guess that is what it comes down to. No one has any respect for anyone or anything. Everyone thinks that they and their opinion is so God Damned and important that it must be shouted to the world under all circumstances at everyone eles’s expense.

    One other thing IronChief, if it wasn’t for people like McCain who sacrificed for the ambitions of the state, there would be a state where you would be free to sit on your fat happy ass and complain about it.

  15. You should wake up every day and thank God that you never had to make the kinds of sacrifices for this country that McCain made.

    Yes, for were I not Diogenes, I would not be John McCain either!

  16. No one has any respect for anyone or anything. Everyone thinks that they and their opinion is so God Damned and important that it must be shouted to the world under all circumstances at everyone eles’s expense.

    I think it’s more that people don’t recognize their opinions as such, but think of them as self-evident truths. Because of that tendency they see people whom they disagree with as liars, traitors, subversives, conspirators or worse.

  17. Everyone thinks that they and their opinion is so God Damned and important that it must be shouted to the world under all circumstances at everyone eles’s expense.

    How is this different than saying John McCain’s opinion is so God Damned important that everybody has to shut up and listen to it, even if they think he’s trying to sneak in propaganda or an advertisement for his own presidential ambitions?

    if it wasn’t for people like McCain who sacrificed for the ambitions of the state, there would be a state where you would be free to sit on your fat happy ass and complain about it.

    If it weren’t for idiots blindly obeying the State, the State would have no choice but to use the military when necessary — to defend the nation itself. If McCain and others had stood up and said “we won’t fight for this, because it isn’t relevant to our country’s interests” the US wouldn’t have been able to drag the nation through that endless, pointless, wasteful war. Those who participate without question are morally blameworthy for the result. Just because someone contractually agrees to obey the State’s orders without regard to what those orders might lead to, especially including orders to kill, that does not absolve them from blame when the orders themselves are corrupt. We have whitewashed over this inconvenient way of thinking, as have all militarist nations, but that does not make the problem disappear.

  18. “You should wake up every day and thank God that you never had to make the kinds of sacrifices for this country that McCain made.”

    What’s that? To be reprogrammed as a Manchurian Candidate by the Viet Cong?

    /I keed, I keed.

  19. The inability of Reasonites not to understand subltle differences in logic never fails to amaze me. No where did I ever say you weren’t free to disagree with McCain. In fact, I said upfront I disagree with McCain about a lot of things. The point is that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that you go to a commencement speech and call him a war criminal and act like a jackass. Yes, someone who wins the medal of honor ought to be respected and people ought not turn their backs on them in public and shout bullshit from the peanut gallery. That does not mean that you are not free to think that they are full of shit. Respect and agreement are two different things.

  20. When hiring, I’m going to reject all New School grads. The New School faculty should be ashamed of themselves.

  21. “The also called Bob Kerrey, a medal of honor winner and President of the school, a ‘war criminal’.”

    Well, since Kerrey admits to killing dozens of civilians, he just claims they were collateral damage, I’m not sure why that is inaccurate.

  22. John,
    Civility is generally an important value, but not an absolute one. So, I would try to be civil to everyone here on this blog or on the blogs of leftists or rightists as long as I didn’t think anyone was actually guilty of violent crimes against humanity or was planning any violent criminal acts. Even then I would probably be civil *unless* it became apparent to me that civility had failed to dissuade these criminals against taking any more violent criminal actions. Students sometimes fail to make this distinction but in the case of some of their incivility towards authorities during the Vietnam war I believe they were right. Nixon, Kissinger, and company would probably have prolonged events further had protest been more civil. A polite, gentlemanly debate over tea and crumpets wouldn’t have cut it.
    In this case, McCain was a willing stooge for the state’s criminal actions. And he advocates, and actively supports further violent and unnecessary incursions into other countries, such as Iraq. If he were President, it’s likely he would do much more damage, as he is no advocate of limited government. In this case, I think the students were not necessarily out of line in booing him off the stage. And I don’t see how any of his work in the military has made us any safer, more prosperous, or free. Just the opposite.

    And btw, some of us have slim, moderately miserable asses.

  23. I think the Who lyric referenced in the title actually is “Don’t try an’ dig what we all say.”

  24. Privatus,

    I think the millions of dead in Cambodia and millions of boat people who fled from South Vietnam pretty much ended the whole “Vietnam was criminal” debate, at least outside of the tinfoil hat crowd. That said, I woldnt’ have booed down someone like Tom Hayden or Abbie Hoffman even though they spent their entire careers apologizing for murderous thugs and defending the indefensible. That is for them and God to sort out some day. Not for me to judge and deprive them of the right to say their peace.

  25. I’m skeptical that such acting out does any good, but that’s the case regardless of whatever sacrifices McCain made as a US soldier. Now, McCain’s sacrifices do make him deserving of a certain reverance, but they do not exempt him of any separate judgment or treatment based on anything else he does or has done. For instance, if he were to commit a crime, he should go to jail for it just like anyone else, war hero or no, and that goes for any other vet. Again, that does not necessarily justify hecklers, I’m only saying that the value and ethics of heckling are not much effected by McCain’s war sacrifices. Two different subjects.

  26. privatus: I strongly disagree. The Vietnam War would have ended much earlier if not for the out of control protests. The hippies stigmatized opposition to the war and made it politically impossible to withdraw for many years. Anti-war protests accomplished less than nothing and losing their civility didn’t help matters in the slightest. Public opposition to the Korean War was far more successful because it was civil, sane, and did not involve hippies. Even when civility doesn’t work, being an asshole isn’t going to work either so there’s no excuse for it.

    Also, we have to remember that the students here were not reacting to any pro-war statements that McCain made in the speech. They went wild before he opened his mouth. This were protesting because of who McCain was, not what he said. It’s not unreasonable to disagree with McCain, but it is unreasonable to think that he is so personally vile that he doesn’t deserve respect during an apolitical speech.

  27. The New School students began their protests long before McCain spoke. It had nothing to do with any political content of his speech.

    From this NY Times article:
    Noting that Mr. McCain had promised to give the same speech at all of his graduation appearances, Ms. Rohe, who was one of two students selected to speak by university deans, attacked his remarks even before he delivered them.

    Seems to me the content of his speech was known — so they decided on a pre-emptive attack on his political content.

  28. Tom,

    Do you really beleive that if McCain had given a speech on the value of football and quantum mechanics he wouldn’t have gotten the same response? He may have given the students some cover by talking about political subjects, heaven forbid the students’ fragile ears be exposed to a political message to which they don’t agree, but FXKLM’s statement still rings true; they were protesting who he is not what he was saying.

  29. Do you really beleive that if McCain had given a speech on the value of football and quantum mechanics he wouldn’t have gotten the same response?

    John,

    I do in fact believe that had he given (and had been giving to other colleges) an apolitical speech, then he would have gotten a much different response. Just because you have a lefty boogey man in your head doesn’t mean that it represents reality.

    Here is a politican, who chose to give a political speech, and yet you are attacking the student’s and their fragile ears? Here’s a hint — if you don’t want political demonstrations at your speeches, don’t make political speeches. McCain fired the first salvo, so to speak, when he decided to use commencemnt speeches as an opportunity to spread his political message and pander to potential young presidential voters. He forfeits the apolotical high ground you and FXKLM seem to be staking out.

    You can talk about what ifs and what could have’s all you want…but the reality is that McCain has been going around the country giving commencement speeches with political content. Since that is the reality, he and his supporters can not be taken serisouly when they espouse nonsense like : heaven forbid the students’ fragile ears be exposed to a political message to which they don’t agree — it seems to me like it would be more correct to state “heaven forbid whiney ass, coddled, and insulated politicians have to face protests and unrest for the decisions they have made/supported, lest thei fragile egos be hurt”

  30. Some would say that America’s misadventures in Vietnam made the rise of the Khmer Rouge possible. So, I’m not sure I buy your argument, John. As for Hoffman and Hayden, they were protestors, who mostly demonstrated in silly ways. Wasn’t it Hoffman who invented theater protests? In any case, they weren’t guilty of repeated violent acts or were planning to start incursions into other countries so according to the criteria I set forth earlier I think they would be deserving of being listened to, without interruption from hecklers.
    Hypothetically, can you see any value that might trump ‘civility’ under any circumstances, even if you disagree with me on the particular circumstances concerning the worthiness of the Vietnam War?

  31. Privatus,

    If a public figure comes to your college to give a reasonable political speech that you don’t agree with, you should be polite and listen. Only in a barbaric age like today would that premise be controversial. Yes, people have a right to voice their opinions, but there is a time and a place for everything. Those students live in a free country and have every opportunity to voice their opinions on any number of forums. They don’t live in Cuba or North Korea, although I am sure most of those nitwits think that the people in Cuba and North Korea are free to dissent. Free speech for spoiled college left at least means shouting down anyone with whom you disagree at any time like in whatever vulger method you choose. That is crap.

  32. The really funny thing is that if it had been some freaky-deaky lefty giving a speech, John would be flipping out.

    But since it’s McKang, John can’t see past his own blind spot.

  33. it happens to both sides of the political spectrum. the head of the EPA under Clinton gave the speech at my commencement (Carole Browner?). I consider myself an environmentalist and pro-conservation, but we booed her when she started blaming the newly sworn Republican congress (this was 1995) for rolling back environmental reforms as threatening the future. commencement speeches are supposed to be inspiring to the graduates, not an opportunity for political grandstanding.

  34. “If a public figure comes to your college to give a reasonable political speech that you don’t agree with, you should be polite and listen.”

    Sure, in most cases, but not absolutely. Would this hold if the ‘public figure’ had been Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein?….or perhaps even minor thugs like Donald Rumsfeld?

    “Free speech for spoiled college left at least means shouting down anyone with whom you disagree at any time like in whatever vulger method you choose. That is crap.”

    Again, ‘anyone with whom you disagree’ was not my criteria. I would agree that the left does sometimes take this too far, booing people like David Horowitz off the stage. He is merely expressing an opinion. But people who were involved in carpet bombing villages or starting an unnecessary war in Iraq, or the actual physical use of violence in other situations, and who, *most critically* plan to continue down this path, do not necessarily deserve a polite response, at least if such responses fail to affect the attitudes or behavior of the instigators of that violence. Now maybe incivility won’t necessarily dissuade the violent attitudes or behavior, but suggesting that ‘civility’ is the only proper response, no matter the circumstances, is also a shaky argument.

  35. I think the point of the original blog post is ye olde what’s good for one side is good for the other argument. So the big question is whether John would be consistent if his own ox were being gored. Interesting that he throws in the qualifier “reasonable” to describe speeches that should not be heckled. That said, I generally agree with John. I see little to nothing that can be accomplished via heckling that can’t be accomplished better in some other fashion, no matter how noxious one finds the speaker and/or his message. But returning again to the point of the original blog post, it’s only human nature to not only see only the transgressions of the other side but not those of one’s own, but to paint the other side’s specific transgressions as representative of their larger evil. Tsk, humans…..

  36. The GOP has made a mockery of free speech and political dissent in this country. They force all protests and dissent into “free speech zones”, and use loyalty pledges at all political gatherings in order to keep Bush and his supporters from having to hear or even acknowledge a different opinion then their own. It is not surprising that people are using all possible opportunities to exercise their free speech rights when they are close to being lost altogether. Any discussion of reasonable and courteous are off the table when the GOP has determined that there is never an appropriate time or place to disagree with their policies. McCain represents the party and people that have called some of these students traitors and terrorist sympathizers for merely disagreeing with the president and his policies, I don’t think adding unreasonable and discourteous is going to matter.

  37. privatus,

    I can understand your point(s) that there are values more important than civility and that there are people and messages so vile that listening to them may seem more objectionable than being uncivil to them and that voting for the war in Iraq and using commencement speeches for political purposes may possibly qualify, but this all raises the question, is heckling still the BEST way to address any of these situations? Throw out the morality of it, at least strictly speaking, and look at it in the larger perspective. Can heckling someone while he’s speaking ever substitute for or even meaningfully supplement providing coherent counter-argument in a forum where you yourself can freely express yourself? Even if it’s Hitler, I don’t see how. Even assuming that the Viet Nam war protests effected some net good in the world, which may very well be though I wouldn’t claim to know for sure, there were plenty of forms of protest other than mere heckling, no? If that’s all the Viet Nam War protestors did, I rather doubt they would have accomplished anything.

  38. The very same people on here who are convinced that the Left has no free speech in same breath argue that McCain has no right to make his case in support of the war without being booed and shouted down. Who is that is against free speech? There is nothing unreasonable about supporting the war. You may think it is a bad policy, but that doesn’t make the position so beyond the pale that you have no right to express it. It seems to me that people like McCain who support the war ought to be making speeches to places like the New School to people who do not support the war and the people who are against the war ought to listen and make up their own minds. If the students and faculty at are such lovers of free speech why do they have such a problem with someone who disagrees with them exercising it? What it comes down to is the students and faculty doesn’t believe in free speech and don’t think that anyone who disagrees with them has a right to express their opinion.

  39. The New School students began their protests long before McCain spoke.

    McCain gave the exact same speech at the commencements of Liberty University and Columbia. His remarks were posted on his website a week in advance of his performance. This was not about the graduates, it was about, as David said, stumping for a Presidential run. Maybe I’m selfish, but if some politician turned my graduation, which is supposed to be about me managing to finish college, by the way, into a political event for his upcoming bid for re-election, I’d be pissed off too.

  40. fyodor,
    So your argument is a ulititarian one. If that’s the case, suppose, hypothetically, that political protest, delivered however obnoxiously, does supplement other more polite forms of protest to hasten changes in policy, policy that is cruel and violent. Would you rule it out categorically?

  41. The very same people on here who are convinced that the Left has no free speech in same breath argue that McCain has no right to make his case in support of the war without being booed and shouted down.

    The guy is a Senator. It’s not like this was his one and only chance to make his opinions heard. Turning a graduation into a stump speech shows a distinct lack of class on McCain’s part, and if he had done it to me, I would have booed the hell out of him too.

  42. Don’t worry, McCain-Feingold II will make heckling commencement speeches against the law…

  43. Shem,

    If that is true, you are telling me that you would have booed some guy who gave a stump speech that you agreed with? If some leftwing moonbat had gotten up there and gave a speech about how the Massad was really behind 9-11 and that Bin Laden was a creation of Bush, those little shitheads would have given him a standing ovation. The problem was not politics being introduced into a commencement speech. The problem is that the students and faculty at the New School think that they have a right to shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

  44. If it was at my graduation I sure would have. That day belongs to the people who are graduating, not John McCain or anyone else.

    If some leftwing moonbat had gotten up there and gave a speech about how the Massad was really behind 9-11 and that Bin Laden was a creation of Bush, those little shitheads would have given him a standing ovation.

    You sure make a lot of assumptions, John. Do you ever back them up?

  45. Shem,John is 100% right.It’s only the speech they like that’s protected.How can you see it any differently?

  46. The very same people on here who are convinced that the Left has no free speech in same breath argue that McCain has no right to make his case in support of the war without being booed and shouted down.

    John,

    Who are the leftists that you’re always aguing with in these threads?

    I don’t see why anyone needs politicians from either party stumping for issues at their graduation. It’s supposed to be a celebration of the achievement of the graduates, not a campaign stop. Besides, most of the good that we’ll experience in our lives will come despite, or in spite of their political meddling. If politicians must come to these events, they get what they deserve for giving a speech that alienates half the crowd.

    From my perspective, the ideal commencement speaker is a successful graduate of the university who’ll tell an interesting story, a few good jokes, congratulate the graduates, and wish them well in the future. Or Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School.

  47. privatus,

    If that’s the case, suppose, hypothetically, that political protest, delivered however obnoxiously, does supplement other more polite forms of protest to hasten changes in policy, policy that is cruel and violent. Would you rule it out categorically?

    I don’t know if I rule anything out categorically! 🙂

    So your argument is a ulititarian one.

    Well, utilitarian and moral/ethical issues often co-mingle, and this is as good an example as any. I can’t say that heckling is always inherently bad. But then, is anything necessarily bad that potentially can be demonstrated to create more good than bad? At the very, very least heckling is bad manners. And as long as there is a better option, I don’t know if it’s ever ethically supported. It’s like the argument that one cannot ban ugly architecture because it’s easier to look away. Only the alternatives to heckling aren’t so much easier as more appropriate and cooperative. Admittedly, appropriateness may seem like a flimsy issue in the face of serious matters concerning life and death, but it’s how we get along with each and how we best decide issue of life and death.

    John,

    You may think it is a bad policy, but that doesn’t make the position so beyond the pale that you have no right to express it.

    Your ‘free speech’ principle seems a little shaky if you would limit its protection to those whose positions are not ‘beyond the pale’. After all, if a position is beyond the pale, then it is of little danger or concern, since no one is going to pay attention to it. If lots of people ARE paying attention to it, then we’ll of course have people like you to assure us it is NOT beyond the pale. Right?

  48. Shem,

    The speaker before McCAin was a student who gave a very political speech and they loved her. If you honestly beleive that they would have had a problem with even the most extreme leftwing politics in a commencement speech, you need to give me the address of the planet you live on, because its clearly not earth. In 2005, the commencement speaker was Ted Sorenson was the commencement speaker and the whole speech was a rant about Abu Garib. So much for the commencement speech having to be a celebration of the graduates.

  49. Fydor,

    I agree with you. I was trying to be reasonable for people who seem to think it is okay to shout people down. But now that you mention it, I don’t think you should shout down Nazis or Communists either. They have a right to speak no matter twisted they are.

  50. A selection of John’s greatest hits from today:

    I am sure most of those nitwits think that the people in Cuba and North Korea are free to dissent.

    And later:

    If some leftwing moonbat had gotten up there and gave a speech about how the Massad was really behind 9-11 and that Bin Laden was a creation of Bush, those little shitheads would have given him a standing ovation.

    Um, John, do you have any clue what you’re talking about? Sure, college students trend to the left and can have some wacky notions. And sure, there is a very, very small minority that subscribes to absolutely insane notions like the ones you described above. But, honestly, those lunatics are the distinct minority, and most people on campuses tend to regard them as a freak show.

    If you don’t like what the college students did during a speech, well, fine. Make an argument against it. I might even agree. But there’s a big difference between critiquing behavior and spewing nonsense about college students belonging to the Kim Jong Il fan club.

    Let me guess: When you were in college, did a guy from Campus Crusade for Castro beat you up and steal your spell checker? Why didn’t your ROTC buddies help you kick his ass?

    It’s a sad day when a US Army officer gets his ass kicked by Campus Crusade for Castro. The ones I saw at the booths were emaciated vegans, busy reducing their lung capacity one cigarette at a time.

  51. The speaker before McCAin was a student who gave a very political speech and they loved her.

    She gave a speech about McCain’s speech, using the text that was posted on his website, because she believed that it was wrong for him to use her commencement as a stump for his Presidential campaign. If McCain hadn’t made the speech, hers would have been completely different.

    But fantastic job misrepresenting what actually happened. Way to raise the level of discourse there.

    Oh, and by the way, the preview function is your friend.

  52. Let me guess: When you were in college, did a guy from Campus Crusade for Castro beat you up and steal your spell checker? Why didn’t your ROTC buddies help you kick his ass?

    It’s a sad day when a US Army officer gets his ass kicked by Campus Crusade for Castro. The ones I saw at the booths were emaciated vegans, busy reducing their lung capacity one cigarette at a time.

    That’s it, we can all go home now. Thoreau wins the internet.

  53. I don’t think you should shout down Nazis or Communists either. They have a right to speak no matter twisted they are.

    Very good then, we agree!!

  54. No, the Castro guys at GW had table on 20th street every day but none of them beat me up. As far as these being the minority, if that is true, why did Ward Churchhill get tenure at Colorado despite having no academic credentials beyond being a nutcase? Why did the roving ambasador to the Taliban get into Yale and why was the Yale dean of admissions so proud of getting him? Why did Bruce Cummings make an entire career in history based on beleiving that North Korea was the victim in the Korean War? The list goes on and on. Why was Larry Summners, a loyal member of the Clinton administration, too conservative for Harvard? For being the minority, there sure seems to be a lot of nutcases in a lot of pretty prestigous schools. Moreover, the performance of the New School graduates speaks for itself.

  55. Yes a smart ass comment is always a great response when you have nothing else to say and are defending something as ludicrous as the idea that nutcase lefties are the minority on college campuses.

  56. What, no apology for blatantly misrepresenting that girl’s speech for the purpose of misleading the posters here? I’m shocked, shocked!

  57. why did Ward Churchhill get tenure at Colorado despite having no academic credentials beyond being a nutcase? Why did the roving ambasador to the Taliban get into Yale and why was the Yale dean of admissions so proud of getting him? Why did Bruce Cummings make an entire career in history based on beleiving that North Korea was the victim in the Korean War? The list goes on and on. Why was Larry Summners, a loyal member of the Clinton administration, too conservative for Harvard?

    We’re talking about students in this thread. Students don’t grant tenure, and students don’t get university presidents booted out either. Believe me, the order of priorities at a research university goes something like this: (Highest priority at top)

    Getting research grants
    Pleasing rich alumni
    Football team
    Publishing
    Anything that looks good in an article or TV spot
    Not getting sued
    Stroking egos of prima dona faculty stars
    Justifying the latest tuition hikes
    Pretty new buildings
    Pretty lawns and landscaping
    Undergraduate teaching
    The campus recreation center
    Keeping the staff from going on strike
    Feeding the ducks in the campus pond
    Faculty Christmas party
    The dean’s pet dog
    A bunch of other things
    Llamas
    Graduate students paid to do research
    Graduate students paid to teach

  58. You forgot promulgating Anti-American values, thoreau. And Poland.

  59. Yes a smart ass comment is always a great response when you have nothing else to say and are defending something as ludicrous as the idea that nutcase lefties are the minority on college campuses.

    I don’t think that’s as ludicrous as you do. Activists of any kind are a minority on campus. They just get the most press. Did you attend some Bizarro-World univesity where the majority of students cared more about politics than get drunk, laid and a degree? Or do you base your assumptions on the writings of Savage, Coulter, etc.

  60. Shem-

    Anti-American values are just below the llamas. Poland is just above the llamas.

    Finding Carmen San Diego is lower priority than Anti-American values but higher priority than grad students.

    Finding Waldo is a higher priority than the llamas.

  61. But thoreau, Carmen San Diego stole Christmas! Even worse, she took our jobs!

  62. Look Shem and Thoreau, John McCain, while anything but perfect and wrong headed on a lot of things is a pretty mainline U.S. political figure. It wasn’t like Pat Robertson got up there and said all gays need to burn hell or something. If the students at the New School are so a political and wonderful as you two seem to think, why did they feel the need to shout down McCain? Again, neither one of you responded to my other point that the 2005 commencement speech was a rant about Abu Gharib. Ted Sorenson wasn’t shouted down. Why wasn’t he if the objection was about politics qua politics being objected into a commencement speech? The reason is that the students are bunch of jerks who don’t think that anyone who disagrees with them has a right to speak. As I said, their behavior speaks for itself.

    I am tired of the “they are just the minority” apologetic line. No, at a place like the New School they are not.

  63. John, the students may very well have been rude and disrespectful. They may very well tend to the left. That doesn’t mean they belong to Campus Crusade for Castro.

    If you can’t see the difference, I don’t know what to say.

  64. Okay, Thoreau, what are they then? What do they believe in? Like I said, it is not like it was Pat Robertson or some idiotarian. It was John McCain for God’s sake. I dont’ see how anyone who is not completely over the edge would have that much of a problem with John McCain that they feel the need to boo him off the stage.

  65. It seems to me that people like McCain who support the war ought to be making speeches to places like the New School to people who do not support the war and the people who are against the war ought to listen and make up their own minds.

    The right to free speech does not include the right to make people listen to you.

  66. I want to know how much alcohol was consumed prior to and during the ceremony before I conclude that their behavior reflects a radical ideology.

    Much of the audience was already celebrating when I graduated from college several years ago. Maybe you and your ROTC buddies were more sedate at your law school graduation.

  67. John,

    I dont’ see how anyone who is not completely over the edge would have that much of a problem with John McCain that they feel the need to boo him off the stage.

    You see a different world than I do. In the one I see, a moderate Democrat would be every bit or possibly even more motivated to hate McCain than a far-left wingnut. Possibly more so because a far-left wingnut may not see him as being very different than he sees most Democrats. But to a mainstream Democrat, McCain would have positively have horns and fangs. This is especially true since McCain has recently tried to change his image from being a liberal in Republican clothing to someone whom the far right might not think is so bad. This is just how human nature and politics work.

    All that said, I know and care very little about the exact details of what happened, just addressing what you said there, John. I do agree that heckling seems more like a tactic of the far left than the moderate left. But if someone of the far left started it, it wouldn’t take much political extremism for others to join in.

  68. John-

    FWIW, I wouldn’t have booed during the speech.

    But neither would I have assumed that people booing are Maoists.

    Do you get it? A person can do something that you disapprove of, even do something really rude, and still not be a Maoist. No, really!

  69. Thoreau – i think it’s spelled:

    “Mowest”

    *not to be confused with “Midwest” or “Munchies” or, “Randolph”, for that matter.

    Fyodor: well thought out, as usual! cheers! 🙂

  70. edit: sorry for the double post.

    why do i get the feeling that he’s really not a lawyer but

    UNEMPLOYED… IN GREENLAND!!!!!!

  71. Thoreau,

    True, they are not all Maoists. Unfortunately, it is a culture that has grown up in colleges that says that it is okay to shout down anyone you don’t agree with. True, that doesn’t make them Maoists, but it does make them spoiled brats who have been let down by their teachers and mentors.

    Fyodor,

    If reasonable Dems think McCain has fangs, then we really live in a nasty age. Perhaps I am just naive but I would like to think that most people do not consider all of their political advasaries to be the agents of the Devil. Apparently, I am in the minority in that view.

  72. “It was John McCain for God’s sake. I dont’ see how anyone who is not completely over the edge would have that much of a problem with John McCain that they feel the need to boo him off the stage.”

    You can’t possibly be serious. I mean, you post and read here regularly, and presumably read other nooze sources, too. Unless you’re engaging that fantastic ability of yours to completely re-interpret reality, you can’t possibly present McCain as being a non-controversial figure especially if he’s giving a politically charged speech at a graduation.

    John, are you high?

  73. John-

    Well, alright then. We agree on something: Undergrads are unsophisticated, spoiled, barbarians.

    That’s different from saying that they’re fans of Kim Jong Il.

    FWIW, bitching about how awful the undergrads are is a tradition that goes back to the earliest universities. It is said that when the first student graduated from the first Greek gymnasium and went on to more specialized studies, he spent half his time bitching that the younger students were a bunch of idiots with no manners, and the rest of his time bitching about how awful his advisor was.

    Thus the tradition known as “graduate school” was begun.

  74. I recall reading about how one of the Transcendentalists–maybe Emerson, or the original Thoreau, I forget which–once gave a speech that was extremely critical of and insulting to organized religion, specifically Christianity.

    I’m an atheist, and ordinarily I’d fully cheer such a speech–but he gave it at a graduation ceremony at a theological seminary. And I think it’s appallingly rude to go to someone’s college graduation and give a speech which you know damned well the graduates aren’t going to like.

    So for me it’s a toss-up as to who was more rude–the hecklers, or McCain for turning someone’s graduation-day ceremonies into a political stump-speech opportunity.

  75. Again, neither one of you responded to my other point that the 2005 commencement speech was a rant about Abu Gharib

    I see no reason to address your your accusation, espcially when I’ve already caught you in one wild-ass exageration (if not outright lie) in this very thread which you have yet to address. Some people here have earned the bennefit of the doubt when it comes to claiming things without sourcing them. Those people have demonstrated themselves to be more or less trustworthy when doing so. You are not one such person.

  76. Well, alright then. We agree on something: Undergrads are unsophisticated, spoiled, barbarians.

    Hey now! I’m an undergraduate student. And I may be a spoiled barbarian, but I deeply resent the accusation that I’m unsophisticated.

  77. Thoreau,

    The world has always been ending at some point. Back when when everyone knew Greek and Latin by the time they graduated high school, their elders complained that they knew it by the time they were 12.

    Shem,

    I consider this speech a rant.

    http://www.newschool.edu/commencement/2004/sorensent.html

    Calling your opponents liars is not a good substitute for debate.

  78. And did the students agree with his points? That he gave that speech says nothing about how the students recieved it. Isn’t it rather important for you to know that before you accuse them of being Maoists?

    By the way, I’m still waiting for you to admit you misrepresented the speech of the graduate who spoke before McCain.

  79. From the text of here speech:

    These words I speak do not reflect the arrogance of a young strong-headed woman, but belong to a line of great progressive thought

    Exactly which would be more annoying during graduation – a political stump speech – or that of someone self-professed to belong to “a line of great progressive thought?”

    Seriously though – I don’t think her speech was overly agressive enough to say that she shouldn’t have given it.

    This is a side issue to actual heckling though.

  80. If reasonable Dems

    Easy on the oxymorons, there!! 🙂

    think McCain has fangs, then we really live in a nasty age.

    I can only echo what thoreau said, only in a different context, that this is nothing new, but we always think it is.

  81. VM,

    Once again, thank you very much!

  82. Don’t Try An’ Dig What We All S-s-s-s-s-ay!

  83. Fyodor and John,
    Your view seems to be that there are some principles, so important, that no matter the circumstances should always be held to. It’s an interesting point and I’ll chew on it awhile. Well said. At the very least, I don’t disagree that civility is generally an important value in an open society. Yet, it should also be said that the Right, especially in recent times, has been no friend of unqualified free speech either. Do you either of you support the Right’s efforts to stifle speech they have disagreed with, particularly aspects of the Patriot Act, the wire tappings, the creation of ‘Free Speech Zones’ Bill O’Reilly’s ‘shut up, shut up’ type of bullying on Fox News?

    I do disagree with John that McCain represents a benign political presence. I see the position that McCain and the Bush administration want to take us in as leading to a state of perpetual war. And who was it that said, ‘War is the Health of the State’?

    I also think it’s a different matter when someone is invited to a campus debate, round table discussion, or to give a speech on a topic he has announced beforehand. In that case, I think all participants should listen respectfully and let all speakers speak. So, if Michael Savage is invited to spew, er ‘speak’ about his nonsense, or debate, he should be heard out (particularly since he is just a silly private figure who has no power or plans to take over the free world). Yet, it seems that what McCain did was deceptive and inappropriate – kind of like when people start rambling on about their political views at the Oscars. I mean, there’s a certain point when the hook needs to come on the stage. ‘Free Speech’ is not a license to impose your views or use your audience for your own political purposes, when you have *not been invited* for such a purpose. This is a very different thing from a round table discussion or an event that would announce, “John McCain, invited to share his vision of what his presidency would accomplish”.

    P.S. John, looking forward to the movie, “Gays Burn Hell!” Sorry.

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