Act like a juvenile at your commencement, get lionized at HuffPo

Remember Jean Sara Rohe, one of the two “distinguished seniors” the New School university deans asked to speak at last week’s commencement at New School? The commencement where, as the AP reported:

[…] dozens of faculty members and students turned their backs and raised signs in protest and a distinguished student speaker pointedly mocked him as he sat silently nearby.

On Rohe, the AP reported:

Beginning by singing a wistful folk tune calling for world peace, Rohe announced she had thrown out her prepared remarks to address the McCain controversy directly.

“The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded” Rohe proclaimed to loud cheers, with McCain sitting just a few feet away.

She added that she knew what McCain would be saying to the graduates since he had promised to deliver the same speech he gave at Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University last weekend and Columbia University on Tuesday.

“He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions” Rohe said. “I am young and though I don’t possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.”

Well, wouldn’t you know it but Rohe has been given primo space at the Huffington Post, surprise surprise, to let everyone know “why” she said what she said. Not that we need an explanation: she hates President Bush and the admin. That’s the short version.

Check out Rohe’s comments here. Notable quotables (bold emphasis added for her comments and my responses are in italics):

John McCain arrived in the green room, and with the encouragement of Laurie Anderson, another honoree, Christina and I introduced ourselves to him. I almost wanted to warn the guy that I was about to make him look like an idiot Oh, the irony … –ST so that he would at least have a fighting chance and an extra moment to change his speech to save himself. But he didn’t even make eye contact when we shook hands, so I figured I didn’t owe him anything.

The rest is a blur. I didn’t have a high school graduation, so I was kind of looking forward to the whole ceremony of it, but all I remember is suddenly being in a robe, walking down the aisle of the MSG Theater to the cheers of my friends (who, incidentally, had no idea what to expect) and then I was on stage staring out at thousands of people and trying not to vomit. Eventually I spoke, and everyone loved it. And McCain spoke and we all had a bit of déjà vu. Then some other people spoke and I tried to pay attention but I couldn’t stop gawking at the protesters in the audience. And just before the end of the ceremony Bob Kerrey asked if I wanted to walk out with McCain. I said that would be OK. Kerrey led me over to him as the recessional music began, and I took McCain’s arm. “I’m sorry, man,” I told him, “I just had to do it.” He mumbled something about it being alright, but I think he probably would’ve rather not had me there. It really wasn’t his fault that he got invited into a pit of very well-educated vipers, and it really wasn’t my fault Sure it wasn’t your fault – it was *McCain’s fault* that you decided to act like a 12 y/o. Invoking that time-honored liberal tradition of blaming ‘outside influences’ for your own bad behavior … ST that I did what I had to do in the situation. Yes, indeed – very well educated in the other liberal tradition of being ‘tolerant’ and ‘respectful’ of other’s viewpoints … –ST Had he been speaking at something other than our graduation, or had he spoken about almost anything other than his life and his position on the Iraq War and Darfur it might have been OK. But what did he expect? Campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination at the New School is like trying to catch fish in a swimming pool. It was just totally out of place. Many thanks go to the people in the audience who managed to capture with a few yelled and widely-quoted phrases, just exactly what was going on there. Translation: thanks for being as childish and juvenile as I was … –ST

Of course the comments section there is bursting with praise. Why am I not surprised?

The Wall Street Journal on the commencement:

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.

“The Senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded,” said senior Jean Sara Rohe, which makes us wonder what ideals, and manners, she learned at home. “I am young and though I don’t possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that preemptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.”

Speaking of “havoc,” Ms. Rohe spoke only blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center. The Senator who spent years in the Hanoi Hilton reacted with admirable restraint to these insults, and readers who want to see his remarks can find them posted here.

Mr. McCain was invited to the New School by its president, former Democratic Senator and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Robert Kerrey. When Mr. Kerrey spoke, he was also heckled, with someone shouting, “You’re a war criminal!” It’d be comforting to dismiss all this as mere Manhattan derangement, but these passions have become common in liberal media and Web precincts and are spilling into national politics.

I’m reminded of liberal columnist Richard Cohen’s opinion piece on liberal hatred:

The hatred is back. I know it’s only words now appearing on my computer screen, but the words are so angry, so roiled with rage, that they are the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations. I can appreciate some of it. Institution after institution failed America — the presidency, Congress and the press. They all endorsed a war to rid Iraq of what it did not have. Now, though, that gullibility is being matched by war critics who are so hyped on their own sanctimony that they will obliterate distinctions, punishing their friends for apostasy and, by so doing, aiding their enemies. If that’s going to be the case, then Iraq is a war its critics will lose twice — once because they couldn’t stop it and once more at the polls.

Gateway Pundit has a link roundup of liberal guest commencement speakers [Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and Rep. William “Lacy” Clay (D-MO)] and the crowd reaction to those speeches.

I’m starting to wonder if it’s just a bad idea all around to invite politicians to speak at commencement ceremonies.

Other incidents of liberal antics on high school and college campuses can be found here:

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