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« The Trump Doctrine; or, Vladimir brings out the best in The Donald | Main | Lindsey Graham's reverse strategic advance »

December 21, 2015


Anne J

Basically, they're drama queens and always the victims. Sadly, you don't have to look far to find people like this. They're angry, they're paranoid, they're misinformed, and have no interest in becoming informed. That would kill the drama for them. It must be exhausting living in such an angry, scared state of mind 24/7.

Peter G

To be fair not all the Republican candidates are selling ignorance. Most are merely catering to it.


There's a rare thing in his interview that Mr. Obama is completely wrong about as well as contradictory. He thinks it's healthy for young people to be engaged and to question authority, but considers protests of some speakers to be "try[ing] to just shut them up." This attack on imaginary political correctness is disappointing.

According to Bloomberg news commencement speakers generally are paid from $1000 to $200,000 in fees according to their stature. Condoleezza Rice was to have been paid $35000 for her speech at Rutgers and receive an honorary degree ( ). This is a woman that helped drum up support for the Iraq war with language known to be misleading and later supported torture. Students were engaged and would have been negligent in not pushing back on the university's plan to honor her and make her a role model.

The case against Christine Lagarde isn't as clear. She's done great work as a women's right advocate, but as head of the International Monetary Fund oversaw financial deals not always advantageous to the client countries, especially their poorer inhabitants. Still, the students showed engagement on the issue. The president can't have it both ways. Why should Christine Lagarde's right to speech nullify the students'?


It's sort of a gray area, in my view. Condi was invited to give a commencement address, not just speak at a symposium or other sort of lecture/debate setting.

I think protesting her right to speak in a symposium-type setting is on one, less noble side of the "PC police" line, while protesting her being a commencement speaker is firmly on the other.

The former events are meant to encourage the airing of opinions, discussion of ideas, and debate. By all means, let Condi speak at these. Challenge her ideas, push her to attempt to justify her historic foolishness. That's the point.

Commencement is a joyous, pride-filled once-in-a-lifetime event for the students receiving their degrees and being celebrated. They have every right to object to having a lying war criminal foisted upon them to give the address on such an occasion. I drew a short straw of sorts for my commencement - rather than have an interesting or inspiring public figure, we had one of the university's economics professors (who no one particularly liked, no less) give our commencement speech. Many years later I'm still miffed we got hosed. I can hardly imagine how pissed I'd be if, say, Donald Rumsfeld had been our speaker (and wasn't dragged away in cuffs at the end of his remarks).


Obama was probably trying to sound reasonable to people huffed up about PC, but no one should have to listen to an assistant war criminal and torturer at commencement. I can't even imagine what the people responsible for booking her were thinking unless they were conservative trolls.


Amazingly, Condi managed to emerge from that trainwreck of an administration with a fairly positive reputation, at least compared to Bush/Cheney/Rummy. So the suits at the university may have genuinely thought it reasonable to book her. Their students knew better.

S. Holland

Beautifully stated!!!


I can still remember her claiming we couldn't wait until the smoking gun was a mushroom cloud, which the UN inspectors had already said was not in the works. Anyone who read the news should have known better.

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