Senator John McCain of Arizona received a cantankerous reception during his appearance at the New School commencement Friday, where 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.
Yep, take your ball and go home, that'll win hearts and minds. The problem with the left is they don't want to win hearts and minds. They'd rather grandstand, demonstrating an alleged moral superiority through empty gestures and schoolyard tactics.
Check out the reaction by one of the "distinguished seniors" invited to speak at the commencement:
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.
First off, I'm certain I would've been rolling in the aisles once Rohe started with the folk singing. Second -- and I'm beating a buried horse here -- aren't universities supposed to be laboratories for free speech? Isn't that why we have higher education in the first place.
McCain, per usual, couldn't resist a rejoinder --
"When I was a young man, I was quite infatuated with self-expression, and rightly so because, if memory conveniently serves, I was so much more eloquent, well-informed and wiser than anyone else I knew," McCain said.
As he spoke, several dozen students and faculty turned their backs to him and lifted signs saying "Our commencement is not your platform."
A few students yelled catcalls at McCain, saying things like "full of it," and "We're graduating, not voting."
Credit due New School President Bob Kerrey -- another man who should've been president -- for standing up to his immature charges.
"Will you stand and say what you believe when you know that heckling and loudness and boos will arise?" Kerrey asked.
Shouldn't McCain be applauded for willing to engage on "enemy" turf, left and right? I thought America craved a unifier, though I'm not sure that's what either side really wants. I suppose it's easier being assuaged than challenged.
Let me remind you of the consequences: George Allen vs. Hillary in '08.