Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

White House Cheat Sheet: Commencement Speech Controversy



President Obama will give a commencement speech at Arizona State University tonight. (AP Photo by Charles Dharapak)

President Obama travels to Arizona today for the first of three college commencement addresses he'll deliver over the next 10 days, two of which have been marred by controversy.

When tonight's speech at Arizona State University was initially announced, a spokeswoman for ASU said no honorary degree would be conferred to the president since "his body of work is yet to come." The school refused to back down despite evidence of the far less accomplished people who had received honorary degrees.

While White House officials dismissed the Arizona State incident as nothing more than a public relations mix-up, the ongoing fight over Obama's commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, which is scheduled for Sunday, is far more complicated -- and high profile.

At issue is whether Obama, a supporter of abortion rights, should be given such an honored speaking slot at the nation's second most prestigious Catholic university. (If you have to ask what the number one university is, you don't read the Fix much.)

The bishop of South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame is located, as well as some students have said they plan to skip the commencement to protest Obama's views on abortion.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to downplay the size or impact of the protests in Tuesday's daily briefing, noting that one group was organizing in opposition to the speech while nearly two dozen were actively supporting it.

"The president understands the right of anybody in this country to disagree and to exercise their disagreement in that way," said Gibbs. "I think it's important to understand it appears as if the vast majority of students and the majority of Catholics are supportive of the invitation the president accepted and I know he's greatly looking forward to it."

Why all the back and forth over a simple speech?

First, a bit of context is necessary.

Protests and controversies surrounding speeches by presidents and other top administration officials are nothing new. Remember back to 2005 when President George W. Bush addressed the graduating seniors at Calvin College and a third of the faculty signed a letter protesting his visit as in violation of the school's core principles vis a vis the war in Iraq.

And, who could forget the scene at the New School in New York City in 2006 when students spoke out loudly in opposition to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as their commencement speaker?

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey (D), the president of the New School who extended that invitation to McCain, defended Obama as a commencement pick. "Obama's speaking skills, his original thinking and popularity with students practically guarantee a smashing success that makes the university and its president feel and look good," said Kerrey.

The second factor to consider when analyzing the controversy surrounding Obama's commencements is that the massive level of attention he draws wherever he goes provides an attractive platform for individuals or groups looking to raise their profiles by a well-timed protest.

"I suspect we'll see more controversies manufactured by opponents, because they get some of the spotlight when they engage President Obama," predicted Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway. "They don't bask in his glow, but they definitely get more air time."

In other words, there's more where these controversies came from.

What To Watch For:

Wednesday Fix Picks: Ever wish there was a political Hall of Fame? Us too. And we are creating one on the Fix. Stay tuned.

1. Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast.
2. Michael Steele apologizes. Again.
3. Cheneys unleashed. Again.
4. Sarah Palin: Author.
5. Choose your own Idol songs.

Obama Revs Up Organizing Arm for Health Care Fight: In a sign that the White House knows it is in for a fight on the president's plan to reform the health care system in the country, Organizing for America -- the group within the Democratic National Committee that owns the email list built by Obama during the 2008 campaign -- sent out a call for support to its grassroots army last night. "Last fall millions of regular people came together and did the impossible," wrote OFA director Mitch Stewart in the email appeal. "Now, we've got to roll up our sleeves, join hands with those new to our movement, and do it again." Stewart asks recipients to sign a pledge supporting the basic principles underlying Obama's efforts on health care, noting: "The more signatures we have, the more powerful our message will be." The transformation of Obama's political infrastructure to policy fights remains a work in progress as it is far harder to mobilize volunteers for a complicated fight on the budget or health care than it is to turn out people for a campaign rally. The health care fight this fall will put the OFA list to the test. Can it deliver votes in Congress like it delivered votes on election day 2008?

Speaking of Health Care...: A broad coalition that includes members ranging from PhRMA to the Service Employees International Union is spending more than $500,000 on ads tying health care reform to an overall economic recovery. Sponsored by Healthy Economy Now, the ad's narrator calls on viewers to "fix health care, it's a big part of fixing the economy." The commercials are set to run in Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Tennessee and Wyoming -- all states with persuadable senators -- as well as Washington, D.C.

Click It!: Always wondered what women are thinking? (Guilty). Slate has the answer in their new "XX Factor" blog written by Emily Bazelon and Hanna Rosin among others.

A Primary Shapes Up in Utah: Utah's status as among the most Republican states in the union means that GOP primary races are where the action is. Witness Sen. Bob Bennett's reelection bid in 2010 where he could face not only Tim Bridgewater, who dropped his bid for state chairman to focus on a run against the incumbent, but also state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff who appears to have accidentally announced his candidacy via Twitter. (In a separate tweet Shurtleff says he will make a formal decision on May 20.) Recent political history suggests Bennett, who has been derided by conservatives for voting for the first TARP bill, could struggle in a party primary. In 2008, then Rep. Chris Cannon was soundly defeated by Jason Chaffetz, a former chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, in a primary that was a referendum on Cannon's conservative credentials. Bennett, a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), is clearly aware of his potential vulnerability and has cast a series of conservatives votes during the first few months of 2009.

Best iPhone Apps: iMafia, WunderRadio and Bubble Wrap.

Say What?: "Enjoy, be loose and let's start the show." -- First lady Michelle Obama kicks off an evening of poetry and spoken word at the White House on Tuesday.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 13, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wag the Blog: Understanding Elizabeth Edwards
Next: Ensign Extends Iowa Trip

Comments

UPDATE:

By Tom Coyne, Associated Press Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Former Republican presidential hopeful Alan Keyes, a Roman Catholic priest and 19 others were arrested Friday after marching onto the University of Notre Dame campus to protest President Barack Obama's planned commencement speech.

The arrests marked the third straight Friday that protesters have been detained. They are angry about the school's decision to give Obama, who supports abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, an honorary degree and have him speak at Sunday's commencement.

"Notre Dame is arresting a priest," the Rev. Norman Weslin, founder of the Lambs of Christ abortion protest group, said as Notre Dame security personnel put plastic restraints on his wrists Friday. "Why are you arresting a priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby? You've got it all backward."

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If anyone else gets excerpts of Obama's ASU speech, please post them. Thanks in advance : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes Jake is such a fascinatingly variegated character, I can see why people would want talk to him about him all day

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

True, but keep in mind that all I was refuting was the false claims that I post 1) daily, and 2) in the first person more than everyone else here combined.

Every wall is built one brick at a time. If you don't think I've met my burden of proof as to either claim, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+jaked (159 results)

vs.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+drindl (1,020 results)"

This is more a reflection on the number of columns each has commented on rather than the total number of comments. I could post a hundred times on this page, but it would only count as one.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

It was obvious where this was going at yesterday press briefing.

Q Robert, Senators Graham and Lieberman have written the President a letter about pending release of the photographs of the treatment of detainees, and they would like the President to consider reversing that decision made by the Justice Department and the Department of Defense. And in their letter, they say the release of these old photographs of past behavior --

MR. GIBBS: Well, let me -- the decision made by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice relating to a series of court cases dating back to September of 2008, as well as an appeals case dating back to March 11.

Go ahead.

Q That's the legal foundation, yes. And in their letter, they say this will "serve no public good" -- I'm quoting now -- "but will empower al Qaeda propaganda operations, hurt our country's image, and endanger our men and women in uniform." Is this something that is being considered by the President for reversal or is this a policy that will go forward? And does he have any anxiety about the potential consequences of the release of these photographs?

MR. GIBBS: Well, obviously the President has great concern about any impact that pictures of detainee -- potential detainee abuse in the past could have on the present-day service members that are protecting our freedom either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or throughout the world. That's something the President is very cognizant of, and we are working to -- we are working currently to figure out what the process is moving forward.

Q Does this mean -- does that mean the decision could be reversed?

MR. GIBBS: I don't want to get into that right now.

Q So you can't commit either way?

MR. GIBBS: I'm not going to add much to that right now.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I have completed work for the day. I have read the Prez's statement about the photos. From the statement, these photos were evidence in now closed cases of abuse where the abusers were punished. According to the Prez, neither Admin suppressed these photos - they resulted in convictions and/or penalties.

If this is true, then I am not deeply concerned for the "public's right to know" in this specific matter. I am concerned for the propaganda value of the photos, however.

Please know that if these photos had been suppressed from use by prosecutors and defense counsel in either the prosecution of the guards or of the prisoners I would be very concerned.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

If you need some attention so badly Jakey try telling your mom you have a fever. Maybe you'll get the thermometer up the dirt road

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I guess it's a slow news day.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

And at least three of those "conservatives" would be you posting under alternate monikers, Jake, if not all four. Next!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

4 people is hardly a consensus, since I could find 4 conservatives to agree with me about anything here too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I look in here occasionally and share the consensus opinion on jaked and his offer.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

He can't. He's too busy blogging garbage and his employer pays him by the post. That's why he's so jealous of foxy and drindl.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Nobody needs an invitation from you to debate a topic here, Jakey-D. Why don't you take your narcissism and insecurity to a psychiatrist's office and get some real help.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I assume you two are not the only ones who have ever posted or will every post here. If anyone else wants to debate the thread topic, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Nope, you're still a moron.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else want to debate Obama's Commencement Speech Controversy?

==

Not with you, you're a moron

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm obviously not here for your entertainment. Does anyone else want to debate Obama's Commencement Speech Controversy?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say this but I actually miss zoukie. The absurdities that come from jaked can't hold a candle to the entertainment that zoukie provided.

Zoukie, where are you..............

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I finally understand why this column is called TheFix.

This is where JakeD comes to get his.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

On another thread, drindl claimed: "It's odd" that I should spend so much time thinking about pregnant women.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

I am NOT criticizing chrisfox8 or drindl's number of posts. They were the ones who started with: "Jake your use of this section for personal attention is a daily and increasingly tiresome constant ... You write in the first person more than everyone else here combined. Whatever the nominal topic, it's always about you."

I am simply rebutting those specious claims. For instance, I was gone yesterday golfing, so I don't post "daily". Also, I don't post more "in the first person" than everyone else combined. In fact, I think that Google tells the tale (as I posted below):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+jaked (159 results)

vs.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+drindl (1,020 results)

As I said: "I've got a long ways to catch up!"

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Post 17 in this thread: my new job has a great salad bar.

Just thought I'd share.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"For the record, chrisfox8 and drindl "combined" have posted 31 times just on this thread alone (more than JakeD and Bob Dole combined ; )"

By my count JakeD & Bob Dole combined for 31 posts. (31 for the former, zero for the latter). So you criticize drindl & chrisfox8 for their number of posts, but match their combined score with your own drivel. Ironic.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama's change of heart on the photos can only mean one thing: he's seen some of them, and knows that they are so outrageous and sick that the world would just explode at what our nation has been doing.

His reversal is not good news, and the suggestion that we should conceal the truth because of the impression it might make on our scrupulously noble men in uniform is a shibboleth. Because it turns out that our noble men in uniform have done some pretty horrible things.

Just following orders of course.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

My last chance to look in today.

Jake asked my opinion of Prez oppo to "release of additional detainee photos".

As Gates implied last month, if FIA will control what gets released, the Admin should not artificially prolong the attempted secrecy. If the Admin thinks it has good grounds to win under FIA it should not anticipate a loss by disclosing that which would otherwise properly remain secure.

While the GWB Admin was often an example of "error", IMO, every Admin will be tempted to err on the side of caution over the side of disclosure. Instructing the lawyers not to concede this group of photos to the ACLU may turn out to be wrong on the law and may turn out to be right. I came to not trust GWB more than I distrusted other Admins, but this Admin could turn out to be unworthy of trust in these matters, too. I gave GWB the benefit of the doubt for some years; I'll give this Prez the benefit of the doubt for some more months - my reservoir of trust for government having become somewhat depleted.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am an educated Independent, not Republican.

==

Yeah and I'm Pope Benedict

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am an educated Independent, not Republican.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

Taking up your point, though, total university endowments in the US have to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. I think the Ivy League alone is around $100 billion. That's a lot of institutional investment power.

Posted by: mnteng | May 13, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

And many or most days i don't post at all. your point?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

case in point

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

For the record, chrisfox8 and drindl "combined" have posted 31 times just on this thread alone (more than JakeD and Bob Dole combined ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"i wonder how the base feels when many of their party leaders mock them?"

==

It probably goes over their heads. Met many Republicans since the educated ones dropped away? Not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

i wonder how the base feels when many of their party leaders mock them?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

kathleen parker, another republican:

"Washington buzz lately has become a buzz saw.

In the days since the correspondents' dinner, reaction to Barack Obama's reaction to Wanda Sykes's one-liners has resembled a confederacy of scolds. What dreary, sensitive wretches we've become.

Do I think Sykes was a monument to hilarity? No, but she was funny much of the time. Do I think her now-infamous Rush Limbaugh jokes were over the top? Yeah. That's a comedian for you. Do I think her performance -- and Obama's apparent amusement -- marks the decline of civilization? This is hardly a new development.

I do think we take ourselves far too seriously -- and literally."

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

God forbid they shouldn't be allowed to destroy the National Park. I really don't understand why people who call themselves patriots want to destroy the American heritage.

Posted by: drindl

==

Utah's days are numbered. The state is of course in the grip of a fundamentalist cult, but the older generation that owns most of the land has some lingering environmental spirit. Their kids don't. The kids are waiting for their parents to die off so they can sell the land they inherit and watch the "developers" move in. You'll see grotesque family theme parks all over the state, oil and gas drilling, and one big horrid mess.

And it's a shame, it's a scenic and attractive state, but the cities and towns are creepy with tranquilized and bored people.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"You're off by more than an order of magnitude"

I didn't want to overstate!

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling over in his grave:

"Reid filed for cloture May 11 on Hayes’ nomination, which has been delayed because of a controversy about oil and gas development. Robert F. Bennett , R-Utah, said in March that he would try to hold up floor consideration because he objected to the department’s decision to cancel oil and gas drilling leases near several national parks in Utah."

God forbid they shouldn't be allowed to destroy the National Park. I really don't understand why people who call themselves patriots want to destroy the American heritage.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

You're off by more than an order of magnitude -- Harvard's endowment is north of $30 billion, even after losing something like 25% last year.

Posted by: mnteng | May 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think we have pretty much determined that the Fix is a true nerd, as he himself is the first to point out. Therefore we can not blame him if he often does not get 'it."

And then, an essay by Michael Gerson, republican:

"Of the two main American political parties, Republicans are now clearly distinguished by their driving desire to lose. Every faction seems determined to rule the kingdom of irrelevance.

Witness the reaction to the National Council for a New America - an anodyne "listening tour" by Republican officials recently kicked off at a pizza parlor in Northern Virginia. Social conservatives attacked this forum on education and the economy for the offense of not being a forum on abortion and the traditional family. Neo-Reaganites searched the transcript for nonexistent slights: How dare former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticize "nostalgia" for the "good old days"? Why didn't he just spit on Ronald Reagan's grave? Other conservatives criticized the very idea of a listening tour, asking, "What's to hear?"

During a recent conversation, Bush described himself as "dumbfounded by the reaction." He added: "I don't think listening is a weakness. People are yearning to be heard. Perhaps we should begin with a little humility."

."There is much for Republicans to be humble about. The party, says Bush, faces "dramatically changing demographics, especially Hispanics in swing states," the "alienation of young voters" and an unprecedented drop in support among college graduates."

Just keep doing what you're doing, it's working great. For democrats.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that exactly what Cheney has been saying?! This ain't gonna sit well with the libs.

==

When it comes to declassifying documents Cheney weaves all over the road like a drunkard. He releases what he wants, like CIA operatives' identities, and withholds what he wants for personal gain and personal protection.

Seeking consistency in that monster's behavior is a fool's errand.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Thankfully, he failed in his efforts to convert a safety net into a casino."

==

Bush sounded like George Will, a firm believer in the infallibility of "the marketplace." If we privatized Social Security then the spirit that lives in money would speak the magic phrase and the money would grow like rabbits with infinite clover and no predators. You know, "the magic of the marketplace" BS.

But I think that was a lie too. The real reason for privatization was to allow the financial caste to get their hands on the nation's retirement accounts, and move it into their own, to disappear into a netherworld of overseas tax havens and numbered international accounts.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

You're welcome. What do you think about this ...

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama has ordered government lawyers to object to the planned release of additional detainee photos, according to an administration official.

"Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the (Defense Department) photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops, and because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court," the official said.

"At the end of that meeting, the president directed his counsel to object to the immediate release of the photos on those grounds. … (Obama) strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing U.S. forces, and making our job more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

Isn't that exactly what Cheney has been saying?! This ain't gonna sit well with the libs.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes, of MinA
"That's an interesting point you made about the plan leading to public ownership of companies."

Theoretically, yes; realistically, no. Institutional investors already hold enormous numbers of shares in publicly held companies, yet few, if any, actually exercise their rights to influence corporate boards. The institutions I'm talking about are state pension funds, endowments (isn't Harvard near a billion by itself?), 401k plans (how many trillions are held in these?), etc. I think the state employee pension funds, for example, typically stay out of corporate boardrooms precisely because of the concern mark_in_austin expressed.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to bsimon and JakeD for satisfying my curiosity.

Ddawd, all I can add is that when RWR put SS out to a bipartisan commission they came back with proposals that greatly extended the life of SS and that were enacted, for the most part, into law. We should have done that again, already. But if I understood your question, I do not see how GWB's plan would have been "successful". WJC posed something similar with one significant difference in the late 90s. He would have given increased tax benefits for personal contribs into IRAs and the like, but I do not remember the details. Called it SS+, I think. Now in hindsight it looks like a way to get more money into the financial markets.

SS, and M&M, are prohibited form investing in anything except US Govt obligations. So they are a major purchaser of and holder of the national debt. I know: this can make your head explode.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"If we agree that GWB was right about needing to solve the problem, maybe one way would have been to NOT get into this economic mess in the first place?"


That would be a great point if we could roll back the clock. Regarding the former president, you over-credit him with identifying the problem; he was one of a long list of politicians, analysts and citizens who have pointed out the long term insolvency of the programs. Thankfully, he failed in his efforts to convert a safety net into a casino.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Would it be better if I started posting like Bob Dole in the third person?

"JakeD is against abortion. JakeD would protest Obama's speech if he were a graduate at Notre Dame."

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

If we agree that GWB was right about needing to solve the problem, maybe one way would have been to NOT get into this economic mess in the first place?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin

Yeah, this is not my area, so I can't talk expertly. Obviously Bush's plan would have been terrible if carried out, but as a non laissez faire capitalist, do you think the plan would have been more successful?

That's an interesting point you made about the plan leading to public ownership of companies.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I was gone yesterday golfing. Also, I don't post more "in the first person" than everyone else combined. In fact, Google tells the tale:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+jaked (159 results)

vs.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Avoices.washingtonpost.com%2Fthefix+drindl (1,020 results)

I've got a long ways to catch up!

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"I take your point on the humor vs. criticism issue for the "Say What?" segment - but then, I do not get the humor in this one."

I read the 'stay loose' phrase in context with an evening of spoken word & poetry as a hipster's way of saying that boundaries can (and perhaps should?) be pushed during the subsequent festivities. Poetry & spoken word aren't my thing though, so I'm guessing. If there's supposed to be a 'joke', I suspect it is on The Fix, who has excluded himself from the ranks of hipsterdom by missing the point.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

JakeD asks
"Does anyone want to discuss "Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast.""

sure

From the linked article:
"The nation's economic downturn has added to the fragility of Medicare and Social Security because worsening unemployment means that fewer workers are contributing to the two trust funds through payroll taxes."

Sounds like step 1 should be: boosting employment. The projections for Medicare/SS insolvency are exacerbated in times of economic slowdowns: The projected costs continue to rise as our population ages (i.e. the boomers). But the projected revenue falls because employment is down and pay is down (i.e. I still have a job, but our company imposed salary cuts). The projections of future solvency use current numbers - and assume these conditions will continue in the future. If we can reverse these trends, by boosting employment & boosting compensation, we will address the revenue side of the equation. Perhaps someone can develop a modest proposal for addressing the cost side. Hmmm.... What can we do with all the tough old boomers?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

I took it as poking fun at a Harvard-trained lawyer pretending to be an M.C. at the Apollo Theater.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone want to discuss "Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast."

==

Jake your use of this section for personal attention is a daily and increasingly tiresome constant. Why can't you just set up a blogspot account and stop trying to hijack this section for your own tangents?

You write in the first person more than everyone else here combined. Whatever the nominal topic, it's always about you.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

ddawd, to be clear, I oppose public ownership of the means of production and distribution, but favor close regulation of monopolies and oligopolies for non-competitive practices [makes me a TR follower].
I am not a laissez-faire capitalist, but I am a capitalist. So I feared all those shares in the hands of the SS Admin [$10T by JakeD's scoring].

Jake, I take your point on the humor vs. criticism issue for the "Say What?" segment - but then, I do not get the humor in this one. I know jokes suffer in explanation, but somebody should figuratively put me out of my misery on this one and explain it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

There's NO chance a healthcare-reform bill passes the Senate before the August recess.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

ddawd, GWB offered the wrong "solution" - privatization; but he was correct to put restructuring of entitlements on the table. So were Cong. Jim Cooper [D] TN and his R cosponsor, two years ago. Speaker Pelosi seems to have stifled the bipartisan commission approach to SS, and M&M, for two sessions, now.

While privatization was frightening because of the risks inherent in the markets, it was even more of a concern to real, as opposed to GWB, capitalists. Opening private markets to SS and M&M funds would have within a few years put the boards of the Fortune 500 under the whims of the voting trustee for the shares owned by the SS system. We would have achieved state ownership of the means of production and distribution without a shot ever having been fired.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Medicare on the other hand needs fixing -- which is an overhaul of the entire healthcare system to be replaced by a more efficient one."

This will be the next big issue. The healthcare bill. Pelosi says she wants it done before July. I'm excited about this!

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

As both a regular reader of this blog and a proud graduate of the premier Catholic university in America (hence it's title, The Catholic University of America), I must take serious offense to your blatant snub

Posted by: kdemko | May 13, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Jake thinks we should have poured our Social Security money into the hands of the very people who destroyed the financial system.

That's good old conservative thinking, all right. However do these people manage to called themselves 'conservative'? That's a joke, right?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

SOMETHING should have been done -- who knows, maybe it would have solved the banking crisis -- in hindsight, I think a good argument could be made that an extra $10 trillion in the stock market would have, at least, put off the beginning of the recession enough to elect McCain as President.

Yeah, that would have helped. McCain can't spell "stock market".

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

No, Social Security is not running out of money -- the argument is based on ridiculous acturial assumptions of lower growth than we have ever had.

Medicare on the other hand needs fixing -- which is an overhaul of the entire healthcare system to be replaced by a more efficient one.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone want to discuss "Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast." I guess GWB was right about that, too?"

Yeah, if only we had followed his proposed solution...

Posted by: DDAWD

Yeah, invest it in the market..........that georgie, smart boy.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

SOMETHING should have been done -- who knows, maybe it would have solved the banking crisis -- in hindsight, I think a good argument could be made that an extra $10 trillion in the stock market would have, at least, put off the beginning of the recession enough to elect McCain as President.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/ssps/ssp7.html

P.S. in the South, slaves were not considered autonomous "persons" either. IIRC the Constitution only counted them as 3/5 "persons" ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Fun new argument from Lindsey Graham: these torture methods have lasted from the middle ages because they work.""

--at extracting false confessions of witchcraft, which they were designed to do.

As an older American who grew up in a country that thought torture unthinkable, to watch republicans gratuitously defend it is repulsive. They really are into S&M in a big way.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone want to discuss "Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast." I guess GWB was right about that, too?"

Yeah, if only we had followed his proposed solution...

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The oft-abused parallel between abortion and slavery makes anti-choice advocates feel good, but fails to carry water on even modest reflection.

For instance, slavery inherently and unambiguously involved one autonomous person benefiting at another autonomous person's cost.

In the abortion debate, however, there is first the question of whether there are even two parties involved. If there are two parties, one of them is absolutely not autonomous. There is no debate that one party is required to make decisions about and for the other party. The alleged victim inherently imposes substantial and unrequited costs on the alleged criminal. An abortion is hardly considered a desirable benefit to the alleged criminal -- who would almost universally have preferred to avoid the entire choice -- but rather a lamentable necessity. And so on. All of which anti-choice advocates seek to paper over with slogans.

The largest parallel I see between the case of abolitionists and anti-choice advocates is that they both have produced a substantial fringe of religious or quasi-religious absolutist fanaticism that unscrupulous politicians seek to leverage. Prohibition is another close match, in that respect, and probably even a better match. Other than that, not so much.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Look armpeg-- the RNC is adapting your language!

"A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary
special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding
Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”

That's a surefire way to increase their appeal and show Americans that they're serious about addressing the nation's problems, eh?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Protesting is fine. Just don't get violent and don't interrupt the proceedings. Example that comes to mind is Tom Tancredo at the University of North Carolina. Standing at the back turned away from Obama is acceptable.

Does anyone know where I can find a graph on abortion rates in the US over time? (using a per capita scaling)

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to whomever corrected the "third of a third" reference in the original thread.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@Drindl - And Chris doesn't need yours. As long as you keep deliberately distorting positions, I'll keep posting. Not for your benefit.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

If anyone else does not understand what the words "STUDENT-led protest" mean, please let me know.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22451.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Blade -- I don't need your advice, thanks.

You don't like my posts, don't read them. I will now stop reading yours.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

I don't even recall who that speaker was (although, if JFK had given the commencement address, I think that I would have remembered that ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Again, jakey refuses to acknowledge the obvious; these are not students protesting at the gates of ND, they are the professional protesters. The student's response to this "controversy" has been muted. That apparently doesn't suit the right-wingnuts.

Jake, do you have your tickets to South Bend for the weekend lined up? Your friends will want to see you. And you don't want to appear too moderate for them, they'll throw you right (nice pun!) out of the party.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@Jake - Pop quiz. What were the stances of the speakers at your commencement?

@Drindl - Stop trying to rewrite history or at least start reading today's column. Note quoted section below. Happy now?

"Protests and controversies surrounding speeches by presidents and other top administration officials are nothing new. Remember back to 2005 when President George W. Bush..."

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse


This statistic I just found is really disturbing in terms of the direction that evangelical churches are gong...

"Those who attend religious services at least once a week were more likely than those who rarely or never attend to say torture is sometimes or often justified — 54 percent to 42 percent."

Which is to say, in the opposite direction of the teachings of Jesus.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone want to discuss "Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Fast." I guess GWB was right about that, too?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Yes, I remember many Bushisms finding their resting place as "Say What?" (I always took it as half-joking, not criticism, but maybe that's just me ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Mr. Cillizza DID note the "controversy" about McCain's speech AT THE TIME: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/the-line/the-friday-presidential-line-b.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Jake, I think CC has reserved that section for misplaced modifiers, grammar flaws, and non sequiters. But I could be wrong. Look at the previous ones.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see.


"Say What?: "Enjoy, be loose and let's start the show."

What is it about this you don't understand, CC?

That she talks like a human being instead of an automaton?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am interested in who will make The Fix's "political Hall of Fame" though (Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

drindl, see the final item: "Say what?"

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Funny how important slaveholder rights are to Jake, hmm?

My apologies, CC -- for criticizing you for not mentioning the bush protests. I see you did reference it at the bottom, which I had not gotten to yet. But you did not mention it at the time.

Mark -- where are you finding the Michelle remark? I don't see it. I was curious what you meant about slang.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Is it "critical" to simply ask "Say What?"

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

JC 505 wrote:

""... prestigious Catholic university"?

Nothing like a good oxymoron to start the day!"
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Free speech permits insulting Catholics as well as great universities. But it is immature and pointless to do so, nevertheless.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does anyone understand why Chris chose the First Lady's remark for criticism? Was he insinuating a double entendre for "...be loose"? Was he implying that proper slang usage is "loosen up"? Is there such a thing as proper slang usage? Any ideas? Anybody?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If anyone else thinks that "opposition to slavery was widespread" (at least by those who could actually VOTE) in the South, please let me know. Back on topic, however, just as I supported the New School students' right to protest McCain, I support Notre Dame students' right to protest Obama. It is hypocritical to denounce only one protest based on which side is giving the commencement address.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

For the record, abolitionists had "no sympathy" for their cause in the South either.

==

Spoken like a true gooper, seeing only the views of the wealthy slaveowners.

Opposition to slavery was widespread in the entire USA. The rest of the world had already judged it immoral and wrong and there were plenty in the USA who were against it for a variety of reasons, not all of them moral. Slavery was expensive.

As usual, you don't know what you're talking about, and you have overused this invalid analogy.

Funny haha how you draw this ridiculous comparison between abortion and slavery yet feign to see no comparison between miscegenation laws and same-sex marriage.

Oh, that;s right, you're dishonest. (slaps forehead)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Those who are being hypocritical took a completely different position when Bush, Cheney, Card, McCain etc. were being protested.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”

The party of crackpots, wackos and nutjobs sinks further into Lala Land.

Do they really think that wasting taxpayer time and money on childish pranks will somehow get them positive attention? They are becoming nothing but a national embarrassment -- a cheap joke.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

To defend Mr. Cillizza for a moment, he has indeed linked to WaPo stories on GOP "controversial" commencement addresses, i.e. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/19/AR2006051901507.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"... prestigious Catholic university"?

Nothing like a good oxymoron to start the day!


Posted by: JC505 | May 13, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

On one hand, an articulate, intelligent, reasonable man will appear before the students in good faith to speak maturely on important topics, and make a great effort to reach out and find common ground with those who disagree with him.

==

Jacques Berlinerblau wrote about Obama's ability to do "Advanced God Talk" during the campaign while Huckabee was getting similar coverage. Obama has the ability to bridge partisan religious divisions by emphasizing common ground. My guess is that he will wow the students, get a few ovations, and if anything will leave the podium with more support than he had when he walked up to it.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/georgetown/2008/06/upcoming_religious_campaign.html

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

For the record, abolitionists had "no sympathy" for their cause in the South either.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I can predict with a fair degree of confidence which party in this "controversy" will come out the better.

On one hand, an articulate, intelligent, reasonable man will appear before the students in good faith to speak maturely on important topics, and make a great effort to reach out and find common ground with those who disagree with him.

On the other hand, some fanatic nutcases like jaked, most of whom are not even students at the school, will be refusing to even listen, preferring instead to wave pictures of aborted fetuses, chant overwrought slogans, and otherwise grotesquely indulge their own vanity and self-righteousness.

The contrast will be striking.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

havok26:

Are you aware that there will be a STUDENT-led protest? 68 U.S. Catholic Bishops have spoken out against it too.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22451.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

One question, Chris – there were many instances of protestors when Bush or Cheney spoke at colleges, but you never called it a controversy, nor did you confer credibility on the protestors or their viewpoint by even noting it.

Why is that?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Funny how much rightwingers hate the president of the united states so much. They have no respect for the office, for democracy, or for this country. Their so-called patriotism is a petty sham.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Randall Terry is a thug who encourages zealots to murder doctors.

And he was so busy 'defending the rights of the unborn' that he couldn't manage to be a father to his own kids. After he found out his son was gay, he disowned him. Then both his unwed daughters became pregnant and he disowned them too.

Oh yeah, and jumped right into the middle of the Terry Shiavo fiasco as well.

Just goes to show that these so-called 'conservatives' need to mind their own business and stay out of other people's lives.

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It does the pro-choice cause a lot of good when the anti-choice crowd gets press. The more they're on camera, the more people see of them, the more repelled they are. Joe Scheidler has the manners of Michael Savage; Gary Curran frantically tries to hide his vast belly, trying to cross his arms over it in a comical attempt to hide his shameful condition, Randall Terry is a wide-eyed lunatic with a whiney edge to his voice and completely unable to let anyone else finish a sentence without interrupting with slogans.

Obama is the very soul of calm and courtesy, the ati-abortion cretins are the very soul of rudeness and gruffness. By all means give them lots of press.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Those who are against the abortionist in chief speaking at a Catholic school are simply being consistent with their beliefs that it is wrong to kill babies.

...

Obama could simply choose another college - but, instead he chooses to force his views upon them.

==

Prejudicial language.

(1) Abortion is not "killing babies." Shooting up a schoolyard is killing babies. Google NRA, Second Amendment, automatic weapons, favorite American pasttimes. Abortion is the elective termination of a pregnancy, and it's legal. It's not a "baby" until after birth

(2) Obama isn't "forcing his views" on the ND students. That is a rotted pile of nonsense. Obama is delivering a commencement address, and the students are not being restrained or drugged.

Typical gooper hysteria.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Jake, Randall Terry is no student. These are professional protesters that have flocked to ND to stir the pot; not the ND students. Nice try.

The students are much more apathetic about it; that's what pisses the right-wing loonies off so much.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If I were a graduating senior, I would stand up with my back to Obama

==

And for such boorish and infantile behavior I would hope the University would rescind your graduation and expel you.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

At least I wouldn't throw my shoes.

==

Too bad it wasn't a rock, and a bullseye

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If anyone had asked me to predict a Catholic University's reaction to a visit by a pro-choice president I would have predicted they would be respectful. The kind of hooting and howling behavior we're reading about sounds more like Protestant fundamentalists, mostly enraged GOP types, waving pictures of abortions. That's sick.

At least the students have mixed reactions, some excited and respectful, some hooting like Operation Rescue cretins.

We've been hearing about abortion for, what, thirty five years? It's a settled issue but for some deadender culture warriors whose lives wouldn't be whole without some outrage to maintain. Boring. We have bigger fish to fry. The last thing we need right now is more babies,.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

havok26:

Were you in favor of student protests against Bush?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If I were a graduating senior, I would stand up with my back to Obama and silently protest by holding a color poster of an aborted fetus.

Posted by: JakeD
------------
Which is why your point of view gets no sympathy, that is just plain sick.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mark he went to Queens College. So no.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 13, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

you should call it a "controversy" because it is just a ginned up astroturf thing by a fading party

Posted by: havok26 | May 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Patrick - does it affect bro's alumnus giving or is he not an Irish alum?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Who's paying the bills? Can ND afford to alienate the bill-payers? Students are an afterthought.
Posted by: bsimon1
--------------------------
Lucky for my nephews and nieces my brother makes a good living, and does not hold purse strings over their beliefs.


Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 13, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm sorry jakey, you were referring to our VERY thankful ALLIES, the Iraqis.

It must be their customary way of saying thank you for invading our country, not finding WMD's, killing our civilians and spending hundreds of billions of the American people's money to fix our country.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Penny loafers or Chuck Taylors?

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

At least I wouldn't throw my shoes.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Ho-hum.........just another case of republican hypocrisy. I especially like the inconsistency of being pro-life and pro-death penalty. That's a winner.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 13, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If I were a graduating senior, I would stand up with my back to Obama and silently protest by holding a color poster of an aborted fetus.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you are the best advertisement for GU since Patrick Ewing!

Posted by: annieb346 | May 13, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

I believe the President of ND is not backing down -- good analogy though -- the Naval Academy has much less say.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC1 writes
"My brother has three kids in ND, two graduating on Sunday. He has done nothing but whine since Obama was named, funny, not a word from his kids."

Who's paying the bills? Can ND afford to alienate the bill-payers? Students are an afterthought.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

carleric:

Start with Genesis 9:6.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The right wing is just loving this, it gives them some red meat to chew on. My brother has three kids in ND, two graduating on Sunday. He has done nothing but whine since Obama was named, funny, not a word from his kids.

I've learned that the old red necks die hard, the next generation has a more open mind.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 13, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I think these University presidents need to show a little backbone. Last year Columbia University's president allowed for President Ahmadinejad to speak, and he held his ground for the same reason that Notre Dame's president should. Universities are supposed to be places where all reasonable viewpoints are presented and debated, and the students who disagree with Obama should go and see him speak and then make a judgement (BTW the same goes for McCain or anyone you disagree with). The students of Notre Dame students should look at this as their last chance to learn something from one of the more formidable minds of our time.

Now the second point of honorary Doctorates is another thing all together. Universities give these things out like free buffet tickets in Vegas. They should be reserved for people who have acheived tremendous accomplishments, not just some B-rate actor or journalist (BTW, CC you are definitly A-rate)

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 13, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, VTDuffman. At least you are being consistent.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Every US President supports the death penalty. The Catholic Church is officially against the death penalty. Why doesn't Notre Dame boo EVERY President?

Posted by: carleric | May 13, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

bigbrother:

Did you think the "controversy" about Bush was real?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"So, basically it's childish partisanship. Last time I checked everyone(either Democrat or Republican) is American, every American should respect their President, the office he holds and the immense responsibilities that come with it."

Yeah, basically.

FWIW, I actually agree and disagree with you at the same time. We actually agree that it's childish partisanship, but I support their right to "disrespect the office" much like I did when Dems did it. I object to the fact that they are doing so after bleating about respecitng the office when their dude was in charge. I extend the same consternation to any democrat who has done a similar 180 on this issue.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 13, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I consider myself an advocate for the First Amendment. The central speech rights to be protected are political and religious speech. There is no issue or problem with peaceful assembly in protest, or boycott in protest of a politician or his perceived views, in this free country. That does not change if it is GWB and Iraq or BHO on abortion.

The line is crossed when protesters try to shout down speakers or otherwise interfere with the time, place, or manner of an event.

I assume that will not occur in South Bend. I assume the confusion about rights and responsibilities is shared and disseminated by the press, or no
one would think this was a VERY BIG DEAL.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

After howling about it for 8 years, Conservatives and Republicans no longer feel that we should respect the office of the presidency since "the other team" is in power.
Posted by: VTDuffman | May 13, 2009 9:07 AM

So, basically it's childish partisanship. Last time I checked everyone(either Democrat or Republican) is American, every American should respect their President, the office he holds and the immense responsibilities that come with it. It is crazy to complain about wrongs you feel were done to Pres. Bush, and conclude: I didn't vote for Obama, so I should treat him the same way I feel Democrats treated Pres. Bush.

Posted by: jnoel002 | May 13, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

This is a "controversy" manufactured by the dying embers of the fascist-right. Most ND students want him there. Most Americans think that those who are outraged are just a bunch a whack-jobs. A non-story.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | May 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"shows a disrespect for the office of the President that stuns me."

After howling about it for 8 years, Conservatives and Republicans no longer feel that we should respect the office of the presidency since "the other team" is in power.

There's a long list of things that used to be acceptable but no longer are and vice-versa. The Hypocrisy is staggering at times.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 13, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

If individuals differ with Pres Obama on policy, fine. But to not confer the customary honorary degree, or for a school official to boycott the ceremony, shows a disrespect for the office of the President that stuns me. The President of the United States is speaking at your institution -- these ticky-tack acts of disrespect, regardless of who holds the office, are ugly and infantile.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | May 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Obama could simply choose another college - but, instead he chooses to force his views upon them.
Posted by: VirginiaConservative | May 13, 2009 8:29 AM

Correct me if i'm wrong, but I believe Notre Dame invited Pres. Obama. He isn't forcing any beliefs/views upon them, they asked him to speak and he agreed. It should be seen as a great honor by both parties.
Those who are against Obama speaking are mixing their religion with their politics.

Posted by: jnoel002 | May 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The Bishop of South Bend would jump at Obama speaking at UND if Obama were a child molester.

Posted by: Garak | May 13, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Those who are against the abortionist in chief speaking at a Catholic school are simply being consistent with their beliefs that it is wrong to kill babies.

It is long past due that the Catholic Church holds accountable politicians who support and enable this barbaric procedure.

Obama could simply choose another college - but, instead he chooses to force his views upon them.

ASU, btw, has been the first to actually tell the emperor he has no clothes and good on them.

Funny how the lefist reporters quietly stood back and watched with amusement while Bush administration folks were banned from venue after venue. In institutions were diversity and free speech are soooo valued.

Now, of course, that some dare to confront the anointed one, and we have segued from free speech and diversity to the terrorist right wing.

Pretty sick.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | May 13, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

This is a fake controversy stirred up be desperate conservatives who hate all things Obama.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 13, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW: one third of a third is not that many. I'd bet that more Catholic professors than that disagree with Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Bush's chief of staff get booed down at some commencement speech too? I thought the bigger issue was giving Obama an honorary law degree? Will the White House request any religious symbols be covered up again?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company