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Students Protest Mean-Spirited Commencement Speaker

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:51 pm - April 21, 2009.
Filed under: Academia,New Media

The Tea Parties showed how conservative and libertarians could use new media to organize and promote their ideas. Now, Glenn provides us with an example of how conservative students are using the web to protest their school’s choice of a mean-spirited partisan to deliver a commencement address:

About 130 American University students have signed an online petition of sorts asking the school’s administration to withdraw an invitation to Barney Frank, who is slated to deliver a commencement address at AU’s School of Public Affairs in a few weeks.

It seems these students are smart enough to read beyond the headlines and the MSM coverage of the financial meltdown.  They know that Republican politics and corporate greed did not cause the collapse, writing on their Facebook page

As young Americans across the country continue to lose their jobs and “rising” college graduates struggle to find employment post-grad, should American University honestly be honoring a man who helped lead us and the world into a global economic meltdown?

In addition, Frank is excessively partisan and notoriously divisive during times when compromise and bipartisanship is needed the most.

Well said.

While I believe Mr. Frank has a right to speak on a university campus should the school, one of its departments or student groups, invite him, I wonder at the school’s choice of such a partisan figure to speak at a commencement celebration.

Whatever the result of their online petition, we have an example conservative students are using the web to make their concerns known.  Let us hope that this is the harbinger of more challenges to the biases in American academia.

I believe that Barney has been so nasty toward his critics, in large part because he has, over the years, escaped criticism for and censure of his mean-spirited attacks.  The MSM has fawned all over him and refused to hold him account not just for his angry rhetoric but also for policy mistakes.

With the new media, we can bypass the gatekeepers who once blocked criticism of this unhappy man from appearing in print, and hold his rhetoric and his record up to scrutiny.  Just as these students at American University are doing.  Kudos to these young people.  May the right learn from their example.

In Wake of Tea Parties, Left’s Anger Reaches Fever Pitch
even as their side controls levers of political power

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:52 pm - April 21, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Hysteria on the Left,Tea Party

While we on the right side of the blogosphere spent the better part of last week promoting the Tea Parties and celebrating their success, this week, many of us are (once again) considering the phenomenon of the angry left. Perhaps that’s because their hysterical outbursts reached fever pitch with the success of those parties.

A grassroots movement at odds with their ideology was being born.

If they were as confident in their ideas as we conservatives were in the 1980s, they would welcome such challenges as giving them another chance to make the case for the programs the President proposes–and which they supposedly support. Shouldn’t they welcome this opportunity to defend Obama and his policies?

Instead, despite their victories last fall, they appear increasingly angry. Byron York wonders why:

These should be happy times for liberals and the Democratic party as a whole. They control the White House and both houses of Congress, while opposition Republicans are leaderless and lost. So why do some Democrats, particularly those farther to the left, appear so angry?

Just look at the tone of some of those who comment to our posts.  If they had more confidence in their ideas and Democrats’ further political success, they would likely be more gracious to their adversaries, knowing we were just crying in the wilderness.  More confident victors wouldn’t need slur their adversaries; they would know that their arguments would help sustain their success.

Instead, they’ve been sore winners.   (more…)

Does Obama Understand Why Some Nations* Hate Us?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 am - April 21, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Bush-hatred,Civil Discourse,Obama Watch

As President Obama returns from what some have called his second apology tour abroad, Victor Davis Hanson asks,

One wonders whether President Obama, for all the soaring rhetoric, grasps why certain nations really do hate us. Does he think a Grozny, Darfur, Rwanda, Serbia, or Tibet happen in reaction to US global sinful conduct? Does he appreciate why hot spots like Cyprus, Taiwan, or Georgia, do not boil over—or under what conditions they might? Does he really believe that in the pre-Bush era we all got along (cf. his al Arabiya interview); then Bush’s strutting, unilateralism, and preemption, presto, caused anti-Americanism.

He seems to think that it’s his predecessor’s policies rather than our adversaries’ ideologies which is their source of their animus.  If only we would change, well, then so would they.

All too many on the left seek the answer to the question, “Why Do They Hate Us?” in the object of the question rather than its subjects.

Sometimes, it seems our critics do the same sort of thing.  They attribute the bile they spew against us to something that is detestable about us, never considering that the ardor of their animus may stem from some inner “need” of their own.  Maybe that’s one reason they so readily defend the President’s rhetoric abroad.  The same means by which they find the roots of anti-American animus in America allows them them excuse their own bile.

Anti-Americanism, however, is part and parcel of the ideology of our adversaries abroad.  They need something to run against, to deflect attention from their failed policies and to exaggerate their own messianic standing, as the hero defending his people against an evil which would otherwise overwhelm them.  Or, as Hanson puts it:

Why does Hugo Chavez hate us? Is it because Bush’s ‘dead or alive’ed him or ‘with us or against us’ed him? Hardly. Chavez wants to end democracy in Venezuela for good, turn it into a Cuba-like communist dictatorship, use his oil revenues to whip up liberationist, anti-Yanqui feelings throughout South America, and end up with himself as some sort of messianic caudillo of the entire socialist continent.

Perhaps, as Max Boot offers, the President’s handshake with Chavez was just a handshake which “could actually be a smart strategic move.”  I hope he’s right.

By this explanation, the handshake was thus the least of Obama’s errors abroad.  It was his apologies which were really disturbing.  Not just because of how they weaken his nation’s standing in the comunity of nations, but because of what they reveal about his understanding of the world.

He needs understand that without America, there would still be evil in the world, indeed, there would likely be more of it. Much more.  Much, much, much more.

*UPDATE:  As I look at this title the day after writing it, I realize a better title would have been, “Does Obama Understand why Certain World Leaders Hate us.”  At least with Chavez and Ahmadinjihad, the hatred comes from from them than their people.