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No Honor for Andy Card
May 27, 2007 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Drowned out by boos, former White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card, receives an Honorary degree from UMass Amherst. (youtube)
posted by empath (96 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I went to the 2004 inauguration, and I can't figure out why it was never reported how much booing and protesting there was of the presidential motorcade.

When he drove by where I was, there was so much booing it was deafening, and anti-war signs as far as the eye can see.

If it wasn't for youtube, I feel like we would never see any of this.
posted by empath at 4:28 AM on May 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


See. This is what University students and faculty should be doing to call out the crap that goes on. Good on 'em.

And shame on you, UMass. That was wicked retarded.
posted by qwip at 4:29 AM on May 27, 2007


this is all crap to me. First, why did that dumb school select Card as an honorary degree guy? second, if the students really felt Card was obtrusive, then why did they show up for their degrees, which they would get in absentia? Imagine if every one wearing the anti-Card emblem refused to show up?
posted by Postroad at 4:44 AM on May 27, 2007


GOOD FOR THEM! Good for these protestors! This is very heartening! To hell with these salesmen of death and imperialism! Honorary degree my ass! Motherfucker oughtta be in JAIL!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:46 AM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope he was really embarassed.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:48 AM on May 27, 2007


then why did they show up for their degrees, which they would get in absentia?

Perhaps they thought showing up and making a lot of noise was the better option. And perhaps it was. But from another point of view, let's not forget that it's also their day, to get their diploma, in person, and why should they stay away just because some asshole neocon was getting honored?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM on May 27, 2007 [10 favorites]


If it wasn't for youtube, I feel like we would never see any of this.

'If there is hope, it lies in the ProlesYouTubers.'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:54 AM on May 27, 2007 [14 favorites]


Heh. Nice one, Alvy.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 AM on May 27, 2007


Good for them. It's nice to see the neocons get blasted in person when they step outside the beltway-bubble and into the real USA.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:09 AM on May 27, 2007


then why did they show up for their degrees

Because they earned them?
posted by pompomtom at 5:10 AM on May 27, 2007 [11 favorites]


I too was at the 2000 inaugural protests. Not only did I hear boos. I saw molotov cocktails thrown, and serious police violence against protesters. Not a moment of it was covered on the news. All we saw was a happy, triumphant coronation party.

So I cheer my brothers and sisters at UMass. If these people -- and mind you, they are war criminals -- are shamed and shouted down every single place they go, with no respite and no quarter, the American people can't keep pretending -- or the media can't -- that Bush and his evil minions are "popular outside the beltway." These are extraordinary times, that call for resistance and protest by any and all means necessary.

It's a start. Eventually, I want to see the trials and incarcerations.
posted by spitbull at 5:12 AM on May 27, 2007 [15 favorites]


WAAAA ! An entire university booed me and all I can do is accuse ALL OF them of being baby eating liberals, because it was well withing their rights to boo me.
WAAAA ! It was clearly a minority of just 90% of the university booing me ! Every single one of them are librals cause they boo me ! WAA !
WAAAA ! I was accepting a degree from a liberal university and nobody said me IT'S A TRAP ! WAA !
WAAAA! They haters drowned the 10% supporting me ! Why do you hate minorities, I suddendly love minorities !
WAAAA! Except when they are gay WAAAAA and liberal WAAAA !
posted by elpapacito at 5:16 AM on May 27, 2007


The school created a PR nightmare. By involving Card in the event, they detracted from their students and faculty, and they gave the impression that decisions such such as involving card are made by an administration that was out of touch.

Colleges and Universities are in a highly competitive market for students, faculty, and private money. This will detract from their ability to compete, at least in the short term.

Good for the students, and frankly the school deserved it. You can't have people giving lip service to "this is your day, graduates" then have someone come on stage that was so obviously unwelcome by so many of them.
posted by Muddler at 5:16 AM on May 27, 2007


Cynical thought from a survivor of 1968-70 at Columbia: Bad PR and will end up being pro-Bush, because the audience that nobody considers is the parents, there having spent bizarre and ridiculous amounts of money and time shoving their kids through school, there for the equivalent of a bar mitzvah. For the most part, they're going to think it was rude and immature and they're going to go home wondering if it's really so cool to be against Bush after all.
posted by Peach at 5:25 AM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Peach, this ain't 1968, and there were no violent protests of buildings occupied. This was peaceful collective action by successful graduates and faculty, in numbers that dwarf the percentage of students and faculty involved in or sympathetic to the protesters of 1968 (who were also right and pilloried for being so). What's more, the country is NOT as "divided" as the media now (and in 1968, more truthfully) would have us believe, in part because we have new channels of information, like YouTube.

Seventy -- that's 70 -- percent of Americans oppose the administration and the war. This is a strong *majority* opinion almost anywhere in the country, and certainly in Massachusetts and among the educated. The war was sold dishonorably with lies, and to honor one of its defenders and enablers is itself a dishonorable thing to do, something that cheapens the value of the degrees all those parents are there to see awarded after years of work and financial stress made worse by this administration's cavalier fucking-over of the middle class and public education.

In other words, I don't believe your cynical scenario. UMass administration looks stupid here. But the students, faculty, and parents who told Card where to get off look very much like the vanguard of mainstream opinion to me.
posted by spitbull at 5:34 AM on May 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


And dammit, the first democrat to get ahead of this curve and start saying "we're going to chase these guys back inside their beltway bunkers, smoke em out, and bring em to justice," and be referring to Bush and Co. rather than Al Qaeda, will see a huge surge in the polls. What you can see in the video is a rising tide of what is almost bloodlust for justice.
posted by spitbull at 5:41 AM on May 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


I hope he was really embarassed.

You'd need a sense of shame for that. And this ain't just an ordinary neocon, it's Andy Card.
posted by swell at 5:55 AM on May 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


Seventy -- that's 70 -- percent of Americans oppose the administration and the war. This is a strong *majority* opinion almost anywhere in the country, and certainly in Massachusetts and among the educated. The war was sold dishonorably with lies, and to honor one of its defenders and enablers is itself a dishonorable thing to do, something that cheapens the value of the degrees all those parents are there to see awarded after years of work and financial stress made worse by this administration's cavalier fucking-over of the middle class and public education.

Remember to question your two party system too. Anyway, Spitbull, thank you for an excellent articulation of hte situation. I do believe, now that I'm sitting here outside of the USA these past two weeks, having spent that time in two different countries, that its even more amazing to folks outside of the country who cannot figure out why, when they've been able to shake [Italians knocked Prodi out for a few days after they first agreed to let the US expand their bases there] or even remove entire goverments, who had been bought by the Americans in one of their signature regime changes?

Hello, Rest of the World here, what are you guys waiting for?
posted by infini at 5:59 AM on May 27, 2007


Muddler writes "Colleges and Universities are in a highly competitive market for students, faculty, and private money."

And that's is not without problems, such as giving degrees in order to make the univ appear more prestigeous because they want "big name" (which is a brand) to be associated to that of the University. At the same time they use the honorary univ degree to say "look , they say I am good I must be good ! ". Talk about reciprocal back rubbing. That has little to do with invention, innovation and rational confrontation.

Sometime the influence of partisan politics and religion are so strong the rational discourse is drowned in boos ; imho that's bad, expecially when they are exercised to -silence- another tought or opinion. Yet it seems clear they were opposing the graduation , as it would be too convenient to focus ONLY on the fact he would have given a speech.

Peach writes "For the most part, they're going to think it was rude and immature"

I concur with your assesment, some of them are likely to see that as childish and infer it was a waste or inefficient use of money. Yet as they are concerned by the quality of their children education, I would like to measure their previous concern and their level of monitoring of their education, as you can't really blame your kids for not being able to oversee themselves. Additionally, it is almost impossible to evaluate one pupil preparation by a single event of his life, but if we were to try this assesment it would be fair to compare it with other forms of protest , probably concluding this was incredibly more "civil" then some other street protests ; it should also be noticed that passive dissent wasn't the best option ; consider that most of them was behaving in a orderly fashion , and they started booing only after announcement of Card.
posted by elpapacito at 6:00 AM on May 27, 2007


I thought it was orderly, considerate of the event and the graduates, and moving.

I love Massachusetts.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:01 AM on May 27, 2007


the first democrat to get ahead of this curve and start saying "we're going to chase these guys back inside their beltway bunkers, smoke em out, and bring em to justice," and be referring to Bush and Co. rather than Al Qaeda, will see a huge surge in the polls.

Damn, spitbull, I hope you're right!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 AM on May 27, 2007


It's fascinating--I've been against Bush since he showed up on the scene, and not all that long ago when anyone said as much he or she was quelled with scathing attacks here and many other places I used to read. But now the collective opinion has changed--or has it? I've been through that before, too. Some people swing with the crowd, and some just shut up and wait.

I know it's not 1968. It's not the 1930s or the 1950s, either. But don't mistake mass booing for consensus. There are still people in the audience unpersuaded, just as I was unpersuaded by the vituperative conservatives back when Bush was an angel, and booing doesn't persuade anyone who isn't likely to flip back when the climate changes again.
posted by Peach at 6:21 AM on May 27, 2007


That was amazing and sad.
posted by squidfartz at 6:34 AM on May 27, 2007


Good for the students (and the faculty -- that blew me away, actually, them holding up signs). No idea why a semi-liberal institution thought they could get away with giving someone like Card an honorary. No violence, just sheer ridicule -- it's probably more than he deserves.

As an aside, Republicans bent over backwards to start naming things after Reagan as soon as possible, most notably National Airport. It's going to be highly amusing to see Bush apologists begging for highways and Federal buildings to be named after one of our least popular and least competent presidents ever. And it's going to start happening soon, so more of this please. Lots more of it.

So yeah, over-privileged grads make a stink that will end in nothing. But at least the little troglodytes who made the last seven years possible won't be able to show their faces in public, literally, for ever and ever.

It's a start.
posted by bardic at 6:39 AM on May 27, 2007


Peach does sort of have a good point.

People are only now mass-booing Administration Officials because its no longer verboten to do so. We Americans had such a huge mindfuck because of 9/11 that we dare not speak ill of our Leaders unless "everybody else" is doing it too.

This kind of speak-no-ill-of-der-leader patriotism is one of the worst things to ever befall this country, and I hope it leaves when the current administration does.
posted by Avenger at 6:39 AM on May 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


While I'm not typically fond of booing anyone, I think this circumstance deserves an exception. The drawback is that it will be used as 'evidence' that our nation's colleges and universities really are the liberal brain-washing factories the god-fearing believe them to be.
posted by malaprohibita at 6:58 AM on May 27, 2007


not all that long ago when anyone said as much he or she was quelled with scathing attacks here

Here? On Metafilter? People were attacked and quelled from making their voices known for being anti-Bush? You've got to be kidding me. This statement alone makes me question your memory of events. Because, seriously. Aside from Dios, Bevets, maybe ParisParamus, what consensus opinion could you possibly be referring to? Of course, if it makes you feel better to think you're an iconoclast, go for it. I don't mean to attack you personally, Peach, but I am really just flummoxed by that statement.
posted by miss tea at 7:01 AM on May 27, 2007


Avenger writes "This kind of speak-no-ill-of-der-leader patriotism is one of the worst things to ever befall this country"

and North Korea

Avenger writes "and I hope it leaves when the current administration does."

It goes when jingoism goes , but that would really never happen once and for all. Here in Italy , particularly in Rome and souther italy we still suffer of the "don't even dare advance the idea" when it comes to the Church, as we are now seeing how a controversial journalist (not without his own faults) was attempting to have public service television (publicly financed by a tax no less, but with advertisement too!) air a BBC documentary about the current Pope ; he allegedly supported (before becoming pope) a cover-up-dont-speak-dont-tell official approach to the problem of priests sexually abusing minors.

Scandal, of course. Local politicians saying it was shameful and an attack caused by the success of a pro-family event yak yak yak etc , but the video was just bought but SUSPENDED (forever i think). Before airing the document, scandal erupts !
posted by elpapacito at 7:03 AM on May 27, 2007


That was amazing and sad.
posted by squidfartz


Sad? Not for me. It made me feel hopeful for the future watching all those smiling, chattering grads walking along with their "No Card" signs on their robes. It made me smile.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:07 AM on May 27, 2007


That was a protest that makes me proud to be an American!

Good on ya UMass Amherst!

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by rmmcclay at 7:11 AM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


as a UMASS alum, I'm impressed that the protests were as orderly as they were. It's a boozefest for most.

As for just not showing up in protest, that's a great idea, if your graduating class is under several thousand. thinning the herd a little and quelling those voices would only make this academic theater seem worth doing to other neocons.

and I think the left has done much more than its fair share of capitulating, no?
posted by Busithoth at 7:15 AM on May 27, 2007


Here? On Metafilter?

Miss Tea -- I think "here" means "in the United States". And that's absolutely true.
posted by tzikeh at 7:24 AM on May 27, 2007


Sad? Not for me. It made me feel hopeful for the future watching all those smiling, chattering grads walking along with their "No Card" signs on their robes. It made me smile.

It was sad for me. I feel sorry for everyone in the Bush Administration when they get rejected and ridiculed (although I think it's something that needs to be done). I tend to think that most of these people (and Bush without question) really think that they're doing the right thing. Just because they've done some horrible, criminal things doesn't mean they're not people.

It's a little confusing, but I'm looking forward to feeling really bad for them while they serve their prison terms.
posted by pinespree at 7:33 AM on May 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


My question is who set that up? Card did not attend UMass Amherst and his only continuing connection to the State seems to be a permanent residence outside of Boston and a graduate degree from Harvard.

I can only suspect that this honorarium is part of some quid pro quo for Mitt Romney's anticippated RNC run for the presidency.

Was the expectation that UMass – or the State – would be seen as something less of a Liberal stronghold by honoring Card?

If that was the plan, then Mr. Romney's friends in Amherst have clearly failed.
posted by vhsiv at 7:39 AM on May 27, 2007


If it wasn't for youtube, I feel like we would never see any of this.

First of all, this story gets 144 hits on Google News (search "university.of.massachusetts commencement"). The University of Pennsylvania commencement, which was the same day, at which James Baker was the keynote speaker (not just a non-speaking honorary degree recipient) but was not protested, was covered on only 48 news sites. So, in fact, the protests got covered by "mainstream media", and the event got more coverage than it would have without protests.

Nevertheless, if the point of protesting is just to get news coverage, the protestors are just publicity whores. You protest because you mean it, not because it will get you on TV.
posted by beagle at 7:43 AM on May 27, 2007


huff 'n' stuff
posted by furtive at 7:50 AM on May 27, 2007


The booing in the FPP link (starting at 1:52 in the countdown) gives a much fuller picture of the protest than does the coverage by WCVB-Boston.
posted by ericb at 7:53 AM on May 27, 2007


A chorus of boos and a hail of rotten food should follow Card everywhere he goes, from the moment he steps through his front door every day, for the rest of time.
posted by The Straightener at 7:55 AM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


We are all Massachusens today.
posted by hadjiboy at 7:57 AM on May 27, 2007


I miss living in Massachusetts. Sometimes it's just so disheartening living out here in the redland, even in a semi-lib enclave like NE Ohio.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:04 AM on May 27, 2007


please: massholes, hadjiboy. massholes.
say it with pride.
posted by Busithoth at 8:04 AM on May 27, 2007


My question is who set that up?

He has a long Massachusetts connection. Wikipedia: "Card got his start in politics serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975–1983. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Governor of Massachusetts in 1982." And as vhsiv notes, he owned a home in Holbrook, Mass. from 2001 to 2006.

And, yes, Mitt Romney is the governor of Massachusetts; the UMass board is appointed by the governor, draw your own conclusions. Card recently gave a lecture on the campus, also. The University has issued no press release in justification of the award, or given any other rationale, other than this standard bio.
posted by beagle at 8:06 AM on May 27, 2007


May 10: UMass Protesters Rally Against Honorary Degree for Andrew Card .

May 15: Protest Over Andrew Card at UMass
Hundreds of students and faculty stormed the administrative offices at UMass Amherst today. They were protesting the honorary degree that will be given to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. "We have shut down Whitmore, we've shut it down."

With the UMass Chancellor's office now vacant, the students and faculty protesting Andrew Card's honorary degree decided to take their message to the Dean of the Graduate School. Card, a native of Massachusetts, served as White House Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, and previously served as a Massachusetts State Rep. Protesters say his involvement in the invasion in Iraq makes him an inappropriate degree candidate.

"We will not have this man at our commencement," yells a protester.

"Every major representative group at the university has declined this petition," says Graduate Student Manuel Matos.

"I find it really insulting that they're giving somebody who has very little ethics, if any ethics at all, this honorary degree," says Grad Student Dickie Wallace.

Once at the door of Graduate Dean John Mullin they found another vacant office. Police were called to disperse the crowd, which they did without incident, before marching back to the Chancellor's door. The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs followed the crowd and made a statement on behalf of the University Administration.

"The decision made by the President and the Board of Trustees remains the same," says Vice Chancellor Michael Gargano.

A decision protesters say leaves them no choice but to demonstrate at the ceremony, despite the consequence for graduates.

"It does a disservice to the people that are graduating to have not just a controversial issue, but a steadfast refusal to listen," says Matos.

Wallace agrees, "I want a nice ceremony, I don't want a big protest and I don't want all of this nonsense screwing up my graduation."

Card is scheduled to receive the honorary degree at the graduate student commencement on May 25. A university spokesman says an emergency board meeting could be called between now and then to rescind the invitation, but the university has no plans to do so.
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2007


And, yes, Mitt Romney is the governor of Massachusetts

Uh, no. That would be Deval Patrick.
posted by ericb at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2007


I feel sorry for everyone in the Bush Administration when they get rejected and ridiculed [...]

I initially felt a little sorry for him too. But damn, the Bush administration is responsible for the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the near-destruction of an entire sovereign nation! This man wasn't just peripherally associated with that criminal activity, he was one of the architects.

If justice were truly served, this man and his co-conspirators would be in jail for the rest of their natural lives. He's damned lucky to merely have to deal with a few people booing him while he gets his "honorary degree."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:15 AM on May 27, 2007


Just so people know, there's another story going on here as well. UMass president Jack Wilson, who is loudly booed in that YouTube clip (at 2:15), barely a week previously announced that he is eliminating the chancellor position at the University's flagship campus in Amherst--Wilson will take control of the chancellor's responsibilities himself. He has also appointed a chosen deputy to run the UMass Medical School after the early departure of its own chancellor. Many faculty, students, and alumni believe this will seriously wound the Amherst institution, and many of them have been protesting this change. It's likely that this, as much as Card's involvement, is the reason someone is heard in the video (at 2:36) to respond to Wilson's characterization of the school as "one of the great American research Universities" with the call "not any more!"

None of this reduces the fact of people's ire about Andrew Card, which is more than evident. As a neighbor and an alumnus I'm glad to see how the protesters approached this.
posted by Songdog at 8:18 AM on May 27, 2007


The Massachusetts Daily Collegian | UMass Amherst | May 10:
Andrew "Andy" Card, the former Chief of Staff of the Bush Administration, is getting an honorary degree from UMass, and our campus is up-in-arms. His speech in April angered students, and now the University is growing louder in protest. These protests have taken the form of 'Die-ins', as well as organized meetings. Now, as the time of graduation rapidly approaches along with Card's official acceptance, disgruntled resistance has reached a crescendo.

For those who are unfamiliar with Card's career and accomplishments, he started as a corruption-fighting Massachusetts State Representative, making an unsuccessful run for governor in 1982. Afterward, he worked in both the Reagan and Bush administrations and as a lobbyist in the automobile industry. Most recently, Mr. Card found himself appointed Chief of Staff for current president, George W. Bush, in 2001. Though he resigned last year, it is due to this position in the White House that such controversy emerged on our campus.

Dissidents to his honorary degree depict Card as a talking head of the Iraq War. Being in charge of the White House Iraq Group, he played an important role in lobbying the necessity of war to the American people. Going on the UMass-Amherst website, one can see the criterion for the selection process includes a statement that candidates "shall be persons of great accomplishment and high ethical standards who exemplify the ideals of the University of Massachusetts." Protesters argue that an honorary degree winner represents the University, and with it the student body - by giving Card a degree, we affirm and support the war in Iraq by association.

...The recent 'die-ins', meetings and writings are all indicative of a student body that, if not indifferent, has a distinct distaste for our country's operation overseas and all who represent it. But despite this notable amount of objection, calls for rescinding are not being heard by our school administration.

At a recent Faculty Senate meeting, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Stephen P. Tocco refused to allow a review for the Card decision. In a room cluttered with both students and teachers, along with clapping approval at the suggestion for a meeting on the subject, the higher-ups would have nothing of it.

Quite simply, the Andy Card situation proves this democratic institution to be not so democratic after all. Despite these prevalent protests and formal requests to reconsider the nomination, no progress has been made. As a result, the situation has come to a head. The administration will not stand down, and neither will those opposed, a group comprised of not only students, but faculty as well. Now things are getting ugly as protests at graduation commencement have been planned...
posted by ericb at 8:22 AM on May 27, 2007


We interrupts this interesting thread to entertain your easily distracted attention with a tribute to Massachusetts.

In related news, Andy discovers talking to an hostile audience isn't as easy as speaking to a respectful very silent, allegedly dead, hardly partecipating audience, news at 11.
posted by elpapacito at 8:26 AM on May 27, 2007


Beagle: Nevertheless, if the point of protesting is just to get news coverage, the protestors are just publicity whores. You protest because you mean it, not because it will get you on TV.

The point of protesting is to get news coverage so that the highest number of people will hear about it, hopefully causing a change in public opinion. It's not like the protesters are thinking "Gee, if I hold up a big sign I'll get to be on TV!" No, they're holding up a big sign in hopes of spreading their message to the greatest number of people.
posted by ChestnutMonkey at 8:28 AM on May 27, 2007


Miss Tea -- I think "here" means "in the United States".

I'm not Miss Tea, but she(?) was commenting on this:
he or she was quelled with scathing attacks here and many other places I used to read.

I agree that poster is wrong. My recollection is that in 03-04 MeFi was one of the sites of refuge from the MSM -- where you *were* a traitor or worse, French, if you were anti-war.

Internet sites, including MeFi, were practically the only reporters of protests that at the time were being completely covered up by the MSM.

Bad PR ... the audience that nobody considers is the parents ... and they're going to go home wondering if it's really so cool to be against Bush after all.

Or maybe the parents hate Bush, have informed the college they weren't pleased about Card's attendance. And perhaps even a few were quietly booing too.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:32 AM on May 27, 2007


To follow-up Songdog's post ...

No Confidence Vote Planned by Faculty at UMass Amherst.

Turmoil at UMass.
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on May 27, 2007


he audience that nobody considers is the parents, there having spent bizarre and ridiculous amounts of money and time shoving their kids through school, there for the equivalent of a bar mitzvah

A minor point, but relevant -- this was the Graduate Student Commencement with most folks in their mid- to late-20's and likely having financed their advanced degrees through grants, fellowships, etc.
posted by ericb at 8:40 AM on May 27, 2007


My recollection is that in 03-04 MeFi was one of the sites of refuge from the MSM -- where you *were* a traitor or worse, French, if you were anti-war.

I started reading MeFi back then, and while you're right on the numbers, I do seem to recall that just about anything that could be construed as anti-Bush or anti-war could count on threadshitting and trolling from dios, Paris, Steve@Linnwood, and a few others I can't remember. It wasn't that there were really that many of them, simply that a) they were very loud and b) Matt was at the time more tolerant of it from them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:54 AM on May 27, 2007


Damn. As beagle pointed out, my grad speaker a few weeks ago was James frickin' Baker. Our lib percentage might not be as high as UMass, but it's still a strong majority.

I wish we could have done something like this.
posted by supercres at 9:13 AM on May 27, 2007


(Baker invoked the legacy of Reagan, for pete's sake. Who deserves a rousing chorus of boos more than that?)
posted by supercres at 9:16 AM on May 27, 2007


Yup, outgoing Romney stacked the deck at UMass, Amherst.

From the 'Turmoil' article offered by ericb:
Last fall, outgoing Governor Mitt Romney stacked the UMass board with new trustees, guaranteeing the selection of a new chairman, Stephen P. Tocco, a pharmacist turned lobbyist and Romney ally.
It seems that Romney might also be a dick, in addition to being an inveterate flip-flopper.

Is it bad enough that we're already have to suffer the incompetent lieutenants of Bush's patronage system? Romney seems to be lining-up to replicate the Bush-Rove permanent-majority triumphalism. As a former Massachussetts Governor, he almost had my shrugging respect, but this asshat King-maker nonsense really gets my gander. This Cosa Nostra crap must be an ugly virus that RNC people catch when they get too ambitious.

Ron Paul for Pres'nit!

(And I'm not even a Republican...)
posted by vhsiv at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2007


The University of Pennsylvania commencement, which was the same day, at which James Baker was the keynote speaker (not just a non-speaking honorary degree recipient) but was not protested, was covered on only 48 news sites.

I decided to skip my commencement because Baker was speaking. I didn't want to dirty my memories of sweat and toil and achievement with any filth coming out of that criminal's mouth. Personal choice, perhaps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2007


Uh, no. That would be Deval Patrick.

Yes, mea culpa, of course. But there are still Romney appointees around.
posted by beagle at 9:34 AM on May 27, 2007


I don't think Jim Baker is going to be tarred with the same brush that the Bush II people will.

These are the folks that I hope can never show their faces in public again:

George Bush II
Dick Cheney
Doug Feith
Paul Wolfowitz
Donald Rumsfeld
Andy Card
Scooter Libby
Al Gonzales
Karl Rove

Am I missing anyone? In any case, I hope those people are hounded and ridiculed until the end of their days.
posted by empath at 9:43 AM on May 27, 2007


They gave Cheeseburger Boy a degree?
posted by basicchannel at 9:55 AM on May 27, 2007


Tacky.
posted by four panels at 10:15 AM on May 27, 2007


It seems that Romney might also be a dick, in addition to being an inveterate flip-flopper.

Also (from today's Globe) --

Mitt Romney's Skeletons in the Closet
Blame it on his cheatin' heart. It's divorce: Mitt Romney v. the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The former Massachusetts governor paints a picture of irreconcilable differences, but that's not the whole story.

Some guys break up via e-mail. Romney chose a television ad as the way to cut ties with the state he two-timed with a hotter date -- a White House run.

The ad's narrator darkly observes: "In the most liberal state in the country, one Republican stood up and cut spending, instead of raising taxes. He enforced immigration laws, stood up for traditional marriage and the sanctity of life." The candidate says: "This isn't the time for us to shrink from conservative principles."

No matter what the ad states, Romney has a problem. There was a time when he did shrink from conservative principles -- it was when he was running for governor of Massachusetts. Once he started two-timing Massachusetts and running for president, he talked the conservative talk. But, back home, he didn't always walk the conservative walk.

For example, he went from protector of Roe v. Wade as a gubernatorial candidate to abortion opponent on the presidential campaign trail .

And, instead of raising taxes, Romney raised $700 million by increasing fees and closing corporate loopholes -- a practice corporations consider a tax increase.

When it comes to another claim in the ad -- enforcing immigration laws -- the Globe last year reported that the Massachusetts State Police relied on a company to clean its barracks and headquarters that employed scores of undocumented immigrants. During the Romney years, additional state contracts were going out to other companies employing illegal immigrants. Besides, Romney never questioned the citizenship of landscapers who tended his own front lawn. Instead, he yelled out a friendly "buenos dias" to crews that included illegal immigrants.

In the campaign ad, Romney flashes photos of Senator John F. Kerry and former governor Michael S. Dukakis, superimposed over a headline that mentions "Ted Kennedy"-- all reminders of the liberals who conservatives love to hate. Yet a year ago, Romney posed with Kennedy and a panoply of Democratic politicians in historic Faneuil Hall to celebrate a new law that not only guarantees healthcare for the uninsured -- it mandates it; imposes penalties on individuals who refuse to comply; and requires the state and business to pay for a portion of the coverage. That's conservative?

The good news for Romney? The test for his presidential quest isn't going to be whether he is conservative enough.

The bad news? The test is whether he is trustworthy enough. How much trust can Republican primary voters reasonably invest in a politician who changed so many positions? How good is Romney's word today?

During the GOP primary season, liberals like Kennedy are naturally cast as demons. If Romney becomes his party's nominee, how long before that picture of Romney and Kennedy in Faneuil Hall becomes a centerpiece of his campaign? What if he goes back to being the fiscally conservative social moderate many Massachusetts voters believed they were electing?

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Romney all face challenges when it comes to pleasing their party's conservative base. Some quality beyond sheer ideology is going to tip the balance in one candidate's favor.

Romney has money, organization, a strong resume, and presidential looks. But he also has Massachusetts. He can run against its liberal politics, but he can't run against its memory. Voters here remember what he said to win and what he did once elected.

The Romney team probably believes there is nothing to lose by running against the Bay State; the former governor can't win the state in a general election. If their conclusion is accurate, it isn't strictly because Romney is Republican. Ronald Reagan won Massachusetts when he ran for president. The threat Massachusetts poses to Romney is not the loss of its 12 electoral college votes on ideological grounds. It's the Bay State's ability to challenge Romney where it really hurts, on matters of truthfulness and character. To this day, it's hard to tell what he really believes on abortion or immigration or healthcare.

Massachusetts was Romney's springboard. It could also be his trip wire. Friendly divorces are rare indeed.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on May 27, 2007


Mitt Romney's Mass.-bashing television advertisement.
posted by ericb at 10:23 AM on May 27, 2007


We are all Massachusens today.

That's "we are all Bay Staters, today."
posted by about_time at 10:24 AM on May 27, 2007


empath, you forgot Miss Condi.

This brightened my day - good on all you folks at UMass!

Congrats on your graduation, Blazecock Pileon
posted by madamjujujive at 10:28 AM on May 27, 2007


Romney the Flip-Flopper.
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on May 27, 2007


Wow.
I got in on this late. Just watched the video. It was a display well beyond what I expected. What an impressive display. Students, faculty, and audience.
Viva democracy.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:44 AM on May 27, 2007


Sorrowfully, I feel I must submit Colin Powell for addition to that Roster of Shame you guys got goin' on there.
posted by pax digita at 10:47 AM on May 27, 2007


Brilliant and brutal, it's how war criminals deserve to be treated when they step out in public.

I was not saying Boo-urns!!
posted by porn in the woods at 10:51 AM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Condi yes, Colin, no. I consider Colin Powell more tragic than evil. He barely gets a pass from me.

But I did also miss George Tenet.
posted by empath at 10:51 AM on May 27, 2007


Going way back up thread:

The drawback is that it will be used as 'evidence' that our nation's colleges and universities really are the liberal brain-washing factories the god-fearing believe them to be.

Get a back bone. More than anything else, the reason why we are in such mess, is the democrats' strategy of playing nice with the yokels. You're really worried that the product of higher education is the stigma of liberal brain-washing? How about intelligence, humility, and a open mind? We have *got* to stop catering to the lowest common denominator. It wasn't the librul universities that changed the whole tone of the debate.

When you see that redneck dirt farmer, waving the flag, and talking about unquestioned support of the president, get in his face. If they talk about how you've been "brain-washed" by all yer fancy book-lernin' wear that label with pride. Being a John Wayne fan (apologies to miss lynnster) does not make you qualified to shape world events, book-lernin' does.

It's cathartic to see people pubically booing this guy. The unfortunate thing about it is not that it will shore up the opposition, it's that when these criminals finally leave, they will never be able to show their faces in public again and we won't get to throw all these rotten tomatoes we've been saving up.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:59 AM on May 27, 2007


heh, pubically = publically
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:00 AM on May 27, 2007


heh, publically=publicly. I'm leaving now.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:02 AM on May 27, 2007


I graduated from an inside-the-beltway high school two years ago and we had Card as our commencement speaker.
I don't remember if there was a consensus in the student body that he was a complete scumbag, but he gave the most bumbling, unfocused, miserably boring speech I've ever heard.
posted by Bizurke at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2007


I consider Colin Powell more tragic than evil. He barely gets a pass from me.
Gotta agree with this one. I think Colin was duped and, largely, kept out of the loop. But he went along because of that ingrained loyalty-to-the-leader thing. Unfortunately, the whole experience has tainted any legitimacy he might have had.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:22 AM on May 27, 2007


That was a thing of beauty. And to see all the faculty wearing the No Card signs...classic. Yay Umass.
posted by dejah420 at 11:45 AM on May 27, 2007


This kind of speak-no-ill-of-der-leader patriotism is one of the worst things to ever befall this country, and I hope it leaves when the current administration does.

Well, obviously it will if der Leader is a non-good UN appeasing black helicopter suporting big govermenting Democrat.
posted by Artw at 12:21 PM on May 27, 2007


For the Roster of Shame lets not forget Barney and Miss Beazley.
posted by Sailormom at 12:27 PM on May 27, 2007


Does this mean you can't be a "Card-Carrying-Liberal" anymore?
posted by wendell at 12:30 PM on May 27, 2007


I consider Colin Powell more tragic than evil. He barely gets a pass from me.

Gotta agree with this one.


It's nice to see he's being rehabilitated somewhat since this thread.

Colin Powell was one of the few respected members of the W's Cabinet -- especially overseas, where people remembered him from his Desert Storm days -- but hell, even he ought to have known better -- and in fact, he did.
posted by pax digita at 12:37 PM on May 27, 2007


Thanks. This is just the sort of thing that needs to be seen.
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:38 PM on May 27, 2007


...strategy of playing nice with the yokels

We have *got* to stop catering to the lowest common denominator.

If they talk about how you've been "brain-washed" by all yer fancy book-lernin' wear that label with pride.

I love you, Slarty Bartfast.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:42 PM on May 27, 2007


It's going to be highly amusing to see Bush apologists begging for highways and Federal buildings to be named after one of our least popular and least competent presidents ever.

I look forward to the day when I can drive past the George W. Bush Sanitary Landfill and the George W. Bush Wastewater Treatment Plant on my way to a tour of the George W. Bush Hazardous Waste Containment Facility.


As for Powell, people overseas may remember him from Desert Storm, but some of us still remember him and My Lai.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:51 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


And here's the last five.
It's educational.
It's educational.
It's educational.
It's educational.
It's educational.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 2:02 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, I was there boo-ing. As a pissed off alum. It was a very well planned , well done protest. The minute Card sat down the booing stopped. Granted, it went on for four minutes. But hey, it felt great.
posted by trii at 5:36 PM on May 27, 2007


But I did also miss George Tenet.

....who spoke at my commencement. Not a murmer of malcontent at the ceremony.

I guess they were trying to make up for it with this year's commencement speaker, though.
posted by quite unimportant at 6:13 PM on May 27, 2007


Others for the roster of eternal shame:

David Addington
John Yoo

I renominiate Colin Powell.

He either knew, or should have known, that his UN presentation was flawed. Ask tough, specific questions when you're on the verge of going to war. Powell's whole schtick the previous ten years was, "don't use force precipitously, don't leave the troops without an exit strategy." He was critical of President Clinton's uses of (much less) force, and played along with Bush's. And Kosovo sure looks a lot better than Iraq, from any utilitarian or US policy standpoint.

He threw aside his reputation as a thoughtful statesman, and an advocate of only using overwhelming US force to guarantee victory and save American lives, to provide cover for a poorly substantiated, poorly planned war. In the name of being a team player.

Eternal shame for Powell.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:22 PM on May 27, 2007


I went to the 2004 inauguration, and I can't figure out why it was never reported how much booing and protesting there was of the presidential motorcade.

I too was at the 2000 inaugural protests. Not only did I hear boos. I saw molotov cocktails thrown, and serious police violence against protesters. Not a moment of it was covered on the news. All we saw was a happy, triumphant coronation party.


The list of questions the press has to answer for is growing and growing. Is anybody even having that conversation? Count me in, though, with the people who think that being vocal is a duty as well as a privilege (if a dwindling right) in times like this. It's not like Card was participating in a debate and getting drowned out. This was political theatre, and it got the appropriate theatrical response.
posted by dreamsign at 12:56 AM on May 28, 2007


Also, 70% opposition still means 30% support, which is shameful, and makes me think that the next slightly-less-evil/incompetent guy who gets in is going to get at least a coin toss at a second term, if not overwhelming support just from the contrast.
posted by dreamsign at 12:59 AM on May 28, 2007


I hope he was really embarassed.

I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of docileness that could provoke such a statement.

The Nuremberg Judgement for war crimes included the following statement:
“The charges in the indictment that the defendants planned and waged aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The whole of the evils of Iraq war requires a punishment so heavy that it is impossible to lay all on single man, be it by jail or by death. You should not be satisfied to call meekly for him to be publicly shamed, like a schoolboy told off in front of class. To do otherwise is gross disproportionality.
posted by gmarceau at 7:39 AM on May 28, 2007


I kind of think that was chuckdarwin's point, gmarceau.
posted by dreamsign at 7:50 AM on May 28, 2007


Paul Krugman | New York Times Select:
The truth is that the nightmare of the Bush years won’t really be over until politicians are convinced that voters will punish, not reward, Bush-style fear-mongering. And that hasn’t happened yet.

Here’s the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says that Iran, which had nothing to do with 9/11, is part of a “movement” that “has already displayed more aggressive tendencies by coming here and killing us,” he should be treated as a lunatic.

When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of “Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda” wants to “bring down the West,” he should be ridiculed for his ignorance.

And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn’t in Iraq, will “follow us home” if we leave, he should be laughed at.

But they aren’t, at least not yet. And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people’s children to graves at Arlington.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


pwnd
posted by Demogorgon at 1:47 PM on May 28, 2007


I was at the Brown commencement in Providence RI on Sunday, and was so proud that I had recorded (and planned to post) B. B. King's honorarium speech/song.

I then promptly had a camera malfunction and erased it. Doh!
posted by DesbaratsDays at 6:24 PM on May 28, 2007


IM IN YER GRADUATION BOOIN YER WAR CRIMINALS
posted by Megafly at 4:24 PM on May 29, 2007


From Krugman:

"And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people’s children to graves at Arlington."

Hey, send them to us at UMass. We know how to stand up and boo war criminals and constitutional end-runners.

Better yet, we'll open a distance education course called "Contempt 101. " We'll teach the rest of you how to do it. Registration now open.
posted by trii at 7:58 PM on May 29, 2007


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