Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight: For the 2013 and 2014 commencement seasons, I looked up the guest commencement speaker at the top 30 universities and the top 30 liberal arts colleges as rated by U.S. News and World Report. In cases where there was no guest commencement speaker, I took the guest baccalaureate, class day or senior day speaker. In all cases, I noted if the speakers were American political figures, and if so their party affiliations. I counted people like the news anchor Chris Matthews, who worked for Democratic politicians, as a political figure. I didn't count people like the author Toni Morrison, who is a Democrat but has never worked in a political office. I also only counted lead speakers, not recipients of honorary degrees. As it turns out, I couldn't find a single clearly aligned Republican political figure who spoke at any of these schools in the past two years. Twenty-five Democrats spoke.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

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#1 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-02 09:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

Who starts off the week with this level of butt hurt?

Perhaps the people booking the speakers want someone who will inspire instead of just blowing the same political dog whistles over and over again. It not like todays "conservatives" says anything different that the previous platitude chum thrower.
Maybe instead of whining about it, you dweebs should come up with something new.

#2 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-06-02 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 8

We don't have any conservative politicians anymore so that may be why.

If you're talking about a lack of GOP-aligned speakers, its because the GOP is pathetic. The Bushies are all horrific failures at best or outright traitors at worst. The media figures are disgusting charicatures. The top GOP politicians who weren't with Bush are a pathetic lot - just look at who their presidential contenders were last time.

Anyone they have who is well known is well known for being a failure, an mean spirited idiot, a kook or worse.

#3 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-02 09:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

Two words and a letter: George W. Bush.

#4 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-06-02 09:56 AM | Reply | Flag:

Just another example of liberal liberal fascism.

#5 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-06-02 10:11 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

#3

It's a fair point, up to a point.

But over that same 2-year period between the top 30 universities and the top 30 liberal arts colleges 25 Democrats were chosen.

You can't possibly make the case that the Democratic party is just brimming with high-quality individuals, certainly not to the tune of 25 - 0.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-02 10:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

At this point, deserved or not, conservatives are associated with anti-education platforms. Why would you then expect schools to choose them as guest speakers?

#7 | Posted by schmanch at 2014-06-02 11:16 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Just another example of liberal liberal fascism.

Another numbnuts who doesn't know what fascism means.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2014-06-02 11:19 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

You can't possibly make the case that the Democratic party is just brimming with high-quality individuals, certainly not to the tune of 25 - 0.

If it's someone well known enough to be worth inviting to a commencement at a top US university, yeah, I think it's that skewed.

The current crop of well known Repubs are mostly Tea Party darlings, so they're by default loons who will turn it into a political grandstanding speech instead of a commencement.

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2014-06-02 11:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

Another numbnuts who doesn't know what fascism means.
#8 | POSTED BY JPW

Yes but years of reading your posts has taught us not to judge your short comings too harshly

*2 a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
www.merriam-webster.com

#10 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-06-02 11:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

10: Still doesn't make your case. What autocrat or dictator is stopping these people from speaking? The protest have been from "the people": students.

#11 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-06-02 11:32 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

10: Still doesn't make your case. What autocrat or dictator is stopping these people from speaking? The protest have been from "the people": students.

#11 | POSTED BY PRAGMATIST

This thread isn't about Republicans being protested at universities, it's that they aren't even being invited to speak at Commencements.

Academia proclaims itself to be bastions for the free expression of ideas, yet they only seem to invite a certain set of ideas to be presented.

If these institutions don't have a desire to be intellectually inclusive, that's their prerogative. Having said that, they should really consider re-writing their mission statements and at least be honest about their priorities.

#12 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-02 11:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

"it's that they aren't even being invited to speak at Commencements"

Whose fault is that? The facility, or the rearendhat who says the exact same thing as the last rearendhat?

#13 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-06-02 11:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

"bastions for the free expression of ideas"

Well there you have it.

"Conservatives" haven't had a new "idea" in decades.

How many times do you think people want to hear about all the things in America you people hate?

#14 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-06-02 11:47 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

12: Fair enough, but my question stands: Who is stopping the invitations? What dictatorial or autocratic controller? That was PA's assertion...

#15 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-06-02 11:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

You can't possibly make the case that the Democratic party is just brimming with high-quality individuals, certainly not to the tune of 25 - 0.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-02 10:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

I don't think they are higher quality. They are just more polished and less likely to have gone on record as having said something that is extremely offensive to one group or another. Both parties are really just about pleasing their corporation moneymen. Its just that the Democrats don't have to hate on gays or deny evolution in order to appeal to their "base".

The other thing is - Its not as if the GOP gives much respect to Academia either. If as a party you frequently paint university administrators and professors as biased, unrealistic, snobby, anti-American fools then you can't turn around and expect invites and honors from the same crowd.

Really, if a commencement speaker says anything during his/her speech that relates to his/her personal political beliefs, its an inappopriate commencement speech. Its not really the context in which students are supposed to exposed to new political ideas anyway.

#16 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-02 12:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

Just another example of liberal liberal fascism.
Another numbnuts who doesn't know what fascism means.

#8 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2014-06-02 11:19 AM | REPLY | FLAG:

Go easy on him, there are lots of other words he doesn't know the meaning of as well.

#17 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-02 01:25 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

I think we should ask Shawn to define fascism for us.

#18 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-02 01:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

#18

Fasciati obfuscation!!

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-02 01:35 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

I've always thought the importance of commencment speakers is overrated. I know mine was Katy Couric but if you asked me a week after the ceremony I literally wouldn't have been able to tell you anything she said.

Then again, my attitude towards the whole ceremony was that it was more for my parents than for me. If my family wasn't going to show for whatever reason I would have passed on it. So this may just be one of those cases where I'm the weirdo.

Does anyone remember their commencement speaker and/or feel that a commencement speech has had a meaningful effect on them?

#20 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-02 01:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

When the Left Turned Against Free Speech

On March 4, in a designated "free-speech zone" at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), associate professor of feminist studies Mireille Miller-Young walked over to a 16-year-old anti-abortion protester named Thrin Short and demanded that Short take down a graphic sign showing pictures of aborted fetuses. When Short refused, Miller-Young forcibly snatched the sign out of the smaller girl's hands, then handed it to her students and walked away triumphantly.

"Over the past several weeks, our campus has been visited by a number of outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda. Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims. Whatever the motives and goals, the presence of such people and groups on campus can be disruptive and has the potential to draw us into the kind of conflict that puts at risk the quality of exchange of ideas that is fundamental to the mission of our university."

reason.com

Pretty much sum's up the issue at out campuses today.

#21 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-06-02 02:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

If conservative leaders want to be better liked by university communities, which is the primary reason for commencement speech invites, they should stop trolling so hard for votes with anti-education and anti-science views. Republican politicians love to feed the inferiority complex of voters who aren't college educated, even when the politician has advanced degrees.

Rick Santorum did this during the last presidential race, making it sound like President Obama was an uppity "snob" who thought he was better than working people who didn't go to college. (Obama had said something about wanting all Americans to be able to get a degree.) Yet Santorum has three degrees -- a BA from Penn State, MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Dickinson School of Law.

#22 | Posted by rcade at 2014-06-02 03:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

The gutless Condoleezza Rice chickened-out at Rutgers University , the head of the IMf Christine Lagarde, bowed out of speaking at Smith College after a few students there protested. Robert Birgeneau, who was chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley when police used batons to break up an Occupy protest, declined to attend the graduation ceremony at Haverford College,
The truth is that a lot of conservatives a chosen to speak, this article is total BS

#23 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-06-02 07:00 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

I love it that all the critics are pretending that college campuses haven't pretty much always been hotbeds of liberalism. (Yeah, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but come on.)

#24 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-06-02 07:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

I appreciate the input.

Basically, the defense for this is that Conservatives and/or Republicans alienate academia.

It's a fair criticism. But it cuts both ways and when I see a stat whereby 96% of faculty and staff at the Ivy League schools voted for Obama - this goes well beyond a situation where conservatives and/or Republicans offend these so-called 'open-minded' individuals.

Here's what I find perplexing - why does the notion of 'civility' only point in one direction on campus?

#25 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-03 12:55 AM | Reply | Flag:

Who is stopping the invitations? What dictatorial or autocratic controller? That was PA's assertion...

#15 | Posted by pragmatist

Well, when a conservative IS invited, then all the libs at the school get all butthurt and demand that they be dis-invited, or are shouted down.

#26 | Posted by Marty at 2014-06-03 08:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

"it's that they aren't even being invited to speak at Commencements"

Whose fault is that? The facility, or the rearendhat who says the exact same thing as the last rearendhat?

#13 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses

Put the bottle down chi and talk sense. What you just posted makes NO sense.

#27 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-06-03 10:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Well, when a conservative IS invited, then all the libs at the school get all butthurt and demand that they be dis-invited, or are shouted down."

By STUDENTS lately. Not by the powers-that-be. Again, who is the dictatorial or autocratic control saying no. Such was PA's assertion, and I just don't see it. (I'm ignoring your absurd characterization of "butthurt" blah blah.)

#28 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-06-03 10:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

This sounds like something O'Reilly can get himself worked into a lather over.

#29 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-06-03 11:20 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

You can't possibly make the case that the Democratic party is just brimming with high-quality individuals, certainly not to the tune of 25 - 0.
#6 | Posted by JeffJ

You've stated the premise incorrectly.
It isn't the high quality among Democrats.
It's the sheer lack of quality among Republicans.

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-03 04:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

Academia proclaims itself to be bastions for the free expression of ideas, yet they only seem to invite a certain set of ideas to be presented.

Are you really so dumb as to try to tell us that by not inviting the KKK to speak, they're racist?

Let me clue to in to something: The belief that Neal Armstrong walked on the moon and the belief that the moon landings were fake do not possess equal merit.

Hope this helps, kid.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-03 04:57 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

*2 a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

#10 | Posted by paneocon

That traits is more prevalent among conservatives.

#32 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2014-06-03 05:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Perhaps if those who now call themselves "conservative" would visit the reality based universe every now and then academia would be more interested in them. They don't want to send their students off into fantasy land.

#33 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-06-03 05:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

But it cuts both ways and when I see a stat whereby 96% of faculty and staff at the Ivy League schools voted for Obama - this goes well beyond a situation where conservatives and/or Republicans offend these so-called 'open-minded' individuals.

It's not a question of open-mindedness (which Conservatives only bring up when they're sneering at Dems), but of intelligence.

Sorry, but anyone who voted for the previous two Repub tickets were/are [...]ing retarded.

#34 | Posted by jpw at 2014-06-04 04:26 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

why does the notion of 'civility' only point in one direction on campus?

Because by and large the current "Conservative" model is one that is intentionally inflammatory?

Anger and fear are how the prominent names on the right gain and keep popularity (some faux morality doesn't hurt).

Last I checked, anger and fear weren't exactly the typical topics of commencement speeches.

#35 | Posted by jpw at 2014-06-04 04:30 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

If someone had to bring in Crissy Mathews then you know they are scraping the bottom of the barrel. I wonder if Obama giving 5 terrorist leaders a get out of jail card to rescue a traitor still sends a thrill up Mathews leg?

#36 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-06-04 04:34 AM | Reply | Flag:

Last I checked, anger and fear weren't exactly the typical topics of commencement speeches.

#35 | POSTED BY JPW

Is that what Condoleeza Rice was going to talk about? Or is that just how she makes you feel?

Is that what the McRaven's commencement speech was about?

#37 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-06-04 11:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

So who was the commencement speaker at Liberty University?

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-04 01:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

The same study revealed that, over the same period of time, not a single door nail was invited to speak at a commencement either.

Think about it.

#39 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2014-06-04 04:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

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