Saturday, May 20, 2006

As you may already know, John McCain gave the commencement speech at the New School in Manhattan yesterday and was booed, heckled, and otherwise denounced by graduating students. (New York Times story here; Maureen Dowd column here, although it's mostly a rehash of the news story.)

As you may also know, McCain gave the same speech he'd given at an earlier commencement at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. The students at Liberty, used to being polite and deferential in their master's house, did not boo or heckle McCain. (It's also possible that they realized his politics are very much in sync with theirs, something the New School students can't say.)

This was a slick move on the McCain campaign's part -- he showed the far-right base of his party that those crazy angry smelly hippie liberals hate him, which really might make an impression on the far-rightists in his own party who've been inclined to deny him the nomination in '08. He and the people running his operation may be slicker than I thought -- and a lot slicker than they were in 2000.

Now, may I say one thing to Bob Kerrey, the former senator who's now president of the New School, and who invited McCain to pull this little stunt there?

Gee, thanks.

You schmuck.

Like McCain, Kerrey is a Vietnam vet. Unlike McCain, Kerrey is a Democrat. You might think that after six years in which the Democratic Party has had essentially zero power in Washington, and a quarter of a century in which it's had very little, Bob Kerrey -- being a Democrat -- might not want to give a huge assist to the GOP frontrunner in the next presidential race. You might think Bob Kerrey -- being a Democrat -- might not want to help McCain pull of a stunt that could be the turning point in his effort to win over a the one bloc that stands between him and his party's nomination, which would almost certainly be followed by his election.

Ah, but what am I saying? Sure, there's a fight going on for the soul of the country, against a party that's destroying the country -- but Kerrey is, as I say, a Democrat.

Which means one thing: In that fight, he would consider it rude to take his own side.

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