Unacceptable

Rep. Tom Lantos won’t be honored at City College of San Francisco’s commencement, reports the SF Chronicle. A few instructors and students had threatened to stage a protest. Lantos didn’t want to spoil the ceremony for the graduates.

The litany of complaints against Democrat Lantos included everything from his unwavering Iraq war stance to his support for the Patriot Act to his “one- sided” backing of Israel, including his recent handshake with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

A Hungarian refugee, Lantos is a liberal Democrat on most issues, but as a survivor of Hitler and Stalin he’s hawkish on fighting fascists. And he’s Jewish.

At San Francisco State, alum Chris Larsen, co-founder and CEO of E-Loan, was the speaker. He told the audience:

“You don’t have to be like Ralph Nader to change things.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with being a delusional egomaniac that’s responsible for all this deep s — that we’re in right now.

“That guy was such a hero when I was growing up,” Larsen continued. “And he’s such a (rhymes with hick). What’s up with that?”

The university president said Larsen’s comments were in the SF State tradition.

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Comments

  1. Man, and people call GW Bush a fascist? Go against the prevailing line at an American campus today and BAM!

    Check out this nightmare, too:
    http://newswithviews.com/Eakman/beverly8.htm

  2. Blaming Nader for Gore’s defeat implies one of two absurdities: (1) the voters didn’t know that Bush and Gore were the obvious frontrunners, and voted for Nader in the sincere belief that he could win, or (2) Gore was the rightful recipient of these votes, but the voters were hypnotized by Nader’s great charisma and forced to act against their wills. I don’t think a sane person could take either of these possibilities seriously.

    More likely these were disaffected voters who had little or no preference for either of the top two candidates. The few net votes that would have gone to Gore in a two-way race would probably have been cancelled out by Libertarian and Reform Party votes defaulting to Bush.

    I don’t agree with much of what Nader says, but he is fairly eloquent about how our first-past-the-post voting system props up the two-party duopoly (a phenomenon known as Duverger’s Law). Unfortunately the runoff-based solution he proposes suffers from the same problem, even though it gives the illusion of ending the spoiler effect.

    Anyone interested in the subject can try the following links (among others):
    approvalvoting.org
    electionmethods.org

  3. Bill Leonard says:

    Sadly, there can be a spoiler effect. Thanks to H. Ross Perot, the crank who occasionally says the right thing, and the 19 percent of those voting who cast a vote for him, we got the first four years of the Clintons.

    Gore-Bush was a different story. Much as some would love to blame it on Ralph Nader, I believe it comes down to an utterly incompetent campaign by Doofus Al. Had he, as sitting vice president, managed to carry his own state, or his president’s state, or one of several nominal Demo bastions such as West Virginia, he would have won.

  4. a.) I am with Chris Larsen concerning Nader.

    b.) I don’t think the third party candidates take many votes from either “main party” candidate. I can’t stand Kerry’s stand on major issues and while I would vote for a conservative I refuse to vote for President Bush because of his desire to grow the federal government. I don’t know which candidate I will vote for at this point but I know the two it will not be.

  5. Richard Heddleson says:

    I don’t agree with Lantos about a lot, just about everything not mentioned in the post, but what a class thing to do. It’s too bad more speakers don’t understand graduation is about the students not them. In this case it looks like the students lost again because of the vocal minority.

  6. Sadly, there can be a spoiler effect. Thanks to H. Ross Perot, the crank who occasionally says the right thing, and the 19 percent of those voting who cast a vote for him…

    In this instance, my first point (above) probably applies. Perot was doing well enough in the polls (at least before he dropped out) that he seemed to have a realistic (if slim) chance of winning. Some voters were tempted to take the gamble.

  7. Not parenthetically, I had the same thoughts as Richard about Lantos.

  8. Walter Wallis says:

    Funny, but when they first started allowing lefty speakers on campus academe was all dewy eyed about the benefit to students of diverse speaker opinions.

  9. Is every college graduation this year graced with the presence of some liberal speaker desperate to impress upon the audience the need for deep and utter hatred of the present Administration, with, in some lucky cases, some extra bile saved for He Who Cost Gore The Election?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not all colleges have liberals as speakers. Although George Bush couldn’t be bothered to attend his own daughters’ graduations, he did speak at two or three other college graduations.

  11. “Although George Bush couldn’t be bothered to attend his own daughters’ graduations…”

    Of course it had to be due to a deep character flaw on his part, and not something like his daughters suggesting that his presence there would be a distraction and disturbance.

  12. To clarify regarding Lantos, I have no problem with any of his views mentioned here, and haven’t found fault with anything I’ve heard about him recently. I remember him making some outlandish statements a few years back, but forgot what they were.

  13. Gee, when I read Chris Larsen’s comments about Ralph Nader I thought he was talking about the continued depenence on forign oil, high high cost of energy and other goods, and loss of jobs because of the over-regulation he spawned. You mean it was his anger at Gore losing the election?

    Actually if the economy had been as good as Gore said it was, if Gore could have shown any human warmth, and folks not beentired of Clinton, Nader would have made no difference. It would have been an easy victory. Do you really think a third party candidate would have effected Bush-Dukakis?

  14. Mark Odell says:

    Bill Leonard wrote: Sadly, there can be a spoiler effect. Thanks to H. Ross Perot, the crank who occasionally says the right thing, and the 19 percent of those voting who cast a vote for him, we got the first four years of the Clintons.

    Not quite; that’s actually down to all those Democrat voters who voted for Billary. (And is that 19% of voters somehow owed to either Democrats or Republicans as a kind of entitlement? If so, how, and for what cogent reasons?)

    Either way, the takeaway lesson for the Republicans ought to have been: Do a better job of saying (and then doing) the right thing.

    Ross wrote: I don’t know which candidate I will vote for at this point but I know the two it will not be.

    Please see here.

  15. Nader aside, this is a very very sad comment on academia. And, whether you agree with all of Lantos’ positions or not, he is someone we can all respect.

  16. J_Crater says:

    Where did all that multicultural and tolerance stuff go. Didn’t anyone think that they might hurt the Congressmen’s feelings ? This could affect his ability to legislate.
    Personally, I think these graduation ceremonies are a big waste; they’re boring beyond belief and quite predictable.
    Rep. Lantos is the only class act in this story. I’m sorry that Congressman Lantos, who I also never agree with, didn’t come and stick it to them. This is a comencement; a beginning. Let them protest; at least it won’t be boring.