On Rice At Rutgers

University Cuckoos Sing Again

Posted: March 12, 2014

With the regularity of a cuckoo clock, the American left utters the utterly ridiculous. When the big hand ticked on the hour this time, a conclave of the cognoscenti at Rutgers University divested themselves of the opinion that Condoleezza Rice is unfit to receive an honorary doctorate and offer this year’s commencement speech.

The New Brunswick Faculty Council avers that Ms. Rice, a former secretary of state and national security adviser, helped the Bush administration finagle intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to start the war in Iraq, and further, that she supported waterboarding.

Most Americans don’t care that terrorists are waterboarded, but at any rate the best and brightest at Rutgers concluded that “[a] commencement speaker ... should embody moral authority and exemplary citizenship.” And “an honorary Doctor of Laws degree should not honor someone who participated in a political effort to circumvent the law.” Writing to the school newspaper, an alumnus called Ms. Rice “dishonorable,” “disgusting,” and “inhumane.”

Wrong. Ms. Rice exudes “moral authority and exemplary citizenship.” One is tempted to ask whether television starlet Snooki, to whom the university paid $32,000 to entertain students, embodies these qualities. As liberal Fox News commentator Juan Williams rightly wrote, “Only partisan hatred can blind the faculty to [Ms. Rice’s] extraordinary level of accomplishment for herself and her country.

“Rice is smart, disciplined, hard-working and the model of an inspiring modern American. She personifies the American Dream. She is [a] living inspiration for a young person trying to accomplish great work no matter what the barriers. And in Rice’s generation there were some serious barriers starting with her race and gender. ...

“We saw this last April when the conservative neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson was forced to step down as a commencement speaker for Johns Hopkins University (where he ably served as the head of pediatric neurosurgery).

“Liberals on the Hopkins campus mobilized against Carson because he criticized President Obama’s health-care reform law and said that he opposed gay marriage. ...

“Liberals are shockingly quick to demean and dismiss brilliant black people like Rice, Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., Professor Walter E. Williams and economist Thomas Sowell because they don’t fit into the role they have carved out for a black person in America.”

Actually, the problem is more than partisanship. It’s blind ideological rage and hatred for any conservative, particularly a black conservative, who disagrees with the left. If you oppose homosexual marriage, you are a hater and homophobe. If you oppose Obamacare, why, of course, you are a racist. And if you are a black conservative, you are disloyal because, as Alabama Del. Alvin Holmes told us a few weeks ago about Justice Thomas, “[t]he message of a white man” is “against the interests of black people in America.”

The purpose in targeting Ms. Rice, as with any conservative, is to halt debate by using emotional and psychological terror, a move from the playbook of leftist heroes Saul Alinsky and Herbert Marcuse. Mr. Alinsky taught leftists to “pick the target” and “polarize it,” while Mr. Marcuse wrote that “certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed.” The left must be “intoleran[t] against movements from the right.”

Ideologues who believe this control the university faculty lounge, which returns us to Rutgers, a taxpayer-subsidized school. To his credit, the university’s president stands by the invitation to Ms. Rice. Still, as Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini said, the council’s move is “appalling and an embarrassment to our state.” Indeed. And, again, it “is nothing more than a political firestorm fueled by their hatred of an opposing ideology, and President George W. Bush in particular. Dr. Rice and the people of New Jersey deserve better.”

Yes, they do.