Decorated War Veteran Bill Kristol Tackles Obama's Hatred Of Soldiers
New York Times "lightning rod conservative" columnist Bill Kristol's youth and young manhood was exactly this: Manhattan prep school, Harvard, more Harvard. Since then, he has devoted his career to sending other young people to die in catastrophic wars based on a false ideology of pre-emptive regime change. But as he notes in his column today, despite these great achievements, he can't write an adequate commencement speech!
Kristol begins with the predictably insular self-descriptive cocktail party monologue:
I gave one at a college about seven years ago. I labored over it, consulting orations from years past, writing and rewriting drafts. I ended up with remarks that struck me — even while I delivered them — as banal and platitudinous. Luckily, no one seemed to be paying much attention — and at least I kept it short. I don’t think I did too much damage to the enjoyment of the day by the graduating students and their parents.
Since then, whenever I look at the annual roundup of commencement addresses, I can’t help but admire those who can pull off this mode of speechifying.
Then the predictably ominous transition to a famous person who recently gave a commencement speech:
Barack Obama, you won’t be surprised to learn, can pull it off. He spoke on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., pinch-hitting for Senator Ted Kennedy, on the theme of service to our country. The speech was skillfully crafted and well delivered, the grace notes were graceful, and the exhortations to public service seemed heartfelt but not cloying.
Hey, that's nice, but will it last? No, because Bill Kristol fucking hates Barack Obama:
More striking is Obama’s sin of omission. In the rest of the speech, he goes on to detail — at some length — the “so many ways to serve” that are available “at this defining moment in our history.” There’s the Peace Corps, there’s renewable energy, there’s education, there’s poverty — there are all kinds of causes you can take up “should you take the path of service.”
But there’s one obvious path of service Obama doesn’t recommend — or even mention: military service. He does mention war twice: “At a time of war, we need you to work for peace.” And, we face “big challenges like war and recession.” But there’s nothing about serving your country in uniform.
Well maybe he has a small point -- Barack could've mentioned military service, since it's mostly po' kids who are fighting Bill Kristol's War in Iraq.
But at an elite Northeastern college campus, Obama obviously felt no need to disturb the placid atmosphere of easy self-congratulation. He felt no need to remind students of a different kind of public service — one that entails more risks than community organizing. He felt no need to tell the graduating seniors in the lovely groves of Middletown that they should be grateful to their peers who were far away facing dangers on behalf of their country
There's no period at the end of that last sentence, because Kristol cannot type. But what can Kristol do? He's already done so much. He's shown these elite prep school students who then attend "elite Northeastern" colleges that the only honorable way to show gratitude is to fight in wars. Kristol may not have fought in a war himself, but he did generously create a war for these graduates to fight in today. And it would be disrespectful for them to leave such a great opportunity on the table.
What Obama Left Out [NYT]