Published on May 22 2006
The Blog | Jean Rohe: Why I Spoke Up | The Huffington Post
....Unfortunately, a certain not-so-dynamic duo of "centrist" politicians foiled my standard graduation speech and forced me to act. Until just the day before commencement I really hadn't understood the gravity of the situation. ......Through the cheers at that event I got a sense of just how widespread the student outrage was. Forgive me now if I seem out of touch with my student body, but as a double degree student who had spent the last month in hibernation working on her recital and her thesis, in addition to working with the preschoolers, I hadn't done anything else for weeks."You mean there's a war going on????? :-O But that's....that's going to mess up my graduation address!!!"
.....This same day all of us in the platform party got an email from the event organizer letting us know that certain media representatives would be in attendance, among them Fox news and National Public Radio. The situation seemed pretty serious."Uh-oh...maybe I should have worked a little harder on my speech. It's not going to look very good on Fox if everybody is snoozing while I talk about music in pre-school."
...... I checked the schedule for the ceremony and realized that I would be speaking just before the senator got his award. And that's when the idea for a preemptive strike began to brew in my little stressed-out brain. What if I tore McCain's speech apart before he even opened his mouth? After reading his speech a couple of times I picked out a few particularly loathsome sections--and believe it or not, none of these actually came from the extensive section where he defends his position on the war in Iraq--and I began planning an attack against him using his own words.And this is the same gal who, in her speech, said "Pre-emptive war is dangerous and wrong"??? I guess pre-emptive strikes and planned attacks are okay. Just don't use that little three-letter word. It gets better. The self-admitted "viper" gets to meet her prey ahead of time.
Later, John McCain arrived in the green room, and with the encouragement of Laurie Anderson, another honoree, Christina and I introduced ourselves to him. I almost wanted to warn the guy that I was about to make him look like an idiot so that he would at least have a fighting chance and an extra moment to change his speech to save himself. But he didn't even make eye contact when we shook hands, so I figured I didn't owe him anything."Owe him anything"??? How about some manners? Some courtesy? A slight amount of respect for somebody who's been around just a teensy bit longer than you? Rohe says her mother cried over the phone when read the speech. I suggest it was that her mother realized what a rude, self-absorbed little snot she had raised.
Eventually I spoke, and everyone loved it. And McCain spoke and we all had a bit of déjà vu. Then some other people spoke and I tried to pay attention but I couldn't stop gawking at the protesters in the audience.Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. I might have had some respect for this little twit if her rant was truly a product of some serious thought and consideration. But no, it's all about looking good amongst her peers. She comes right out and admits that she didn't really realize how important this moment would be until the day before, so she stays up all night cramming for her speech--a true shining college moment. She should be so proud of herself. She should have stuck with her pretty speech about teaching music to inner-city schoolchildren to honor her grandfather with Alzeheimer's.