Skip to main content

and it was awesome.  

This evening, Karl Rove gave an invited lecture at my university, Washington University in St. Louis. He was paid $35,000 to speak. While I certainly disagree with many of Mr. Rove's political views, I support the rich discourse our University provides from the left and the right. That being said, when Karl Rove comes to campus, I'm going to speak me mind.

Follow the jump...

Mr. Rove spoke for one-half hour, musing about the state of the presidential election. He told a few jokes, acted friendly, and gave us his insight on the state of the election.  The crowd chuckled at his political musings and was rather polite, save a few scattered boos. Much to my chagrin, he didn't mention his time in the White House or the litany of criticisms that led to his resignation.

Afterward, the floor was opened up for 30 or so minutes of Q & A.  I'm shocked that next to no one asked him critical questions. Students asked for funny stories about George W. Bush, more electoral insight, the etymology of his nickname--"turd blossom"--and several other innocuous questions. While I understand that we were expected to be polite, we shouldn't be vapid.

As someone who finds dissent to be patriotic, I was not so gentle. I raced down from the balcony and managed to find the third place in line. Lips to the the microphone, I stared into his eyes and uttered the following:

Mr. Rove, you have been part of an administration that has condoned torture, authorized warrantless wiretapping, and the presided over the politicization of the justice department, among other acts which I and many other Americans find contemptible. How is it justified for you to evade a congressional subpoena?

The crowd hollered in support. Mr. Rove capped his marker and finished his notes.  He responded:

Let me address the three issues you raised: torture, wire tapping, and the subpoena. America does not torture. That is a slander against America.

He was accusing me of being un-American. I've seen enough Hannity and Colmes to know this move.  As he raised his arm into the air continuing his harangue, I interjected:

Don't question my patriotism, Abu Ghraib was a slander against America.

As he continued furiously, I responded:

You don't need to yell. Please treat me with respect.

Rove was vehement. I had gotten under his skin and he was tearing into me. It felt really good. For a moment, I could see the sweat on his forehead. His lips flew apart as the bursts of breath bellowed outward. The excoriation continued.  Mr. Rove moved onto topic of wiretapping. He spoke proudly about how we were wiretapping America's enemies, that we were listening to communications from abroad, and of what could have been if only we had only known what our enemies were saying before September 11th.

I chimed,

"But that's not the point,"

and before I could finish my critique including the infamous presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to strike in US" and the FISA court's near universal approval of wiretaps, the moderator cut me off saying that I had to let him answer the three questions I asked. Incredulously, I said,

But he's yelling at me?

The moderator sat down. Meanwhile Rove never stopped speaking. He had moved onto the subpoena issue and gave me an acrimonious but legalistic explanation about how he had, in fact, provided congress with fifteen written answers and was abiding by the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. I started to speak but the crowd shouted for me to move on and let someone else ask a question.

I thought I'd get to rebut.

I grumbled, walking away.

Beforehand, I questioned attending his speech--why bother--but the truth is, universities have the right to request speakers from the broadest range of viewpoints--left or right, right or wrong. What we as students must do is raise our voices when we disagree.

**Update** Thanks so much for the rec list. It's my first time and an honor.

**Update 2** Here is a link to an article from our student newspaper. Somehow, they managed to name the wrong guy as having asked the question--that's some top-notch reporting guys! No one interviewed me, but they have my question at the end of the article--so I'm not making this up. Unfortunately, they don't mention the slandering of America line or any other zingers. If I find any video, I will post it.

Originally posted to Shlomo Boudreaux on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 06:07 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Sharoney, Anthony Segredo, Superskepticalman, MichaelPH, TheC, Joe Bob, BrooklynBoy, nota bene, boydog, Terri, tmo, nofundy, Cowalker, Chi, Upper West, Ray Radlein, Peace JD, lanshark, ogre, Rayne, kate mckinnon, Better Days, Adam B, Hornito, tiggers thotful spot, Mountain Don, jimG, freedom fried, Bruce HB Lee, kainah, angrycalifornian, BigOkie, stumpy, newjeffct, lazbumm, sacrelicious, dengre, cinnamondog, Shockwave, worried sick, billlaurelMD, Pondite, tacet, kpardue, SanJoseLady, meg, wintersnowman, bellatrys, nemoplanetia, rhubarb, eeff, Mnemosyne, suswa, RickD, frsbdg, StevenJoseph, Sandy on Signal, rlamoureux, TarheelDem, Mumon, frisco, lawnorder, theran, lesliet, SallyCat, FyodorFish, Matilda, zeroooo, freespeech, exNYinTX, bsilent, bostonjay, louisville lisa, hubcap, GreekGirl, Birdman, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, JAS1001, dpc, eyeswideopen, sharpfork, concernedamerican, ReneInOregon, KJack, Silvan Elf, TracieLynn, medaka, indybend, oakpress, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, cskendrick, Kevinole, SamSinister, mbayrob, Doc Allen, AikidoPilgrim, ehavenot, ask, B obby Boucher, macleme, CoolOnion, DaveP, Dogger, Xapulin, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, stevej, PBnJ, TKwow, Glic, chicagochamp, Stumptown Dave, Scoopster, boilerman10, mkfarkus, phild1976, mrblifil, vmibran, JJG Miami Shores, smokem2271, roses, khloemi, chechecule, samddobermann, michelle, allysonsta, JuliaAnn, peraspera, sgilman, Beagle123, LondonYank, kanuk, juslikagrzly, CodeTalker, jbeach, sagra, BruinKid, sngmama, dchill, ornerydad, itskevin, PeteZerria, lilnubber, rioduran, enough already, bustacap, jted, Alna Dem, OldYellerDog, Alohaleezy, delphil, wader, A Chicagoan in Naples, DustyMathom, webweaver, hopesprings, Matthew Detroit, Dube, psnyder, Maggie Swan, hangingchad, annan, sockpuppet, marko, TexDem, mihan, oldjohnbrown, NYC Sophia, MadLibrarian, paluxy1945, pat bunny, f furney, grannyhelen, Viola Lee, kevin22262, TXsharon, jaywillie, Red State Refugee, wmtriallawyer, PaulVA, churchylafemme, pdl ithaca, NYFM, Nemagaiq, DiAnne, Oy the Billybumbler, defluxion10, joliberal, BerkeyBee, snakelass, The Termite, applegal, Tillie630, John Driscoll, Greg in TN, Mrcia, razajac, RebeccaG, Timbuk3, seenos, 313to212, Dood Abides, Democratic Hawk, redstaterabroad, bobcat, djtyg, WV Democrat, Curt Matlock, mungley, randallt, Man Eegee, tomjones, SanDiegoDem, Steven D, SeaUrchin, bablhous, zannie, AaronBa, snowbird42, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, Timroff, murrayewv, Frank Vyan Walton, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Jersey Joe, Tirge Caps, weelzup, Sajun777, Big Tex, averageyoungman, nailbender, tardcat, vcmvo2, riley rails, Slgalt, Recovering Southern Baptist, tovan, catapult, marina, ZZZzzz, 3goldens, Tinfoil Hat, Progressive Witness, capelza, j sundman, NoMoreLies, case, Jeffersonian Democrat, Ckntfld, UFOH1, freakofsociety, el dorado gal, docangel, awesley, vinylgirl, baccaruda, CTPatriot, LisaZ, rweba, Pym, bc86, sallywarden, PBen, corvo, Philoguy, Alice Venturi, Melody Townsel, Omir the Storyteller, elkhunter, truong son traveler, ajsuited, dogemperor, ChemBob, amRadioHed, chidmf, YucatanMan, Dobber, RogueJim, reflectionsv37, boofdah, NeuvoLiberal, Mz Kleen, lennysfo, mattwynn, owlbear1, btrflisoul, dansk47, Viceroy, LNK, CyberDem, Pam from Calif, uato carabau, zenbot, GreyHawk, AnonymousPatriot, cassidy3, lotlizard, bluemanredtex, babatunde, sunbro, The Bulldog Manifesto, twalling, PinHole, newtonsthird, SBandini, SouthernBlueNeck, marescho, neroden, zinger99, coolbreeze, LithiumCola, bunsk, jilikins, Rogneid, doe, Flippant, Ekaterin, omahaliberal, UhClem, simplicio, fhcec, noweasels, xaxnar, CJnyc, ThatSinger, begone, vilegrrl, mariva, berko, alrdouglas, Nowhere Man, Mother Mags, Audio Guy, martini, El barragas, kovie, und83, lilyvaldem, Shirl In Idaho, poco, Nance, Mirroe, suz in seattle, althea in il, BachFan, MissInformation, methodishca, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, sherlyle, RustyBrown, Opakapaka, BlueInARedState, zerocrossing, hungrycoyote, blackthorn, Ellicatt, ajpuckett, mooshter, koNko, martyc35, Samwoman, dougymi, ccmask, The Wizard, fromer, rhetoricus, Magnifico, poichick, Esjaydee, Wary, mystery2me, Lurky Lu, SarekOfVulcan, goodasgold, Blue Wind, RockNAwe, NBBooks, global citizen, erratic, cRedd, nonnie9999, Libby Shaw, pi1304, taraka das, imabluemerkin, Clifflyon, FireCrow, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, armadillo, CTLiberal, Zwoof, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, ER Doc, feduphoosier, Dinclusin, Juneappal, Andy30tx, middleagedhousewife, Mocha Dem, llbear, ChapiNation386, nother lurker, DemocraticLuntz, vox humana, doingbusinessas, Mae, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, jisham, va dare, The Lighthouse Keeper, means are the ends, grokgov, frankzappatista, RantNRaven, Dreaming of Better Days, areddog, liberalpercy, rolling thunder, chgobob, Statusquomustgo, ebs42, DanC, FrankieB, kurious, Bernie68, Snarcalita, etrangere, Intercaust, coolsub, illusionmajik, Aaa T Tudeattack, Batbird, GoldnI, ammasdarling, AmericanRiverCanyon, One Pissed Off Liberal, beaukitty, RagingGurrl, factbased, marykk, zipn, gardenkitty, donnamarie, auntialias, uncomfortably numb, Haningchadus14, Loudoun County Dem, aelurophile, dmh44, jhecht, FWIW, NDakotaDem, scienceworm, Dartagnan, WeBetterWinThisTime, EdSF, psychodrew, linkage, threegoal, CTMET, Allogenes, FishOutofWater, JeremyA, The Werewolf Prophet, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, la urracca, Blue Waters Run Deep, yowsta, heathergirl, HeartlandLiberal, gustynpip, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, shesaid, dww44, sfbob, Uwaine, phoenixdreamz, malharden, WiddieDawg, HCKAD, jayden, Giodude, akdude6016, vbdietz, BlueInKansas, mauro7inf, quadmom, netguyct, thursdays child, Newzie, jnhobbs, Moderation, rogereaton, Wreck Smurfy, kailuacaton, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, fallina7, Aynsley, mrbubs, Captain Nimrod, wchogg, eyesoars, sable, FreedomRider, MichiganGirl, shmuelman, LynneK, Empower Ink, gizmo59, rmonroe, Theghostofkarlafayetucker, Phish Food, Send Rahm a Cheesecake, Niniane, JDWolverton, 123man, FishBiscuit, alkalinesky, kkmama, rogerdaddy, adrianrf, gundyj, mconvente, left turn, Justus, condorcet, JeffW, TX Freethinker, Port City Moon, RickMassimo, Concern Troll, weegeeone, World Citizen, Cordwainer, shanay, AppeaseThis, dave1042, dadadata, golconda2, skohayes, Its any one guess, North Country Dem, lavorare, Therapy, robroser, monkeybrainpolitics, kaolin, kjboy27, tofumagoo, royce, Cassandra Waites, hwmnbn, left my heart, pickandshovel, bluesheep, Missys Brother, Quicksilver2723, Jeff Y, NogodsnomastersMary, Tam in CA, gildareed, mnguy66, alnep, TreeGuy, mofembot, ClapClapSnap, Bigyaknut, Spekkio, Sameer Dossani, bakenjuddy, winterbanyan, RubyGal, RickinDallas, Cobbler, luckylizard, ht dave, Bartlet for America, echatwa, joy sinha, auctor ignotus, mary13L, Goodbye Kitty, eddienutzak, Blueslide, allie123, dont think, marketgeek, ErinW43, pilotmama, Oxy, ludwig van brickoven, cactusflinthead, lgcap, Scubaval, watercarrier4diogenes, Diogenes2008, bucadibeppo, Tennessee Dave, legendmn, xobehtedistuo, FudgeFighter, bijoudesigncom, 1BQ, malibu1964, hardtoport, in2mixin, Bule Betawi, artmartin, Ran3dy, Mr Tentacle, DontTaseMeBro, jsloo, james1108, litoralis, tbird, sarah coletta, ProfJonathan, BigAlinWashSt, AntonBursch, Ephemera, juca, gdwtch52, Discipline28, happy in MA, eroded47095, Dopeman, CanyonWren, Yerba Buena, Stranded Wind, Nebraskablue, DiedInSuburbia, notrouble, Partisan Progressive, Ohiodem1, jodygirl, Apphouse50, kmj2l, mrchumchum, Jenai, EquationDoc, barcode, Fixed Point Theorem, desertlover, MaqOuzo, DefendOurConstitution, Daily Activist, ThompsonLazyBoy, Mercuriousss, lollydee, GreenMtnState, dRefractor, lizardbox, kravitz, bluestatemeant, oxfdblue, ZilV, badger1968, scotths, sarashina nikki, MySobriquet, johngoes, AlphaWolf, Knight Rider, NomDeKos, papahaha, Goober Pea, jazzence, obscuresportsquarterly, evdebs, allep10, paintitblue, kevinpdx, Craig Hickman, IngeniousGirl, synductive99, IreGyre, KenInCO, CityLightsLover, Lava20, notksanymore, rubthorn, whatnext, romwriter, mappamundi, maxzj05, serecovery, sumo, Living in Gin, sherijr, reesespcs, FundaMental Transformation, nancat357, Bene Gesserit1, xylem, MizKit, wonkymuse, Sarahsaturn, myelinate, orangeuglad, Wings Like Eagles, winsock, Rian Fike, Tricky, HowieBeale, deviant24x, Mr Gerbik, JAMill, Leftcandid, jazzy, cityvitalsigns, bikebum, Hamlets Father, Black Mare, Words In Action, capasb, RickinStLouis, kfd313, Lauren S, Vermfly, bohemian darling, Culebrito Blanco, BigVegan, richdoll, dalys, parse this, Carl Brutanananadilewski, TruthandTrust, littlezen, Alohilani, mudmanor, awcomeon, angelesmartian, Ashiado, hope65, KroneckerD, Jampacked, winkster, winner21, fedupcitizen, Mr Brinkman, dragonlilleth, miss SPED, Obamican08, egyinny, RadicalGardener, cloud9ine, dditt, BP in NJ, Blue Blood, amk for obama, seishin, piers, kjoftherock, karend27, Bran Dougherty Johnson, fleisch, CcVenussPromise, Big Danny, Ladyna, mollyk, Dukakis88, biggiefries, Ann T Bush, chrome327, Crabby Abbey, msmo1918, MsCharisma of Maryland, ko62, LeftyAce, fortuna, legalchic, ATFILLINOIS, BonnieSchlitz, Dexter, RJP9999, Eddie L, muryan, wbramh, Leolady, kinkistyle, k8dd8d, French Guy, madeup64, tomnobombadil, Jimmm, RB in KC, sullivanst, pixxer, MarianLibrarian, DemaKey, ypsiCPA, Benintn, Son of Icculus, tellinya, DrFitz, qi motuoche, DiegoUK, indythink, atombum, MJinSM, Luthien Tinuviel, googleimage, jdacal, lrbreckenripple, martini drinking atheist, MsGrin, czardingus, djabanete, Floande, Inspired By Nature, Loose Fur, dwayne, azzayan, Justashotaway, ssldenver, NW Mom, not4morewars, rwilly777, Actbriniel, slice, dk713, papabigdog, Odeomi13, samantha in oregon, mechboots, ladona, Jae413, Joshish, The H Axis, no way lack of brain, VitaminD, Pakalolo, Onomastic, watershed, ladyducatnip, nampa45, BrowniesAreGood, Prosediva, gobears2000, Relevant Rhino, AQBan, atoilune, yellow cosmic seed, surfermom, annominous, Hillblogger, FrAntony, steve234, evelynevvie, ginfizz, KikiK, Birchwood, Mico0109, Valerie8435, spooks51, lsterman, joshb, Gracian, Puphdadi, Jreif, Mz LadyPhoenix, sowsearsoup, jardin32, vahana, Massapequa Dem, Amayi, cindy49, bayareaobamaniac, usna77, medicinewoman, jididly, Moe Gamble, k from va, padremiguel, fenice e risorta, Sasa, DesignGuy, mbLA, robdcee, chetter, Inventing Liz, Arkieboy, sunshineflorida, Liberal OC Woman, Kanashi, BirdMom, Coilette, lynncosbm, chloris creator, Fleur, misskitty64, sallym, skpow, blueinmn, willib, lisa02, dvdl, TheNextDylan, lawbot, penngal, Veeajera, wendix, zukesgirl64, knobbyknees

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site