It's amazing that as the 20th century escapes from our rearview mirror, some hippie liberals are still recycling their '60s angst. For God's sake, it's almost 2007. Can't someone graduate from college without a baby boomer commencement speaker pulling out a handkerchief over the sorry state of the world since the idealists shook their last tambourine on "The Ed Sullivan Show"?
The guilt-soaked commencement address was a common theme, as 58 judges put on their reading glasses to select the Media Research Center's "Best of Notable Quotables," the annual compendium of very real press inanities. The "Quote of the Year" was awarded to New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. In a May 21 speech to graduates in New Paltz, N.Y., Junior poured out his apologies for the sorry state of the world passed on to the new graduates by negligent baby boomers.
You see, our youngsters aren't supposed to be graduating into an "America fighting a misbegotten war," where people still have to battle for "fundamental human rights," such as the right to immigrate illegally, to marry someone of the same sex and to terminate inconvenient pregnancies. He also lamented giving them a world where "oil still drove policy and environmentalists had to fight relentlessly for every gain."
It was an obnoxious liberal sermon. This man is supposed to lead the nation's most distinguished newspaper, but all he delivered was waah, waah, waah. A respectable newspaper publisher lamenting that illegals don't have legal rights? If we gave these illegal those rights, they'd no longer be illegals -- and he'd probably complain about that, too.
Coming in close behind in the "Slam Uncle Sam" category was another New York Times orator, Supreme Court gashouse Linda Greenhouse. In a June speech at Harvard, Greenhouse agonized that the promise of '60s America was squandered, and our government has created "law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha and other places around the world. And let's not forget the sustained assault on women's reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism."
This quote didn't fully capture the larger picture of liberal angst, so Greenhouse explained to students that she wept uncontrollably through the second half of a Simon and Garfunkel concert when she considered the decline of America.
But the ridiculous quotes are almost too numerous to mention. Here's some other winning doozies:
-- The headline in U.S. News & World Report on state ballot initiatives on the minimum wage: "Vote Democratic, Earn More."