Campus critics

Posted: May 23, 2003 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The president's liberal critics are out in full force, turning up the heat, in yet another attempt to knock a few points off George W. Bush's consistently high approval ratings. Led by the eight Democrats who aspire to the job of president, the liberal attack machine, which decries the doctrine of pre-emption and which pleaded for more time for Hans Blix's merry men to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, have launched a pre-emptive attack of their own.

From the campaign trail, where the cheapest of political cheap shots emanate, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut decries the administration's efforts to rebuild Iraq as "shock and awe giving way to stumble and fumble." Lieberman's expertise in stumble and fumble presumably derives from serving as an apprentice to the failed presidential aspirant Al Gore. When his colleague, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina used the phrase "confused and chaotic," he more aptly described his own campaign for the White House than the administration's policies in Iraq.

But the campaign-trail carping is nothing compared to the absolutely hateful attack from West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd. From the comfortable confines of the Senate chamber, Byrd followed his assault on Bush's visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln by accusing the president of lying, deception, killing innocents, misusing the military, escalating an international arms race, violating international law and misappropriating government resources.

Byrd, who is growing more bitter and partisan by the day, is clearing following Lesson 101 from the Democrat playbook: "Throw every charge in the book at your political enemy and hope like hell that something sticks." It is the depressing reality of a political party that has fallen into an abyss and has no hope, no vision and no leadership to help them climb out of it.

The Democrats' sideline shenanigans and conspiracy theories will not inspire the public to defeat the terrorist enemy that threatens our homeland. Unfortunately, the depressing diatribes heard in the Democrat primary race is echoing throughout America's college campuses, which are hosting their own version of the political silly season.

Like everything else in higher education, graduation at the nation's top colleges and universities provides the '60s-era faculty and student activists with a final opportunity to indoctrinate a captive audience with the political hallucinations of Hollywood celebrities, wacky politicians, and washed up journalists and activists.

In the coming days, liberal icons like U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will be given the commencement stage at Duke University; the dancing diva of the Clinton administration, Maddy Albright, will perform an encore at Washington University in St. Louis; and one-time Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro will be trotted out at Case Western University. The monopoly of leftist commencement speakers this spring, from famous to obscure, provides an unseemly reminder that higher education's love for diversity extends only from liberal to extremely liberal.

At Rockford College in Illinois, New York Times reporter Chris Hedges delivered an antiwar address filled with invective against American foreign policy in the Middle East. "War in the end is always about betrayal," Hedges opined. "Betrayal of the young by the old, of soldiers by politicians, and idealists by cynics." An enraged audience of graduating seniors and their families finally forced Hedges from the stage, bringing his diatribe to an abrupt end.

At North Carolina State University, Phil Donahue painted the picture of a renegade commander in chief, telling the 4,000 graduating students that "only Congress can declare war and not just one man, the president." Donahue conveniently ignored Congress' approval of H.J. Res. 114 on Oct. 16, 2002, which authorized the use of force against Iraq.

At Syracuse University, Bill Clinton informed American students that they were, in fact, "citizens of the world" and an integral part of the "global community."

Ted Sorenson, speechwriter for President John Kennedy, gave the commencement address at American University and urged students to eradicate global poverty and provide universal health care for all of the world's children. He also demanded that the United States end its opposition to Kofi Annan's International Criminal Court and completely embrace the radical U.N. agenda. We must, Sorensen said, "strengthen the United Nations -- its financing, its procedures for the settlement of disputes, and giving it more peacekeepers, more weapons inspectors, more human rights monitors and more international prosecutors."

Dream on. The United Nations has been exposed as a safe haven for terrorists and their regimes. They have proven themselves incapable of, and uninterested in, the task of ridding the world of terrorists.

These liberals will continue to use the country's campuses to criticize the president and dream of an international utopia, but it will do them no good. The leadership the country wants and expects was displayed this week in a speech to the graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

"America will not relent in the war against global terror. ... We have seen the ruthless intentions of our enemies. And they are seeing our intentions: We will press on until this danger to our country and to the world is ended." Well said, President.