Classless Cheap Shots At Columbia

Columbia University president Lee Bollinger showed himself to be a classless buffoon yesterday, despite pronouncements from some corners of a flawless “rope-a-dope” maneuver.
Let’s get a few things straight. First: he (Bollinger) and his University extended the invitation to Mad Mahmoud. They (Columbia and Bollinger) opened their doors to the figurehead of state of the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. They invited the ringleader of the gang that took American diplomats hostage for almost a year and a half. I don’t know what sort of upbringing Bollinger has had, but as I was raised, when you invite another person into your house, you bear the responsibility for ensuring the guest’s comfort and security. You never invite someone else into your house for the sole purpose of chastising or mocking them. It’s indecent, unseemly, and indicative far more of your own lack of character than a reflection on your guests.
Bollinger had an opportunity to make his feelings known about this “petty and cruel dictator”: right after announcing that the Columbia administration, having realized Ahmadinejad is either “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated”, was rescinding their invitation for him to speak. You don’t insult guests you yourself invited, lest you show yourself to be base, uncultured and unworthy of the respect you deny your guests.
It wasn’t “brave”, it wasn’t “good”, it was an inversion of a relationship (that of host to guest) that ought not be rent asunder, regardless of cultural differences. It was self-aggrandizing in the extreme for Bollinger — he gets to stand apart from the crowd as The Man Who Stared Down A Tyrant and probably rake in some alumni dough. (In light of this, his assurances that Columbia would have invited Hitler to speak in a similar capacity make even more sense. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be The Man Who Dissed Hitler, right?) Bollinger’s actions revealed nothing about the Dinner Jacket Puppet that wasn’t already known.
I cannot abide Ahmadinejad’s views, his practices, nor the regime that he fronts, but the answer is public humiliation in the proper venue. It is not rolling out the red carpet and then unceremoniously yanking it out from under your “honored” guest.

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Doug
Husband & father with youngins; Presbyterian; Will devops for boardgames; Dadjoke Enthusiast; Longtime WordPress user; The failure mode of “clever” is...

2 Comments

  1. […] from Literal Barrage. Posted by Doug Stewart @ 1:07 pm | Trackback Share […]

  2. Agreed.
    That said, some of the things Mr. A was responding with will go down as classics…
    If only someone would take him up on his offer to go visit Iranian schools to chat with the students…If only…

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