So it gets a lot worse.
According to Jason, McCain could barely get through his speech – which was nearly identical to the one he gave this week at Columbia — for all the catcalls, heckling and jeering from the graduating students.
When he got to the part about believing “rightly or wrongly” in his stance on the war, they screamed “wrongly!”
About 100 students stood up and waved the now-familiar “McCain does not speak for us” signs.
And when McCain got to an anecdote near the end of his speech about a Democrat friend of his who died, some of the students burst out laughing. (Seriously.)
Bob Kerrey, one of two Vietnam veterans on the stage, went to the microphone afterwards and told the students that they had witnessed “two acts of bravery”: to an initial, harshly critical speech from the student, Jean Sara Rohe, and the way he got his own speech out – gritted teeth and all.
Kerrey also asked the students – and this is Jason paraphrasing – if, when the day comes for them to make a stand and show courage, heckling from the middle of a crowd will not suffice.
Some of the students, apparently, looked embarrassed at the whole episode.
Either way, this puts to rest our in-house theory that McCain’s speech was essentially boo-proof: a war hero’s war hero asking for civilized discourse over a rational disagreement.
Obviously, we didn’t account for the mentality of the audience at the New School today.