California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to his alma mater last night to deliver a commencement speech. Schwarzenegger did not intend on turning the graduation into a political event, but a number of protestors did just that anyway, jeering almost continuously through his speech at Santa Monica College:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to his alma mater turned into an exercise in perseverance when virtually his every word was accompanied by catcalls, howls and piercing whistles from the crowd.
Schwarzenegger’s face appeared to redden during his 15-minute commencement address Tuesday to 600 graduates at Santa Monica College, but he ignored the shouting as he recalled his days as a student and, later, his work as a bodybuilder and actor. … Inside the stadium, the drone from hundreds of rowdy protesters threatened to drown out the governor’s voice at times. Many in the crowd erupted in boos when a police officer pulled down a banner criticizing the estimated $45 million cost of the Nov. 8 special election that Schwarzenegger proposed Monday.
The governor is backing three ballot initiatives that call for imposing a cap on state spending, stripping lawmakers of the power to draw their own districts and increasing the time it takes teachers to gain tenure.
It seems rather churlish to stage a political protest at a non-political event like this college graduation. It hijacks an evening that should have focused on the graduates, instead of some selfish and self-serving political opponents of the Governator. But if they wanted to protest, they should have observed enough decorum to allow Arnold to at least be heard by the audience in attendance. Actions like this point out a political narcissism and absolutism that reveal nothing but the immaturity of Arnold’s opposition.
And what are they protesting? The fact that Arnold has called a special election for a direct democratic vote on issues that the legislature has refused to address, including the chronic reapportionment problem that has almost crippled California democracy for decades. While the costs of such an election should be considered and debated as to its necessity, calling for more democracy hardly qualifies as such a disaster that it excuses opponents from acting like idiots and ruining the evening for 600 college graduates.
The Left has no sense of proportion, especially in California, where they have behaved like the spoiled children most of them are for many years now. Last night’s spectacle of disruption and rude behavior is just the latest example of the thoughtlessness and reflexive self-indulgence that typifies Leftist activities in the Golden State and elsewhere.