Irenic. Adj: favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation. Notes from a Politics and Economics undergraduate just back from somewhere in the MidWest. "You said you were going to Ohio? Where the Hell's that?"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alberto Gonzales: Brave or Foolish?

So former US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, visited Ohio State today and did a curious thing. Not a year out of public office he volunteered to give a speech and Q&A to an audience which he, one can only assume, knew would be composed mostly of hostile college students (and those who wish they still were). Yet, he chose to present his audience with a series of "follow your dreams" platitudes that wouldn't be out of place on the presidential campaign trail. Skipping the scandals that plagued his his time at the Justice Department , he clearly sought to defuse the tension yet only gave his attention-seeking detractors more ammunition for their childish rebukes (Gonzales: "Live your dreams". Heckler: "Like torture").

Gonzales' central theme, that effecting your dreams is put at risk by terrorism, is hackneyed to say the least. But it was as if he came to Ohio State deliberately to piss off opponents of his former boss's administration. Citing the extended adolescence thesis (the "Odyssey" of young people in their twenties who can't make their minds up) he seemed to be saying, "You can criticise all you like but when you're a grown up sometimes you have to make decisions, other than Wayne's or Mike's on Friday night". Not a good premise for a Q&A. Unfortunately, the exciting legal arguments for increased executive power that the former government counsel knows inside out took second place to Alberto Gonzales' ego.

1 comment:

THERGE said...

Ah. I had wanted to go to that, perhaps even invite on of my dad's friends, but I was too busy. There is an extent to which one must say the truth regardless of what others think, but from what you say, this sounds like interpretation of the truth shoved in peoples faces. I still respect him for that, but I think it might fall into the foolish category here.