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Comments by YACCS
Monday, May 22, 2006

Dumber than.........


....... a box of rocks

This is incredible, McCain's spokesman, in an act of raw,naked stupidity,launches a personal attack on the student who went after the Senator on Friday, thus making her another hero in the Colbertian vein.

McCain's Chief of Staff Responds to Ms. Rohe. ++Update HuffPo just Contacted me!! Hotlist
by iliketodrum [Subscribe]
Sun May 21, 2006 at 03:15:13 PM PDT

Update, Holy shit I just got an email from Huffington post that said they confirmed my story and it is the top story at Huffington Post right now. Wow!!! Ok I am officially pissed! You know after Iraq, Tora Bora, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Katrina, obvious cronyism, tax cuts, being spied on, net neutrality, presidential signing powers, jailing of journalist, outing of a covert CIA agent, raiding the US treasury, and giving money to tax exempt religious institutions, I have finally hit the limit. This morning I was going to go run a few miles (I'm training for a marathon) and eat a healthy amount of whole-wheat pasta and watch the Bay Bridge Series. But all of that was shattered while I was on Huffington Post reading a blog by the woman Jean Rohe. Buried in a comment 8 pages in the post was a response from Senator McCain's chief of staff. (Well I cannot confirm 100% if he still is the chief of staff, but he still works for McCain. I am just too angry right now to sift through pages on google to find his exact current title.)

We all know what happened the other day at the New School graduation. (If not go here.)


Let me tell you a little bit about the Senator, the man you dismiss so derisively. Once upon time, even among the young, the words courage and hero were used more sparingly, more precisely. It took no courage to do what you did, Ms. Rohe. It was an act of vanity and nothing more. And please don't worry about the Senator's discomfort with you. He has managed to endure much worse


Ok, Mr. Mark Salter, I am looking for the right combinations of words in response to this...ah yes fuck you! Sorry I just de-evolved to your level, let me recompose my self.

First off who are you to say that a young woman who has just graduated, giving a commencement speech in front of thousands of colleagues, and in front of an international news presence, is a coward. Sorry you did not use that word, but you certainly implied it.

McCain was once offered release from imprisonment and torture because of his father's position as a senior military officer. He declined because he would not leave his comrades behind, and thus, willingly, accepted four more years of hardships life will spare almost all of us from. In his political career he has shown the same character he showed as a Navy officer all those years ago. He has, over and over again, risked personal ambitions for what he believes, rightly or wrongly, are in the best interests of the country. What, pray tell, have you risked? The only person you have succeeded in making look like an idiot is yourself.

Ok, hold on here. First off no one is disputing McCain's heroic duty to this country. Oh, wait, Karl Rove did, but you laid down like a good puppy. But I am sure that Ms. Rohe was not questioning the great sacrifice McCain made to this country. However, to call out his service to his country and compare it to a woman who is speaking her opinion to the largest audience in her life is beyond me pal. In fact, the words I find once again, oh yea, Fuck You. "What pray tell, have you risked?" Holy Shit. How can you say that!

You are the Chief of Staff for one of the strongest, and well known Senators in the United States, who will most likely being going for the Republican nomination for President. If elected that means you will hold Karl Roves position (well his former one). And let me tell you something, Mr. Salter, you have just given me a new purpose in life. I will do everything in my power to make sure everyone hears the words you wrote about a courageous young women who has, and is, continuing her pursuit to live the American Dream. The very dream your employer sacrificed so dearly to preserve.

So, let me leave you with this. Should you grow up and ever get down to the hard business of making a living and finding a purpose for your lives beyond self-indulgence some of you might then know a happiness far more sublime than the fleeting pleasure of living in an echo chamber. And if you are that fortunate, you might look back on the day of your graduation and your discourtesy to a good and honest man with a little shame and the certain knowledge that it very unlikely any of you will ever posses the one small fraction of the character of John McCain.


This from a man who claims naivety of youth. Sir, your statement to a fellow American is disrespectful, and an embarrassment to your character and standing as a human being. Never mind the fact you call yourself an American. Ughh, I am disgusted with your arrogant and naive view of the populace of this great country. You sir have no business in serving the public.

What you have just taught me, through your arrogant and naive attack upon an honest American, is that I will not stand for this any longer! I will not bow down, as your Employer did, to the pressures of the political elite. I will not stand by ideally as you attack the citizens and the articles upon which this nation is built upon.

Since I am an honest human, I will post your entire reply to Ms. Rohe. Thanks for the kick in the ass, and me missing the Giants, A's game!

The link is here, thanks DrReason. I cannot for the life of me get this link to embed. sorry. You need to scroll almost to the bottom of the page when you go to this link. The comment is obvious when you see it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jean-rohe/why-i-spoke-up_b_21358.html?p=7#comments

I am employed by Senator McCain and I helped draft his remarks for the New School commencement ceremony. Ms. Rohe takes exception to the fact that the speech was written with all four commencements he has been invited to address. The Senator's intention was to discuss with Americans, not any particular subset of Americans, but his fellow countrymen, the things that he feels are important to remember in our political debates: that we owe each other our respect just as we owe each other our best advocacy for the things we believe are important for our country. He did not feel that the students of Liberty University were a more appropriate audience for his address than the New School's graduates. It was an act of respect. Although it is quite clear that part of his audience at Madison Square Garden had no intention of reciprocating.

Evidently, the Senator's regard for his audience was misplaced. Ms. Rohe and those of her fellow graduates who hailed their school's President as a war criminal and who greeted the Senator's reference to a friend's death with laughter proved only one thing, one sad thing, that they could learn a thing or two about tolerance and respect from the students of Liberty University. Like the protestors at the Garden, many in the audience at Liberty University disagreed with various of the Senator's views. Some disagreed with his support for campaign finance reform. Some disagreed with his support for comprehensive immigration reform with a path toward legalization for undocumented workers. Some disagreed with his position of climate change. Some disagreed with his opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. Whatever their differences with him they listened to him attentively and respectfully, as one American to another, divided in some respects, united in much more important ones.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Senator, the man you dismiss so derisively. Once upon time, even among the young, the words courage and hero were used more sparingly, more precisely. It took no courage to do what you did, Ms. Rohe. It was an act of vanity and nothing more. And please don't worry about the Senator's discomfort with you. He has managed to endure much worse. McCain was once offered release from imprisonment and torture because of his father's position as a senior military officer. He declined because he would not leave his comrades behind, and thus, willingly, accepted four more years of hardships life will spare almost all of us from. In his political career he has shown the same character he showed as a Navy officer all those years ago. He has, over and over again, risked personal ambitions for what he believes, rightly or wrongly, are in the best interests of the country. What, pray tell, have you risked? The only person you have succeeded in making look like an idiot is yourself.

You took exception to the paragraph in which he lightly deprecated the vanity of youth. Well, Ms. Rohe, and your fellow graduate's comical self-importance deserve a rebuke far stronger than the gentle suggestions he offered you. So, let me leave you with this. Should you grow up and ever get down to the hard business of making a living and finding a purpose for your lives beyond self-indulgence some of you might then know a happiness far more sublime than the fleeting pleasure of living in an echo chamber. And if you are that fortunate, you might look back on the day of your graduation and your discourtesy to a good and honest man with a little shame and the certain knowledge that it very unlikely any of you will ever posses the one small fraction of the character of John McCain.

Mark Salter


First, Ms.Rohe was a double major who not only is a professional singer, but has a day job working with preschoolers. Honest work is not her problem.

Second, this kind of personal reply is unbecoming of a Congressional staffer to a private individual. Insulting her character and intelligence is an act of bullying which will come to make your boss look like an asshole. The judgement here is so lacking, so beyond common sense, that it staggers the mind.

McCain went into the most liberal university in the US, one filled, not with naive kids, but working adults who didn't have the luck or money to attend NYU or Columbia. They were deeply offended by McCain's speech and found it offensive that he delivered it to them. If you want puppets, go to Liberty University. If you expect a New School audience to sit silently while you insult their intelligence and offend their sensibilities, well, you're in the wrong place.

What is even more comical is that he thinks he's talking about 21 year olds when I'd bet most of the graduates were pushing 30. The New School is a place for second chances, as I remember. So Salter is talking out of his ass, and probably offending a bunch of Iraq War vets in the process.
Of course, this is going to probably cost him an apology if not his job. This is New York. We don't accept insults with a smile. Maybe they do in Arizona, but not here.If McCain can't handle it, then he needs to pick his audiences better, like Bush does.

Until there is some measure of justice for 9/11, don't expect New Yorkers to be happy with Osama being free.

Update: Ms. Rohe responds

Response to McCain's Aide Mark Salter

At the risk of turning this into a battle between Mark Salter, Senator John McCain's staff-member, and myself, I'd like to comment briefly on his blog on the Huffington Post. I'm sad to see that Mr. Salter intentionally misinterpreted my writing, presumably to hurt my feelings and frighten me into silence.

I'd like to say first of all, that I don't believe that anything I've written to the public so far has been quite as nasty to Senator McCain as Mr. Salter was to me. On the contrary, I think that my writing clearly reflected my values, which is to say, never was I rude to the Senator nor did I show any disrespect. In fact, I think my compassion was made clear. To pick on me in such a bullying and sarcastic way is a clear admission on Mr. Salter's part that his fear is far deeper than any I might have felt when sticking up for myself.

The following is addressed directly to Mr. Salter:

Without taking issue with your statement point by point, I'd just like to draw attention for a moment to a few things you said. Firstly, it was clear to me why Senator McCain chose to give the same speech at every school. It was meant to show consistency in his message, and, contrary to what you suggested, there is no place in my speech or my other writing where I take issue with that. However, interestingly, it is precisely because the senator's speech had nothing to do with our graduation or anyone else's that it worked so marvelously in all settings. It was equally out of place no matter where it was delivered.

In addition, you make many assumptions about who I am and what I stand for. You assume that the words shouted from the audience reflected at all times my opinions and values. You assume that I have made myself look like an idiot, which, I can tell you, is just not true. You assume I have taken no risks. I'm curious to see which doors have been permanently closed to me in the future, simply because I've spoken up. You assume that I did what I did simply to draw attention to myself for my own personal benefit. I have said in my writing, and I will say it again, I would never have asked for this responsibility in a million years. The entire event was stomach-churning and unpleasant because it was something I didn't want to do, but knew I had to out of an obligation to my own values. You assume that I have no experience making a living. I have been a full-time college student and have worked a job to pay my own rent and my own expenses for the past two years. You assume that I live in an "echo chamber" of liberal head-patting, when, in fact, I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a neighborhood notorious for its cultural diversity and sometimes, conflict. I live in New York City where every human interaction is a test of our willingness to coexist as citizens. And finally, I think it is unfair to assume that I have not considered the hardships of Senator McCain's life. Indeed, one of my first feelings upon seeing him in the flesh was compassion for how much he must have endured in his time as a POW. If there's one thing that I know about myself, it is that I care for people, and in that sense I have a great deal of character. Please don't try to bully me anymore.
This is not 1986 when you would have the last word, Mr. Salter. Nope, it's 2006 and Jean Rohe can speak for herself and has plenty of people who will amplify her message.

Like I said, the New School is not for kids looking for frat parties, but people working through school. Smart people.

Now, Salter looks like an even bigger dick because he attacked this woman and she called himon it. A smart man would quit at this point.

posted by Steve @ 12:09:00 PM

12:09:00 PM

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