Obama in the "Middletown Groves"

NYTimes conservative columnist William Kristol attempts some back-handed dissing of Obama’s Wesleyan commencement address (enough already!), this time about Obama’s failure to exhort Wesleyan students to join the military.

Kristol concedes that the “speech was skillfully crafted and well delivered, the grace notes were graceful, and the exhortations to public service seemed heartfelt but not cloying”, but still tries to tack on this lame criticism. Clearly Obama is a bad American, and Wesleyan students are all lazy liberals.

All that is not really surprising, but where did this line come from: “He felt no need to tell the graduating seniors in the lovely groves of Middletown that they should be grateful to their peers who were far away facing dangers on behalf of their country”.

Has he been to Middletown? No offense meant Middletown residents, but last time I checked there was a conspicuous lack of any kind of groves.

NYTimes: What Obama Left Out

26 thoughts on “Obama in the "Middletown Groves"

  1. steadyjohn

    Kristol may be alluding to the “groves of academe” as a metaphor for the presumed insularity of Wes students from a war raging far away; not in an “ivory tower”sense, but rather as being enclosed in a comforting and protective bubble,enjoying our precious freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and protected by our military. Oh, and Wesleyan is an extraordinarily beautiful campus, groves or not; there are plenty of wonderful trees. I enjoy photographing the Wesleyan area.

  2. steadyjohn

    Kristol may be alluding to the “groves of academe” as a metaphor for the presumed insularity of Wes students from a war raging far away; not in an “ivory tower”sense, but rather as being enclosed in a comforting and protective bubble,enjoying our precious freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and protected by our military.

    Oh, and Wesleyan is an extraordinarily beautiful campus, groves or not; there are plenty of wonderful trees. I enjoy photographing the Wesleyan area.

  3. Justin L.

    Kristol’s attempt to elite-ify Wes/Middletown by talking about its “groves” may be off the mark, but the city does have a great deal of natural beauty in it.Has anyone been beyond Main Street and the limits of campus? There’s a lot more to Middletown than the urban development surrounding Wesleyan.

  4. Justin L.

    Kristol’s attempt to elite-ify Wes/Middletown by talking about its “groves” may be off the mark, but the city does have a great deal of natural beauty in it.

    Has anyone been beyond Main Street and the limits of campus? There’s a lot more to Middletown than the urban development surrounding Wesleyan.

  5. Anonymous

    Maybe William Kristol should come speak at Wesleyan, if he is so sure he knows best what to say to us.Also, last time I checked there is a little nature preserve and a few (light) hiking paths behind Wesley School. Not a lovely grove, but it’s nice.

  6. Anonymous

    Maybe William Kristol should come speak at Wesleyan, if he is so sure he knows best what to say to us.

    Also, last time I checked there is a little nature preserve and a few (light) hiking paths behind Wesley School. Not a lovely grove, but it’s nice.

  7. Anonymous

    Middletown does, in fact, have groves. A “grove” is either a small wooded area, or a small orchard. There is at least one orchard near the river, and there are many small forested areas, such as Wadsworth Park.But that misses the point, which is that Kristol has no idea whatsoever about what Middletown is like. Still, Middletown should take good press from where ever it can get it.

  8. Anonymous

    Middletown does, in fact, have groves. A “grove” is either a small wooded area, or a small orchard. There is at least one orchard near the river, and there are many small forested areas, such as Wadsworth Park.

    But that misses the point, which is that Kristol has no idea whatsoever about what Middletown is like. Still, Middletown should take good press from where ever it can get it.

  9. maxliving

    4:43: Right, but you’re not promoting war (as Kristol did, and continues to do, for Iraq) or bitching about Obama not encouraging people to sign up for something you yourself never felt compelled to do.It doesn’t negate everything he has to say, but it makes him a bit of a hypocrite to be such a war hawk.

  10. maxliving

    4:43: Right, but you’re not promoting war (as Kristol did, and continues to do, for Iraq) or bitching about Obama not encouraging people to sign up for something you yourself never felt compelled to do.

    It doesn’t negate everything he has to say, but it makes him a bit of a hypocrite to be such a war hawk.

  11. Anonymous

    I thought the column was well-written. I’m personally a pacifist, but there is a tragic disconnect and lack of communication between people at Wesleyan and members of the armed service and their families. On memorial day, during an ongoing war, the fact that Obama did not mention this was a notable omission, and one probably made deliberately by a speaker as skilled as Obama. Why he made this omission is up for debate, but if he had been speaking at a different school, he might have spoken differently. Also, if two students in uniform seems like a lot statistically, that’s probably evidence of a lack of perspective at Wesleyan about how many people are in the Service. I don’t entirely agree with Kristol, but I don’t think his column was a cheap shot either. Also, to 3:45 : yes, Kristol didn’t serve. I’m not entirely sure how this negates his entire statement. I too, have not served in the military, but I believe I am entitled to disagree with John McCain on certain matters, despite the fact that he has.

  12. Anonymous

    I thought the column was well-written. I’m personally a pacifist, but there is a tragic disconnect and lack of communication between people at Wesleyan and members of the armed service and their families. On memorial day, during an ongoing war, the fact that Obama did not mention this was a notable omission, and one probably made deliberately by a speaker as skilled as Obama. Why he made this omission is up for debate, but if he had been speaking at a different school, he might have spoken differently. Also, if two students in uniform seems like a lot statistically, that’s probably evidence of a lack of perspective at Wesleyan about how many people are in the Service. I don’t entirely agree with Kristol, but I don’t think his column was a cheap shot either.

    Also, to 3:45 : yes, Kristol didn’t serve. I’m not entirely sure how this negates his entire statement. I too, have not served in the military, but I believe I am entitled to disagree with John McCain on certain matters, despite the fact that he has.

  13. Anonymous

    i might take this column more seriously had it been written by someone who had actually served. nice try though bill kristol. chickenhawks ftw!

  14. Anonymous

    i might take this column more seriously had it been written by someone who had actually served. nice try though bill kristol. chickenhawks ftw!

  15. Anonymous

    The Masters student in uniform (not that it really matters) went to the coast guard academy for undergrad, so she was wearing her coast guard dress uniform. Just in case people were wondering.

  16. Anonymous

    The Masters student in uniform (not that it really matters) went to the coast guard academy for undergrad, so she was wearing her coast guard dress uniform. Just in case people were wondering.

  17. Anonymous

    Is that the reason that Bill Kristol did not serve in the military? Did the speaker at his commencement neglect to mention that military service was as an “obvious path” and an “admirable form of public service”?

  18. Anonymous

    Is that the reason that Bill Kristol did not serve in the military? Did the speaker at his commencement neglect to mention that military service was as an “obvious path” and an “admirable form of public service”?

Comments are closed.