by Jay Nordlinger

In today’s Impromptus, I write about Kathy Boudin, the Weather Underground terrorist who has been sprung from prison and is now ensconced at Columbia University and NYU. She is so special, you see, that no single university can have a monopoly on her. Her greatness has to be spread around. The relationship between American liberals and the violent Left is a very interesting one. I explore it a little today, as I have in pieces past.

A reader writes, “What if some conservatives at Columbia and NYU set up shrines to Boudin’s victims outside her offices?” An intriguing idea (and yes, there are conservatives at those institutions, one must assume). But conservatives really don’t do “street theater,” as WFB once observed. Now and then, you’ll hear of an “affirmative-action bake sale” or something. And the Dartmouth Review guys sure had fun. (Maybe they still do. I hope so.) But generally, conservatives keep their heads down.

WFB once noted that he was not “temperamentally” a conservative.

Let me ask you something: Can you imagine the right-wing equivalent of Kathy Boudin being given positions at Columbia and NYU? Let me ask you something else: Can you imagine a humane and brilliant conservative being given positions at those universities? Would Roger Scruton or David Pryce-Jones, for example, be offered a place there?

Elsewhere in my column, I say something about our president’s remark about the California attorney general: “by far the best-looking attorney general” in the country. I point out that the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, favors more pungent language: He referred to the junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, as the Senate’s “hottest member.”


Obama apologized for his remark. And I noticed from NRO’s roundup of the Sunday shows that liberal commentators found this apology unnecessary. The nation needed to lighten up. We’re too uptight, you know. Too politically correct.

Fine. But remember their current attitude the next time a Republican’s in hot water for sexist or “sexist” remarks.

Toward the end of my column, I blast dodgeball as just about the stupidest game ever invented, or played. A school district in New Hampshire has banned it, which has some conservatives hot and bothered (for reasons I understand). (Maybe they’re not as hot as Senator Reid’s hottest member.) A reader writes,

My son has autism and plays intramural sports. He is typically among the last picked because he has a hard time making quick decisions and navigating multiple rules and plays. He loves dodgeball because he’s good at it. There are only a couple simple rules and he can improve his agility, reaction time, and throwing strength. Yes, it’s more of a drill than a true game but I have met very few kids who don’t like it.

At the end of my column, I apologize, sort of, for a very crotchety Impromptus — crotchetier than usual, that is. A reader writes in with a W. C. Fields quote: “Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”

It’s hard to out-crotchety Fields.

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