Should Aspen take Rummy off Stanford’s hands?
Rats, the Aspen State Teacher’s College administration missed its chance. Donald Rumsfeld has been anointed … er … appointed a “distinguished fellow” of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.He’s not going to be teaching, lecturing, researching or doing anything else that visiting “fellows” might be expected to do. In fact, there seems to be some question about exactly what it is he will be doing. Which was also true when he was appointed by George W. Bush to be secretary of defense.I’m sure we could have gotten him here at ASTC, though, if only the leading lights of our favorite uneducational institution had been a little more on the ball.I mean, we’ve got a Hoover Institute here in Aspen, right?Of course it means something a little different here, being a reference to the capacity for inhaling large quantities of white powder, like the vacuum cleaner of the same name. I think the Hoover Institute at Palo Alto is named after a former boob of a president, or perhaps a former head of the FBI who liked to dress up in women’s underwear and frolic with boys. Not sure about that (note to editor: fact check, please).But all minor differences in meaning aside, wouldn’t it have been nice to have Rummy here in town? Just like he unleashed the dogs of war on Iraq as a way of saving the people there from themselves, I’m absolutely certain he could have come up with a similar campaign to save Aspen from its own hubris.This anointment … uh, appointment (why can’t I get that right?) only recently was announced, though it undoubtedly had been in the works for some time, and predictably has stirred up some dissent among the faculty and student body at Stanford. There’s already a petition circulating around campus and by e-mail to the various alumni groups, stating that the “members of the Stanford community strongly object” to the whole thing.The petition views his presence as “fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, disinterested inquiry, respect for national and international laws, and care for the opinions, property and lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed.” Huh.Of course, conservative Rummy apologists have already lashed out at Stanford. Trying to be both funny and cutting, one commentator questioned the school’s commitment to “diversity,” although not making clear how Rummy might exemplify diversity of anything.The Stanford Daily questioned the propriety of putting a politician in an academic position, and wondered with tongue planted firmly in cheek, “Why, if the Hoover Institution wanted a frightening warmonger, it didn’t just dig up Genghis Khan’s frozen corpse.”The newspaper also noted that perhaps the “diversity” question could be laid to rest once and for all if Rummy were named Dean of Students, thereby offering the students a change of pace from the run of the mill academics that normally fill such posts.One student commentator apparently suggested that other Bushies, once they’re out of work in 2008, might join the Stanford team.For example, Laura Bush could join the education faculty, teaching “how to bring EVERY child, even the most hopeless and borderline retarded, up to a minimum level by reading shitty books to them, spending $999 billion on crappy educational materials and doing nothing else. Laura shows how even your lame-ass child can, under her tutelage, become a loyal Dairy Queen employee and/or President of the United States!”I think he’s on go to something. Karl Rove would fit right into the ethics department. The Shrub himself can easily be seen teaching international relations, and Dick Cheney would be perfect in political science.So, to the Aspen State Teacher’s College administration I say: “You blew it, guys.” We coulda been a contender.