Halloween Goes Radical Chic

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Victor Davis Hanson today, and asked him about these photos of University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann’s Halloween party, which Democracy Project describes thusly:


University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann threw her annual Halloween costume party at her home Tuesday night. Among the guests was Saad Saadi, who came dressed as a suicide bomber, complete with plastic dynamite strapped to his chest and a toy automatic rifle. Worse, Gutmann posed with Saadi!

An obvious question: would Gutmann have posed with a guest–or even allowed him into her house–if he’d dressed as Adolf Hitler or a Nazi SS officer? A KKK member?

But in modern liberal circles, posing as a Palestinian suicide bomber (see his kefiya) is just fine. After all, he mainly tries to kill innocent Jews.

Hanson replied to Hewitt:

Well, I saw that, and again, I think it’s emblematic of this endemic problem on the left, that they don’t really see that we’re in a war, they don’t really see that there’s a moral difference between suicide bombers and people who try to deliberately kill people, and people in the war who have collatoral damage by accident, when they try to target terrorists. So I mean, it’s a problem we’re having, these Fraudian slips. John Kerry didn’t mean to slur soldiers, but he has a problem. And when he makes a mistake, and he makes a gaffe, that’s the type of things that comes out. It reveals a deep-seated distrust, just like Kennedy, just like Jay Rockefeller, just like Senator Durbin, just like all of these people when they have these outbursts, and they lapse into sort of a stream of consciousness. What you expect to come from them is a 1960’s deep distrust of the United States socio-economic and military system. And then they do silly things, such as President Gutmann, who was provost at Princeton University, allowing a picture of her with a suicide bomber. They just don’t have the same antenna that most of us do.


As Hugh writes on his blog, “As reaction to these photos builds, please reserve your anger for the adults, not the stupid kid”. (And he has since apologized for his actions; see the end of the Democracy Project post.)

This wasn’t an isolated incident on Halloween, though. As I noted yesterday:

Karl Rove’s mind control rays somehow caused the attorney and former Democratic candidate for governor of Maine who was behind the November Surprise of 2000 to wear an Osama bin Laden mask and toy guns and hand grenades on the side of the road in Maine, where he was promptly arrested.

For a sense of a decadent, dissipated culture which turned a blind eye to the horrors happening even then in their own backyard, it’s worth re-reading this superb article by Jonathan Last which compared liberal elites in English universities in the 1930s with today’s left in America.

I was only mildly surprised yesterday that Senator Kerry expresses no remorse over his Radical Chic phase in the early 1970s; I wonder if those who’ve professed admiration for today’s terrorists will be any better able to genuflect on their own allegiances in a decade or two.



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