Graduation Outrage! Rep. Lacy Clay Needs Police After Bush-Bash!

If you thought that Hawk John Murtha would be the only liberal democrat to give a Bush-bashing, anti-war speech this commencement season, you’d be wrong. But, at least Murtha didn’t need a police escort to leave the building!

What started as an joy-filled commencement celebration…

UM-St. Louis invites Rep. William “Lacy” Clay to start things off at 10 a.m. as the first speaker at the Saturday Commencement ceremony at UM-St. Louis on May 13, 2006.

…Turned into a raucous display of shameful liberal politicking that led to calls for the university security!

Here is what Representative Lacy Clay’s SAYS we must do from his website:

Now that the fighting has begun (in Iraq) and the brave men and women of our armed forces go forward into harm’s way, we must honor their sacrifices and we humbly salute their service.

But, Rep. Lacy Clay did everything but show honor for those in harms way in his contemptible speech to the graduating seniors at UM St. Louis last Saturday morning.

Jamie Allman reported on the Allman and Smash Morning Show at 97.1 FM on Monday about this event and I was emailed about the graduation later in the day.

Here is what those in attendance had to say about the shameful liberal Bush-bashing by Representative Clay (D-MO) at commencement ceremonies on Saturday morning:

Irving L. Burrows from St. Louis, Missouri writes (his original went to the Dean at UMSL)…


My family and I had looked forward to last Saturday for some time. It was college (UMSL) graduation day for our granddaughter – who would graduate Magna Cum Laude. We are very proud of her and anticipated a nice pleasant, uplifting ceremony for her and her classmates.

Sadly, this was not to be. The commencement speaker, The Honorable (??) William Lacy Clay managed to ruin the proceedings very effectively. He chose first to indulge in a little self congratulatory oratory relative to his career, but then hit a new low in commencement speeches by using this as an opportunity to bash the President and his staff. He repeated all the rhetoric we’ve all heard about how Mr. Bush “led us into war”, why it’ll never work, and the old “we should bring all the troops home now” routine. I don’t deny Mr. Clay his right to his opinions and I don’t deny his right to be heard about them at the proper forum.

A commencement address is not that forum. The kids are looking for a little wisdom, a little encouragement, a little humor perhaps not political demagoguery. I was thoroughly disgusted by his performance and from the sounds in the audience I was not the only one. I felt badly for the graduates and their parents. It was a “downer” on a day that should have been an “upper”!


Joe M. Garavaglia from the UMSL Republican Club writes…

I was working outside the building during the speech so I did not get the hear it or see it. I know people coming out of the building said they were mad about his remarks. Campus Police were called into the building to keep things under control.

Matt Keller wrote Jamie Allman with this…

He spent a good five minutes talking about how President Bush lied, there were no weapons of mass destruction, we need to bring our troops home, etc. (the typical rhetoric of the left). He even gave the number of U.S. casualties to date. During this tirade many people began to boo and yell. At one point the jeers were so bad that Mr. Clay said “Now wait a minute, I have the microphone so you need to listen”

Ben Phillips from St. Louis wrote in with this:

Jim, just heard a story about Bill Clay at last weekends graduation when he attempted to interject anti-war politics into his commencement address. The crowd erupted into boohs and jeers of get off the stage. Apparently it was quite a scene. At the end 20 or 30 of 600-800 in attendance stood up and applaused.

Fielding Poe wrote to Jamie Allman

“… am waiting and waiting to hear the local news report that US Congressman William L. Clay was nearly booed off the commencement ceremony stage Saturday morning at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Clay departed from typical commencement speaker fodder to criticize the war in Iraq and President Bush. The crowd in attendance did not take it lightly or quietly.”

Lynne Hepburn from the St. Louis area said this:

Needless to say, we were very upset that such a special occasion had to be marred by such classless behavior, but no sense in giving him more attention than he is worth. I don’t know that I could give you any details – I was fuming so I didn’t even try to listen – it was tough to have to sit there when we really wanted to walk out – but after all, we were there for the kids…

Dave McGougan wrote to the Allman and Smash Morning Show with this…

Three times during his shameless tirade he was stopped by the crowd, who were booing so loudly he could not be heard. At one point about 7-8 faculty in their silly robes stood up to show support. When the booing intensified they sat back down, rather meekly. As soon as the ceremony ended he was escorted quickly from the area.

Irving L. Burrows from St. Louis sent a copy of the letter he wrote to Chancellor Thomas George at UMSL:

Mr. Thomas George
University of Missouri – St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo. 63121-4400

Dear Chancellor George:

I include comments that I have sent to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I will be surprised if they’re published, but wanted you to know my feelings (and those of many others in the audience including graduates).

I have never been so disappointed in a graduation ceremony as the one held at UMSL last Saturday and I’ve been to a few. I have no idea whether the speaker’s comments are screened or not supposedly it should’t be necessary. I hope you’d agree that in this case, it was!!

Irving Burrows

Despite the brash commentary by the the arrogant Lacy Clay, the Missouri folks didn’t take it!

We may not be the most exciting bunch here in Missouri, but we know how to show respect for soldiers in war… whether it’s 2:00 AM on a Monday morning to pay respects to a Missouri hero or a Saturday morning graduation ceremony!

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