More Feedback On UW-Madison Professor Ken Mayer


UW-Madison professor Ken Mayer was the topic for a post on Caffeinated Politics last week following what I thought was a rather ridiculous statement about President Obama’s trip to Madison.  That statement was also the reason someone wrote a Letter To The Editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Regarding Saturday’s article about President Barack Obama’s visit to the  UW-Madison campus, what kind of political science professor could possibly think  a lecture from him on American government could be more life impacting than  taking part in a live political event and a chance to see a sitting  president?

UW-Madison professor Ken Mayer loses credibility by questioning the event.  Thousands of young people will remember for the rest of their lives being in  that crowd and watching people participating in democracy. Nobody will remember  the professor’s class that day.

As a teenager I remember being at an event with President Richard Nixon when  he was in office. It was amazing watching the limo and seeing the Secret Service  and all the hoopla. I was taken out of school by my parents to attend. Thanks  for the right priorities, Mom and Dad.

— Marilyn Lewis, Madison

12 thoughts on “More Feedback On UW-Madison Professor Ken Mayer

  1. Patrick

    I think you are too hard on the professor, and also that the cheddar-head award should in this case be taken as a badge of common sense.

    Had the president’s purpose been to make some sort of serious policy statement or to address some important issue I might agree with you. however, as this was just another in the president’s long string of lying and distorting attempts to pander to hung-over students looking to skip class, the professor is correct in his expression of skepticism and pragmatic outlook. The simple truth is that the president came to Madison to use the students to comfort him after the debate demonstrated his lack of command and wit.

  2. It is an insult to describe the students who took the many hours to stand in line and be a part of this historical moment as you have in your comment. The rally was planned before the debate, and so for him to ‘use’ it in the fashion you describe is not accurate. I might add that this was the largest rally for any candidate this year with 30,000 showing up. I would think in this age of disinterest and apathetic behavior the fact so many care and showed up would be applauded. The reason we have free speech as that used by the President is to allow for a broad-based discussion of the issues. To label his content as something not worthy of a rally, or the use of the UW and the limitations it caused for one day not justified because one does not like his message run counter to all the higher ideals that come from the UW, and the history of this country.

  3. Patrick

    First, your comments lack a certain ethos when in post after post you refuse to accord conservatives the respect you seem to seek for the students. While this might have been one neat spectacle, I’ve spent enough time at college to know how students think. To suggest that this is a great opportunity for discussion is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?
    Finally, while I don’t doubt that Obama and his team planned the rally a long time ago, I think that the context makes my interpretation quite reasonable.

  4. Conservatives such as Dick Lugar, Graham, even Hatch get my respect. Jeane Kirkpatrick, and William F. Buckley the same. The wrecks of the GOP like Walker, and Palin get what they sow. There is no blanket treatment here for conservatives.

  5. As for the line about “long string of lying and distorting attempts to pander” made me smile. You must be amused as I am about the changing of countless positions that Romney is making to seem to appear more moderate. But you wrote that about Obama. Want to trade switches and see who has a longer list?

  6. Patrick

    Romney’s long string of lying and pandering on the issues:

    Roe V. Wade and women’s right to choose
    Stem cell research—does he support it.
    Will minimum wage kill jobs
    Mandates and 10th amendments
    Amnesty and citizenship questions
    Privatize social security
    Assault weapons
    Tarp
    Tax cuts and capital gains
    Could Mass. style work outside Mass.
    Campaign finance

    These are the cited references for Romney Flips i could find. I didn’t include things like “is he a hunter” because they were extremely light. Some of these occured with great periods of time inbetween, so his position might have “evolved.”

    Perhaps you could list some of Obama’s flip-flops, lies or distortions? I’ll trade switches.

  7. First, second, and third on my list is the bush tax cuts… extended all of them. Continued warrantless wiretaps would be next. More of the issues that some might think should be on my list are not that he changed, but that Congress (GOP) was difficult.

  8. Patrick

    You might also want to include Gitmo, televised health-care negotiations, lobbyists in the whitehouse, renditions and indefinite detentions. Its hard to say congress is a fault when he had majorities in both houses for the first two years.

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