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Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) certainly fared better on the football field at the University of Washington when he played pigskin for the college team than he did when he gave the school’s graduation speech last weekend — to rousing boos from clearly unimpressed students.
And the Washington Democrat no doubt got tackled a few times in his gridiron days.
Now, to add insult to, well, insult, some disgruntled very recent UW grads have started a group on Facebook (that’s the online community for college kids, you oldsters) to further dis their commencement speaker. The group, “Norm Dicks is a douche bag,” was started by a former student identified on the group’s page as “Jon Brooks” and includes 15 members. The group’s mini-manifesto blasts Dicks’ “piss poor commencement ‘speech’ (AKA autobiography/political speech)” and compares it to the rants of Walter Sobchak, the character that John Goodman played in the cult flick “The Big Lebowski.”
“Basically, Norm Dicks and his speech is to UW graduation as Walter and his speeches about Vietnam is to the Big Lebowski,” the Facebook page opines. Walter, fans of the movie might recall, was the boorish vet who relates everything that happens to his time in the trenches in Nam.
The Seattle Times chronicled the poor reception Dicks got during the speech and reported that the Congressman actually was a stand-in for former Vice President Al Gore, who college officials had hoped to land as the speaker.
University spokesman Robert Roseth echoed what Dicks told The Times — namely, that the jeers had much do with the torrential rain that poured on the outdoor graduation ceremony, and not just the quality of the speaker. “People did get impatient,” he tells HOH. “It was ... more the situation,” he added, noting that it wasn’t just the students, but also the audience members, who booed Dicks.
The Times reported that 10 minutes into the 15-minute speech, a student walked out in front of Dicks and motioned for him to move the talk along.
A Dicks spokesman did not return HOH’s call, and Brooks did not respond to an e-mail.
Roseth said he hadn’t seen the former students’ Facebook group. “Obviously, they’re free to express themselves,” he said, even if the online attack on Dicks seemed to be “in poor taste.”
A Stink in the Senate. Usually, if a turd gets into the Senate, it’s because he or she was elected. But on Wednesday, several large piles of actual, nonmetaphorical “No. 2” found their way into the Capitol, and the source isn’t yet clear.
Squeamish types might want to stop reading here, ’cause things are about to get icky. And, we’re temporarily changing the name of this column to SOH — Smelled on the Hill.