One would not expect that college campuses would go out of their way to accommodate the habits of the Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner. But how respectful are colleges of the current occupant of the White House? Not very, it would seem.
The University of Kentucky is one of more than 500 college campuses across the country that have enacted 100% smoke-free or tobacco-free policies as of July 1. Although policy enforcement varies from school to school, most prohibit smoking on all campus grounds, including athletic stadiums, restaurants and parking lots.
I’ve asked around the office, and even my non-smoking colleagues at THE WEEKLY STANDARD are shocked by this kind of insensitive discrimination being practiced by supposedly open-minded havens of higher learning. Smokers are people too. President Obama has been a smoker. What if he goes (secretly) into remission? What would happen if President Obama came to campus? What if he and Speaker Boehner showed up on a campus, in a wonderful moment of bipartisan amity, and were told they couldn’t smoke? The prospect of a new civility in our politics, to say nothing of reducing our debt, would go down the drain.
And there’s more: Would Obama be the person he is today had he not smoked in college and law school? Would he be the brainiac he is without the aid of the stimulant nicotine over the course of those years? Do colleges want to prevent the rise of the next Barack Obama?