This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," May 10, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on "The Journal Editorial Report," university silence, conservative speakers, and a now familiar rite of spring. But does the left's intolerance go well beyond the college campus?
Plus, Tea Party candidates took a beating in Tuesday's primaries. So is the movement in trouble, or is the GOP establishment just getting smarter?
And in an end-run around the Supreme Court's campaign finance ruling, Senate Democrats want to rewrite the First Amendment. Does Chuck Schumer know better than James Madison?
Welcome to "The Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
Well, it's commencement season once again. And as college seniors prepare to leave the ivory tower, another rite of spring is taking hold, college bans on conservative speakers. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the latest victim, announcing last week that she is with drawing as the graduation speaker at Rutgers University after faculty and students there protested her role in the Iraq War. Last month, Brandeis University rescinded its invitation to the Somali-born writer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticism of radical Islam, the school said, violated its core values. And a speech by Libertarian political scientist, Charlie Murray, was postponed by Azusa Pacific University in California recently for fear of, quote, "hurting our faculty and students of color."
But Wall Street Journal columnist, Dan Henninger, says the intolerance goes well beyond college speakers.
He joins me now, along with Political Diary editor, Jason Riley.
So, Dan, as we said, this has been known to happen in the past. But it seems to be picking up in number and in the breadth of the people who are banned. Condoleezza Rice is hardly some radical. She's the ultimate establishment figure.
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Yeah, that's right. I mean, you get the sense that something has kind of snapped on the left, and that they have just felt unleashed to try to go after people like this. Outside university, perhaps the most famous recent case was the CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, Brian Eich, who, because he was found to have donated to California Proposition 8, supporting gay marriage --
GIGOT: Supporting opposition to gay marriage.
HENNINGER: The opposition to gay marriage. Was driven out of his job as CEO of Mozilla. It's was an extraordinary -- it's one thing to sort of crack back and make somebody apologize. They threw him over the side. And then Condi Rice was appointed to the web company, Drop Box. There was an Internet campaign to drive her off the board of directors because she somehow was associated with government surveillance. So the net has gotten bigger and more bizarre. And the question is, why is that happening?
GIGOT: And at Brandeis, which was founded after World War II in the name of liberal tolerance and speech, now saying that somebody who wants to speak, it violates their core values of free speech.
JASON RILEY, POLITICAL DIARY EDITOR: Right. Right. Also with Condi Rice and Hirsi Ali, there is also a racial element to this.
GIGOT: Really? How so?
RILEY: These are two independent-thinking black women. And the left cannot abide that. They're race traitors. Hirsi Ali has aligned --
RILEY: -- herself with neoconservatives and their opposition to radical Islam. Condi Rice is a conservative, a Republican, served in the Bush administration. They're not acceptable in polite liberal company.
GIGOT: So they're particular targets? Does that make them particular targets?
RILEY: Oh, yes. Yes, I believe so. I believe that -- and we see this with -- their fair game for these personal attacks that you see.
I almost wish that Condi Rice and Charles Murray, however, pushed back, Paul, you know, at the mob. And that's essentially what you have. The left has been controlling these universities for the better part of a half century. And when they get away with these tactics to that extent, I think it only encourages them. And they're going it to try them on other campuses.
GIGOT: But shouldn't we put the onus on college presidents, Dan, I mean, for standing up? They're the ones, number one, who issue the invitations, first of all.
GIGOT: OK. So then they renege on the invitations. Shouldn't they be called out on that? And then why can't they stand up and say, know what, we're just going to have this speaker. I'm sorry.
HENNINGER: Well, I think -- I argue that the reason they're not -- they have been complicit in this for years. No question about it. But now I think they've given up. Because there was a case last year involving a Title IX violation of the University of Montana, which --
GIGOT: Anti discrimination --
HENNINGER: Anti discrimination.
GIGOT: -- in education, Title IX.
HENNINGER: And by and large, today involves sexual violence on campuses.
And they signed an agreement with Department of Justice and the Department of Education, very unusual for both of them.
GIGOT: This is the University of Montana.
HENNINGER: University of Montana signed. And they agreed to a very detailed, lengthy set of principles that they would have to conform to.
They would have to hire something called an equity consultant. There are such things. The equity consultant would be on campus through the year, monitoring their compliance. They would have to collect data.
Now, this was a firestorm inside the university community. Every college in this country knows about that Montana agreement. And what it means is, the sort of things Jason is talking about has the force and authority of the federal government behind it. By and large, the Justice Department is siding with the leftists, who are complaining about a broad range of grievances on campus.
GIGOT: And is this has had what effect across the entire academic establishment?