Monday, September 07, 2009

School Speech Detractors Owe Obama an Apology

Chalk another one up for the wingnuts: what should be a good and beneficial use of the President's bully pulpit has been morphed into a sinister plot to turn our children into Marxist zombies for Satan.

President Obama is going to be addressing the nation's schoolchildren? Well, that should be a wonderful thing, surely. After the last eight years it would be good for our nation's youth to see that someone who actually knows what they're doing, and has some inkling of what the less fortunate amongst them have been through, is in the White House looking out for them.

But no. We can't have that. That is apparently a bad, bad thing.

Why? Ask OK State Senator Steve Russell. He says "it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality ... This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

Ask Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, who says he's "absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."

And they aren't the only ones up in arms about the speech which, presumably, they hadn't even heard yet. School districts in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin are declining to show it, too.

Various excuses abound, but in the end it comes down to fear over what the President might say, and what his motives may be. And maybe that shouldn't be surprising in a country were a shocking percentage of the population don't even believe Barack Obama is a natural born citizen, but it still seems a sad state of affairs when they can't even trust the man to give a pep talk to students.

Well, here is the text of the speech that President Obama will be giving. Go ahead, take a read. Read it twice if you have to.


Note the strange lack of anything resembling Socialism or Marxism, or even any kind of collectivization, except where it pertains to aiding your own country in the long run by being a productive, well-educated member of society - a goal that one would hope even this Administration's most obtuse critics could get behind at least in spirit, if not in the details.

So where did all this stuff about socialism come from? Where is there a justifiable parallel with Iraq under Saddam or North Korea under Pumpkin Boy? And where were these nay-sayers when Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush did similar things, back in their time?

If I were any one of those people who threw a hissy fit over this speech, I would be really damned embarrassed right now. Maybe ashamed, too. And with good reason.

But all is not lost. This, too, can be a "teaching moment."

Maybe all those educators and politicians who cried foul at this speech can provide a positive example for the schoolchildren whose welfare they were so concerned about, and show what mature and responsible people do when they're shown to have been wrong about something, and done and said questionable things because they were wrong - namely, APOLOGIZE.

Will the President get any? Tune in tomorrow.


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