September 6, 2009


Desperate to derail the Obama administration using any means possible, right wingnuts have latched on to the President’s proposed speech, claiming that it will be an attempt to “indoctrinate” children with a mythical socialist agenda.

Here are some examples of the garbage talk taken from the news over the past couple of days:

The timing it seems to me is political, and I don't like the idea of getting our children involved in politics.'' Sebastian Martinez, Miami, Florida parent of three public school children. Martinez will keep his children home rather than expose them to the Obama speech.

Jim Greer, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, signed off on a statement, posted on the organizations web site, saying the speech would be using "taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda.'' The statement continues; “the idea that schoolchildren across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run healthcare, banks and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other president, is not only infuriating but goes against the beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.” Greer has since backed water a bit, stating that he did not read it before affixing his signature to it.

Steve Russell (R. Oklahoma) says, "As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education - 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."

Glenn Beck, my favorite slobbering Faux wingnut says, “The government and its friends are indoctrinating our children all for control of their minds, your freedom of choice and our future.”

My Guv, Rick Perry, commented, “While President Obama talking directly to school children could be a memorable moment in their young lives, I am troubled that local school boards and superintendents were not involved in the process. State law gives parents the discretion over whether they think this is appropriate for their children. I hope schools will provide a suitable alternative for students not participating in this event. I also hope that this is not an indication of the federal government further encroaching on states’ authority over education.”

And senior senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, follows suit by opining, “I share the concerns of many parents about the President addressing schools in a way that leaves little choice for parents if the speech includes a political agenda. The original worksheet (PDF. Find the political agenda, if you can) put out by the Department of Education raised this possibility and caused a legitimate public outcry

Legitimate, eh? Where was this outcry when then President George H.W. Bush made a similar address to schools in 1991? The talk was about drug abuse, and to be fair, it did draw some criticism from Democrats accusing Republican’s of making the event into a campaign commercial, but even so, there was no media hysteria and certainly no threat from parents to withdraw kids from school.

One of the better analyses of this hubbub I’ve read comes from Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, a statewide school monitoring group. “It’s hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than attacking the president of the United States for talking to students about the importance of getting a good education and being a good citizen. I wish our elected leaders were responsible enough to denounce this kind of wild-eyed paranoia. But the problem is too many of them are actually feeding this kind of nonsense — like when the governor flirts with secessionists and state Board of Education members say the president sympathizes with terrorists.”

I couldn't have said it better.



Chip said...

I don't see what the big deal is. The content is already out there so there won't be any surprises, and both Reagan and Bush 1 did it too. If his speech keeps one kid who was considering dropping out in school then I would think its a success.

Mule Breath said...

That is the way I see it too. Thank you for your comment.