So we’ve come to this?
The president of the United States can’t speak to the children of the United States about the importance of staying in school, working hard and getting a degree without inciting political outrage?
The speech is set for Tuesday, and will be broadcast via the web to schools all around the country.
But as the Christian Science Monitor points out, the right is all aflutter:
“Schools have used students as little lobbyists on everything from illegal immigration to gay marriage to anti-war activism, and most recently, [c]ensus collection,” (Michelle) Malkin wrote. “Will Obama be able to resist issuing a call to youth arms to marshal help in passing his legislative agenda?”
Meanwhile, the conservative radio host Dana Loesch has launched a campaign urging parents to keep their children home on the day of Obama’s speech. In an email urging against the “Socialist Indoctrination of Americas children,” [sic] Loesch explains that Americans must not “mind our Ps and Qs and blindly follow their directives”:
“That’s not the manner of governance upon which this country was founded – it is quite the opposite; even the hobbyist Constitutional aficionado appreciates this. So yes, keep your kids home on September 8th and teach them that the power of America rests in the hands of its people, no one else.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party accuses Obama of trying to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.” According to Jim Greer:
“The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, 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 beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”
You know what? If Obama gave a speech anything like Greer describes, the anger he exudes would be entirely justified. It would be absolutely inappropriate, even outrageous, for any president to use a forum of this kind for partisan purposes. It would be wrong to even mention health care or other hot-button issues.
But by all accounts, Obama has no intention of doing so.
According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, “During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.”
Is the GOP opposed to that message? If the president of the United States was going in person to their own child’s classroom to tell them to stay in school and study hard, would conservatives keep their kids home to protect them from that vile message? Is the hate that deep, the lack of respect so visceral?
Has it really come to this, people?