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September 10, 2009 - John Stack
Obama’s speech to schoolchildren on education reveals much more about Americans than it would look on the surface. Was it something Obama said that was radical? No. Did he say something controversial? No. It was the knee jerk reaction of many right wing nut jobs to the speech before it was even given. Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell is one of these RWNJs. He claimed ‘As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality’. What this even means, is anyone’s guess. But, he went on to say ‘This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq”. I’m sure he meant the part where President Obama said ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. ‘. That sounds like Kim Jong Il for sure. Maybe he meant ht epart where Obama said ‘The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best. ‘. That’s right up the Saddam handbook isn’t it?

Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama's Education Department "call for a worshipful rather than critical approach." This from the political party of Intelligent design and evangelical Christians. PTA council president Cara Mendelsohn said Obama is "cutting out the parent" by speaking to kids during school hours. I don’t know if she is right wing, but definitely anut job. She went on to say ‘Why can't a parent be watching this with their kid in the evening? Because that's what makes a powerful statement, when a parent is sitting there saying, 'This is what I dream for you. This is what I want you to achieve.'" I’m sure many parents know how to set a VCR or DVR to record the speech. Plus, how many children’s parents were going to have their kids sit up watching this with them? Most of the parents who would do that all ready know the importance of a good education, so Obama would be just preaching to the choir. Blogger Judy Aron also seemed to be affected by the Kool Aid. She blogged ‘- It is because he won't be speaking about parents at all. Will he be telling the kids to listen to their parents? Will he be telling kids to work on creating a more harmonious family life? Is the White House even including parents in the conversation? No. ‘. Hmmm. I guess if the speech was about parenting and not about education, she might have a point.

Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer said in a statement he was "absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology." My guess is Jim Greer didn’t read the speech that was put out on the White House web site before it was given the next day. Or maybe he did. His job is to call anyone to the left of him a Socialist and feign dismay at anything the president does. Blogger Elisha Hannah Levin also opined ‘By the way, this reminds me of the Stalin propaganda to school children. They were told that Stalin cared about them and worried about their progress in school, and they saluted a picture of Stalin every day.’ Ok. that one was just a little harsh and maybe a little too RWNJ-ee and maybe a little too crazy conspiratorial – except Right Wing nut job and crazy conspiricist is redundant. It is a wonder these people are allowed to propagate. I surely wouldn’t trust any of them to be my children’s teacher. And many are in positions that let them help establish education policy. Luckily, there is an upside. Most people recognize these ideologues for who they are. If they are right wing nut jobs, they think these rants are valid. On a sort of similar tangent, GOP Rep Joe Wilson of the Great State of South Carolina (home to family values man Gov Mark Sanford- they sure know how to grow ‘em there, eh?) had a great teaching moment during the President’s speech on health care. He screamed out ‘You lie!’ at one part of the address where Obama said illegal aliens wouldn’t be covered. . no one has come to his defense. Sen McCain and others were embarrassed by his actions. As a good example of ‘cause and effect’, his democratic opponent immediately received thousands extra in campaign cash after the outburst. To make things worse, the health care bill actually explicitly forbids coverage for illegals. To quote many of the opponents of health care reform ‘Read the bill!!’


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