Minnesota's Rep. John Kline is really concerned about what kind of horrid brainwashing President Obama has in store for the country's children next Tuesday when he does a back-to-school address to kids. Scary we know. A president who actually cares about kids! And knows how to talk to them! Blasphemy.
Of course Obama is going to get all evil-eyed, play some Raffi (do kids still listen to that crap?) and convince them to join his socialist movement. These kids are going to go home spouting off talking points about bank bailouts, saving the car industry, a public option for health care, and letting gay people be loud and proud in the military.
No. We can pretty much guarantee that Obama is going to say hello, introduce himself to many kids who have probably never heard him speak, and tell the kids to stay in school. Study hard, work hard, and think independently. What's so wrong with having the top American inspiring kids to care about going to school?
Of course someone (or a lot of people) have a problem with it. They didn't seem to mind when George H.W. Bush did it though, but liberals sure did. Kline has personally requested that Obama provide his speech ahead of time to ensure it's "appropriate" for kids.
Give us a break.
More from the Star Tribune:
Kline, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, sent a letter to President Obama requesting a preview of next week's speech to millions of students so that parents can determine whether it is appropriate for children. The speech has been billed as the first time "an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school."View his letter here.
"Just as parents are able to review a textbook before it is used or consider a planned field trip before children leave the classroom, public consideration of your remarks in advance of the live address would ensure parents can review them, make an informed decision about whether the material is appropriate for their children, and engage them accordingly," Kline wrote along with Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter, R-MI.
We would agree that it's fair to release the speech early so people can read it and don't die of heart attacks as their children listen to the leader of their country speak in class. The sooner this drama can be over, the better. Isn't there just a more mature way of requesting this than screaming socialist?
Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote a letter to principals about the Sept. 8 speech, Politico says.
"He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens," Duncan said in a press release.Conservatives are pissed. Chairman of the Florida Republican Party says Obama is attempting to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda," Politico says.
"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," Chairman Jim Greer said in a press release.Dave Thul at True North is telling everyone to calm down and stop freaking out. He has quite a thoughtful response to the "controversy":
First off, President Obama is in fact the president (best efforts of the goofy birthers notwithstanding), and as such he deserves the respect of the office he holds. You don't have to respect the man if you feel he is not worthy of it, but to try to keep him from talking to schoolkids is in itself disrespectful.Deep breaths everyone. Apparently all of these conspiracy theories are getting to people's heads.
Second, stop making assumptions about what President Obama will say... The soaring rhetoric that helped Obama win the presidency is exactly what our kids need to hear right now. In the midst of the recession, a war in Afghanistan, fears over terrorism and H1N1, isn't it at least possible that Obama may inspire kids to study hard and stay in school, and above all to keep dreaming about what they might be or do someday? If the president uses the speech as a political tool, asking kids to help him pass health care reform or save the earth by passing cap and trade, then yes, we will have a right to be upset. But give Obama the chance to speak before you decide to take offense to his words.
Conservatives should look to turn Tuesday into a teachable moment for their kids, no matter what Obama says.