In which I have an opinion.

Posted: September 5, 2009 in bitching, Drama, weekend, WTF

stupiditySomebody explain to me the uproar over President Obama addressing a speech to school children. The man is our president. We voted for him. We elected him. We dragged our school-aged children through the election process. Don’t pretend that your kids didn’t learn all about the process in school, hold mock elections, and debate the pro’s and con’s of each candidate’s agenda. I know I did. When I was in school and it was an election year, that’s ALL THAT WAS TALKED ABOUT. Every class managed to fit the election and political process into their agendas – hell, even my ALGEBRA class diverted into statistics and polls.

So, I’m reading this CNN article, and every other line I’m freaking out and shouting an unheard commentary. And then I thought, gee, I have a forum and by gawd I’m gonna USE it.

Politics on a Saturday morning. Who woulda thunk it over at this humble little site? I don’t talk about politics often, but by gum when I have an opinion people are gonna hear about it! So. Go read the article, I’ll wait. Then come back, please.

“”Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me,” suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH. “I’m an American. They are Americans, and I don’t feel that’s OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now.””

Okay, holy frickin’ crap. God save me from the PTA. (Shanneen?? Hansel??) She’s an American, she says, and her kids are Americans, she says, and he’s the mother-fucking PRESIDENT of the United States of (hello) AMERICA. You don’t think it’s okay for your president to talk to your kids? About staying in school? You are scared that your leadership wants your kid to stay in school? Idiot.

And then there’s this guy (Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty):

“”At a minimum it’s disruptive. Number two, it’s uninvited. And number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don’t think he needs to force it upon the nation’s school children,” he told reporters at the Minnesota State fair.”

A President’s speech is “disruptive”, eh, you putz? There’s going to be rioting in the classrooms because the kids are receiving a positive message to “challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate”? Really? Also, “uninvited”? The President is encouraging schools to air this speech in classrooms, and is providing optional lesson plans to go along with the speech. Yeah, no gun, no scare tactics, no threats, no force. Finally, what this idiot is saying is that he’d rather have the kids educate themselves via YouTube, than in the classroom. Where there can be point-counterpoint discussion. Fan-frickin’-tastic. Next he’s going to encourage kids to learn their social skills from Grand Theft Auto.

And then there’s this idiot John Greer (Florida GOP Chairman):

“”As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Greer said. “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans … is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.””

so*cial*ism (noun) – a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I’ll let you all digest that one on your own.

Also, “It goes against the beliefs of the majority of Americans…” HI, the majority of Americans VOTED for this guy. I’m sorry, but John Greer does NOT have the authority, knowledge, or friggin’ BRAIN CAPACITY to speak on behalf of the “majority of Americans”. Also, we’re “bypassing American parents” by subjecting their kids to Reading Rainbow, too. And sex education. And school cafeteria food. And US History. And Algebra II. And pretty much everything else that the parents expect the educational system to teach their kids without their understanding or presence.

“The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans…” Huh? First, do you make your kids leave the living room whenever the President is on television? Also, what’s wrong with his efforts to keep your kids in school? There will be no political “message” in this speech. The White House replied with:

“”The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate,” an administration spokesman said. “This isn’t a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school.””

Now you tell me, because I honestly don’t understand, how could THAT be construed as negative in any way, regardless of if you’re a righty or a lefty?

And then? There’s this gem:

“”As far as I’m concerned this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,” said Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell, a Republican.”

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!. Okay, yeah, I know he meant Stalin, but all I could think of was Living Colour. At any rate, that statement was just ridiculous. I’m sure CNN just threw it in there for levity. For fuck’s sake.

I have to note that the article states that back in ’91 when Bush did a similar speech to students, and back in ’88 when Regan did a speech to students (that DID have a political message, mind you), there wasn’t nearly as much fit-pitching going on. Yeah, that’s because they were Republicans. And now it’s Republicans pitching the hissy. Because their Democrat (democratically-elected) President has the NERVE to DO HIS JOB.

Okay, rant over. I just couldn’t let this particular bit of ridiculousness blow over without adding my two cents.

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Comments
  1. crisitunity says:

    That’s just…what???

    The President is not supposed to be the enemy of the people who don’t agree with him. He’s supposed to help ALL of us. People who think he’s going to spread some kind of “socialist ideology” do not understand the point of a President. (Nor do they seem to understand the methods of this particular President in trying to reach people.)

    I am having trouble formulating any more arguments, because my brain is just spluttering. The whole thing makes no sense. Aren’t schoolchildren supposed to admire the President? Isn’t he where the buck stops in terms of the Department of Education? And how is this any different from the completely broken No Child Left Behind program of Bush’s, aside from being less intrusive?

    I’m trying to remain politically neutral in this comment but I guess I’m not doing very well.

  2. Megan says:

    When I heard about this, I was in a public place whare the news was playing on the television. I started to laugh in disbelief. Then I got quiet and looked around. Geesh. Thought it was an April Fool’s joke for a minute but then remembered that this is September.

    It boggles my mind.

    Loved the Princess Bride quotation. Thanks for that.

  3. Shelli says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more if I tried! You said everything I’ve been thinking! What kind of idiot doesn’t want their kids to be encouraged to stay in school and work hard towards their goals! The problem is, the Republicans will turn anything into a political nightmare.

    Your blog deserves a million kudos, a few thousand high 5’s, an hour long handshake, a hearty slap on the back with a “Well Done!”, and a freakin’ cheer!

    I bow at your feet, you are my idol. 😉

  4. dyskinesia says:

    Absolutely brilliant, my dear. I’ve been too appalled to read anything more on the issue, so I kept my mouth shut — although I guess that’s half of the problem of Democrats, we don’t lost our marbles and then shoot them at people.

    He is the President of our country. Had Bush addressed the children of the nation in an address at school (about anything), I would consider it my responsibility as a parent to watch the thing after the fact, because I’m sure it will be available at that point, and then DISCUSS it with my child, just as I do every other thing that he does at school, in order to make sure that he understood it properly and answer any questions he might have. Should I be a parent who feels the need to then make sure that my child believes exactly the way I do (which I’m not, but obviously some people are), that’s my opportunity. THAT is the responsibility of a parent.

    And to let my kid learn his social skills from Grand Theft Auto. That’s my new favorite line ever. 😉

    I will be interested to see if our new Catholic school allows this in the classroom; since the Archdiocese is in charge of curriculum, I highly doubt it, but we’ll see.

  5. Kimmothy says:

    Okay, I’ll be the voice of dissention here. Whether you’re an Obama fan or not, I don’t think it’s appropriate for government to be that involved with schools; it can be a slippery slope. A few teachers I’ve spoken with are refusing to show it for various reasons – a 1st grade teacher because it wouldn’t hold her students’ attention and therefore be a complete waste of time, a middle school teacher on principle (ha – pun!) because to her it smacks of 1984 and/or 1940’s Hitleresque propaganda…not to mention the “activity period” they’re supposed to hold after the telecast. I don’t have a kid in school so my opinion doesn’t matter much, but I don’t think it’s good use of the teachers’ or students’ time. He can tell them to do well in school and study hard without doing all this.

    • Laura says:

      That’s okay, you’re allowed to disagree. Once. In your entire lifetime. So, from here on out you have to agree to EVERYTHING I say. Forever. 😛

      Eh, I think it’s going to take a couple of hours out of one day of these kids’ lives, so I don’t think it’s a waste of time. Certainly not as much of a waste of time as, say, gym class.

  6. Taoist Biker says:

    I remember the Reagan message Laura mentions, and though I wasn’t a Reagan fan per se at that time, I didn’t give the first thought about the propriety or impropriety of the President speaking to schoolchildren. Because, well, he’s the President. If the President can’t talk to schoolkids and not have to eat his broccoli, then what’s the fun in it?

    I don’t know what I was thinking. I was hoping that when Karl Rove left the White House, this sort of vitriolic partisanship would fall away. I have no idea why I thought this would happen, but I’m disgusted that we seem to be falling more and more into hating each other because of the labels “Democrat” or “Republican” that we wear without the slightest regard to what’s best for our nation. When our elected representatives try to have town hall meetings to discuss vitally important and far-reaching potential policy shifts, what good does it really do our country to have a pre-planned crash of two bodies of people screaming predetermined slogans at each other rather than a thoughtful dialogue?

    I shudder to realize that our national discourse on our future is falling to the lowest-common-denominator level of your average fucking Jerry Springer episode.

    • Laura says:

      I love how TB subtly reminds me that I mis-spelled “Reagan”.

      I think we’re more bipartisan now – on the street (or apparently at the FAIR), at least – than we ever were.

      Well, Springer WAS mayor of Cincinatti (or something), once upon a time… he apparently thought a “reality” show (loosly-used term there) was a step-up from politics!

  7. Sarcastica says:

    I suppose it boils down to people just being idiots. They HAVE to have something to bitch and complain about, NOTHING is ever good enough. I hate it. Humans suck. In my next life, I want to be a cat. That’s right, a CAT. Because animals don’t break down everything someone says and twist it and make it a horrible, terrible thing. Cause, they don’t talk.
    Or maybe they do, and maybe they do have politics and what not…which would be weird.

    ANYWAY, I think Obama’s speech was GREAT, and God forbid we try and encourage our kids to stay in school.

  8. Shelli says:

    My cat talks, too, and lemme tell ya, not everything he says is agreeable to me! Most times, I’m being yelled at because I didn’t do what HE wanted me to do. LOL

    But, anyway, I read an article today, where Greer (the Top Dog Fear-Monger of the week), basically said “Oops, sorry, it wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be.”, after he read the text of the speech to be given. Can we say DUH!! Fucking morons!

    Now, why is it that I can’t seem to get Salem, Mass. out of my head today?

  9. […] A good rant on politics and people’s stupidity […]

  10. Frank says:

    Laura,

    Well said.

    Thanks

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