Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More GOP Obama Derangement Syndrome

An earlier ripe example, above.

Obama's speech to the children turned out to be a bit of a damp squib, at least politically. What is a Republican to do with an address that didn't announce the establishment of a second Hitler Youth?

Why, just make stuff up. Of course.

"Clearly last week there was a plan with the Department of Education," said [Florida GOP Chairman Jim] Greer. "When you ask students to write a letter to the President on, how we can help you with your new ideas, Mr. President, that is leading the students in an effort to push the President's agenda. Now that the White House got their hand in the cookie jar caught, they changed everything, they redid the lesson plans, they released the text, and tomorrow he's gonna give a speech that every president should have an opportunity to give."

Oddly, George Herbert Bush didn't change his own lesson plans in 1991:

Let me leave you with a simple message: Every time you walk through that classroom door, make it your mission to get a good education. Don't do it just because your parents, or even the President, tells you. Do it for yourselves. Do it for your future. And while you're at it, help a little brother or sister to learn, or maybe even Mom or Dad. Let me know how you're doing. Write me a letter -- and I'm serious about this one -- write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals. I think you know the address.

Over at Damian Penny's, commenter Bruce Rheinstein points out that the Democrats did make some noise about it at the time, as did the National Education Association. "Same shoe, different foot," he says.

Here, thanks to Bruce, is a description of what happened then. I don't think the two controversies are remotely comparable. For the Democrats and their allies, it was all about the pittance that this staged event cost the taxpayer: some $26,750. The controversy arose after the event as a fairly routine exercise in political hay-making.

The public does not appear to have been involved at all, much less driven into a mindless frenzy of weeping and tooth-gnashing by crazed talk-show hosts and GOP operatives. No children that we know of were yanked from school. There was no wild talk about "indoctrination"; no foamy paranoia about changing the contents of the speech at the last moment.

But America today--or a good portion of it, anyway--has apparently gone barking mad. Contrary to the comment by the Faux News robette above, Obama's address to schoolchildren was preceded by those of Bush père and Ronald Reagan. But there appears to be no precedent at all for the current outbreak of political ergotism.

[H/t CC and JJ]


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