Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sore losers afraid of Obama's charm?

President Barack Obama delivered his back-to-school address today. So, with that behind us, the drumbeat from the bitter but determined rightwing fringe to cast what the president would say as a plot to indoctrinate the nation's youth is over. It's worth noting that their "subliminal socialism" strategy may have gotten a lot of publicity leading up to the speech, but it didn't seem to get much traction beyond the propagandists who were selling it and their already established following.

As it turned out, the speech itself wasn't about politics. It was about not getting discouraged and taking responsibility for one's own education, no matter the distractions. The people who wanted Obama to say something controversial had to be disappointed.

After the speech I listened to some of the spin and did get one good laugh before I shut off the television. A Republican spokesman said, in essence, that Obama is so charming and persuasive that many parents who disagree with him on OTHER matters are still afraid their children will start to like the president, if they listen to what he says about their education.

Wow! Talk about sore losers.

--Words and art by F.T. Rea


Scott said...

I am not a sore loser and I was not expecting Obama to say something controversial. However, I do think having Presidents make speeches directly to school kids sets a bad precedent. Historically, dictators (and, no, I am not calling Obama a dictator!) loved to make speeches to school kids. I think politicians can have a positive influence without doing so. I think you are doing a diservice by not recognizing that there are some citizens who have principled concerns. Not all of us are all about which side of the duopoly is in power right now.

F.T. Rea said...

Scott, I think you know my comments were not meant to characterize every single person who has objected to allowing a president to speak directly to students, during the school day.

Perhaps Obama should have scheduled that speech for yesterday, when (presumably) parents would have had more say-so over what their children watched on TV. But, in truth, there was nothing much in his speech to complain about. It's difficult for me to see how it was anything but uplifting.

What I was addressing was the contrived controversy Obama's most strident opposition cooked up over this thing, with the help of the mainstream media.

Although your concern about establishing a precedent is valid, it's somewhat of a stretch, too, and you know this brouhaha has not been about establishing precedents; it has been about scoring points in an ideology-driven game.

While you might claim to be neutral in that two-party game, in this case you are throwing in with some strange political bedfellows.

Scott said...

That's just it. I am not "throwing in" with anybody and I am not about "scoring points". Are you?

And, again, I think you are doing a disservice by not considering the bigger ramifications of this. We are on the cusp of one of the biggest economic depressions this country has ever seen (and no, I am not blaming this all on Obama!). Who's to say this country will not see a radical (even more radical and scarier than W!) win the next election?

Its not about fear-mongering, or for that matter 'uplifting'- its about being responsible. If the President wants to do something unilateral and concrete for education, he can send the National Guard here and force Richmond to fix school buildings instead of downtown opera houses.

Anonymous said...

F.T. - The clumsy original after-speech "homework" assignment (in which kids were encouraged to write a letter to describe how they would "help President Obama") triggered a lot of unnecessary angst toward the speech. Also in light of the president's questionable appointees and the manner in which he and congress has conducted themselves (ie Van Jones) creates even more distruct. And, as a final dig, I find it very funny that the president encouraged kids to "take responsibility" when he continues to blame George Bush for the economy. Mixed signals, to say the least!

F.T. Rea said...

Scott, deny it if you like, but your perpetually angry style certainly resembles that of the same rightwing fanatics you say you haven't thrown in with.

Scott said...

My "angry style"? Yet you continue to lump me in with anyone else who disagrees with you. Deny that if you like, it is your blog, I am just some peon who dares to share his differing opinion.

Look, If I was really upset about this whole thing I would have been protesting before his speech. I would be attacking Obama for doing this. I am just trying to explain why someone can have reasonable concerns about the precedent that is being enforced.

Why is that so hard to accept? Is it ok with you if someone who is NOT a Republican disagrees with the Democratic Party-line based on principle?

F.T. Rea said...

Scott, you know I don't walk the Democratic party line. And, I know you don't really care what is OK with me.

What I'm saying to you is that when one takes stands that consistently ignore reality, for the sake of some supposedly higher cause, it is a style that is what it is.

Nothing more.

Scott said...

What reality am I consistently ignoring?

All I am saying is that there are reasonable concerns about the precedent that is being enforced.

And yet you continue to be dismissive, saying that I am "throwing in" with right wing nut jobs.

Stuart said...

The RT-D reported in glaring headline yesterday that Henrico would be showing the speech provided permissions slips were signed over Labor Day weekend. Evidently 12 parents had called to complain about the potential exposure of their children to the President of America in their public school. Out of the nearly 50,000 students in Henrico, that makes a sizable two ten thousandths of a percent of parents outraged. Now you can all see why this is such a big deal.

Scott said...

I am not making a big deal about this. Like I keep saying, I did not expect Obama's speech to be objectionable. The problem is what happens in the future if a President speaks DIRECTLY to school kids in a more controversial manner? Imagine if the next President demands to speak directly to school kids about how their efforts are needed and appreciated for the Iranian War? What happens if a Mayor or Councilperson demands to speak to school kids directly to tell them that their teachers are overpaid and they are cutting the school budget? I just don't think its proper or necessary for politicians to do so.