Bustin’ Up The Joint

Unfortunately, this whole Obama back-to-school speech controversy of the past few days has taken on a life of its own and as is often the case with these things the story has become the story rather than the underlying issues.  In other words, it’s quickly becoming one of these perpetual motion machines you see in politics.

But pause to ask yourself, what sorry point have we reached where the President of the United States can’t give a speech to schoolkids without it turning into a political circus like this?  Is “helping the president” by staying in school really a partisan issue now?   This episode is especially unfortunate because the President is uniquely well-positioned to offer a message on the importance of staying in school so this controversy has real consequences.   In many ways, the conservatives on the attack over this are showing the same “burn the village to save it” mentality that  from the left led to the tearing down of Reading First and the loss of a billion dollars in federal reading funds.  That also had consequences.  Who is willing to say enough and call BS?

Update:  Some sense from the WSJ.  Meanwhile, has Rick Hess lost his mind?  The speech isn’t about Obama’s preferred policies it’s about doing well in school.

6 thoughts on “Bustin’ Up The Joint

  1. Skeptic

    The stench of hypocrisy is what has infuriated so many of the rational conservatives though.

    When GHWB did this, his Secretary of Education (now Sen.) Lamar Alexander was lambasted. The Department of Education had to withstand two or three hearings about the dangerous politicization of American education. Questions were asked at about the unseemliness of it all, how much taxpayer money was wasted, and so forth.

    Lamar Alexander, David Kearns, Bill Hansen, all had their hands full defending themselves and the President at the hands of a terribly angry Chairman Ford and Sen. Claiborne Pell.

    There weren’t many defenders of GWHB and Secretary Alexander back then (granted Andy you were in high school I imagine, so you get a pass).

    But now that the shoe is on the other foot, let’s not pretend that this is somehow a newly irresponsible act by just the Republicans/conservatives.

    Obama/Duncan should have handled it a bit better, by using a little humility and not calling it “historic.”

    They shouldn’t have issued the curriculum that was vapid (at best), and contained numerous grammatical errors.

    And they should have put the historical context at the beginning, citing GHWB’s address, instead of assuming that any idea they have has to be the first time anyone ever did it.

  2. Ryan

    *And they should have put the historical context at the beginning, citing GHWB’s address*

    Why? No one gives a damn about that address.

  3. Robin

    I work for a school district that has posted on their website that airing the video of the speech in classrooms will be left to the discretion of teachers and that parents may have their child opt out of this activity by calling the office. (By the way, my district is very small). I did a quick survey of other district websites in our county, and found that the largest ones were not addressing it on their websites at all, while the smallest, most conservative ones did, one of them stating that it was in response to a large number of concerned parents. What b.s.! I can’t believe how we are caving into this level of Fox News-generated garbage! Talk about “fair and balanced” . . . Fox won’t even air his speech on health care reform. Will I show that video? Hell, yes. How ridiculous, how bizarre.

  4. NHLANGULELA

    SOMETIME WE ARE MAKING A BIGGEST MISTAKE THINKING THAT
    IF YOU ARE A PRESIDENT YOU CAN SAY EVERYTHING
    I CAN NOT BLAME OBAMA ON WHAT HE SAID BUT I CAN SAY THAT IF HE DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY HE COULD HAVE BEEN QUITE UNLIKE SAYING SOMETHING AT THE END PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING YOU

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