Today, President Obama is speaking to the children of the nation in their school rooms.
According to the text of the speech, which is VERY long and punctuated with an excess of personal pronouns, he will extol the virtues of education and encourage the youth of America to pursue education. It will be a very vanilla speech as speeches go. Hopefully it will touch a child or two, encouraging them to stay in school and to achieve excellence.
Unfortunately, the more conservative elements in this country made a great issue of the address and have been complaining that the entire evolution was a attempt to indoctrinate the kids. There were criticisms of the after speech activities that were posted to the Department of Education’s website. The specifics were that the speech and writing assignments were an indoctrination tool, cultivating the cult of personality of Obama.
All this was put out into the mainstream media and onto the blogosphere prior to any transcript of the actual speech being made public. Predictably, the ensuing harangue began almost immediately and built to a crescendo at the same time that Van Jones was (probably) being thrown under the bus by the White House. Weather he arises again like Lazarus to hold some back-office position is yet to be seen, but you can bet we have not heard the last of Mr. Jones.
All the hoopla over the President’s address begs the question as to weather the liberals have rope-a-doped conservatives by salting the already charged political environment with what appeared to be a potential propaganda play by Obamanites; Create a predictably pseudo-political workbook assignment for the kids to be done after the speech, one that has the tone and effect of aggrandizing a presidential cult of personality. A predictably volatile reaction ensues, only to be shown to be all for not. The speech is rather bland and apolitical. As of today, the offending after-speech assignments are gone from the D.O.E website. The bait and switch is now complete.
The mainstream media will predictably say in the wake of the speech, “what was the big deal?” The independent crowd will say “where is all the controversial stuff you conservatives said was it this speech?” and the Obamanites will get the last laugh as they may have had a couple different versions of this speech available depending on the reactions to the concept.
Under fire, they withdrew the offending assignments after the storm began. They complete their operations to make the right look like a bunch of whiners by releasing a toned down schoolhouse address (their version of Plan “B”). The bottom line is that too much was made of the president’s speech to the school kids.
Based on my own experience, as the father of an active son who is now in college, most of them won’t remember it past next week, if even that long. The attention span of kids in class is limited to the length of a sitcom segment or music video at the most. The content of the speech will not do much more than provide a Sominex moment to the youth of America. When I read the text, I felt like Tip O’Neill during a State of the Union address…drowsy by the time I finished. We must maintain focus on the speech that really matters and that is the one President Obama will give to Congress on Heath care reform. We must all keep after the congressional representatives and keep after the senators as we get down to this major threat to personal freedom and independence.
August Recess is over. Now the real fight begins….