Right-Wingnuts Unhinged Over Obama Talking to Kids

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

UPDATE: Here’s the prepared text of the speech the president will deliver.

Tim Rutten has an excellent OpEd in the LATimes today regarding the hysteria over the president’s planned Back to School address; Calls to boycott Obama’s speech to kids offer a disturbing lesson in paranoia.

Rutten writes:

While it long ago crossed the borders of reason and civility, the hysteria over healthcare reform is — at some level — understandable, because wellness and infirmity are really just stand-ins for those most terrifying of issues, life and death.

But there is no similar way to rationalize the bizarre controversy now raging over President Obama’s plan to deliver a brief televised address on Tuesday to the nation’s grammar school children.

According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Obama will “challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.”

Sounds innocuous. Who, after all, could be against good study habits, personal responsibility and productive lives? As it turns out, quite a number of people who seem to believe that Obama intends to induct their children into — well, it’s not quite clear what they’re afraid of. The Web and talk radio are abuzz with various attempts to organize a boycott of Tuesday’s speech. One group is urging parents to demand that their children be excused from watching the president and be sent instead to the school library to read the Founding Fathers. (The theory, one supposes, is that a good dose of the Federalist Papers will inoculate the young against Obama’s attempts to subvert the republic through good grades.)

Unfortunately, several school boards in Orange County have decided to either censor the President’s address or not allow the students to view it in its entirety.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) sent out a press release stating that they “will not be showing the President’s address.”

Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard appreciates the attention the President of the United States is giving our schoolchildren and the attention that he is giving to the most important policy matter of our day. At the same time, the Superintendent has always been a strong advocate for protecting the rights of conscience of both children and parents, and believes that the District’s approach in this matter is appropriately sensitive to the wide variety of political sensitivities and viewpoints in this diverse District.

President Barack Obama in Costa MesaTheir press release also stated that, “using their discretion, teachers may choose to show the speech later in the week as it fits into their curriculum.”

School boards should not be in the business of censoring the President of the United States. Students in Orange County deserve the opportunity to hear from their President.

Rutten continues in his piece:

Republican officials such as the Florida state chairman are playing a dangerous game with an unhinged segment of public opinion that regards Obama not as an elected official with whom they disagree, but as an illegitimate usurper of the presidency.

That paranoid fantasy is what’s really behind the “birther” movement and the allegations that the president is — take your pick — a secret Marxist or a secret Muslim.

These are the people who are stockpiling ammunition and keeping their children at home next Tuesday.

When former Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush made similar speeches while in office, and there was no problem for these wingnuts in letting the children hear what the President had to say, unsensored.

Apparently this is just one more example of I.O.K.W.A.R.D.I. (It’s OK When A Republican Does It.)

  6 comments for “Right-Wingnuts Unhinged Over Obama Talking to Kids

  1. September 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    A large majority of my family believes that Obama has something else up his sleeve for this address – largely fueled by the thought that the “I Pledge” PSA with Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, et al will be part of what will be shown to the school children. The (sad) truth is, there doesn’t seem to be any way to calm their paranoia. When I mentioned that the President’s speech will be made available on Monday so that they may review, the response I got was: how do we know he will stay with the script?

  2. September 5, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    We wingnuts have seen and read from the address prospectus. There are elements that go beyond a presidential inspirational talk. If you subscribe
    to it all, then you have earned at least an honorary
    title of Wignut. Congratulations, Wingy.

  3. CJ
    September 6, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I am so embarrassed, more than anything else, over the fact that some Americans,who demand the right of free speech to push their “whacko” agenda insult the rest of us by attempting to censor our President from speaking to children about hard work, study, and determination of their own futures. What can this group of wingnuts possibly be afraid of?

  4. Adam
    September 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    “School boards should not be in the business of censoring the President of the United States.”

    If it’s not a part of the curriculum, is it censorship? C’mon, kids lose enough classroom learning time as it is.

  5. CJ
    September 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Now I am really questioning the mental capacity of the “wing-ding” nuts trying to censor our President. Read his speech that is now on line. My President, when I was a kid, JFK, would have given the same speech, and I am certain the GOP would have come up with the same objections. As long as they do not hold the office of the President these “psycho-blabs” will continue. It reminds me of all the Confederate flags people fly. Get over it, YOU LOST!!

  6. kenlaysnotdead
    September 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I was both shocked and appalled last night, on a National Holiday, celebrating the hard work by Americans who built our roads, bidges, airports, ships and dams, that a ROBOCALL, from the superintendent of schools came in warning of the Presidents speech and offering an alternative.

    Now perhaps the good Dr. was concerned about the wing nuts keeping kids home and costing the district more in ADA. Prehaps he was afraid of the machine.

    Regardless, I was ashamed that my kids were subjected to this treatment mearly because the President wanted to address them. If this were 2006 the right wing would be crying “unpatriotic”.

    This is however America, so they can do what they want. Besides the less time the Lay children have to spend away from the crazies, the better!

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