The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Dan Balz's Take

Republican Party

RNC Chairman Compares Pro-Obama Song to Communist Propaganda

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Raising the stakes in the GOP's ongoing criticism of the president and his supporters, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele sent an e-mail fundraising letter to conservatives Tuesday that compared a group of New Jersey schoolchildren singing the praises of "Barack Hussein Obama" to "the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea."

The video of the schoolchildren singing at the Burlington, N.J., B. Bernice Young Elementary School, above, has gone viral and been viewed nearly 1.5 million times on YouTube since being posted there on Sept. 6. It has also become a subject of outraged attention across the conservative blogosphere and on the Fox News Channel.

The GOP hopes to keep the online hit circulating as along as it can. "I'm so outraged and stunned by its content that I had to share it with you," Steele writes in the letter, headlined "Stop the Obama Propaganda," sent to the e-mail list of Human Events magazine, along with a link to an RNC fundraising page. "Watch the video now and see the indoctrination of our nation's greatest treasure -- our children."

The letter reprises a statement Steele made last Thursday, as well an earlier fundraising e-mail Friday.

"This is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I'd see it here in America," Steele says in the latest letter. "This is the type of fanaticism Republicans are up against as we fight to stop the Obama Democrats' radical leftist transformation of America."

According to a Monday report in the Cherry Hill Courier-Post, the skit was performed in February 2009 and was one of eight skits the children performed for a Black History Month program; it was repeated by them and videotaped "when an author who'd written about Obama visited the school on March 23."

Schoolchildren were also taught to sing the praises of the previous president, George W. Bush, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as documented by another YouTube clip that began circulating on blogs and in the media in reply to the video New Jersey schoolchildren.

The full text of Steele's letter follows:

Dear Fellow Conservative,

This video just came to my attention. I'm so outraged and stunned by its content that I had to share it with you.

Watch the video now and see the indoctrination of our nation's greatest treasure -- our children.

In the video, impressionable youngsters at a public school in New Jersey, most of whom are no more than six or seven years old, have been instructed to sing the praises of "Barack Hussein Obama." One song is even set to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

This is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I'd see it here in America.

This is the type of fanaticism Republicans are up against as we fight to stop the Obama Democrats' radical leftist transformation of America. The only way our Party can defeat their liberal ambitions is by electing more Republicans in the upcoming 2009 state elections and the critical 2010 mid-term elections.

Do your part today by making a secure online contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can right now to the RNC. Your gift will provide the resources we need to reveal the Obama Democrats' true leftist intentions for our country and carry our Republican candidates to victory this fall and beyond. Please help us win this fight for the future of America.


Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S. The indoctrinating of the most impressionable members of our society is unbelievable unless you see it with your own eyes. Please watch the video of young school children literally singing the praises of Barack Obama that their teachers have taught them. Share it with your friends, family, neighbors or anyone you think may be concerned by this. Then make a donation of $10, $25, $50 or $100 to support the RNC's efforts to fight this leftist propaganda and elect more Republicans this year and next. Thank you.

Posted at 6:56 PM ET on Sep 29, 2009  | Category:  Republican Party
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OK, some simple points:

1. The Obama Administration had nothing to do with these kids singing this song. Therefore, it is not "Obama's Propaganda."

2. Can you imagine anyone being this proud of any of our recent presidents as to make up a song about them?

3. Why would RNC Chair Steele want to promote the fact that some people are so proud of our FIRST African American president?

So many of us are so proud of the barriers he has broken down.

In my lifetime:
(which is feeling a lot longer with all the ridiculous, hateful--often blatantly racist, usually covertly so--attacks these days)

* Blacks rode in the back of the bus
* Blacks could not drink out of the same fountains, eat in the same restaurants, sleep in the same hotels
* "Inter-racial" marriage was illegal

And yet an incredibly brave, intelligent, gracious African American was able to win a strong victory even in some southern states.

There is a lot to be proud of.

Posted by: Kenrick1 | October 2, 2009 8:31 PM

"I am scared to death." .

Posted by: gerry11 | September 30, 2009 8:01 PM

Snap out of it or leave. This is the home of the brave.

The predator class makes 400 times what their wage slaves make. And they whine about it while they continue to manipulate their victims with debt and ignorance promoted through corporate media. Capitalism is tyranny.
Tax the hell out of the rich because they took our share of our productivity. If they complain, hit them harder.
If you're rich give back what you stole from those who made you rich. It's amazing the spell you've cast upon you victims.
You better get right with God. You may screw us, but you'll answer for it.

Posted by: rooster54 | October 1, 2009 11:54 AM

One thing worst than being a socialist is being a money worshiping zombie believer of anti-democracy corporate propaganda (a republican).

Posted by: rooster54 | October 1, 2009 11:42 AM

After reading some of Steele's rhetoric previously, I'd begun to think he was perhaps, to put it kindly, trying to please his fellow GOPer's, but now I see he will do anything to keep in the good graces of those who put him where he is.

No wonder the GOP is in such a shambles, with this sorry excuse for a party leader, Mr. Steele is doing an admirable job of helping sink the already flowndering GOP ship! The Republicans will do anything to see President Obama fail, even if it means taking the whole United States with it. What a disgrace the Republicans have become. If ever I wondered about my decision to change parties in August, I no longer doubt the choice. After over 25 years, I took great pleasure in changing to the Democratic party. At least they're trying to help the country, not themselves like the pubs!

Posted by: wendyo1 | October 1, 2009 12:12 AM

Set your google inquiry to "The Hitler Youth Movement" !

Posted by: SeniorVet | September 30, 2009 8:50 PM

I cannot believe you people are so stupid to not see this as propaganda. Wow, I would have loved if they were singing praises of the greatest country in the world, not the new dictator of the this country. When are you going to wake up and see our freedoms and rights being taken away every day, when it's too late, and you are forced to have certain health care, forced to use certain energy, foreced to do away with your guns. This administration wants to control everything. I am scared to death. .

Posted by: gerry11 | September 30, 2009 8:01 PM

Anyone ever hear of the "Hitler Youth"?
Prior to and during WWII, the nazi youth were indoctrinated into just this type of sleazy garbage! Check it out!

Posted by: SeniorVet | September 30, 2009 2:37 PM

Right, did you listen to the lyrics? Completely PC.
On the other hand, those of us not born yesterday might have a real hard time remembering singing similar paeans to JFK, LBJ, HHH, and can you imagine M M M, Richard Milhous Nixon? M M M.
No, this is propagandist garbage by an out of control teacher.

Posted by: daskinner | September 30, 2009 1:55 PM

We Republicans have NO acceptable agenda except getting richer at the expense of others. It doesn't go down well with the voters so we have to resort to just slinging mud. Oh --- how great it is to be us!

Posted by: Peacespy | September 30, 2009 1:22 PM

Attack attack attack...that is the motto of the GOP..You cannot come up with solutions, are embaresed about your last 8 years so attacking this administration on everything is your ridiculous and childish game. Is there anything that is not fair game to you? You are not the loyal are the disloyal hecklers What about Obama's brand of toothpaste...protests on that yet?
And God forbid that the children of the USA should love and respect their president...that they should love their country and be proud of it...unless of course, it is run by those who would lie about everything to them as in the former administration.
My family did not support Roosevelt politically during the 40's but they and we school children trusted him and looked to him for our salvation as a country...that was correct and right and made us loyal to our country.
To the GOP...if you want to be leaders in this country, get an agenda that will enhance our country and not make you look like drowning swimmers gasping for your last breath of air.
You are a disgrace to this country and to your party.

Posted by: astrid2000 | September 30, 2009 12:29 PM

Michael Steele is the sad epitome of the Republican Party. He has not had an idea worth considering since becoming RNC chairman. The reason for that is that he did not have an idea as Lt-Governor of Maryland either. He's worse than clueless.

Posted by: genteel | September 30, 2009 12:26 PM

Spooky to say the least...and there is an even worse example out of North Carolina schools that has surfaced since.

I think Steele is historically inaccurate with respect to the Soviet Union after Stalin's death. His successors, while still quite the dictators, personally experiencing the dysfunctionality themselves, forswore "the cult of personality" and it became unacceptable to worship or idolize the current leaders.

Each in his own way, Bush 43 and Obama are immature, unprepared and incompetent. But, forced to choose, I rate Obama the more dangerous, not personally or because of policies but because of this almost messianic or Pied Piper sort of worshipful following he seems to inspire. It is reminiscent of Mussolini or Peron...both of whom showed great promise in the beginning. Bush never seemed to inspire that sort of devotion or idolization.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | September 30, 2009 12:00 PM

TMarcinko or Gemini2:

You are saying it would have been just fine for children to be forced to sing praise songs for GWB in PUBLIC SCHOOL (as opposed to the White House or a private Christian camp)?

Posted by: JakeD | September 30, 2009 11:18 AM

You know if I were a Republican I would be embarrassed and ashamed that MY PARTY LEADERS cannot come up with something other than these types of alarmist tactics. This is just down right shameful. I mean come on, cannot they not debate ISSUES based on FACTS? If this is what we can expect for the next 4 years of an Obama Presidency then what choice will the American Public have in the next election? Reminds me of a spoiled brother that tells on you because he got into trouble or didnt get his way!!! GET A GRIP !!!!!!!

Posted by: TMarcinko | September 30, 2009 10:17 AM

Poor Michael Steele. I guess he still doesn't realize that the only reason he's the RNC Chairman is because President Obama was elected President of the United States. The RNC is just using him because they know he's desperate to be "one of them."

Posted by: Gemini2 | September 30, 2009 9:37 AM

What a bunch of hogwash. There are christian camps where children were taught to pray to bush -- there is video of that, too.

The GOP is a dying party and with good reason.

That school even had to be shut down because of death threats. This country is full of very sick rightwngers.

Posted by: drindl | September 30, 2009 9:36 AM


Seriously folks, can someone tell me what "real" conservatives believe besides "smaller government and lower taxes"? Come on....for crying out loud, what is it that makes you folks tick? Do you stand for something substantive or are you just angry?

It's my belief that most conservatives don't know what they're supposed to believe or that if they did review the conservatives manifesto they wouldn't describe themselves thus. Conservatives aren't about "inclusion", they're about exclusivity...if you're not a carbon-copy of their world, yer outta here.

The real world operates from the middle of the road, not the extremes. Sure, I have the same opinion of the left-wing crack-pots ruining the democratic party.

Posted by: skiloypet | September 30, 2009 9:32 AM

If this is the best they can offer, no wonder the Republicans are in the minority, a status well deserved until they can offer real alternatives for the American people.

Posted by: gnfraser | September 30, 2009 9:31 AM

If the children were singing the praises of George Bush, during his presidency, the media and the Democrats would of been rightfully screaming it was wrong.

It would of been wrong then and it is wrong now. Everyone should speak out against this practice.

Posted by: mwhoke | September 30, 2009 7:49 AM

And I have no hesitation in comparing Steele to a weasel.

Posted by: rashomon | September 29, 2009 11:24 PM

I also seem to recall schoolkids singing a specially adapted version of "Consider Yourself" (from the musical Oliver Twist) to Ronald Reagan when he was still president. There's a citation for that on the Web, but it does not mention whether or not the lyrics were adapted (I remember the lyrics being geared to him personally, but could be wrong).

Posted by: deancalbreath | September 29, 2009 10:03 PM

I'm not in favor of any children in a democracy being taught to sing the praise of a living leader (although I remember singing songs about Lincoln and Washington when I was a kid).
That having been said, this has certainly happened before, such as children from the Gulf Coast praising George Bush for his role in Hurricane Katrina, of all things:
Pertinent lyrics, sung to Laura Bush in 2006, include:
"Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!"
That's not exactly how I remember it, of course.

Posted by: deancalbreath | September 29, 2009 10:00 PM

Thank the Lord we have Michael Steele busy guarding us from nefarious plots to host the Olympics and foist school skits on children, while the Democrats worry themselves about folly like salvaging the economy from ruin and reforming health care.

Posted by: nodebris | September 29, 2009 9:23 PM

I never heard of school children having to sing praise songs about GWB. LINK PLEASE!!!

Regardless, I would be outraged about that too. Even if Obama didn't "solicit" this, public schools are STATE ACTORS and can be held liable for it.

Posted by: JakeD | September 29, 2009 8:58 PM

This is so dumb.

This has nothing to do with Obama. Obama didn't solicit this what's so ever. This is the teacher's decision.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 29, 2009 8:12 PM

What? No link the the video of schoolchildren praising Dubya?

Posted by: JonnyO | September 29, 2009 8:04 PM

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