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Staying in School and the 'Socialist Agenda'

We have just gone through one of the most shameful episodes of the young Obama presidency -- shameful because of the behavior of the right wing, shameful because the media played into an extremist agenda, shameful because we proved that our political system has become so dysfunctional that a president gets punished for doing the right thing.

Upon Barack Obama’s election, even my most conservative friends who supported John McCain said Obama could do a world of good for poor children in the country by stressing the importance of education, hard work, staying in school and taking responsibility. Yes, those are often thought of as conservative values.

But when Obama proposed to do just that on the first day of school, the far right -- without asking any questions or seeking any information -- decided to pounce, on the theory that everything Obama did should be attacked relentlessly as part of some secret and dangerous ideological agenda.

Out popped Jim Greer, the Florida Republican chairman, who accused the president of trying to “indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda."

In a normal world, the media would have asked Greer for proof of such a wild charge and, since he didn’t have any, his press release would have gone into the circular file.

But, no, the media is so petrified of being criticized for being “liberal” that it chose to take a lunatic charge seriously and helped gin up this phony controversy.

The only rationale for assailing Obama was a single line in a long memo from the Department of Education listing eight steps that students could take to further their goals. It listed the categories for those goals as “personal, academic, community, country."

Far from encouraging students to fight for a political agenda, the guidelines emphasized that teachers should focus on “personal and academic” goals. Then came the “controversial” sentences: “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals."

In validating their decision to allow the madcap right to dominate several news cycles with their attacks on Obama, many reporters and commentators kept repeating that all this was the fault of that single sentence written by Education Department “bureaucrats” -- as if this sentence was reason enough to give wide publicity to an outright lie about what Obama was up to.

In context, it was absolutely clear that the supposedly offending sentence was in no way about politics. But just to make sure, the Education Department rewrote the passage to clarify that the students’ letters should focus on their “short-term and long-term education goals.” Yes, it would have been nice if the Ed Department had used such a sentence in the first place. (In general, it would be nice if memos of this sort were written in plain English.) But nothing in the original document justified the paranoia the far right let loose.

And, of course, Obama’s speech was not at all “political” in any conventional definition of that word. It was about highlighting the importance of individual achievement. Here is an example of the president’s “socialist” propaganda, from the text of his speech:

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world -- and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

If that’s “socialist,” then Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and just about every parent in America are “socialists.”

Oh, yes, and after reading the president’s remarks, the aforementioned Jim Greer, the Florida GOP chairman, declared: “It's a good speech. It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education, and I think that's what a president should do.”

But not a word of apology for helping set off a dishonest and destructive episode that led who knows how many parents to keep their kids home today or to forbid them from listening to a president urging them to do well in school.

One other point: Defenders of the right-wing argue that the left said terrible things about George W. Bush. That’s true. What the apologists miss is that the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years. Despite the rage over Florida and the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore decision, Bush did not face until much later in his administration anything like the hostility that Obama already confronts. Liberals, staunch liberals, were even willing to work with Bush on some issues -- remember, for example, Ted Kennedy’s work on the “No Child Left Behind” Act.

And the entire country, including almost all of the left, united behind Bush after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Here, to provide a personal example, is my own column of Oct. 12, 2001. Yes, what I wrote looks naive now, but I’m still glad I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt at that moment.) The far, far left that trashed Bush immediately after 9/11 was isolated and treated as cranky and even subversive by the mainstream media. Note how quickly Van Jones was driven from his administration job for singing that wacky post-9/11 petition. The far left faces much tougher public and media discipline than the far right.

The right-wing decided almost from Day One that a president elected with 53 percent of the vote (and 365 electoral votes) was illegitimate. They are trashing a moderate liberal as a socialist propagandist. They are getting a lot of press coverage for doing so. Where is the accountability?

Am I continuing to be naive in believing that, one of these days, a phalanx of responsible conservatives will stand up to the extremists? Boy, do I miss William F. Buckley Jr.

By E.J. Dionne  | September 8, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Next: A Speech Worthy of All the Fuss

Comments

Right on Dionne!

Posted by: johng1 | September 8, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If George W had wanted to give a speech to schoolchildren, anyone who tried to oppose it would have been assailed as unpatriotic and un-American. Of course, now that the President is a Democrat, the right has decided that he must be treated as an enemy, even in the most innocuous of circumstances. The hubris of the far right never ceases to astound.

Posted by: bco20001 | September 8, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Why are you asking us, E.J.?

Ask your corporate masters. I think they are part of the problem.

I'm also disappointed the mainstream media has stopped interviewing the Flat Earth Society for every story about the planetary system, astronomy and space exploration. You know, "to get the other side." Because that's what it's like to watch your paper's excuse for "political" coverage.

Sometimes "the other side" is just factually wrong.

Didn't Mark Twain say something about the speed with which a lie travels, compared to the truth?

That's the evil genius of today's neo-con GOP.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | September 8, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic article and driving the point home.

I watched that supposed "controversial" speech and it was inspiring, encouraging, and appropriate for ALL ages. It is terribly embarrassing to see these parents using their children as political statement pawns. I hope this makes the extreme right think twice but I suppose asking them to think in the first place is asking much.

Thank you Mr.Dionne for putting it in such words.

Posted by: rmullen7 | September 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me start by saying I am no fan of the President or his policy initiatives.

I do believe he made a good start today towards elevating personal responsibility.

I wish he had carried it to the next level and encouraged the students to EXCEL. In particular, we need more students that succeed at the highest level in Mathematics, Physical Science (Physics, Chemistry), Life Sciences. This is where America gains it competitive edge.

Glad to see the President state that as an individual YOU are responsible for your situation in life.

We need to get Americans back into the "CAN DO" spirit rather than "BLAME SOMEONE ELSE" fatigue that has permeated society.

Posted by: jhpbriton | September 8, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

As one participant in this morning's Post chats noted, when W did the same thing in an earlier part of his terms, the Post condemned it and the Dems actually held hearings on the $26,000 cost to do the talk. Where were you when this happened EJ? Or are your politics myopic too?

Posted by: stvcar | September 8, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

EJ, spare us your crocadile tears. I'm sure you were this "outraged" when a Democrat Congress investigated and held hearings after GHW Bush addressed a school in 1991.

But then, that would mean you wouldn't be a hypocrit, which you clearly are.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 8, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Bravo!

Posted by: watchbird1 | September 8, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your article. Our broadcast media has a proven desire to air any outrageous comment, repeat it incessantly and fan the flames so that it can headline the comment as "outrage." CNN and Fox News can take the pace-setting blame for this deterioriation in reliability. The problem is worsened because those networks now air "commentators" in prime time whose views used to be heard only in the wee hours of radio, along with the UFO nuts. The fact that fewer and fewer people take the trouble to read multiple print media to get a balanced perspective, brings me to the conclusion that we should be very concerned about our ability to be objectively informed ever again.

Posted by: stlbillh | September 8, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

EJ,

You wrote: "...Van Jones was driven from his administration job for singing that wacky post-9/11 petition." Karaoke?

Posted by: pcstorandt | September 8, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I suppose the world looks differently from within the walls of Brookings. You all seem to have a somewhat Panglossian perspective that suggests you might share convivial meals with like minded members of the nations best fed public intellectuals. But welcome to the world those of us who live outside those walls have been perceiving for years. I've always hoped you guys were correct and I had written off my own perception as the bitter vision of one who lacked the ability, whether by dint of weakness of intellect or fault of character, to limn the optimistic trajectory which our nation is describing.

Posted by: DrG3 | September 8, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"the far right -- without asking any questions or seeking any information -- decided to pounce, on the theory that everything Obama did should be attacked relentlessly as part of some secret and dangerous ideological agenda."

Exactly. The truth has never gotten in the way of the GOP's agenda. It didn't in Iraq, it hasn't on health care, and it didn't with Obama's educational speech.

When the far-right decided to come out against ANYTHING that Obama does, I decided to stop listening to ANYTHING they have to say.

All the GOP has chosen to do is LIE and OBSTRUCT. Not everything Obama may do will be perfect, but you can say this about him: At least HE SHOWS UP.

Posted by: lincolnhunt | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

it's about race, it's about race, it's about race, it's about race...

Posted by: laurelrest | September 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's sad enough that there are people willing to prevent their children from hearing a President who has achieved so much academically. Just to satisfy their own twisted ideology. God knows, they could learn a lot if they just listened.

But the REALLY sad part is that they are raising a generation of children that likely will be as narrow-minded as they are. Their legacy to us all, therefore, will not be the parent's short-lived small-mindedness, but yet another generation of nihilists that will - for no reason they can explain - stand in the way of something critical our country needs.

Posted by: art-mahoney | September 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dionne that the opposition to the President of the United States speaking to school kids as the school year starts was overblown. I part company with Dionne on Van Jones. Jones had said enough publicly to be categorized as a far-left nut, just as Dionne has categorized far-right extremists as nutrolls.

Our domestic politics have become dysfunctional, because we have no reason to trust the elites involved in them. The close relations between politicians in both parties, monied banking interests, and phlegmatic regulatory agencies has bitten us too often. Our national security geniuses in both parties have set us on stupid, costly adventures whose outcome has been to kill, maim, and displace millions of people without accomplishing one thing of value.

Our form of government is completely broken. The American Experiment has failed. The Founding Fathers created a corrupt, all-devouring monster. And our elites appear to regard public service as an opportunity to reward their cronies and screw their enemies.

Is it any wonder that people who've learned to distrust government would question whether a chat with school kids was a presidential pep talk or something designed by an apparatchik like Rahm Emmanuel or Karl Rove?

Posted by: KarimAbdulTares | September 8, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well said. Party and cheap hysteria before country.

Posted by: SarahBB | September 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...


Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM
-------------------------------------------

My sentiments exactly DwightCollins,
We are LONG overdue.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | September 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The right forgot the golden rule. Turnabout is fair play, unless you're a republican, or white, or a man, or from the south, or listen to talk radio, or...

Posted by: ronnyknows | September 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

It is a shameful day for America when people post something as fundamentaly silly as this:

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...


Posted by: DwightCollins


No one claimed it was bad when Reagan or GHW Bush addressed students. Try again and this time, act like an adult.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

What is so upsetting is that hate was the underlying motivation for the protest of his speech. But the media, rather than question the motives, questioned the substance of his speech. The media is empowering destructive forces.

I was so proud of the US for electing Obama. But now I too am ashamed of these hateful and illegimate protests. I'm very afraid of what may happen to Obama. I hope the ugly elements of our country do not prevail.

Posted by: chiquindola | September 8, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Greer should apologize and all the commentators that were using the president's speech to students for their own political gain, Malkin, Beck, Limbaugh, etc.

Posted by: chrismc28 | September 8, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Conservative Americans are plain stupid or plain stubborn. They relish their stupidity and wanted to "show" Obama how destructive and disruptive they are. The fault lies in the media who coddle these idiots and on the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. Stupid and proud of it their motto. The once bright and brilliant USA is declining due to the idiocy of the few. Never have so few did so damage for so many. idiocy is hard to combat.

Posted by: mstratas | September 8, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

CNN is getting as bad as Fox. While Pres. Obama was addressing students CNN's website headine was "President delivers controversial speech”. When I saw that I promptly e-mailed CNN to let them know just because one jerk doesn’t agree with the speech does not make it controversial.

We the public must demand that MSM do their job.

Posted by: rlj1 | September 8, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

No one claimed it was bad when Reagan or GHW Bush addressed students. Try again and this time, act like an adult.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse
----
Really? I guess Congressional hearings were run by "no one." Get your facts right next time.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 8, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

EJ, spare us your crocadile tears. I'm sure you were this "outraged" when a Democrat Congress investigated and held hearings after GHW Bush addressed a school in 1991.

But then, that would mean you wouldn't be a hypocrit, which you clearly are.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns |
_____

Yup. And that investigation was over use of funds and AFTER the speech. The issue was Dept of Education funds being used.

I don't reacall anyone saying GHWB was pushing his socialist/facist/communist/ or any other -ist agenda on kids.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 8, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

First EJ I have to agree right on. The GOP is all talk, no action.

Secondly someone said when a Republican does it it's wrong, when a Democrat does it it's wonderful.

You know when Bush was in office I don't recall the Democrats stooping as low as the GOP has since President Obama has been in office. It is like they collectively as a group have decided that they are not going to support anything that President Obama has tried to do. They truly are the party of No. They are so selfish. They claim they are thinking of the American people. In reality they are only thinking of themselves and people like them. They in reality are not even thinking about some of there supporters that come from lesser incomes.

I have never seen a President so disrespected in my life. Even Bush as bad as he was got more respect now then President Obama will ever get. I wonder why that is? Could it be the GOP is afraid of angering their teabagging, where is the birth certificate , I claim to know Jesus but in reality doesn't do a thing Jesus would do base?

I truly wonder if McCain was elected and made this kind of speech would we have heard this kind of shameful noise from the Democrats. While Democrats are not perfect and politics being politics, I still think not.

Posted by: bjlopez1130 | September 8, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I cannot begin to say how discouraged I am at being an American during these days of insulting, slanderous, viscious, mindless attacking of the President of the United States. Conservatives will point out that Republican Presidents have been criticized in the past by Democrats, and that is true, but there is a difference between criticism and slander.

I think the ferocity of the rightwing nuts began after Pres. Nixon left office in disgrace, having used campaign funds to hire thugs to wire the opposition's campaign headquarters, among other criminal offenses. Thus, Pres. Clinton for his obnoxious behavior with a young intern was nearly flayed alive by Congress and because he tried to cover up his sexual relationship he was branded a "perjurer" when everyone knows that the crime of perjury is most often applied when a person gives false testamony against someone else, not when a person tries to save himself. Since, that would mean every "not guilty" plea would be considered perjury if the defendent is found guilty.

But we were forced to hear about Monica Lewinsky ad nauseum, no matter how petty and personal the real crime was. It's status was raised to "high crimes and misdemeanors" just so that the Republicans could whip the Dems for having forced Nixon from office, even though mnay highly respected Republicans at that time spoke out against Nixon and his staff.

The Republican Party used to be filled with moderates with fringe conservatives, and the conservatives were mostly intellects who were interested in laissez faire capitalism and such. And, there always were some very religious people who were against abortion. For awhile the relgious right became a strong force and is still a force to some degree. But now the power of the Republican Party has mostly been usurped by an extreme propaganda machine led by media demogogues to a degree that is frightening. What is most frightening is that so many people refuse to listen to any news media unless it is blessed by these crazy extremists who turn and twist the best policy intentions into a a poison portion.

In the past Republicans always boasted about their love of country and patriotism. But they are showing themselves to have false hearts. After all, they only show respect for Presidents who are Republicans and demean, dishonor and lie about the Democrats in office with a sense of impunity resulting from the derelict 3rd estate which is more interested nowadays in entertainment value, than in facts or serious reporting. We see long segments on CNN devoted to what bloggers have to say. No matter how ignorant and ill informed those write in may be.

More and more our so called news is based on the delusions and anger of a group of narrow minded and selfish people who because their candidate did not win the election, wish only to spoil our entire country by destroying any single good thing that President Obama wants to do, in order to justify their own stupid idiological beliefs.

Posted by: maddymappo | September 8, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Education is the leveler of all. If rightwing extremists want to wallow in their ignorance, then they have no one to blame for their marginalization and eventual demise and eternal defeat. The bitter people who lost in this last election will continue to be the losers because the sane peopl outnumber the nuts & wackos. America is the place for "can-do" not angry can't do people.

Posted by: mstratas | September 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from republicans, who by and large are:

1. homophobic neanderthals
2. tax-phobic cockroaches
3. selfish cowards
4. religious hypocrites
5. mean spirited jackasses
6. hateful mamma's boys
7. sexually repressed perverts
8. anal retentive crybabies
9. self-righteous simpletons
10. misogynists
11. rednecks
12. anti-intellectuals
13. paranoid schizophrenics
13. callous slugs
14. greedy hogs
15. stupid, stupid, stupid

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | September 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"What the apologists miss is that the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years."

Wrong E.J. I was at the 2000 Inaugural Parade and it was a very ugly scene. Bush was hated from day one. He was ridiculed on 9/11 for not flying directly back to DC. He was given a reprieve after 9/11 after the Taliban was routed (despite R.W. Apple's prediction of a quagmire). He was called stupid, evil and the "worst president ever". Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, called him stupid. Reid declared a the surge in Iraq a failure in week one. He hated Bush so much that he gave aid and comfort to the enemy. I didn't hear you demanding respect for the presidency then. Cheney faired even worse. You and all the other leftist sat on the sideline happy to let Pelosi, Reid, Move-On, Michael Moore, the Daily Show, Steven Colbert, David Letterman and Code Pink do the dirty work. The president was ridiculed endlessly. Impeachment was talked about regularly. This for a guy who was saddled with the worst domestic terrorist attack ever and a national security apparatus totally unprepared for it. Nuclear suticases where a real possibility. You and they are ungrateful, spiteful and hateful creeps. What goes around, comes around and the poisoned well of American discourse is now yours to drink from. Apparently you don't like your own cocktails.

Posted by: maxtel1910 | September 8, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Why not use the Patriotic Act to investigate these people attacking Obama and participating in directed and coordinated smear campaigns? I mean, if we can take anyone off the street with a Muslim-sounding name and hold them for months without rights, why not bring a few of these people spouting lies for no apparent reason in for a "little dunk in the tank" to find out why they hate America, democracy and the Constitution? Cheney after all would be proud to see his torture policies continuing to be used to protect America. Its a no-brainer!

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I love this:

Massachussetts changes state law to prevent Republican governor from filling a democratic vacancy - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

Massachussetts proposes to change state law (4 years later) to allow Democratic governor to fill a vacancy without a special election - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

President George H.W. Bush delivered a speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC. The Washington Post said ""The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,". Rep. William Ford (D), then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance.
- THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

President Obama speech - "opponents are right-wing fanatics"
- THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

I am starting to see a pattern.

Democrats believe in anything that will advance their own cause. Period. They will change their beliefs at the drop of a hat if inconvenient to themselves. They have no "center", just fringes

No shame, no honor.

Posted by: tspafford | September 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Excellent article... the GOP is totally moronic and will do anything, ANYTHING, to see Obama (and the country) fail if they cannot put forth their own prohibitionist agenda. Shameful is not a strong enough word here; how about REPREHENSIBLE.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | September 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

What a load of baloney. This is bad even for Dionne.

Do any of the liberals commenting about this article remember that DEMOCRATS in Congress INVESTIGATED and held HEARINGS and whined for weeks about George H.W. Bush's speech to schoolkids in 1991? Yeah, that's right - the party of "putting kids first." These Democrat geniuses thought Bush was just using kids for political gain.

Oh, but don't say that about Obama! I guess it's only OK for the president to speak to kids if it's the Obamessiah or some other Marxist.

So, please Dionne and the rest, do us all a favor and drop the "mean right wingers" malarkey and buy yourself a real argument.

Posted by: TomPaine76 | September 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for this article. I agree with bco20001. If anyone had opposed W, for doing the same, they would have been labeled un-patriotic, un-american and a communist. But this is not about President Obama giving a much needed inspirational speech to school children. This is about CERTAIN people in our country who wish to de-legitimize his presidency. The people pushing this thought process(if you can call it that) wish to train their children and others of their ilk not to respect the presidency if a black man, or person who does not look like them, is elected. The ludicrous notion that somehow a speech and asking children to write their thoughts (most of whom have more insightful solutions than adults) on helping the president is socialist indoctrination is just plain stupid. If black people had said that over the last 150 years we would have been labeled crazy and traitors.
But the purveyors of this garbage are playing right into the hands of the rest of the world who watch this stupidity with glee. They watch and wait, and say to themselves, it's only a matter of time before the implosion of our supposedly great country. We aren't very great when this type of nonsense continues. Additionally for all YOU people who don't like a black man being president you should take your tired behinds back to whatever country you came from. The majority of you haven't been here more than 100 years and almost none of you can trace your ancestry to the Native Americans who you stole this land from. The bottom line is the CHANGE has come and it's not going anywhere. The more you try to lower the ceiling on others the more you lower the floor on yourself.

Posted by: DCDCSW | September 8, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

There is no equivalence between the criticisms Bush received from the left and those Obama is currently receiving from the right.

Us leftist critics of Bush based our criticisms on fact and have been proven right in absolutely every one of our stances- there were no WMD's, Saddam was not involved in 9/11 and had no ties to al Qaada, abu Ghraib was not the work of just a few bad apples, the US does torture, it is unconstitutional to lock away citizens and non-citizens without access to the court systems, the Bush administration did use the Justice Department for political ends, etc.

Meanwhile, the right has nothing but whacka-doodle conspiracy theories, spin, lies and propaganda. While you can certainly dig up crazy statements from the left on the web, the insanity on the right is supported by the leaders of the party itself.

The so-called liberal media is cowed and spineless- subservient to the powers-that-be.

Posted by: tgoglia | September 8, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

EJ, spare us your crocadile tears. I'm sure you were this "outraged" when a Democrat Congress investigated and held hearings after GHW Bush addressed a school in 1991.

But then, that would mean you wouldn't be a hypocrit, which you clearly are.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 8, 2009 2:14 PM
=======================================
Perhaps you have taken Obama's advice and stayed in school. It's CROCODILE tears. And btw, George the first was also trying to cut school lunch program while spending 21K to stage his speech.

Posted by: ualec1 | September 8, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

But what's wrong in teaching our children the valuable lessons to be learned from being Swift-Boated -- just like gullible adults had to to be taught in their day (though many still flunk that course)?

Or in looking maniacal for the cameras, like Championship Wrestlers -- instead of boring, like the farmer, hat in hand, in the Norman Rockwell painting (with others looking on respectfully) at town hall meetings on health care?

(As Homer S. would say: I am being sarcastic)

Posted by: hgeorgek | September 8, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Plus I'm sick to death with all the alarmist BALONEY about Obama being a Socialist or Marxist. The morons who use these words don't even know what they mean and have ZERO proof they apply to Obama. Now because the dreaded label of LIBERAL carries no weight with the public, they've retrenched and created new labels in their flailing attempts to create friction.

To all GOP right-wingers: SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO BUY SOME NEW WHITE BELTS.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | September 8, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, when "The Extremist Lefties" jam a "Socialist" President with ties to an "Unrepentant Terrorist", who refuses to "wear a flag pin," who "refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance," who tries to "Destroy our Nation" with his "Nazi" and "Communist Agenda"...

What do you expect all the God-Fearing Hypocrite Racists will do?

They'll scream and Lie and Lie and scream.

God save us from the Bible Banging morons.

Posted by: Thinker_ | September 8, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the media problem (with this as the latest example) that it is most comfortable covering stories that are simple; and, conversely, that the media withdraws from covering in a thoughtful way any issues that are complex and require hard work. The wacko fringes of the right and left, almost by definition, make allegations that are simple, require very little thought, but which make for great television.
Because much of the current media - primarily TV media which drives most public issues - is ill-equipped (or unwilling) to handle complex issues (e.g. health care, financial crisis), it will always spend a disproportionate amount of time on the easy stuff, much of which comes from the fringes of BOTH parties.

Posted by: puff1 | September 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...


Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM
-------------------------------------------

My sentiments exactly DwightCollins,
We are LONG overdue.

Posted by: Thozmaniac

You'd better hurry...you're already a tiny minority...

Posted by: realworld51 | September 8, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

After spending an exasperating day trying to convince a WaPo writer that it does NOT require 60 votes to pass legislation in the U.S. Senate, I was reminded by E.J. why I still read the Post even though the majority of its writers sold out to the GOP long ago.

Posted by: howie14 | September 8, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Seems like we will not have an intelligent political conversation until after all the pretentiously pious dimwits have gone upwards for the Rapture.

It'll be heaven on earth, if you ask me.

Even better if they all explode as they exit the atmosphere.

OH, almost forgot, God Bless!

Posted by: Thinker_ | September 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes on Obama's address to school children.

No on Van Jones. Anyone who signed a petition saying that the U.S. government conspired to bring about 9/11 is, IMO, an idiot, and certainly a "loose cannon". That he didn't tell the Obama people about it when they were supposed to be vetting him is stupid. That the Obama people didn't find it out before he was appointed is carelessness at best.

Posted by: vklip | September 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

There was a time when I believed that the GOP educated their constituents and followers to be stupid and to vote against their own interests. I still believe it. But now, I am convinced that their followers are now just stupid by their own volition. That these parents would, without evidence, condemn a speech to school kids based on nothing but what they hear on radio talk, and then proceed to insult and disrespect the POTUS, is not only shameful but absurd. It amazes me how shallow and gullible some people show they can be - it's actually scary.

Posted by: jbleenyc | September 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Dionne,

Bravo and Amen! I hope Jay Mathews read your column.

Posted by: lbencali | September 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

To heck with Obama. He is a CIA-persecuting, terrorist-abetting, "America-is-evil-and-I-apologize" spouting, South American communist-supporting Marxist.

Posted by: jhr1 | September 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Great parenting from these people: keeping their kids out of school and away from the President. Instead, they were given training on how to scream hysterically at town hall meetings and repeat what they heard from the health care industry. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | September 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

SO, SO SAD for our country to see it torn apart like this for absolutely no good reason.

Thanks, dionne, for at least being objective.

We can disagree with president obama on REAL issues as Americans should; but not by MAKING UP FALSE, RIDICULOUS and totally CRAZY CLAIMS.
This only dilutes sensible arguments from the right.
I fear I can find NO TRUE nor WISE nor SENSIBLE leader on the Republican side.

President Obama may lack focus and may sound too elitist;
Pelosi and Reid may be liberals and leaning to the far left,
Rahm Emanuel may be crass and rude,
Barney Frank is annoying,
Biden is clumsy in his speech

BUT
Greer and Palin are totally unreasonable and crazy and does not think for the country's good, and keep trying to divide the country
Grassley is totally unreasonable and uncooperative and harming the country's poor and middle class and
McCain has no backbone
Boehner and Cantor are just fighting the President just to fight and actually harm the country's economy with their hair brained proposals that will enrich the rich and cause our already weak economy to fall further (Cantor - putting the stimulus money to the deficit instead of jobs???)

It is sad that the Republicans claim to be patriotic but keep harming the country and the soldiers who fight for our country. To them, being patriotic means wearing a flag pin, shouting that they love USA and sending young soldiers to die for the wrong cause and not questioning our government when George Bush sent them to fight.

So sad, so, so very sad

Posted by: harrytam | September 8, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

TomPaine76 wrote: "Do any of the liberals commenting about this article remember that DEMOCRATS in Congress INVESTIGATED and held HEARINGS and whined for weeks about George H.W. Bush's speech to schoolkids in 1991? Yeah, that's right - the party of "putting kids first." These Democrat geniuses thought Bush was just using kids for political gain."

There is a world of difference between using kids for political gain and INDOCTRINATING KIDS WITH A SOCIALIST AGENDA. The first is plausible, the second is paranoia.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The original plan for Obama's school speech called for students to write a letter on the topic- How I Can Help President Obama- that was what triggered the objections to the speech. How I Can Help My Country would have been entirely proper but Obama is such a narcissist that this is all about him. Had President Bush asked that students write an essay about they could help HIM, liberals would have objected- and properly. The normally rational and mild-mannered Dionne has become unhinged because of his unwavering support of Obama and everything that issues from his mouth and off the teleprompter. Politics is not beanbag. Harry Truman said it best- if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. Liberals had best stop whining about the alleged mistreatment their man is receiving. The adoring press is doing very well at protecting him.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

What's unfortunate is that Obama has remained a "celebrity" and has not become the president.

What other sitting president in recent memory has been the subject of so much adulation, particularly after less than a year in office and without any relevant accomplishments? Schools and streets are being named after Obama, portraits of him hang in homes, T-shirts bear his image.

Since the inauguration, Obama has remained on the campaign trail, both in the U.S. and across the world. He's been so busy shaking hands and doing photo ops that he's had to assign responsibility for major legislation to his aides, Pelosi, and Reid.

The results have been a stimulus bill that's only produced pork for a favored few and the oxymoronic "jobless recovery," a proposed cap-and-trade bill that will send more businesses and jobs overseas, and five proposed health-reform bills that are mired in gibberish.

And while Obama has been grinning for the cameras, his administration and Congress have managed to increase the nation's deficit by one-third within 7 months. What an abysmal accomplishment!

Yes, Obama promised "change," but the kind of change he's delivering is hopeless.

Posted by: judithod | September 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The misery Americans should feel from the antics of the tin-foil hat brigade on the farfarfar nutcase right is directly attributable to the last administration and the us-'n'-them mentality fostered by such divisive political architects as Karl Rove and his pawn, Bush Jr. The Rethuglicans sought to divide America and succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, evidently unbothered by the "reap the whirlwind" consequences of their irresponsible actions in demonizing any who disagreed with them. We have become a nation of hamsters madly running in circles while those Rethuglicans who profess to have America's interests a heart have in reality only an agenda of opposition. Nothing more. Thomas Carlyle was right: all this reckless and uncontrolled irresponsibility in "doing as one likes," e.g., snarking Obama for any and everything he does, good or bad, tends to anarchy, and there are enough gullible Americans out there who swallow this nonsense and regurgitate it whole to make anarchy possible. That they won't like anarchy if it happens is beside the point . . . . and, of course, they will fail utterly to recognize any reponsibility for their own irresponsible actions.

Posted by: sailmaker1943 | September 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

and to think Gore Vidal predicted this whole GOP "strategy" decades ago. Read Vidal's essays on America's secret government, the industrial/military complex, and the GOP politics of "patriotism."


Posted by: EdSantaFe | September 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

fate1 wrote: There is a world of difference between using kids for political gain and INDOCTRINATING KIDS WITH A SOCIALIST AGENDA. The first is plausible, the second is paranoia.

There's a difference? Apparently only to liberals. I guess hearings and investigations would be ok in this case too.

Posted by: TomPaine76 | September 8, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

EJ: Some conservative writers have taken the wing-nuts to task: Dan Frum, Kathleen Parker, and David Brooks among them. At which point the neo-cons exommunicate them and brand them as insufficiently conservative.

As one poster pointed out, though, Democrats launched a similar offensive back in 1991 when George H.W. Bush gave a similar speech.

Quite frankly, if any president chooses to give a speech to the nation's students it wlll be seen as a political stunt by someone no matter who the president may be. But instead of trying to isolate our children, we should let them hear the message and then discuss it with them so they learn. Kids can tell, often better than adults, when they are being pandered or lied to. Most of the parents forbidding participation are probably in mortal fear that their children might make up their own minds about the president and actually like him.

(I never worried about my kids listening to Dubya. They realized he was a poser on the first hearing.)

Posted by: Gallenod | September 8, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

To heck with Obama. He is a CIA-persecuting, terrorist-abetting, "America-is-evil-and-I-apologize" spouting, South American communist-supporting Marxist.

Posted by: jhr1 | September 8, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"pounce" is the exact word for what the the racist, white GOP looks to do for any excuse to attack Obama.

Could the "first shot" Dwight Collins is talking about be into Obama's brain like the same type of assassins who killed Kennedy's because they were unable to face the reality of their elections? Someone needs to call the Secret Service now.

This weak-minded "Christian" 23% worked into a frenzy by Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity is also fodder for the rest of the media dancing a jig over finding "news" in their acting out their incomprehensible inability to respect and support the Constitutionally elected President of the United States.

It's time the rest of us exercise some Second Amendment rights of our own as long as we are unwilling to say no to this Rovian bullying. If we don't, the next step in this bullying will be Dwight Collin's "second shot" at the rest of us.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 8, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Could the first item in the Presidents' NEXT speech PLEASE include a lecture on what socialism is, and what it means. It could be as simple as:

Socialism: Total state (government) control over ALL means of production.

Perhaps if the paranoid adults of today were properly taught these concepts in their social studies & history classes, we wouldn't be facing the absurd barrage of STUPID that we currently face.

God help this once great nation, may she revive her once proud and good sense of well-educated, reasonable thinking people engaging in civic and democratic dialogue with the earnest desire to better all of us.

What happened to that sense of civic responsibility that we used to be so good at instilling in our schools? Not liberal or conservative rhetoric, but REAL CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY! CIVIL DISCOURSE.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 8, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne is absolutly correct. Some of the conservative right have simply lost any sense of objective reality. For a perfect example consult the opinion just above this one.

Posted by: kchses1 | September 8, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

oopsss...3rd above mine

Posted by: kchses1 | September 8, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

As one participant in this morning's Post chats noted, when W did the same thing in an earlier part of his terms, the Post condemned it and the Dems actually held hearings on the $26,000 cost to do the talk. Where were you when this happened EJ? Or are your politics myopic too?

Posted by: stvcar | September 8, 2009 2:10 PM |
____________________________

Give us links or it didn't happen.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 8, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

To heck with Obama. He is a CIA-persecuting, terrorist-abetting, "America-is-evil-and-I-apologize" spouting, South American communist-supporting Marxist.

Posted by: jhr1 | September 8, 2009 3:07 PM
------
Taking the kool-aid intravenously I see.

The judical branch is separate from the executive branch, Obama doesn't get a "say" in what they investigate, now I know you're used to having it differently, but the law is the law, we are a nation of laws.

Terrorist abetting?, Is that why he is escalating the war in Afghanistan?, is that why he got Pakistan to launch an all-out sustained offensive on the Taliban? Is that why he nailed the top Talibam commander with a Predator Drone?

You really ought to stop applying pressure to the Q-Tip when you feel resistance.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 8, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are continuing to challenge Obama's status as President of the United States. They are challenging the election. They have become, here at home, the political guerrilla terrorist that we have condemned in other countries. They are now a minority party trying to take back power before a regularly scheduled midterm or general election.

Posted by: mawheelz | September 8, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

GHW Bush's speech was on Oct 1, 1991--one month before the election. No one was criticizing what he had to say (even though he was cutting school lunch funding at the time) just his timing.

Posted by: joebanks | September 8, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Right on. Sock it to them.

Posted by: jnaway | September 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The real fear on the right is that people may get some education and actually begin to realize the right is wrong. The right feeds on ignorance. The stereotype of the ignorant "Bubba" being the base for the Right is based on fact. There's a reason the Right is so successful in these scare tactics--the average American is ignorant and prefers it that way. Of course, the Right counts and encourages that. Why else would a State Chairman of the Republican Party oppose (and as did many on the right) a President encouraging kids to get an education. Or maybe the REAL fear is that minorities will get an education and there would be less of them to hold in bondage--since we do know Dixie is still fighting the Civil War, and the Republicans still resent minorities being considered a 'full' human beings with a full vote, who can own property and not be owned as property. Ask George Will what true Conservatives hope for--a return to slavery.

Posted by: map529 | September 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I love this:

Massachussetts changes state law to prevent Republican governor from filling a democratic vacancy - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

Massachussetts proposes to change state law (4 years later) to allow Democratic governor to fill a vacancy without a special election - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

President George H.W. Bush delivered a speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC. The Washington Post said ""The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,". Rep. William Ford (D), then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance.
- THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

President Obama speech - "opponents are right-wing fanatics"
- THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

I am starting to see a pattern.

Democrats believe in anything that will advance their own cause. Period. They will change their beliefs at the drop of a hat if inconvenient to themselves. They have no "center", just fringes

No shame, no honor.

Posted by: tspafford
____________________________________
Parroting the right's lies and half-truths. For one thing, if you'd actually bothered to read what the Dems. have proposed in Mass. is to permit the Gov. to appoint a temporary Senator until the special election takes place (since it's 5 months until that happens), and the temporary appointee cannot run in the special election.

A Congressional committee did indeed investigate the costs and legalities of Bush's speech in a school - after the fact, and without making wild and false accusations about Bush indoctrinating children to fascism.

The pattern you see is just the misfiring of your own neurons.

Posted by: luridone | September 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Last October, the Cubans wrote in their Havana newspaper that right-wing Americas would assassinate Obama if he were elected. I dismissed it then as Communist propaganda, but the manifestation of the right's hatred and rage over the past 8 months leads me to believe this may be a good probability.

Jesus, once again, please protect us from your followers.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 8, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The historical amnesia of the conservatives is mind boggling. How dare a President so something so shocking as speak to students. When the terrorists were attacking us on 9/11, President George Bush was at an elementary school reading "The Pet Goat" to students. If that had been Obama they would have said the book was an indoctrination manual on marxism or homosexuality.

Posted by: buffysummers | September 8, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I see. When Bush gave a speech to school children in 2001, and the Democrats protested, held hearings, etc., that was wrong.

But when Obama gives a speech to school children today, and the Republicans protest, that's right.

Have I got it so far?

Obama giving a speech to school children is dangerous, even if it's about taking responsiblity, because he's indoctrinating our youth to accept his socialist agenda.

Bush telling a room full of reporters that it's dangerous to the country to disagree with him during a time of war is right, and not inherently dangerous to our civil liberties.

Do I have this straight so far?

If so, how did we get here?

Posted by: dogsrule1 | September 8, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Not to burst your bubble, but what did the Dems do when Bush 41 gave the same speech to schoolkids???

Why they held HEARINGS and INVESTIGATIONS, and they bemoaned the fact that government funds were used.

This speech is different in that this president is writing a plan into the school curriculum. That's new.

Bottom line is the hypocritical BS is astounding.


Posted by: playfair109 | September 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Dionne is as lunatic as funny.
If the US way of doing things has no socialism in it why do not you take care yourself of anything your car can damage, any member of your family that can get sick or save on your bank account for your retirement. Do not you need to rely on others for insurance betting on the fact that there will be few sick people and few accidents so that all our premiums put together will cover the few things that went wrong? Do the same in farming, manufacturing and transportation and you will not be different from communist china or russia.
While most americans do not want socialism but do not think that if there are US citizens that want partial or total socialism you are a God that will decide for them.

Posted by: Makiz | September 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, E.J., as usual. Most of my friends are so sick about where the Right is trying to take the country, and how easy we Americans are to manipulate. Keep using your strong, civil, thoughtful voice - at least we have something worth reading.

Posted by: Post18 | September 8, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

EJ, spare us your crocadile tears. I'm sure you were this "outraged" when a Democrat Congress investigated and held hearings after GHW Bush addressed a school in 1991.

But then, that would mean you wouldn't be a hypocrit, which you clearly are.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns |

***********
to silencedogoodreturns: As are you---hypocrisy reigns in both parties, since republicans also defended GHWBush but critize Obama for the same thing. Why can we not (on both sides) judge events and actions from their own merit, rather than by who said/did it, in a tit-for-tat hyperpartisan atmosphere. Come on, indoctrinating children into a socialist agenda, I must have missed that part of the speech??? Plus, DwightCollins posts above calls for the first shot to be fired --and who, pray tell, DwightCollins, would it be fired against?

Posted by: kgb1 | September 8, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of misinformation the republicans shove forward. Regardless, Obama was elected, and if he can't talk before a school, why would people elect him to run the country? The naysayers should be villified.

Posted by: richard_smith2 | September 8, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

When my kids were in school, George Herbert Walker Bush spoke at our school. Although I am a Democrat, I thought it was fantastic, a great learning experience. My daughters could experience history by seeing the President. How shameful and foolish are the parents who today kept their children home, costing them an invaluable learning experience. How absolutely ignorant. And their kids are paying the price for their parents' stupidity.

Posted by: alamo2 | September 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I especially liked the part in the speech where Obama tells the kiddies they should study history so they can "fight discrimination". Maybe O should study his own history, since he apparently forgot that two days ago he had to give the Chief Boot to one of his top advisers, Van Jones, partly because of racist remarks Jones (the nut) made about schoolchildren. Fight on, Obama!

Posted by: sladevactory | September 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

TomPaine76 wrote: "Do any of the liberals commenting about this article remember that DEMOCRATS in Congress INVESTIGATED and held HEARINGS and whined for weeks about George H.W. Bush's speech to schoolkids in 1991? Yeah, that's right - the party of "putting kids first." These Democrat geniuses thought Bush was just using kids for political gain."

The big difference here is that the Dems did not tell parents to keep their children out of school or force schools not to air the speech. They also waited until they heard the actual speech to react to it.

Posted by: missgirl | September 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Long live the Ocialist agenda!

Posted by: sladevactory | September 8, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne,

I agree that some on the far right were way over the top with this. And I agree that the media was complicit in this. But the great part of the American public wasn't and you yourself contributed to this with yet another column about it. I am independent, and probably slightly right-of-center. I have studied - in grad school - American history and I am very concerned about the division of American society into two (or more) groups along racial, "class", educational lines, etc. I think that one of the BIG enablers for division is the instantaneous, 24-hour news cycle, where the "activists" on the far left and right live. This phenomenon gives the less polarized and less activist in the population too little time to think and reflect. I also don't have a ready solution to the problem I see.

Posted by: JimJohnson2 | September 8, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Remember, back in the 50's when every mobster had their moll. That one special girl that he could trust to keep his inner most secrets, she wasn't his wife, no a wife could be gotten to, a valued commodity, she was the one who held his confidence at his most vulnerable times when his eyes were closed, because you can't trust everyone you sleep with. And every member of his entourage had to have one, that eye candy, hey Buffie, that dime piece, something so special that you either had to have money or power to corrupt her. That's what socialism was to the European capitalists, that dime piece, that something special that until the allies won back Europe, through Japanese intelligence, in the greatest war world.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | September 8, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

JHR1 said ----To heck with Obama. He is a CIA-persecuting, terrorist-abetting, "America-is-evil-and-I-apologize" spouting, South American communist-supporting Marxist.
***
This is a perfect example of a "hate" comment that has no substantiation to any of the accusations he/she just wrote. These posters depend upon people reacting on emotions and not on facts. And..... when they do post "facts" it usually is tailored and most citations go directly back to the different ultraconservative organizations that manufacture them. As far as I am concerned these people are not patriots trying to protect us from "socialism" but traitors to their country by supporting capitalism over democracy.

Posted by: 45summer | September 8, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

More and more it seems that the GOP right-wingers are nothing short of of being dangerous nut cases who will do anything to win back power. Let's not forget the stolen 2000 election and the lengths they went to to corrupt the American voting procedure.

The GOP is more and more anti-American. It's all about Party and their prohibitionist agenda.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | September 8, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I preface my comments by saying that I voted Republican for many years, and the Bush Presidency changed me to vote for the Democratic Party candidate. I am totally amused by the person here who comments that Democrats will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals...now, Republicans would NEVER do that, even if it meant taking a speech to school children to stay in school, learn responsibility and achieve, and making it into a Neo-Nazi accusation of socialism. I am embarrased by the ignorance and hypocritical values of so many, and I am sick of those same Neo-Nazi minded right wing zealots trying to tell me how to live, how to think and ruining my country. We voted you out this time, and we may well do it again. I encourage all who feel the same as I, to boycott any vendor or product who advertises on the Fox Channel, who in any way financially contributes to the bigots who fan the controversial fires. Your money talks, or it's lack thereof...

Posted by: ppsuperfoot | September 8, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

As day's go bye - unseamly revelations and decisions by this administration appear and make your head spin. Thankfully Obama's lesson plan was whitewashed from it's original pied piper content. The initial furor on Obama talking to America's youth is - Adults have come to not trust him anymore. Many of whom voted for him.

Posted by: seawolfR | September 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How many other unelected czars appointed by the Chief Circle are raving maniacs and racists? There needs to be a thorough investigation of all Obama czars at once. It's dangerous to have such unstable people as Van Jones so close to the center of power.

Posted by: sladevactory | September 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Great article! Those parents and schools that kept this speech from the kids should be ashamed of themselves. It does not hurt a child to hear opposing view points(not that this was in this instance). It makes them stronger people. It is way past time for students to start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Posted by: katesgram | September 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

from seawolfR: "Thankfully Obama's lesson plan was whitewashed from it's original pied piper content. The initial furor on Obama talking to America's youth is - Adults have come to not trust him anymore. Many of whom voted for him."

This information of course based on NOTHING.

The GOP must include every village idiot in the country among their supporters. The lunacy and hate spewed by these fools is truly astonishing and scary.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | September 8, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe the problem is ideological on the part of the MSM - Fox apart. More likely, the old saw - "If it bleeds, it ledes". Yes, that's tabloid journalism.

Posted by: chimpunk | September 8, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"What the apologists miss is that the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years."

Wrong E.J. I was at the 2000 Inaugural Parade and it was a very ugly scene. Bush was hated from day one. He was ridiculed on 9/11 for not flying directly back to DC. He was given a reprieve after 9/11 after the Taliban was routed (despite R.W. Apple's prediction of a quagmire). He was called stupid, evil and the "worst president ever". Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, called him stupid. Reid declared a the surge in Iraq a failure in week one. He hated Bush so much that he gave aid and comfort to the enemy. I didn't hear you demanding respect for the presidency then. Cheney faired even worse. You and all the other leftist sat on the sideline happy to let Pelosi, Reid, Move-On, Michael Moore, the Daily Show, Steven Colbert, David Letterman and Code Pink do the dirty work. The president was ridiculed endlessly. Impeachment was talked about regularly. This for a guy who was saddled with the worst domestic terrorist attack ever and a national security apparatus totally unprepared for it. Nuclear suticases where a real possibility. You and they are ungrateful, spiteful and hateful creeps. What goes around, comes around and the poisoned well of American discourse is now yours to drink from. Apparently you don't like your own cocktails.


Posted by: maxtel1910
________________________________________
First off - the inauguration was in 2001. If you were there in 2000, you saw nothing.

The criticism he took early in his term was very mild, particularly comparted to the vitriol that Obama has endured. And it was all based on opposition to his policies, not wild-eyed dishonest ranting about his supposed extremism or non-native birth.

The entire country rallied behind him after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan (BTW, in case you hadn't noticed, Apple was right).

Everything else you mention came about, as Dionne said, several years after he was in office, after he was proven to be a liar and stupid.

Posted by: luridone | September 8, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The MSM is totally missing the point. I agreed that an address to schoolchildren was a good thing to do until we were told that someone in the Dept of ED included a lesson plan. Wrong move. Every initiative rolled out by this administration has been accompanied by the praise of some special interest group who would benefit - tort lawyers, unions, pro-choice, gays, etc. etc. etc. Then the liberal MSM is amazed that anyone would be skeptical of White Huse initiatives. Note that I used White House initiatives not Obama initiative. Pres. Obama has long ago lost any ability to direct any initiative and we are seeing the chaos and confusion of this lack of leadership.

Posted by: fcrucian | September 8, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Dionne says: "What the apologists miss is that the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years".

Huh? I think the Left spent the entire time up until 9/11 trying to litigate Florida in the court of public opinion. I recall a lot of "selected, not elected" chants from those days.

Let's face it - the Left treated GWB with about as much respect as Obama is getting from the far right. Turnabout is fair play. The Republic will survive.

Posted by: sold2u | September 8, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Why would there be accountability in a nation filled with idiots run by corporate interests?

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | September 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

How could some of you have watched or read President Obama's speech and still make such hateful comments. I am not playing the race card when I say that I really believe it is the color of the man's skin, not his politics that bothers you.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | September 8, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Republican and I'm ashamed of Jim Greer. Fire the jerk!

Posted by: biermajw | September 8, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Dionne conveniently neglects to mention that his own party did the same thing when bush sr wanted to speak to students at school

of course, the 'they did it too' argument is weak, but the issue is more than just whether he should be speaking to students - the issue is about timing and trust. what conservatives (and many independents) have grown to realize is we have a president who is far left, and that's not what americans signed up for. the many examples of this (socialists in the administration, labor union activists in senior positions, massive left wing special interests like card check being prioritized in several obama initiatives, extremist progressiveness proposals for the tax code, etc etc) demonstrate that his agenda is far more than what americans realized

hence, it is not all surprising to see the right react like this. just like the iraq war ruined the trust of americans in bush, obama's far left agenda is causing many americans to wonder just want the plan is here...and so when you get on the air and start speaking to kids, there will be sensitivities.

i personally thought the speech was a constructive, positive message...but that doesn't mean anyone should support it. chavez has given similar speeches to kids in school, but are you comfortable with him being a messenger? that is the point

Posted by: Spencer99 | September 8, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable and criminal:

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse
---------------------------------
If, in fact, the shot this yahoo refers to is from a gun, it sounds like a threat on
the the life of the President of the United States and, if so, then 'we are long overdue' can only mean an assassination.

I don't care who you support, this should be reported to the Secret Service and immediately investigated.

And I challenge everyone to back me on this.

Posted by: hamptontonyc | September 8, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

There is no way to see this, but to say there are some parents, whom do not wish for their child to spoken to by black Pres Obama. The matter is petty, yet revealing.

Posted by: alwaysAlabama | September 8, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I listened to President Obama as he spoke to those gathered at Wakefield HS in Arlington, VA. The bottom line is that the speech was apolitical. Obama did what other dignitaries have done over the years. He chose to invoke the "bully pulpit" of the President and speak directly to our next generation. In essence, the President did what every parent would hope that he would do: speak the words of wisdom to those who have often turned deaf ears to their parents. For the religious right, their children should turn deaf ears to them. Perhaps this is what they fear the most!

We are now over 140 years since the end of the Civil War, yet too many "conservatives" are still lifting the banner of prejudice and hate. I have a vastly different definition of conservative than those who represent that movement today. The conservatives of today have managed to make themselves devoid of ethical behavior in the public discourse, not to mention in their own depraved lives.

I have news for my Christian brothers and sisters. Lying is a sin. It breaks one of the Ten Commandments about bearing false witness. You do not have to lie under oath to commit the sin. Of course, I am sure that the legalists among us may argue a very limited sin liability.

E.J., thank you again for reminding us of what American citizenship is all about. Your erudite column should challenge us to look upward. By the way, I think that Obama will invoke in some way the memory of Teddy Kennedy tomorrow night when he speaks before the joint session of Congress. Unlike those on the right, I prefer not to castigate without evidence.

I heard one Republican Congressman from Georgia today talking about the President's speech. He didn't want to talk about the speech. All he wanted to do was talk about charter schools in DC. The Republicans write their talking points and will not be budged. What a group of mean sheep! May God have mercy on our country when we have "responsible" citizens who are worse than our enemies.

For my Republican friends, when GW spoke in front of all those groups of troups all those times, it was for political reasons only. Where was your outrage then? Of all things, our military should be apolitical.

Posted by: EarlC | September 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

another whiner for obie and gang. are u fools unhappy with ur health plan? NO.do u give a sheet for american CITIZENS that work and contribute to our countries well being? NO. so u believe in social engineering? YES. u now qualify for a position on obie team of fools

Posted by: pofinpa | September 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

another whiner for obie and gang. are u fools unhappy with ur health plan? NO.do u give a sheet for american CITIZENS that work and contribute to our countries well being? NO. so u believe in social engineering? YES. u now qualify for a position on obie team of fools
----------------------------------
This is actually a board for real comments, not twitter. You are (sorry 'u r' so you can understand it) allowed to use more than 140 characters.

Posted by: hamptontonyc | September 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I love this:

Massachussetts changes state law to prevent Republican governor from filling a democratic vacancy - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)

Massachussetts proposes to change state law (4 years later) to allow Democratic governor to fill a vacancy without a special election - THIS IS ALL GOOD (Democrats)
This is not true. The Dems want to fill the seat until a special election in January- the previous law let the replacement fill the seat until the next regular election.

Posted by: missgirl | September 8, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Let me start by saying I am no fan of the President or his policy initiatives.

"I do believe he made a good start today towards elevating personal responsibility.

"I wish he had carried it to the next level and encouraged the students to EXCEL. In particular, we need more students that succeed at the highest level in Mathematics, Physical Science (Physics, Chemistry), Life Sciences. This is where America gains it competitive edge.

"Glad to see the President state that as an individual YOU are responsible for your situation in life.

"We need to get Americans back into the "CAN DO" spirit rather than "BLAME SOMEONE ELSE" fatigue that has permeated society.

Posted by: jhpbriton | September 8, 2009 2:09 PM
_ _ _ _ _ _

Obviously, the above writer did not hear the speech that I did. It is amazing what one hears when approaching a speech from a favorable point of view versus an unfavorable one. Perhaps the President did not use the word "excel," but the meaning was contained in his words. The above writer reminds me of the teacher who refused to give "Johnny" full credit on a response because he did not use the exact words in his textbook. How limited we have become in our discourse! Yes, let us find a word or a phrase that the President did not use in order to bash him. Afterall, he was speaking to a broad spectrum of people today.

Posted by: EarlC | September 8, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated by the way Republican apologists for the lunatic fringe of the GOP keep bringing up the congressional hearings in 1991 about Bush's school speech. The democrats ended up with egg on their face because the General Accounting Office concluded that Bush had done nothing wrong, rejecting democrat claims that the speech was a political photo-op funded with tax dollars.
There are some telling differences between the democrats of 1991 and the Republicans today.
1. The democrats protested after the speech, not before.
2. The democrats did not deny Bush's right to express his views in a school speech, but attacked it's funding. Here is what democrat W. Ford said in the committee where the hearings were held: "The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC. As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."

The difference in content and tone says it all. How anyone can compare the right wing hysteria over socialist brainwashing by Obama with the democrats' challenge of the 1991 Bush administration's use of education funds is beyond comprehension.

So once and for all, republicans: get your facts straight. In 1991 the democrats attacked the funding of the speech, not the content, not the venue, not the right of the president to say what he did to schoolchildren.

Posted by: archaeoman | September 8, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I encourage all who feel the same as I, to boycott any vendor or product who advertises on the Fox Channel, who in any way financially contributes to the bigots who fan the controversial fires. Your money talks, or it's lack thereof...
_________

Good idea, but I'd have to watch Fox to find out who their advertisers are and I'm not about to do that. It's vile. I do think that after enough of this crying wolf the Right does the rest of the country will begin to see they are completely full of it and tune them out. Most are probably feeling silly now about fussing over the school speech. Next, they'll be signing up for their new health insurance and will be very happy and THAT is what the Republicans are so afraid of. Everyone will see that they have nothing at all to offer except FEAR.

Posted by: bgormley1 | September 8, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

>>...the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years.<<

Uh... no. It pretty much started at volume level " 11 " from day one.

Posted by: clankie | September 8, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: laurelrest | September 8, 2009 2:22 PM

"it's about race, it's about race, it's about race, it's about race..."

I'm not so sure. Certainly the Republican side has no problem playing 'nudge nudge wink wink' with the racism card, but is racism really the problem for most Americans that take serious issue with Obama? Methinks the 'socialism' charge and all the ignorance and irrationality that surrounds it is more the problem. Many Americans seem to be having real problems accepting the realities of the current economic situation and cannot accept that the free market capitalism ushered by Reagan and the Republicans is a dismal failure and needs to be retooled.

Let's face it, the US is already the world's largest socialist economy in terms of the amount of money thrown into social programs -- it's just that blinder-wearing Americans don't see the military-industrial complex as a socialist program (which, of course, it is).

Posted by: laslo23 | September 8, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

>>...the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years.<<

Uh... no. It pretty much started at volume level " 11 " from day one.

Maybe because he "stole" the election?

Posted by: missgirl | September 8, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Enough politischer Aktionskunst, or I will slap you!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | September 8, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments made here, the ad hominem attacks by partisans on both sides, the complaints that our American democracy is "broken" all point to the alarming lack of comity and a spirit of compromise that pervades our political system. Beginning with the safe congressional seats each party creates for each other and the subsequent advantage to the extremes of each side over those with more moderate views on either side, the result is polarization and an abandonment of the art of compromise. Indeed, the concept of compromise is regarded with suspicion and contempt by extreme partisan voices, just look at how legislators on either side of the health care debate have withdrawn from efforts to craft a compromise when attacked by extremes from within their partisan group. Yet, this was the very basis for the Federalists' hope that in a large and varied republic no one faction could exercise control and tyrrany over the minority and that "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition"
As a teacher, I was dismayed by the mean spirited attacks on the President and his motives. Yet, those who claim to be the President's fans are not without difficulty either.
I'm glad the President made this speech and just hope that the students who listened will take his excellent advise to heart.

Posted by: MartyInFairfax | September 8, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I think this was the Republican's "jump the shark" episode!

Posted by: kimL1 | September 8, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This country is collapsing in on itself. Opposing this speech was/is insane. Could it be that the GOP hasn't seen real leadership in so long that it can't recognize it when it exists? God deliver us from the right wing and the GOP. Fools, all of them.

Posted by: wjfreeman1 | September 8, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Amen.

I am terribly concerned about the unconscionable attack on the education speech, on Van Jones and the whole of the Obama administration by the Faux News Network. The Murdoch Mafia, in particular Glenn Beck, has found conspiracy in everything where there is none.

Tell this administration to take off the gloves, pull out the political knives and have a little back alley political fighting. A investigation into the conspiracy to incite murder over the killing of Dr Tiller would do for a start.

Posted by: stanassc | September 8, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I saw some wingnut hag on the boobtube last night. Her faux hystrionics immediatetly activated my hilarity unit.

Posted by: Heerman532 | September 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Version One: (Bullet point #2 of 8)
*Write letters to themselves (the child students) about what they can do to help the president.

Version Two:(Bullet point #2 of 8 revised)
*Write letters to themselves (the child students) about what they can do to achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.

It looks like somebody at the Department of Education woke up, smelled the coffee, and realized they would have a lot of angry parents on their hands if homework assignments included requirements to pledge to help the Obama administration. In light of this, I expect the president's remarks will be pretty uncontroversial. But this legitimizes quite a bit of conservatives' skepticism and wariness, because it means some folks in the Department of Education didn't realize what an atrocious and inappropriate idea it was.

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MmVkZTA1NTIzM2M5YWJjNDcxNTJiZmJiZTZjZDFjMjg=

Posted by: ssol4569 | September 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The definition of extremism should include something about hypocrisy. Although I am more likely to see hypocrisy on the right, I am sure it exists on the left as well. What amazes me is that the any one of these crazy people gets significant air time. The most recent blathering caused kids to miss school! How, for God's sake, does this further any agenda besides allowing ignorance to gain a stronger foothold?

Posted by: paquers | September 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Dionne is right on this one. This was a new low for the right wing. The exposed themselves as incorrigible paranoiacs who are against anything that might help with any of the problems our country faces.

Posted by: B2O2 | September 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@rlj1 I agree with you - CNN's headlines that Pres Obama gave a "controversial" speech infuriated me.

CNN is very much at fault for turning their news channel into a cheap entertainment media circus that embraces any absurdity spewed by wingnuts if it smells like a nice bloody fight that will get them a good rating. In the meantime our country's future is what is ultimately being beaten up.

Posted by: maddymappo | September 8, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

When you have a President that nonchalantly surrounds himself and associates with admitted Communists, Marxists and Racist advisers as a part of a Shadow Govt of Czars you have to take note. His entrenched cult members are too far gone to see that as problematic. Fortunately most and many more everyday are figuring out Barry and are not comfortable with him for good reason. Most care for this Nation and reject his agenda and motives. Barry's past and current associations are a true reflection of who he is. His media created facade is crumbling. He has lost any thin sliver of credibility he may have had. A President without credibility should not be President.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | September 8, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The speech is fine for some "marginal" kids, but it won't faze committed gangbangers who are born of a pedophilic father and an abused teenaged mother. We need real change in the projects of this country if we are ever to get our schools in shape. Unsupervised children are the prey of pedophiles--this form of child abuse is not addressed and produces psychologically-disturbed children who can't focus, study, achieve.

Posted by: IIntgrty | September 8, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The criticisms of Obama's planned speech ALL the nation's school children not just highschoolers like the other President did, was completely about the teachers guides not the unknown content of the future speech.
And the writer of this blog already knows that fact.
Obama is addressing very young children, deliveried pointed guidance to all the teachers and didn't give much advance warning to the content ofhis speech.
What the content of the speech was in the end after a huge outcry is irrelevant.

Posted by: lees2002 | September 8, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This is stupid. . .obama rewrote the speech because the first one was political and unacceptable. That is the speech conservatives were against. Not too many will complain about the watered down message.

Posted by: steveb777 | September 8, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Some conservative Americans,with powerful tools like Fox News,are not stupids but very clever sticking to the slogan of Goebbels:" a lye 1000 times repeated becomes a truth"...(Calumnia que algo queda).But America is not Germany in the thirties

Posted by: justdiogo | September 8, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Dionne! Good article. I hope the republican party is happy that they've unleashed so much hatred in this country. They should be more than ashamed. I was always middle of the road, but, boy oh boy, not anymore.

Posted by: MILWI | September 8, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah. So Obama's media lapdogs like Dionne are going around whining that there are people not prostrating themselves before the One.

I thought the speech he gave was okay. Was it the speech that was originally planned? I doubt it. It didn't seem to really lend itself to a writing assignment of 'how students can help the President'.

A lot of people don't trust Obama. Some of this may be due to political psrtisanship, some may be due to racism (you lefties, no doubt, will scream from the rooftops that this is the main reason), but some are due to the fact that Obama has not shown himself to be trustworthy.

You won. We get it. Now you need to stop campaigning, and start governing. And you media types really should consider getting yourselves a code of ethics.

Posted by: malclave | September 8, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

E.J.:
You are so right about the school address.
The far-right reaction, without any information whatsoever, erupted into the media, accusing Obama of using schoolchildren to advance a "socialist, Marxist and/or fascist" agenda; this was more than just ordinary politics.
This behavior begs the question -- when will the public get enough of this bile?
Elected Congressmen, not talking heads, have the audacity to announce their goal openly:
They want to destroy any effort to pass any legislation of value whatsoever, so as to cripple this wartime President, no matter what it does to the nation.
Down the line, their minions who haunt the Washington Post comment threads spew hatred, vile accusations with no basis in reality, corrosive labels, personal attacks on character; nothing is too low, too common, too base for them to fling at the President.
They flood the WPost with this baloney and they have no shame.
It's a sad commentary on the partisan gulf that exists even out in local towns and cities, where people listen to Rush Limbaugh or Lou Dobbs, so they'll know "what to think" about the issues.
I continue to be amazed at the lack of respect of the men and women or the office they hold.
The assault is wholesale.
And they make no effort to salvage any reasonable position; they don't care if they aren't even in the ballpark of sanity.
The entire minority is determined to compel the voters to reelect their slate, despite the past history of their party to bring this country down economically.
They don't change their political brew; they just intend to provoke people to vote against the current administration, even against reason.
In such a situation, honest open debate is impossible.
I sincerely fear for the future of the country if this keeps up.
I can't ever remember seeing it this bad.
Ever.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 8, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Re:


As one participant in this morning's Post chats noted, when W did the same thing in an earlier part of his terms, the Post condemned it and the Dems actually held hearings on the $26,000 cost to do the talk. Where were you when this happened EJ? Or are your politics myopic too?

Posted by: stvcar | September 8, 2009 2:10 PM |
____________________________

Give us links or it didn't happen.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 8, 2009 3:16 PM |

Look in the transcript of today's Politics Discussion on washingtonpost.com, about two thirds of the way through.

Posted by: stvcar | September 8, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

But what's wrong in teaching our children the valuable lessons to be learned from being Swift-Boated -- just like gullible adults had to to be taught in their day (though many still flunk that course)?

Or in looking maniacal for the cameras, like Championship Wrestlers -- instead of boring, like the farmer, hat in hand, in the Norman Rockwell painting (with others looking on respectfully) at town hall meetings on health care?

(As Homer S. would say: I am being sarcastic)

Posted by: hgeorgek

---------------------------

Hey when all you watch is the McMahon wrestling empire instead of the news you begin to think that it's normal to hit your opponent with a chair. And they have to scream the loudest because if they spoke their points they could easily be picked apart. People tend to back down to raving lunatics because they can't be reasoned with.

Posted by: theobserver4 | September 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Yadda, yadda, yadda...what a bunch of cretins. You don't like him , you don't like his politics, you don't like his race, and most of all you don't like that he won. Get used to it, trogs, he's here to stay.

Posted by: sundog2 | September 8, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I just asked my second grader what he thought of the President's speech. Said my charming and politically disengaged 7 year old, "I was the most boredest I've ever been."

Oh well. Maybe the indoctrination will take hold next year...

Posted by: jb1151 | September 8, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...


Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM
-------------------------------------------

My sentiments exactly DwightCollins,
We are LONG overdue.

-------------
So let me understand your logic here. Obama is "destroying" the country, so it's time for a violent revolution to destroy the nation, thus preventing Obama from destroying the country. Makes perfect sense to me. Dwight and friends, grab your deer rifles and storm the Capitol. We're right behind ya.

Idiots

Posted by: sheehanjc | September 8, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hot Air -- E. J. Dionne: Republicans pounced without evidence
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/08/e-j-dionne-republicans-pounced-without-evidence/

Posted by: StewartIII | September 8, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments coming from the right these last few days are just awful, where are they getting all this from. None of it makes sense at all. Have we as a nation allowed ourselves to be living in such a fantasy world? ALL I CAN SAY IS THANK GOD WE HAVE SUCH A WONDERFUL PRESIDENT. THERE ARE NO WORDS THAT CAN DESCRIBE THE COMMENT OF LATE. THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR SPEAKING TO THE SCHOOL CHILDREN TODAY.

Posted by: melodymg | September 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I get it now.

It's okay for George Bush to dispatch military recruiters to every single high school in America and talk kids out of advancing their education to go fight in his illegal and immoral war he started in Iraq, but when the BLACK President wants to tell kids to work hard, listen to the teachers and stay in school--then he's a communist devil.

Good. I'm glad we got that all cleared up.

I think next year President Obama's address to the kids should be about the "Tyranny of the Racist Crackpots in the Minority."

Or "The United Nations Ate My Homework."

Posted by: angrycrat | September 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The unofficial Republican motto is, "We're building a bridge to the nineteenth century." Of course they don't want Obama encouraging them to stay in school. Education is a direct threat to their plans for the United States. If someone has a good education, how are you going to convince them that dinosaurs lived 2,000 years ago, along with humans? How ya goin' to keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Parriee?

Posted by: JimZ1 | September 8, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you loon, personally the rest of sane Americans do NOT want their kids exposed to a man who likes to hang out with nuts who thinks that "white people steer their pollution into minority neighborhoods" and educators who are so small minded that they thought it was a good idea to plant bombs to blow up conscipted service members like William Ayers.

The true insanity of the left is scary to behold.

Posted by: LogicalSC | September 8, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that this President is untrustworthy. He lies, is politically incompetent, and hangs around with seedy characters that your mother would not approve of.
If we can't rely on him to give us the straight scoop on healthcare, why would we want to trust him with the ear of our school children?
If there's anything I want to teach my kid about the President, it's how to avoid shysters like him in the first place.

Posted by: Medbob | September 8, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it was two paragraphs. The second was:"Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?"

What was Obama going to ask the named non-student groups to do that he didn't in this speech?

Us neocons kept the speech "on task"; Mr. Obama was reduced to touting the conservative value of self-reliance, rather than the "if you fail, it's the community's fault" rhetorical meme of his lefty peers.

You can thank us by donating to the RNC, or, if that galls you, by writing a letter to Mr. Obama asking why he killed the successful DC Voucher program and then had the temerity to claim in his speech that he is providing the best educational resources money can buy.

Posted by: unclesmrgol | September 8, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"@rlj1 I agree with you -- CNN's headlines that Pres Obama gave a "controversial" speech infuriated me.
CNN is very much at fault for turning their news channel into a cheap entertainment media circus that embraces any absurdity spewed by wingnuts if it smells like a nice bloody fight that will get them a good rating.
In the meantime our country's future is what is ultimately being beaten up."
Posted by: maddymappo | September 8, 2009 4:44 PM
==
I completely agree with you, maddy.
About a year ago, back during the campaign, things got so breathtakingly irrational at CNN that in our house (and we have been loyal viewers since the day Ted Turner initiated CNN -- which my husband and I vividly remember), we abandoned CNN for MSNBC.
We find Chris Matthews overriding his guests tiresome at times, however, we've found MSNBC basically dependable for news coverage.
We enjoy Ed Schultz (and agree with him) and I'm a personal fan of Rachel Maddow, with her penchant for details and facts.
Even on Sunday morning, when CNN is the only game on the cable, it's easier to watch an old movie, most of the time.
The constant dribble of bilge gets very tiresome.
CNN's attempt to "balance" their coverage lacks judgment; some of their invitees leave a lot to be desired.
One thing does amuse me.
They tripped over their own rhetoric, back when Bush stormed the airwaves with his sales job for attacking Iraq and after, with the excuse that we who disagree need to be silent because Bush was a "wartime president."
Well, Obama is a "wartime president" as well, but we can't find any of his opponents holding back on principle because of the Afghani situation.
So that tells me the whole routine was completely disingenious from the start.
We'll never fall for that again. :-)

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Is this what passes for debating points on the left? If it's not a joke it's truly pathetic.

Engage debate on its own merits, calling people names belies lack of any substance to the argument.

What do you expect from republicans, who by and large are:

1. homophobic neanderthals
2. tax-phobic cockroaches
3. selfish cowards
4. religious hypocrites
5. mean spirited jackasses
6. hateful mamma's boys
7. sexually repressed perverts
8. anal retentive crybabies
9. self-righteous simpletons
10. misogynists
11. rednecks
12. anti-intellectuals
13. paranoid schizophrenics
13. callous slugs
14. greedy hogs
15. stupid, stupid, stupid

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | September 8, 2009 2:40 PM |

Posted by: eemaguire | September 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you loon, personally the rest of sane Americans do NOT want their kids exposed to a man who likes to hang out with nuts who thinks that "white people steer their pollution into minority neighborhoods" and educators who are so small minded that they thought it was a good idea to plant bombs to blow up conscipted service members like William Ayers.

The true insanity of the left is scary to behold.

-----------------------------

So, every teacher in America thinks its a good idea to plant bombs? Bill Ayers was a conscripted service member? I'm guessing school, especially English composition, was not your strong point based on this poorly constructed, run-on sentence. But hey, education is for sissies and Commies, right?

Posted by: sheehanjc | September 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the media is as much at fault for the lunacy as the lunatics. When did it become standard operating procedure to spew unsubstantiated false information without consequence. It is doing more damage to the nation than the most subversive group. Is it an attempt to distract the public from the fact that the press failed miserably to warn the public about the deceit that led us into war or the collapse of the economy.

Posted by: xclntcat | September 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

What could be less american than wishing for a single party to rule the country? It is role of the liberal to say 'let's invest directly in our people' - it's the role of the conservative to ask 'how much will it cost' - this is the natural order of politics in our country - I wish people would understand this more - and at the very least be respectful to the freely & majority elected POTUS.

Posted by: my1xrulz | September 8, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

To Dwight Collins and fellow humans who don't know much.

It's not partisan to say that Republicans are bad. They had the full support of the union after 9/11 and they went on a murder and torture spree. Republicans at this point are admitted war criminals. There's no way to claim that about Democrats. So, we know how it started. I realize it's too difficult for the most intelligent Republican to understand while they are killing and torturing. We are trying to save the country you've destroyed.

Posted by: bflorhodes | September 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@jb1151: I asked my 6 y/o about the speech and all he could remember was the teacher saying something about the United States.

Nothing along the lines of "We have to help President Obama bend the cost curve with a vigorous and meaningful public option."

Posted by: sold2u | September 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

No Mr. Dionne, what is shameful is your unwillingness to actually critically examine your "hero" Obama's policies, practices, and staff.

You are an arm of the propaganda machine, and nothing more.

Posted by: cbarrick | September 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What all the liberal posters are forgetting is the government's ridiculously partisan "lesson plan" that accompanied the speech is what caused the furor in the first place - not the speech itself.

I can imagine what Dionne and the other screaming lefties would say if the DOE issued a "lesson plan" to accompany a speech by George W. Bush to school kids. The teacher's unions would throw a joint hissy fit and stage a mass walkout. Not so with the Marxist-in-Chief - everyone sit down and listen while he tells us to "wash our hands."

Posted by: TomPaine76 | September 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that this President is untrustworthy. He lies, is politically incompetent, and hangs around with seedy characters that your mother would not approve of.
Posted by: Medbob .
.
.
.
.
.
That was Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and some Republican senator who was playing bathroom queen at an airport mensroom.

We held an election and repudiated those people in an electoral landslide.

Please try to keep up.

Posted by: angrycrat | September 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Compare the original program with what was actually given by Obama. If he had sent out the speech he actually gave first there likely would not have been much objection. It was the homework assignment on how to support Obama's agenda that seemed to be the sticking point. That has since been removed, so the objections had their intended impact.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 8, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM
-------------------------------------------
My sentiments exactly DwightCollins,
We are LONG overdue.
Posted by: Thozmaniac | September 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Anytime you’re ready. The day you pathetic cowards leave will be a great one for the nation.


Posted by: dfc102 | September 8, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

When Bush 41 addressed schoolchildren, the Democratic majority launched investigations. But when certain conservatives raise concerns that Obama is up to something political by directing his DOE to provide lesson plans (which is against their charter) to schools mobilizing students to "help" the president, it's all of a sudden beyond the pale.

As usual Mr. Dionne whitewashes the actual details and opts instead for a hyper-reactionary assualt on conservatives. But if GWB had sent Karl Rove over to the Dept of Education to draw up lesson plans to distribute to schools in advance of President Bush addressing the students, I'm sure we would have been inundated with Post stories and Dionne commentary lauding the President's and Mr. Rove's dedication to the education of America's youth.

Instead we settle for another selective outrage from the left.

Posted by: mdpotter | September 8, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

To adrienne_najjar:

I would suggest learning to count to 15 before calling us rednecks, anti-intellectual, and stupid.

Hey that's just me though.

Posted by: mdpotter | September 8, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Please, People try to make some Americans into something they are not! Sure in 2009 we have a Black President in Office, but if you think some folks out there in America aren't happy to see a Black Family living in a White House, think again. But see this is deeper than mere skin color, this also boils down between the Haves and Have nots. The behavior of the Republican Party is boarding towards a big divide in America.

Let me say this briefly to America, "No more Leaders from the Black Community will be Assassinated!" The behavior of the Republicans promoting agendas of anger, will send this country in a downward spiral bigger than Bin Laden could ever do! Observing People at town hall meetings carrying assault weapons on shows me this "the Black Community and every other Minority better use their second Amendment rights and bare arms. If we keep on this road of Anger messages this Nation will soon be torn and divided by a major Civil War! Is that what we want? Is that what we've come too! The Media needs to tone down some of these radical People on their shows inflating the Anger in America, because those are the cowards who will not fight and instead cower in the corner wondering why they did that!

We all know Health Care needs to be change and FAST! We also know nothing will stop the Insurance companies from raising rates and not paying for your care, but the Public Option. Next, President Obama speaking to your kids may be scary too you. Look within, what is scaring you the most is that your children become free thinkers and finally brake the racial divide in the USA. Over 500 years this Nation's most dirtiest secret is in the hearts of the PEOPLE! Change the HEART and we can have a Loving Nation. The course we're setting for this Nation if we continue their will be nothing left for any generation!

So, not trying to anger my Country, however giving some food for thought. From Marcus to Malcolm. from JFK to Dr. King if we fail to nip this thing in the bud before 2009 ends America will become a VERY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT! If you don't believe me, just imagine what will happen if any attempts are against this President's LIFE! It sends chills down my spine the outrage, rioting and killing would do to this Nation!

Posted by: ifordc | September 8, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"When Bush 41 addressed schoolchildren, the Democratic majority launched investigations."

Posted by: mdpotter

_ _ _ _ _

Oh, really?! Any proof? Cite some sources. Present the evidence. Perhaps the Democrats launched some investigations, but not related to the fact that Bush spoke to school children.
This revisionist history thing is getting stale.

Perhaps we need investigations about how Bush 2 used the military to lauch his agenda. Bush 1, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, had less to relate to school children than does Obama, who apparently is still trying to overcome prejudice.

Now, please do some homework and listen to GHW Bush's and Reagan's speeches before school children. Now compare to Obama's speech today. Be as objective as you can. Which speech or speeches were loaded with politics? Is this what you feared about Obama's speech? You were afraid he'd follow the pattern? Pathetic are those who judge without hearing the speech. Pathetic are the haters among us.

I agree with others. I am an old white southerner. I have real problems with ignorant people, regardless of color. But this white trash population is getting me down.

Posted by: EarlC | September 8, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This article encapsulates, perfectly, why I am losing “faith” in our government…

The right is out for blood no matter what is being done (this speech for example) and it is becoming beyond annoying knowing that TV networks are simply rehashing whatever moronic disillusioned statement is being made. It feels like nothing is going to get accomplished this term, when every little announcement becomes deified as doctrine of a socialist agenda…give me a break. (Side note: no doubt the same thing could be said if a republican was in office)

I wish the right would just secede already or shut the fu@k up and become part of the solution, put political aspirations aside!!! Important issues need to get accomplished. By the way, I absolutely love how the Republicans are now behind Medicaid and Medicare, they need to make up there minds and stop using rhetorical arguments, and start giving counterexamples…be productive, I know, quiet a lofty aspiration!!!

Posted by: why_deny_logic | September 8, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I was in Fourth Grade on Nov. 22, 1963.

As I remember the Lesson Plan sucked. Obviously the Right Wing is now more focused on the nuances of political thought, but no more now than then to concede their leadership are lunatics.

Posted by: gannon_dick | September 8, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

If there was nothing wrong with his original speech then why did he change it? If it wasn't for the opposition, it wouldn't have. Jounalists like Dionne wouldn't have even highlighted the issue.

Posted by: NoWeCant | September 8, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Let's face it, the US is already the world's largest socialist economy in terms of the amount of money thrown into social programs -- it's just that blinder-wearing Americans don't see the military-industrial complex as a socialist program (which, of course, it is).

Posted by: laslo23 | September 8, 2009 4:30 PM "

Actually, laslo23, that is not correct. Socialism does not exist unless the state (the federal government in this case, presumably) CONTROLS ALL means of production.

Even with the "military-industrial complex" this country's system does not even come close to socialist--not even for education, firefighting, or enforcing the laws by police are we even remotely "socialist". Government does not control production in our economy in any meaningful way. It may be a funding mechanism for aspects of our national economy where there is a large level of public general health and welfare at stake, but it still does not control anywhere near ALL means of production. Not even close.

The people levelling these charges of socialist and marxist have no friggin clue what they're talking about, and if we're long overdue for anything, it's people who are knowledgeable and educated in the media standing up for fact and truth and revealing the lies, in the face of hysteria and rampant idolatry of a failed political movement.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 8, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

right-wing unde-educated birther deather Obama haters.....they don't understand whats good for them....but it's sure not coming from a black president. Oh by the way, did you hear the president advising students to work hard, stay in school and don't give up? Right wing-nuts call that social-nazi communism forced on our kids...they'd rather give them all concealed weapon permits and automatic weapons.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | September 8, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

And I don't remember any officials, elected or otherwise speaking publicly about Bush's fascist agenda.Even in the face of W's free speech zones,illegal wire taps and secret data mining programs. Great article but unfortunately, the shameless can't be shamed and the irrational can't be reasoned with.

Posted by: klcscott | September 8, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse


another whiner for obie and gang. are u fools unhappy with ur health plan? NO.do u give a sheet for american CITIZENS that work and contribute to our countries well being? NO. so u believe in social engineering? YES. u now qualify for a position on obie team of fools
----------------------------------
This is actually a board for real comments, not twitter. You are (sorry 'u r' so you can understand it) allowed to use more than 140 characters.

Posted by: hamptontonyc
________________________________
Please, don't encourage him/her. He/she clearly is of very limited intelligence.

Posted by: luridone | September 8, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

obama rewrote the speech because the first one was political and unacceptable. That is the speech conservatives were against. Not too many will complain about the watered down message.

Posted by: steveb777
_____________________________
And you know this how?

Posted by: luridone | September 8, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I get so dissolutioned about the automatic right wing negative spin about Obama until I remember:

a. November 4, 2008, and the fact that despite getting flushed in that election the Republicans have spent most of a year showing they have learned nothing new.

b. The fact that when the Dems in Congress want to they can pass anything they want.

c. The "off" button and channel change button on my radio and TV. The right wing is just noise right now. No power. No influence. Just noise.

Posted by: roboturkey | September 8, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

EJ must also feel the same about the democrats who ordered the GAO to investigate a similar speech by Bush in 91, and also be disgusted by the NEA's nutty and intense response to that speech.

Far be it from him to support hypcritcal behavior, by condoning one side and condeming the other for similar tactics.

Posted by: SayWhat4 | September 8, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, the objection to the G.H.W. Bush speech to school children was based on its timing. It was given about a year before the 1992 presidential election. Bush was a declared candidate for re-election at that time, I believe, and the objection was that he was using taxpayer dollars in what amounted to a campaign appearance. While the critique had some merit, it also was rather small minded and gained very little traction.

But accusing Bush of leveraging public resources in his run for relection is quite different than the lunatic rantings of right about how Obama was going to indoctrinate the school children into his socialist-fascist political agenda. It was especially interesting to hear the right object to the lesson plan which asked students to write a letter to themselves about how they could help the President achieve his goals. Anyone with half a mind would know this was asking the students to write about how they could help improve student commitment and performance in school. Instead, the wackos on right decided this was a clever attempt to enlist the students in developing detailed strategies for the congressional approval of a single-payer health insurance system -- which would, naturally, trigger the onset of Armageddon. Get a grip, folks, and stay on your medication.

Posted by: jdnathan | September 8, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne...you are a national treasure. You are able to cut right to the chase about any situation. Was so grateful when you came to Arizona State University a while back and spoke at the law school.We need your voice now more than ever.

Posted by: westmolly | September 8, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to bet that I'm not the only one struck by the irony of these two juxtaposition comments, below.

*******************************************

When the far-right decided to come out against ANYTHING that Obama does, I decided to stop listening to ANYTHING they have to say.

All the GOP has chosen to do is LIE and OBSTRUCT. Not everything Obama may do will be perfect, but you can say this about him: At least HE SHOWS UP.

Posted by: lincolnhunt | September 8, 2009 2:18 PM


It's sad enough that there are people willing to prevent their children from hearing a President who has achieved so much academically. Just to satisfy their own twisted ideology. God knows, they could learn a lot if they just listened.

But the REALLY sad part is that they are raising a generation of children that likely will be as narrow-minded as they are. Their legacy to us all, therefore, will not be the parent's short-lived small-mindedness, but yet another generation of nihilists that will - for no reason they can explain - stand in the way of something critical our country needs.

Posted by: art-mahoney | September 8, 2009 2:22 PM

********************************************

So, in other words, if you are talking and I don't agree with you then you are lying and I shouldn't listen to your point of view. If I am talking then you should listen to me and learn something.

Does that pretty much sum up your thinking there?


Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

We are sadly witnessing the Republican Party's death rattle.
We need a rational, principled opposition party to test Democrats' agenda. I say this as a lifelong Democrat.
All we hear is goofy right-fringe hate, such as the absurd, deranged claim that President Obama's motivation talk with students, urging that they stay in school and work hard was some kind of commie/socialist plot.
Only in the eyes and minds of those right-fringe wackos orbiting Planet Krypton.
Lura Bush, our former first lady and a former school teacher, showed the common sense, courage and responsibility to support President Obama's talk in school. Where are the other conservative Republicans?
If they ever want the American people to take their party seriously again, they must repudiate the hateful, dishonest besmirchers in their own party who endanger President Obama, endanger our nation and -- although they have no hint of this -- endangering themselves.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | September 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The image of millions of school children being hustled into auditoriums to listen to the President should give us pause. President Obama invited himself into our children's classrooms and set about lecturing them. Not his place, not his job. Period. He wants to go to a school that's invited him? Fine and dandy. He wants to make a speech that children can choose to listen to or not? No worries. But to require - not request, but require - anyone to listen to any politician flat out ain't the way we do business in this country. It smacks of indocrination.

For that matter, since when is it the President's job to tell our children they should study hard? Leave that to parents and teachers. The President said he wanted to talk to students about "what's expected of them." They should show up, pay attention, etc., etc. Positive messages, no doubt. But not the President's place to deliver them.

The average parent wouldn't be too pleased if their neighbor spent 20 uninvited minutes telling their child how to behave - why should the President be any different?

Posted by: kaizersozhe | September 8, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

fate1 wrote: "There is a world of difference between using kids for political gain and INDOCTRINATING KIDS WITH A SOCIALIST AGENDA. The first is plausible, the second is paranoia."

To which TomPaine76 responded: "There's a difference? Apparently only to liberals. I guess hearings and investigations would be ok in this case too."

Well Tom, GHWB's speech was investigated for funds being appropriated improperly, that being Dept. of Education funds going to fund a political speech. The content of the speech as I remember was never the big issue, it was how it was funded and whether it was proper. Whether the speech was political came up of course, but in the context of whether funds were appropriated properly for that type of speech. No one was running to cover their child's ears.

However in Obama's case it was the content of the speech, which is strange when you consider no one had seen the speech until yesterday. I guess they just imagined the worst, let that ferment in their heads until it became a festering reality, then blew up when that reality was only a few days away.

Most people call that paranoia but radical conservatives call it correct thinking, you know, the kind of thinking Napoleon used to explain why Snowball was the cause of all the problems on that little farm long ago? Two legs bad four legs good just ain't gonna win the next election Tom.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Having been caught with their gullibility and paranoia showing, the right-wing is trying to create a false equivalence between the frenzied accusations of "socialist indoctrination" and the reaction to Bush's speech in 1991.

The issue then was that the White House used Department of Education funds to contract with an independent television production company for coverage of the event. This involved multiple cameras, elaborate lighting, and White House staging of the shots used. None of this was typical for a presidential speech. The White House clearly wanted more elaborate coverage than they would have gotten from the standard one-camera network feed. With an upcoming election, there was a suspicion that the footage paid for with taxpayer dollars was intended for Bush's reelection campaign.

Bush's press secretary, Marlin Fitzwater stoked the fire when a reporter noted that the film would make good campaign commercials, and Fitzwater replied "We certainly would use any tape of the president, doing anything, anywhere in the world at any time if it was to his political benefit."

That's why there was a (short) congressional investigation: an appearance of the misuse of public funds. Comparing this to the right-wing's full-out feeding frenzy is comparing apples and...well, maybe nuts.

Posted by: rashomon | September 8, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of shameful----

EJ, weren't you one of the leftist objectors to George H.W. Bush's similar attempt to pump up some high schoolers in a televised back to school message?

Hmm??

Posted by: jshaver001 | September 8, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"If George W had wanted to give a speech to schoolchildren, anyone who tried to oppose it would have been assailed as unpatriotic and un-American. Of course, now that the President is a Democrat, the right has decided that he must be treated as an enemy, even in the most innocuous of circumstances. The hubris of the far right never ceases to astound."

I really see no difference between this and the relentless anger of the extremist anti-war left wing against President George W, Bush. It's all the same.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | September 8, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

As a conservative my preference was to let the whole thing go and see what happened. If it turned out bad, then complain the next time. However, it is true that Obama tends to "shoot from the hip" (e.g. the Gates affair) so you should understand why some people are a bit gun shy.

Posted by: hipshot | September 8, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

During the first Bush Administration Congress opened hearings against Bush for talking to school children. Will congress look into Obama???

Your selective memory E.J. is pathetic!!!


Posted by: hotdad14 | September 8, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

By this hour I've had the chance to watch the Fox News Report which focused on President George H.W Bush's 1991 speech to students. The announcement caused an uproar among Democrats and the National Education Association deplored the idea. Pundits who wanted to give a balanced report on the current uproar about Obama's speech might have researched the subject before adding fuel to the fire. In other words what Dionne calls the "shameful" behavior of the right wing was duplicated 18 years ago by the shameful behavior of the left wing. The once informative Dionne has become a mere shill for Obama and the extreme left. No wonder the US press has lost so much prestige. This is another illustration of the importance of an alternative press outlet for people who want the truth. Liberals liked it the way it was years ago when their views went unchallenged in this country. They call everything they don't approve of "lies." The people are too smart to buy that line.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 8, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Students in Texas who were forbidden to watch President Obama's speech.. are going to be taken OUT of school to listen to a speech by George W. Bush.
The right is moronic and should LEAVE.
Get out! That's what you kept telling me for 8 years. You don't like it here, get out!

Posted by: bozhogg | September 8, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Good column. However, Dionne has made a serious mistake, although it is a common one.

Republicans are NOT conservatives.

Conservatives only want to preserve everything about this country that is good. I think we can all agree that there are good things in this country worth preserving.

If they oppose change (and progress), it is only because they are afraid of losing what they already have. And sometimes, they are even right to oppose change.

Although it can be frustrating for the progressives that must deal with conservatives, they need not be enemies. After being adversaries all day in the Congress, they can have a few drinks together after work and laugh it off.

Conservatives and progressives have some things in common on which agreements can sometimes be reached. Conservatives have fixed goals and principles which can be relied upon. You don't need to figure out where they stand on issues, and they don't change their minds whenever the wind blows.

Republicans, in contrast, are evil. They have no fixed principles except that of personal gain. They trade in hatred, lies, and deception. There is no action so vile, so despicable, that a Republican would not undertake it in order to advance their agenda of fear and greed.

They never cooperate with progressives. They seek only misery and death for their opponents, and don't know the meaning of the word "compromise".

They are a plague upon humanity; and, next to sickness and death, are the worst scourge ever visited on mankind.

Of course, that's just my opinion ...

HAR HAR HAR

Posted by: jamesbatic | September 8, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

We're missing something here: People/parents on the far right are teaching children to disrespect the Office of the Presidency! No matter how much I resented Bush being named president, I still acknowledged him as president and did not demean his office. There will be a price to be paid for the evil lesson being taught by those who vilify Obama as he exercises his prerogatives as president.

Posted by: jmgobler | September 8, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments and vitriol from both sides of this are laughable.
To the Liberal Left - This president has committed more money to be spent than every preceding administration - COMBINED!! Conservatives have a right to be concerned about what message he may send to their kids. Obama has not exactly practiced fiscal responsibility.
To the Conservatives - Read the speech and do your job as a parent. If you are not happy with the message, PARENT your child with your beliefs. If you think one speech can brainwash your kid, then you have already failed.

Posted by: mobileclem | September 8, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

But EJ, come on. Though I know you teach college classes and do lots of other stuff, you are a part of the media! You are writing for The Washington Post. And in this opinion you did precisely what you call shameful:

"In validating their decision to allow the madcap right to dominate several news cycles with their attacks on Obama, many reporters and commentators kept repeating that all this was the fault of that single sentence..."

You had just repeated the sentence! Putting quotes around the word *controversial* doesn't separate you from the controversy.

Example is more powerful than precept.

Posted by: BertinDC | September 8, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Talking to kids was ok. But with a almost a million a month loosing their jobs. Jobs should be the first priority...What good is an education without hope of a job with some benefits?

Posted by: billisnice | September 8, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

People haven't been this crazy since the early 50s when commies, sex perverts, flying saucers and a host of other things had many Americans terrified. Then, we had our McCarthy-types and they had some spear carriers in the media. The old, old story. So, will it take five or more years to eliminate this scare?

Posted by: rusty3 | September 8, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

well I must say as an educator (community college instructor person) that President Obama's "pep talk" is most welcome. Our learners need more of this role model. The Global Achievement Gap is well documented by socialist (er, I mean Social) scientists. For instance, see SchoolChange.org, which outlines 7 disciplines/skills and 7 survival skills common to all learners.

These rabid dog "debates" indicate that some folks have not learned why america has fallen behind other socialist nations in education. If public education did not exist today, you have to wonder if it would be given a chance to succeed because it is essentially a socialist enterprise.

Posted by: rmorris391 | September 8, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

archaeomann said:

"I am fascinated by the way Republican apologists for the lunatic fringe of the GOP keep bringing up the congressional hearings in 1991 about Bush's school speech. The democrats ended up with egg on their face because the General Accounting Office concluded that Bush had done nothing wrong, rejecting democrat claims that the speech was a political photo-op funded with tax dollars.
There are some telling differences between the democrats of 1991 and the Republicans today.
1. The democrats protested after the speech, not before.
2. The democrats did not deny Bush's right to express his views in a school speech, but attacked it's funding. Here is what democrat W. Ford said in the committee where the hearings were held: "The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC. As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."

The difference in content and tone says it all. How anyone can compare the right wing hysteria over socialist brainwashing by Obama with the democrats' challenge of the 1991 Bush administration's use of education funds is beyond comprehension.

So once and for all, republicans: get your facts straight. In 1991 the democrats attacked the funding of the speech, not the content, not the venue, not the right of the president to say what he did to schoolchildren."
-----------------


on point 1: who cares if it was before or after, the point is they complained. it is irrelevant

on point 2: this is like saying the the untouchables went after al capone because they were worried about his taxes instead of him being a mafia boss murdering people and leading a vast criminal enterprise

give me a break - nobody gives a hoot about 26k, they were raising it because they were irritated he would use his position of power to talk to kids

this is pure, unmitigated hypocrisy by the dems, plain and simple.

Posted by: Spencer99 | September 8, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

It would have been better if the President had made a simple appeal to parents at a televised kindergarten appearance, something like, "...is your children learning..?", then reading a goat story to the children and finishing by extolling the virtue of a Yale education achieved by bootstrap effort.

Posted by: jamesco | September 8, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The president's political handlers are to blame - not the far right, near right, or even the middle. Did you even read the lesson plans? If so, wouldn't you be suspect of his intent given that lesson plan? If you answer "no" to either, you're not much of a balanced reporter.

Posted by: JoeTH | September 8, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

kaizersozhe wrote: "President Obama invited himself into our children's classrooms and set about lecturing them. Not his place, not his job. Period."

Well its not the job of a lot of people who go to schools to uplift children with their stories, like astronauts or police, or warn children of where they have been, such as former drug dealers. This is not a new idea in our schools. Examples of adults who are now in high positions in society can have very positive effects on students when they hear exactly what parents and teachers are telling them, but typically ignore.

kaizersozhe wrote: "He wants to go to a school that's invited him? Fine and dandy. He wants to make a speech that children can choose to listen to or not? No worries. But to require - not request, but require - anyone to listen to any politician flat out ain't the way we do business in this country. It smacks of indocrination."

I don't think anyone was required. My daughter's school didn't even show it. I heard from people I work with that some kids opted out where it was being shown. I don't know of anywhere where kids were forced to watch. But you keep that paranoia up by believing it.

kaizersozhe wrote: "For that matter, since when is it the President's job to tell our children they should study hard? Leave that to parents and teachers."


kaizersozhe wrote: "The President said he wanted to talk to students about "what's expected of them." They should show up, pay attention, etc., etc. Positive messages, no doubt. But not the President's place to deliver them."

It was for conservatives in 1991 when the president was a republican, or when Reagan talked to kids about the importance of belief in God during his speech to school kids.

kaizersozhe wrote: "The average parent wouldn't be too pleased if their neighbor spent 20 uninvited minutes telling their child how to behave - why should the President be any different?"

If my neighbor had a tough upbringing in a single parent home yet graduated from Harvard and was top in his class? Yea, I might just allow that. It just keeps getting sillier...

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

It should be evident by now, that the Republicans are so desperate in the political arena that they will try every dirty trick in the book to sabotage the President's agenda for our Country. He invited them on a bi-partisan basis to cooperate with him to advance our country and their only response was to turn their back and not offer anything constructive. And I can see why - it would admit that they caused all the problems we now face. And I would urge the President to ignore them from this point on and do what he has promised to do and is doing as he promised. The man have only been in office for approximately since January and doesn't have a magic wand to repair what the Republicans screwed up in 8 years.

Posted by: cqbrodie | September 8, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Dionne. Clear thinking and straight talking.

Posted by: HydeParker | September 8, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The republicans have trotted out the example from the Bush the First presidency. So let's look at a couple differences.

1. Congress challenged Bush AFTER seeing what he had done.

2. Bush was given due process and cleared of any wrong doing; whereas, the right-wingers are standing by their attack, even inventing a "phantom" real speech that Obama edited to suit their paranoid ravings.

3. Bush was heading into a re-election season, a time when a President might be tempted to use the government to promote his own campaign. Therefore a little scrutiny might not be a bad thing.

4. Republicans seem to be arguing that what the Dems did in 1991 was appropriate and they were following that example. Do they really think that?


Posted by: writinron | September 8, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I think we're missing the Republican point here.

What if school children grow up thinking hard work, responsibility, education and diligence are American values? They wouldn't grow up to be Republicans, would they?

Really, hasn't that been the point of all the protests against this speech? Obviously, the Republicans are against these values.

If hard work, responsibility, doing my homework and diligence are liberal values, then I'm glad to be called a liberal.

Posted by: colonelpanic | September 8, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@Dwight Collins -
if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...

@Thozmaniac
My sentiments exactly DwightCollins,
We are LONG overdue.
__________________________

Hey guys. Sounds glorious. But I think someone tried that already, around 150 years ago. It was a pretty nasty business. Watch your rhetoric and be very, very careful what you wish for!

Posted by: commonprose | September 8, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

E.J. you may find this flattering. Apparently, Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers are reading your column and posting comments here. Only they could accuse WaPo of selling out to the GOP.

Posted by: maxtel1910 | September 8, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: Posted by: adrienne_najjar | September 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Yet more proof that liberals are nothing but hateful, intolerant, pathetic excuses for human beings.

Posted by: malclave | September 8, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Excellent article. I do hope we hear from more people, Republican and Democrat leadership, others in the media espicially on the right condemning the treatment they have bombarded the President and American people since President Obama's election.

I find it interesting listening to Republicans/conservatives/right wingers try to justify the treatment they are constantly throwing at President Obama. They did it to Bush we constantly hear, okay and does that make it right? You all sound like a bunch of first graders.

Obviously Bush had some cooperation from Democrats and Americans considering he was able to take our country to war on lies, fear and scare. Bush got a lot of cooperation from Democrats in Congress up until the time people began to realize that he was making some pi$$ poor decisions. And please don't insult people by saying his decisions weren't poor----look at the shape our country is in which happened whether you haters will admit it or not happened on Bush's watch.

Posted by: catmomtx | September 8, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Students, parents and teachers know that the first day of school is special! What a great opportunity for the students at Wakefield High School. The were full of curiosity, excitement and hope. So was I !I believe that the students who had to stay home or go to the library to stay away from our president have learned a lesson from their parents - their first teachers. They will quietly find out about the speech and secretly wish they had seen and heard it. What great letters they may still be able to write and their parents will put them up on the fridge.
Fear is a strong teacher but children are often brave and open to experiences.A tall, dark, handsome man with a funny name who reads and writes books and is a teacher of the constitution won't scare most children and the children can teach their parents! Up with Hope! Go Mr. EJ - our Homeboy!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | September 8, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

For all of those who remind us of how badly the Democrats behaved in the early 1990's when Mr. Bush had done the same thing, I say this. All of you have pointed out how bad and politically ugly this behavior was -- and rightly so. So why not take the high road, accept it for what it is, and steer away from the same ugly behavior? Instead, you not only react and behave just as badly in 2009 but go one step further by sticking your tongue out and trying to rationalize why you are right to do so. Boy, I can hardly wait for 2010 to see what five year olds are up for election. Just what the American people need -- toddlers in gray suits.

Posted by: newporter | September 8, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@Dwight Collins -
if a Republican does it, it's bad and evil...
if a dem does it, it's good and wonderfull...
honestly...
when is the first shot fired...
we are long overdue...

If a Liberul is thinking of doing it, it must be bad and evil before I even see it...
If Sarah Palin does it, well, she's so darn cute and mavericky it must be good and wonderful...
when will the media stop giving birthers and deathers attention...
we are long overdue...

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Just face it, the Far Right are just plain EVIL, and others are just DUMB & IGNORANT! The country will have to put up with these ignorant, hateful, racists, and evil people for a long time.


No matter how you say it, or how many times you say it, "They are EVIL, DUMB, and IGNORANT people, and then they have the audacity to get peeved when the Democrats point out their EVIL and IGNORANT attitudes and mindsets!

Don't blame us you EVIL Right-Wingers for your ignorance.

Try looking in a mirror at your immature EVIL arses.


Posted by: lcarter0311 | September 8, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Great column! The rightwing furor over the President's message to our nation's school children is just the latest round in their increasingly bizarre behavior.

Has our country become so politicized that when our duly elected President - who happens to be a member of the Democratic Party - speaks to our children to urge them to stay in school and work to their fullest potential is now viewed as part of a “socialist” agenda? Despite the fact President Obama said nothing that the first President Bush didn’t say when he addressed our children.

Even if President Obama had expressed a political viewpoint, are those who objected to the President to talking to our children so insecure and uncertain of their views that they didn’t feel competent to discuss them with their children tonight after their children came home from school? How sad that they feel incapable of sitting down with their children and having an intelligent discussion about differing political points of view and instead feel the need to resort to these extreme tactics.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | September 8, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are in such a paranoid stage you can just about expect anything to come out of their mouths. They sense further disaster to their party, you can count on that happening.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | September 8, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

This article gives credence to the saying that liberals don't let facts get in the way of truth. The basis for the eruption of criticism came from the study guide provided to school districts a week ago, which contained a curious instruction to teachers:
“Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President. These would get collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.”

First, there’s a question of incompetence in this study guide. Who produces a study guide for a document or lesson that has yet to be created? Had the White House included the speech with the study guide, a lot of the criticism could have been avoided right from the beginning.

It took SIX DAYS for the White House to produce the speech after releasing the study guide and creating the firestorm of criticism. Help the President do what, exactly? Without the speech, who knew?

That set the stage for the speculation that ran wild, especially regarding how teachers would hold their children accountable for “help[ing] the President.” In the US, students do not help individual politicians, nor do they pledge allegiance to them. Had the study guide suggested ways to help the school, or the community, as Obama’s speech to them did, it would have been completely uncontroversial.
Instead, the White House left the definite impression that they wanted teachers enforcing service to Obama himself, which understandably gave parents the creeps — as it should everyone.
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/08/e-j-dionne-republicans-pounced-without-evidence/

I cannot believe the collective amnesia that you libs have in regards to how Bush was treated during his presidencey. Saying that "reps are mean to Obama" is incredible. Convening a commission to investigate if Bush used funds illegally to promote his speech--guess there wasn't any "hate" involved here--just MALICE.

Posted by: lovemyUSA | September 8, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for saying this. I am enraged by the organized effort to rouse the lunatic rabble with thinly veiled racism, blatantly false and inflammatory rhetoric, and utter disregard for the president's safety, let alone his right and responsibilities to fulfill his duties according to his political views and his conscience. Each time I think the far right can stoop no lower, they outdo themselves. The appalling lack of any conscience on the part of those who manipulate the ignorant deserves scorn and punishment. As a religious person who does not believe in hell, I'm ready to create one for Fox News, Newt Gingrich, Limbaugh, et al. Remember Lee Atwater, apologizing for his political misdeeds as he faced death? I can only say that those who have no conscience are already in hell.

Posted by: sjohnston1 | September 8, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The right didn't attack Obama because he's a democrat. They attacked him because he's black. The birthers are just racist in denial that a black man is President; same for the teabaggers and the rest of the looney right.

Posted by: rodneythecat | September 8, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The "but you started it" juvenile bickerfests continue with scarcely a pause to catch breath.

I read Obama's speech. I found it innocuous and apolitical. I thought it said things that kids needed to hear, and I thought having POTUS say them was a good idea, too. I have not read GHW Bush's speech of 1991(?). I will happily assume that its content was appropriately innocuous and apolitical. Although I more often than not disagreed with his policies, I did not think that Bush 41 (or Bush 43, for that matter) was the devil incarnate. I did not worry that, even though my (then young) daughter would hear words directly from his mouth without me intervening to filter them, he was going to pollute her mind.

I think that persons of either party who get their knickers in a knot when the POTUS of the other party speaks to school children should be sharply and repeated slapped. So it was wrong for certain Dems to freak about Bush 41. And the reaction from the right against Obama has been so, SO far over the top that it simply defies belief.

Here's a suggestion. How about if Pres. Obama and the Republicans' designated leader (do they have one? I wish they did . . .) make a JOINT speech to school children. I bet they'll EASILY agree on what is proper to say to kids. They can take turns delivering lines. They can say things like, "Often we adults have disagreements about how we should run our country. At least in this country we CAN disagree. But every responsible Republican, Democrat, and Independent agrees that you should work hard, stay in school, take responsibility for yourself and not do drugs." Think it'll happen??

I doubt it. We are so insistent that the other guy is a devil that we don't want to be on stage with him, don't want to run the risk that our children will perceive that the other guy is NOT the devil incarnate. We'd rather be right than do right. Sad.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | September 8, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

If you wanted to hear pablum, listen to Obama's speech that he CHANGED because the POTUS knew everybody was listening. Did you noticed the number of I's and Me's. He's really full of himself.

Posted by: ekim53 | September 8, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

PS--I love watching you liberals explode in self-righteous anger. Calling names is ALWAYS a sure sign that you have lost the argument. Calling us "racists" and "ignorant" is the lowest common denominater in your crass remarks--and supports the fact that you really have nothing more to say than the same old thing. We have shown within this thread how the Left went after Bush when he gave a speech, and yet you guys just read right over it. Hmmm, wonder how much Obama's speech cost? Wonder what would haappen if the Rupblicans did to him what was done to Bush? Oh that's right, that's what this post is about...

Posted by: lovemyUSA | September 8, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

jhbriton wrote:

Let me start by saying I am no fan of the President or his policy initiatives.

I do believe he made a good start today towards elevating personal responsibility.

I wish he had carried it to the next level and encouraged the students to EXCEL. In particular, we need more students that succeed at the highest level in Mathematics, Physical Science (Physics, Chemistry), Life Sciences. This is where America gains it competitive edge.

Glad to see the President state that as an individual YOU are responsible for your situation in life.

We need to get Americans back into the "CAN DO" spirit rather than "BLAME SOMEONE ELSE" fatigue that has permeated society.

**********************************
I agree wholeheartedly, however, we need to start educating the parents....in order for students to value education, parents have to value it as well. Our graduation rates are abysmal. It's just another thing that this nation thinks it's tops in, but it's not. Health care and healthy lifestyles are not stressed. I guess it's all too "European".

We value our freedoms, but I guess that includes the right to choose to be unhealthy and ignorant.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | September 8, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Right's attacks are even worse than "about race." This is cynical manipulation of race fear. Those doing the manipulation have broader motives: they want to take back the power they squandered and abused. But there is no question that they're playing heavily on race, appealing to the very worst in us. I say this as a white person who is utterly ashamed that any political leader or commentator would actually try to activate racism in others. It horrifies me.

Posted by: sjohnston1 | September 8, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Today's "Conservatism" is for fools. This episode is disgusting proof of how bad these un-American idiots really are!!

Posted by: aeaustin | September 8, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe that it is a sad state of affairs when the President of the United States is treated like a pedophile; that his speech would somehow be vulgar. Parents complaining that "I don't want my children exposed to this," have failed to define “this,” but it is clear that it is left vague for a reason. These parents do not attempt to pinpoint WHY a speech by the president is “inappropriate,” because there is no logical justification for taking such a stance. The decision to pull their children out of the classroom is based solely on the parents disdain for President Obama, and out of complete disrespect for the highest office one can attain in our nation. It shows a real lack of maturity on the part of the parents, and I can only hope that their children do not carry that quality into adulthood.

Posted by: Marquita29 | September 8, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, E.J., didn't you know that, to the conservatards and Repubtards, it's socialism when Obama says and everything he says is socialism? Surely, you must know now.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | September 8, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The World got to see how US parents don't want their kids to be advised to stay in school. Yes we got to see that even parents are ignorant and racist as they teach their children to disrespect the President of the United States. Even Fox News supports this ignorance. Now when President Bush spoke to Princeton Grads and told them he was high on drugs for his four years but his Daddy paid for his degree. Yes he told the students that if they were rich it didn't matter about grades but if the students parents didn't have money they would have to get good grades to make it in the World. Notice how Daddy Bush graduated from Yale and then paid Yale for a degree for is drug addict/alcoholic son George. Welcome to America where you can buy your way to the White House.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | September 8, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"One other point: Defenders of the right-wing argue that the left said terrible things about George W. Bush. That’s true."

This is the only relevant point in your rant, Dionne. Paybacks a b**ch, isn't it.

Posted by: grohlik | September 8, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the capacity for racist hatred.

You're looking at it from the republicans every day of the week.

Posted by: dutchess2 | September 8, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

EJ, how do you know the speech wasn't changed over the weekend in response to the criticism? You don't.

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus | September 8, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

shipfreakbo214 wrote: "The Republicans are in such a paranoid stage you can just about expect anything to come out of their mouths. They sense further disaster to their party, you can count on that happening."

You mistake delusions and paranoia for what is likely a careful conditioning of the base. Its well known among propagandists that if you say a lie over and over again it will gather some element of truth in the minds of listeners. You then have these lies come out of the mouths of those the base trusts, or even through rumor which those the base trusts will not denounce.

By doing this over and over again the base not only begins to believe the lies but to also fear the truth, to believe those who lie and mistrust those who do not lie. I see all of the continual misinformation and lies coming from all parts of the republican party and their supporters to be nothing short of conditioning of their base in preparation for the 2010 elections.

When the 2010 elections come around the republicans will not need to lie anymore. The mistrust and belief in an evil socialist marxist democratic party that wants to indoctrinate your children, kill your grandma and other vile things will be set in stone for them. All the republican have to do is issue a few key words, ones they have been conditioning their followers to understand, like "evildoers", "socialist" or "save Medicare" and the base will flock to the polls, not out of a belief in what the republican say but out of the fear that is being taught now.

Not surprising that fear is being used by the republicans. Its all they have.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Nothing surprising in the comments by the Post readers. Just make sure your congressional rep hears them. I remember republicans from the days of Dole and the G. H. W. Bush.. individuals with class and dignity. I voted for them. The Limbaugh lot has nothing in common with those individuals.

Posted by: grumpyoldman1 | September 8, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, I don't know you and I've only read your column occasionally in the past as I live outside the D.C. area and normally only check the Post website for Redskins information, of which I'm a loyal fan. However, that said, every time I read your column you sound like an employee of the Democratic National Committee. I thought journalists such as yourself were supposed to report the news (and only the news) from an impartial point of view and let readers decide for themselves? You insult people's intelligence when you write column's such as this. If you would like to work for the DNC, please fill out a job application and I'm sure they'll be glad to accept you and the public won't be subjected to you and your ranting opinions. This isn't journalism, it's cheerleading. On that same note, take your friend Mr. Robinson with you.

Posted by: caleb2 | September 8, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that so many posters here deny that the Democrats reacted just as vociferously to Bush 41's speech to school children in 1991. The comments range from "revisionism" to "lies."

Here is a nice summary of the facts of that event. But don't believe me or this source. You can look it up yourself in the Congressional Record.

Why is it that so many people, you especially E. J. Dionne, have such selective memories when they have to deal with a political reality: what goes around comes around. There was a time, E. J., when I respected and admired your keen political insight, even if I didn't always agree with your conclusions. No more. You have become a liberal shill in the ignorant tradition of Michael Moore, Eugene Robinson, and Keith Obermann. You, sir, are a disgrace to the Jesuit tradition of Georgetown and, to coin a phrase, "The Worst Person In The World!"

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

ekim53 wrote: "If you wanted to hear pablum, listen to Obama's speech that he CHANGED because the POTUS knew everybody was listening. Did you noticed the number of I's and Me's. He's really full of himself."

Yes, he thought speaking to kids in a school with the speech broadcast to all schools and TV and internet sites would not be watched by us parents UNTIL the right wing radicals brought it up to everyone's attention. Thank you for getting everyone to listen so Obama HAD to change his speech so no one would hear him trying to indoctrinate our kids with socialist ideas and love of communism.

You're a REAL American you are. Chalk one up for defending America against that socialist granny killin' president. That was a close one.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

caleb2 actually wrote: "This isn't journalism, it's cheerleading. On that same note, take your friend Mr. Robinson with you."

Uh, both of these guys write COLUMNS and therefore they are not journalists, at least when writing their COLUMNS, they are COLUMNISTS. There is a difference though you probably think Limbaugh is a journalist.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"EJ, how do you know the speech wasn't changed over the weekend in response to the criticism? You don't."

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus

How do you know Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin aren't Iranian, North Korean, and al Quaeda plants, attempting to destroy American democracy from within? You dont.

Posted by: rashomon | September 8, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are so full of it. When the first President Bush gave a speech to students about education in October of 1991, the democrats who controlled congress conducted hearings and an investigation. But today, they're just fine with this self absorbed gas bag O'Bama who thinks most parents need him to speak to their children about working hard and staying in school as if the majority don't. Politicians of all stripes, who can't add and won't even release their own college transcripts..need to stay out of our schools and stop using our children as props.

Posted by: ftbindc | September 8, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "I find it interesting that so many posters here deny that the Democrats reacted just as vociferously to Bush 41's speech to school children in 1991. The comments range from "revisionism" to "lies."
Here is a nice summary of the facts of that event. But don't believe me or this source. You can look it up yourself in the Congressional Record.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html"

Well you must have not read the article because it opints out quite a few differences:
1) Bush's speech was questioned AFTER the speech was made.
2) No one thought Bush was trying to indoctrinate the kids with his radical agenda.
3) The funding of Bush's speech, by the Dept. of Education, was questioned by Congressional democrats, not some unelected TV News personalities and unelected DNC chairman.
4) The Bush speech was given one year before the presidential election which Bush declared his candidacy for. He was an active candidate at the time, unlike Obama who is 3 years away from an election.

The two incidents may appear similar to you, but in reality they are not similar at all. The Bush incident was based on the facts AFTER the speech. The Obama incident was based on lies BEFORE the speech. See the difference?

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

Interesting. Any other mouse turds that you want to pole vault over while your keyboard is warmed up?

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

ftbindc wrote: "Liberals are so full of it. When the first President Bush gave a speech to students about education in October of 1991, the democrats who controlled congress conducted hearings and an investigation. But today, they're just fine with this self absorbed gas bag O'Bama ..."

Funny how the same words keep repeating from these radicals. I guess that means Fox News is over. Time to repeat the message of the day so all will b-e-l-i-e-v-e. Facts no longer matter. Truth is dangerous to the message.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "Fate1, Interesting. Any other mouse turds that you want to pole vault over while your keyboard is warmed up?"

Oh nice debating tactic. I'm so not impressed nor surprised.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

You seem to be the one here who is having problems with the facts. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

Believe me. I have no aspirations of either surprising you or impressing you. That would require a cognizant intellect on your part.

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "Fate1, Believe me. I have no aspirations of either surprising you or impressing you. That would require a cognizant intellect on your part."

Wow, lots of personal attacks but you have not refuted what I wrote. I guess you agree the two incidents are different?

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "You seem to be the one here who is having problems with the facts. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

You mean the facts I pulled from the website you provided?

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

Did it take you that long to Google "cognizant intellect" to figure out that it was a personal attack? You are boring.

Next player, please.

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"One other point: Defenders of the right-wing argue that the left said terrible things about George W. Bush."

As Tom Tommorrow pointed out earlier this week, the difference is that, from the confines of the "Free Speech Zones" the left was complaining about things Bush had already done. The right is protesting what they imagine Obama may or may not do, without regard to accuracy, facts, or any basis in reality.

First we had the Teabaggers, determined to tell us that 80% of us were in the top 1 percent whose taxes were going to go up.

Then the Health Care Deniers, who haven't figured out that the Social Security and Medicare they're so worried about is exactly the sort of government-run "socialist" health care that they're claiming they don't want.

Now this. The superintendent of Prescott, Arizona's schools did not allow the President's speech. Apparently, "work hard and stay in school" has somehow developed a negative connotation. I've never heard of such a thing before.

Those schools can no longer be trusted. If they'll censor the President of the United States, so censoring or the manipulation of science, history and literature is obviously on the table.

Posted by: wizard2 | September 8, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, stay in school kids or you might end up a raving right wing nutter like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, both dropouts.

Posted by: FellowTraveler | September 8, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

wizard2,

You are wise beyond your years. I trust that you would support abolishing public education in exchange for a school voucher system? Such a system would allow parents to send their children to religious schools at taxpayer expense to only learn the "right" values.

Or, rather than relying on democratically elected local school boards, we should centralize all public education under a "public schools czar" in Washington who serves without being either elected or confirmed by the Senate?

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "Did it take you that long to Google "cognizant intellect" to figure out that it was a personal attack? You are boring. Next player, please."

Ah so you are a conservative since you give up the argument yet claim victory. Well, don't worry, those of us who are cognizant understand where you base your reality. Enjoy it there, its a scary place from the way I've heard it described.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Truthfully, I'm not surprised at the level of vitriolic comments from the GOPers. The right wingers are so pissed off at the left for our disdain of former President Bush, our criticizing a sitting President during time of war, our refusal to do whatever is necessary to "win" (whatever that means in this kind of war) - including circumventing the Constitution with regards to American citizens, etc., etc., that they would rather slit their own throats than acknowledge anything good from President Obama.

Posted by: SeaTigr | September 8, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote with little thought: "wizard2, You are wise beyond your years. I trust that you would support abolishing public education in exchange for a school voucher system? Such a system would allow parents to send their children to religious schools at taxpayer expense to only learn the "right" values."

Oh that sounds good! Then muslims could send their kids to that Islamic school in VA at taxpayer expense. You know the one conservatives say is a terrorist training school? Nice idea but I don't know ...

hisroc wrote: "Or, rather than relying on democratically elected local school boards, we should centralize all public education under a "public schools czar" in Washington who serves without being either elected or confirmed by the Senate?

A Czar! Oh my that sounds really important and powerful. Like the Czar of Russia. Probably a communist too. Does this Czar have his own budget? Has he been allocated money from Congress, you know, like those who ARE confirmed by the Senate like the head of the Dept. of Ed, or does that person just do what the Czar says?

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Caleb2 wrote:
I thought journalists ... were supposed to report the news (and only the news) from an impartial point of view and let readers decide for themselves? You insult people's intelligence when you write column's such as this.

Response:
This poster might have benefited from a stay in school and get educated speech. Newspaper “opinions” columns are for, what else, opinions -- Doh!

Posted by: FellowTraveler | September 8, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

Shhhh... I'm waiting for wizard2 to come back. He might actually be capable of logical thought.

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I keep seeing over and over the following sentiment: "Dems investigated Bush in 91 for giving an education speech, so Obama is fair game!"

Really people??? Isn't it possible to view the current situation like an adult and conclude that the Dems overreacted in 1991 and taking the same obstructionist stance two decades later towards the President's speech on personal responsibility and working hard in school is just silly?

Not to mention that while back in 1991 there was a wasteful bureaucratic hearing on the matter of the speech well after the fact, there was no preventative media-wide, contrived controversy over the speech in advance that actually led to some parents keeping their kids out of school.

Once again, the capacity for critical thinking is sorely lacking from the latest round of anti-Obama hysteria.

Posted by: Shadow9 | September 8, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I wish we had been so lucky to have Presidents like Obama in the past, who could speak so eloquently while encouraging our children to do well in school. Shame on the nay-sayers!!!

Posted by: elizabeth6 | September 8, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

hisroc wrote: "Shhhh... I'm waiting for wizard2 to come back. He might actually be capable of logical thought."

Logical thought? Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...
Oh my, sorry, but that was a good one. Logical thought ... like the logic of how a speech that is questioned AFTER it is given is just like a speech that is questioned BEFORE it is given or even released. Yea, nice. Logic. You guys just crack me up every time you say anything.

If you're ready to debate my points, which I got from your website but so far you have ignored, please feel free, but do it soon, its getting late and Obama might be trying to break into my house to indoctrinate my children.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 8, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Encouraging education and higher learning would be the death knell for the Right wing. They depend on the tin horn sheriffs such as rush etc.for their teaching without facts or reality as a base requirement. Common sense and basic humanity need not apply.

Posted by: Oilcan4148 | September 8, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The text of the leaked original was "Brang me dat Tabasco sauce, I wants to eat me some schoolchil'."

Luckily, Obama recognized Limbaugh's little practical joke and wrote his own speech instead.

Posted by: carlaclaws | September 8, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Shadow9,

You are someone I think I can have a conversation with. You nailed it.

The problem here is that those of us in the middle who are sick and tired of the hypocrisy of both political parties are astonished by the the idiocy of this event.

On the right, they managed to raise the awareness level of this speech to that of the State of the Union while trying to discourage parents from letting their children watch it. What is the best way to get teenagers to do something? Tell them not to do it.

On the left, they self-righteously bleated about how badly the POTUS was being treated and how they would NEVER do the same thing to a Republican president.

It is sickening on both counts.

Posted by: hisroc | September 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

The lesson plans accompanying the speech were done by the "teaching ambassador fellows" at the department of education (a bush administration program). These fellows are teachers who come to Washington to learn about educational policy. Unfortunately, these educators were not politically savvy and clearly didn't understand how the vague phrasing they used could be completely misunderstood without context. Bottom line, these were neither bureaucrats nor politicians who wrote the lesson plans, but brand new education fellows who perhaps needed better mentoring during the process.

Posted by: levarfan | September 8, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I notice that this guy Jones had to resign for supporting 9-11 conspiracy theories, but it is perfectly legitimate for the reich wingers to question Obama's citizenship, get all paranoid about his speech to the schools, accuse him of wanting to institute "death panels," and the media don't jump all over them.

Posted by: scientist1 | September 9, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

elizabeth6 wrote:
I wish we had been so lucky to have Presidents like Obama in the past, who could speak so eloquently while encouraging our children to do well in school.

Response:
Suggest reading President LBJ’s “The American Promise” speech from 1965 in which he mentions his experience as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas. It’s certainly one of the most eloquent and encouraging speeches ever written.

Link:
http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/650315.asp

Posted by: FellowTraveler | September 9, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for another heroic effort to inject reason into an environment where it is increasingly scarce. To the name William Buckley, I would also add Robert Novak, who I often disagreed with, but usually found to be civil, soft spoken, and much more inclined to engage in serious analysis than partisan rhetoric. Novak certainly could not be considered a blind promoter of whatever happened to be the current official Republican talking points. Fortunately, we still have people like George Will to promote reason and careful analysis on the right. But a thoughtful conservative should be seriously worried that people like those on the Fox News evening line-up seem to have taken over as the main voices of conservatism.

Posted by: twm1 | September 9, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I could not agree more with E.J. Dionne. He is right on the money. As is the perceptive comment from one writer, "It's about race, it's about race, it's about race, . . . "

What are we going to do with a media which does not do its proper job? A media which is desperately seeking controversy and sensationalism to play up?

What are we going to do with citizens who 1) spout the ridiculous comments they've been spewing about the president and 2) believe what the first are saying?

We better think quickly because both are endangering our democracy. All I can say is that we should stand up wherever and whenever we hear such tripe and denounce it. We have to go toe to toe with these crazy folks -- our country depends on it.

Posted by: libby59 | September 9, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

The lesson plan said for students to write letters to THEMSELVES! Then the teacher would collect and at a later time redistribute to said student for evaluation of their progress. Notice how President Obama and his so called agenda is not involved in this process? It is a closed loop between the student and teacher not a nefarious plot. Can the rightwingers be any more stupid? Rhetorical question...I know, I know!

Posted by: Ronald.Turner@edwards.af.mil | September 9, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

George H.W. BUSH, speaking to High School students in 2001: And by the year 2000, at least 9 in every 10 students should graduate from high school. We should be first in the world in math and science. We need to regularly test students' abilities. Every American child should start school ready to learn. Every American adult should be literate. And every American school should be safe and drug-free.

The day after Bush spoke, The Washington Post published a front page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. The White House turned a northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props.

House Democrats actually started an investigation by the General Accounting Office, and they held hearings on it because it cost about $26,000 to stage the whole Bush speech.

How much did the 0bama speech cost?

When should the GAO begin the new investigation?

Leftists can now enjoy a healthy taste of their own medicine.

Posted by: NeverLeft | September 9, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, E.J.!! I've been thinking this for weeks now, and finally, someone in the media takes to task the media for being whipped around by the silliest, goofiest, most absurd "controversies" that the most ardent satirist could have dreamed up.

When I was a school child, being raised by staunch Republican parents, we were encouraged to expose ourselves to all points of view and to discuss them around the dinner table. I remember debates about health care reform back then! I remember debates about civil rights (which my Republican parents favored, by the way, because back then, there were actually moderate, centrist Republicans -- hard to believe.)

I graduated high in my class and went to college prepared to think for myself, defend my ideas, reason, and -- also, by the way, exposed to international issues by having had foreign exchange students live in my home, thanks to my parents.

Now it seems that honest reporting and a paranoid media think that they must give vent to every crazy, crazy "controversy" or conflict that gets sent up by the far right destruction machine.

There are no moderate Republicans objecting to this, either!

We live in an absurd world, and I fear for our democracy.

The media is supposed to keep everyone honest, and instead, they've become the professional wrestling promoters. It's all artificial and for profit!

Thank you, E.J.!!!

Posted by: cturtle1 | September 9, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see a member of the main stream media criticize the mainstream media. In the name of objectivity it is willing to look at both sides of every charge no matter how outrageous and ridiculous. Discussing whether or not Obama is or is not like Hitler, is the same as discussing whether or not the moon is or is not made of green cheese. By giving serious attention such charges, the main stream media gives them a respectability that they don't deserve.

Posted by: sjpatejak | September 9, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Have to say I'm impressed by some of the most awesomely nihilistic posts I've ever seen here on this comment board. Way to go folks, keep it up. Let's all just %$#@ing eat each other alive.

Posted by: crblaisd | September 9, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Job Approval ratings mean everything to this young President. This speech was about approval ratings. The school speech, as delivered, was a great speech. The democrats should call for congressional hearings, though, due to the fact that when Bush 41 gave a similar speech in 1991 and asked kids to write to him with solutions, the Democrats called for hearings. So to prove there is no hypocrisy, they should call for hearings on Obama's speech as well.

I wonder if the speech is the same speech that would have been given, if no controversy erupted. We will never know until a greasy little weasel becomes disillusioned and leaks it to us.

Posted by: thelaw1 | September 9, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

[[One other point: Defenders of the right-wing argue that the left said terrible things about George W. Bush. That’s true. What the apologists miss is that the deep anger at Bush did not set in until he had been president for several years]]
*********
E x a c t l y. The attacks on the Obama presidency started approxiamately 30 seconds after the swearing in. I realize Bush got his lion's share of criticism and it became constant at the end but it didn't start immediately. The non-stop fire Obama is under from the far right fringe for everyting he says or does is disurbing and at times borders on scary (guns outside presidential town halls is an example). Birthers, deathers, concentration campers, et;al are not being discouraged a bit by most Republican pols whose only interst, only agenda, is gaining seats in 2010 mid-terms. The country cul go to hell in a hand basket and if there was any way to hang the whole thing on Barack Obama and make it stick, well that would be a victory. Winning at any expense and Americans be damned.

Posted by: creatia52 | September 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding piece Dionne and kudos to maddymappo,

If the press were truly fair and balanced, in order to provide balance to the caccopany that has become mainstream from the right, we would be getting the contrary view from the leader of the communist party, on our political talk programs. As a result of a 30yr. right wing propaganda effort our two parties have been driven into far right and conservative light.
Republican think tanks are slick in the way they prey upon the emotions of the ignorant, control freaks and the self serving. People are hardly aware of it but the campaign finance case now before the supreme court is the most significant judicial review since civil rights. Republicans would love to see campaign finance laws found unconstitutional, it would finally give them a route to their ultimate dream of one party rule and, in effect, overthrow the US government and the Constitution.For our complacency and self-servitude we and our progeny (US Citizens) shall reap the whirlwind of our own making!
Every time President Obama tries to get the country to pull together, the right screams 'socialism'. (The right needs to look closely at the Sermon on the Mount and Christ's admonishment of the temple Money Chngers. Christ was the ultimate socialist!) Many on the right think that the country's intellectual and moral decay results from 'liberalism', in fact it is a result of runaway materialism without limit, endlessly promoted by corporate America and the pro-business right. The talking heads, Swift Boat add types and the far right have done irreparable damage to our democracy for profit. Contrary to the 'great communicator's' belief, there is a very very dark side to greed.
The only remedy with a slim chance of saving our democracy is public financing of elections.
For those on the right contemplating violence to further their views and need for control, please, seek medical attention.

Posted by: Votesmart | September 9, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Dionne! Fabulous. The MSM has no clothes -- thank you for saying it out loud.

You have more courage than any other reporter at the Post.

Posted by: drindl | September 9, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

DwightCollins and Thomaniac.......sound like they need to be questioned by the secret service. What is this shot of which you speak? A shot of beer? A shot of whiskey? OR, are you oh so (not) cleverly making a threat to shoot someone? Our President, maybe? This is the craziness and nihilistic nonsense that describes the so-called right. thomaniac, is that your moniker because you were just released from the nut house? Please, either one of you, explain further.

Posted by: sallie19150 | September 9, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

i din't read the story, bit i aint gotta. no time for that crap. i got fore kids to feed. and too of there daddies been put in jail by those godamm crackers. we all no there agains honest black folks, want us to be there slaves, but is afrais to use the word. no better than dawgs they treet us. and the "consurvativs" wanna take my check away. like i got time to work 30 hours a weak. try that with fore kids. ive had it up to my godamm neck with whities bull. but barak gonan show you, youll see. its are turn now!

Posted by: iwontsitatthebackofthedambus | September 10, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that the repubs are not going to help turn the country around back to good standings for all the people. No matter what the black president says, they are going to go the opposit just to kill the good efforts. How can speaking to their children about doing their best be a problem? They will lie about anything to aid thier evil cause. Wilson and his kind would see US burn before they follow the lead of a black president.

Posted by: Vonnie932 | September 10, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

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