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September 08, 2009

When Bush Sr. Spoke to Students, Democrats Launched Investigations and Held Hearings

A correction while I'm here: I have referred to Obama's speech as "unprecedented," because I thought, without enough research to make that claim, that it was so. I disputed DrewM. in his post on Reagan's speech, because I thought, again, that this was a first.

Well, it's not a first. Bush Senior seems to have done something similar, so I was wrong, and I'm sorry for being wrong. (Though I still think neither Reagan nor Bush got the near 100% clearance that Obama will -- a difference of degree and not kind, perhaps, but still a big difference.)

Correction done, I can now point out that while the speech is not unprecedented as I wrongly thought, something else isn't unprecedented, either: the strenuous partisan objections from the opposition party.

Odd how Republican parents who simply want to opt-out of the speech are either "stupid" (according to MSNBC) or crazy-paranoid (according to Charles Johnson), but when Democratic elected officials launch investigations and hearings into Bush the Elder's speech, why, that's just good government.

Incidentally, in the nation's fifth largest school district, the superintendent is taking a particularly hard line: Yes, this is completely mandatory, with no right of opt-out.

"You're there and you're silent."

Broward Schools Superintendent James Notter wrote in a memo to principals Thursday that students will not be allowed to opt out of viewing Obama’s address. The district has encouraged civics education through programs such as Kids Voting Broward and by watching presidential inaugural addresses, Notter wrote, so letting students skip Obama’s speech “does not align with our practices and responsibility to provide a well-rounded, quality education for all students.”

...

“You don’t get to go out into the hall,” Notter said. “You’re there and you’re silent.”

I kinda doubt that Bush's or Reagan's speech were mandatory listening. In fact, I sorta doubt either speech was broadcast to anything more than a small percentage of students -- may be 10% or thereabouts. Most teachers wouldn't even bother.

In Obama's case, of course, it not only has nearly 100% clearance, it's got the coercive power of the superintendents of schools behind it. At least in Broward County, but I imagine in many other places too.

A very big part of the resistance to this speech is the double standard. And this is important, and not mere grousing. All conservatives know that there would not only be an opt-out if, say, President Bush the Younger had given this speech, but that it would barley have been shown at all in the first place.

The sensitivities of liberal parents would have been respected. Not just respected -- those sensitivities would have been dominant, blocking out coverage except for in a small fraction of schools.

On the other hand -- Obama.

Now, what the liberal/governmental establishment wants to tell us here is that we are second class citizens. We have some political rights, but not nearly the full panoply of rights enjoyed by liberals.

And we reject that.

We. Reject. That.

And we're not "crazy" or "stupid" to do so. We are simply tired of the liberal/bureaucratic establishment treating us like second-class citizens of no importance and no account, and of arrogantly treating us as children in constant need of their sage wisdom, lecturing, and hectoring.

Not having it.

We can't stop the liberal/bureaucratic establishment from attempting to treat us like sub-citizens. But we sure the hell can refuse to endorse that attempted classification by acquiescing to it.

Compare... Universities receiving federal funds forbidding military recruiters on campus, in direct violation of (IIRC) the Solomon Amendment.

Oh, that's different. Liberal sensibilities are offended here, so they're allowed to break the law and continue receiving their federal dollars.

But if the DoE spreads "preparatory materials" which include the suggestion that students write letters to themselves as to how they can "help the President" (not help America; not help themselves or their families; help the president, this president), that's fine and dandy.

This president created a cult of personality which infected a substantial number of adults as it is. And conservatives are bit reluctant to see that cult of personality imposed on impressionable children? Their own children?

Stupid? Crazy?

How about we, like liberals, jealously guard our rights and wish to be free from the coercive power of the state?

Oh, right -- dissent is only patriotic when liberals are dissenting.


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posted by Ace at 02:57 PM

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