I’ve been a little bit out of loop on n…

I’ve been a little bit out of loop on news recently, so the first I heard of this was in Technology in History this morning:

Educators across America found themselves at the center of a political storm this week as conservatives exploded in anger over President Obama’s plans to give a speech to the country’s schoolchildren.

A stunned White House insisted the address, planned for Tuesday, and accompanying suggested lesson plans are meant simply to encourage students to study hard and stay in school.

But some parents said they aren’t buying it. They said they’re convinced the president is going to use the opportunity to press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds.

From the very first I heard about this and the knee-jerk reaction, I’ve been shaking my head and thinking, “Really?” I mean, people are seriously flipping a wig about this:

As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology … I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President’s agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President’s initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates…Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves.”

Decide for themselves? About what? Whether or not to vote to re-elect him?

As for the President being able to indoctrinate people via television with a 15 to 20 minute address: when did we elect Hypnotoad to high office?

So anyway, I finally came to a Reason piece on the address that nailed it:

My initial reaction to the news, naturally, was to visualize the violent Java-induced (organic and fair-trade only!) pitchforked insurrection that would have exploded in my well-heeled, crunchy, peace-loving neighborhood had George W. Bush lectured local kids on anything. And predictably, Obama’s speech has generated a similar reaction from some demonstrably unpatriotic parents across the country—and it seems gratuitous.

Yeah, he’s actually got a good point. That’s what this whole “backlash” reeks of: gratuitous grandstanding. These GOP blowhards have taken what we’re told will be a relatively non-political speech (probably more in this vein) and accused him of grandstanding and over-politicizing by… grandstanding and over politicizing.