This is my final post about "The Speech"

8 Sep

Okay, so the speech is over. And last night we admitted that it wasn’t such a bad speech.

But for all the battalions of snarkoleptics out there, let’s be clear. It didn’t start out that way.

What came out of the Department of Education betrayed the real agenda behind this speech. And the fact is that the White House had to back track and repeal, as it were, the lesson plans (which may indeed have been illegal to begin with).

PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL MANDATES, DIRECTION, OR CONTROL:

Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic achievement standards and assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction.

Barack Obama had a horrible August with his poll numbers plunging to the depths and with Town Halls across America showing that this country does not want his version of “Health” Care.

The speech was intended to rescue his image.

But let’s be clear. Yes Reagan did something similar as did George H.W. Bush (That’s not “Dubya” for those of you who still watch network news). But neither, to my knowledge issued a lesson plan or called for children to write letters saying how they intended to “help the President.”

So even if I believed, as I do not, that this was all intended to be a nice feel good civics/citizenship lesson the PR aspect was badly mishandled.

Granted, there are those on the right who are suspect of anything that comes out of the Obama White House. If you read this blog on a regular basis, as you should but are not required to do, you would know I’m not one of those people.

But this speech set off all kinds of alarms and whistles. And, judging from the reaction of the White House, we were right.

And if you think all this was ever meant to be was a pep talk to America’s children encouraging them to do better, then you’re incredibly naive.

Bozell: ‘Here We Go Again’ As Lib Media Assail Protesters of Obama’s ‘Lesson Plan’
NewsBusters

Parents are placing themselves between their children and a chilling Obama Administration ‘lesson plan,’ and the media respond by calling them racists and insane psychopaths. The liberal media are more interested in assailing parents and continuing to cultivate Obama’s cult of personality than they are in reporting the truth.

Mr. President Goes Back to School: A Controversial Issue?
Adam Baldwin, Big Hollywood

That the ED and its recipient, undoubting education professionals do not seem to appreciate this distinction (and parents’ natural concerns) perhaps illustrates how the quest for intellectual conformity in public education–not to mention this particular predetermination to accept a federal government lesson plan–exemplifies a pervasive and discriminatory injustice that runs contrary to all pretense to freedom of conscience, speech and thought in modern academia.

And, by the way, let’s take a little trip back in the wayback machine:

“The president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.’”
Dick Gephardt, spearheading the Democrat congressional investigation of Bush 41’s education speech in 1991.

H/T Michelle Malkin

When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings
Byron York, The Washington Examiner

Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. “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,” Ford began. “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.”

See also:

Deconstructing the Speech
Kurt Schlichter, Big Hollywood
So, in short, the message, beyond how interesting his own experiences were, is somewhat innocuous – work hard and do well in school. The sub-text, though, is a bit different. The President has no real business making this speech and injecting himself into my kids’ lives. If he’s going to talk about educational responsibilities, he might at least mention the teachers unions that have done so much to stifle reform and protect the incompetent (Yeah, I know the K-5 kids won’t get it but the high school kids know the score). The part about “critical thinking” is just nonsense – the last thing the educrats want is thinking, much less thinking that critically assesses their weary leftist dogma.

Finally, Brian Kirwin at Bearing Drift had a suggstion about what the President should say.

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