Log in

No account? Create an account
08 September 2009 @ 11:57 am
Hear, Hear  
Text of Obama's Schoolroom Talk

Laura Bush praises Obama, bemoans excessive partisanship (CNN)

There are kindergartners squirming in their seats behaving better than some of the so-called "adults" in this thing - that includes both "conservatives" who are afraid that vocal contact with Obama will spread some sort of "Socialist Flu" as well as "liberals" who forget they had exactly the same rhetoric when George HW Bush set up his speech in 1991 ("The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said Rep. Richard Gephardt, then the Democratic majority leader in the House of Representatives."And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'")

"Respect the President" doesn't mean "Respect the President if he agrees with me, screw him otherwise".

Now settle down, both of you, or I'm turning this car around and going straight home.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
madfilkentist: votemadfilkentist on September 8th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
The American tradition is one of healthy disrespect for politicians, and I'm not unhappy to see complaints about either one of these two.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on September 8th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
But disrespect for the office essentially teaches our children that the system itself is worthless, leaving the selection of our leaders to the people with enough power and vested interest to actually care.

You may argue that this has, in fact, already happened. However, sticking to Churchill's observation that Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, I'd prefer a generation that realized the office outlasts the politician and that respect for the opposing opinion (hopefully) garners respect for your opinion by your opponents. The only alternative to that is complete failure of civil discourse.
madfilkentist: CarlWindowmadfilkentist on September 8th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
It should teach not that the system is worthless, but that it is very dangerous, and those who hold power are prone to misuse it, whatever intentions they may have started with.

Realizing that the office outlasts the politician is very important, and is one of the major reasons why people should be very wary of how much power is given to the current holder of the office.
Elizabeth McCoy: Vor - After 5-space math motherhood hardarchangelbeth on September 8th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
As the mom of a bright kid, who tends to go for the "OH I CAN'T DO IT" easy give-up when she hits something that takes work... I'm going to just be happy that someone's saying "hard work" instead of "be smart."

*reads more*

That man can speechify. I hope my kid's school is going to show that today.
Bill Roperbillroper on September 8th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I think that there wouldn't have been nearly as much chatter about this had the text been released in tandem with the suggested lesson plan. Since the original plan contained a suggestion to have students write letters outlining "What can I do to help the President?" without specifying what they were supposed to help the President with, people were suspicious.

You can argue, of course, that it was silly to be suspicious, but I'm sure that -- well, like you said, reverse the parties and the cast of aggrieved characters gets exactly reversed as well.

Edited at 2009-09-08 07:05 pm (UTC)
Mikehickbear on September 8th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
reverse the parties and the cast of aggrieved characters gets exactly reversed as well.

Yes, and no. A lot - A. Lot. - of the kneejerk opposition to Obama is, quite plainly and simply, sheer racism.

After we left Atlanta in 2006, my hubby and I lived in the capital cities of two of the reddest red states - Columbia, SC, and Nashville, TN - until we moved to the Toronto area in mid-2008. My roots in the deepest back-hollers of the Appalachian Mountains go back quite literally to the first Europeans to settle the Shenandoah Valley and points west in the 1700's.

From former-friends-now-barely-acquaintances in both SC and TN liberally using the N-word, to many of my relatives insisting that they would and will never recognize one of Those People as President of the United States, I've been gobsmacked. Attitudes that had previously been under-the-surface are now proclaimed proudly, with what's not directed towards Obama instead thrown in the direction of non-native speakers of English, usually of Hispanic or Latino background, almost always with brown rather than "white" skin.
Cat Sitting Stillcatsittingstill on September 9th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
I am about as liberal as they come, and I don't recall any of my friends or acquaintances threatening to keep their kids out of school so they wouldn't have to hear Bush's speech. I suppose it's possible I wasn't paying proper attention.
Bill Roperbillroper on September 9th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Bush's speech back in 1991 may not have gotten a lot of attention before it was given. It did get a lot of attention after it was given, including a Congressional hearing and condemnation by the National Education Association.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on September 9th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
In 1991 media in the classrooms was by no stretch of the budget as ubiquitous as it is today. That part of the fuss is new by circumstance, I think.
אליזהkestrels_nest on September 8th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
I just found out my son's school - which I generally like - did not show the President's address. Sigh. I'll be finding a video online and showing it to him; he needs to hear it.

But having read the text, I find myself wondering what in Hades they're interpreting as "partisan".

As to the ranters - on both sides - I really wish I could just consign them to a sack and see who comes out, like the Kilkenny Cats.
Amanda Snyderpafuts on September 9th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
Was that today? Shit. Zoe didn't go to school today. Damn it, I was actually looking forward to talking to her about it.
eblonk on September 14th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
A phase to go through
It is a phase we need to go through. While many a country with supposed backward attitudes towards women and minorities already had female heads of states, the US is now at that point.
The difference between opposition to Bush and Obama that caught my eye were people opposing openly wearing guns whle attending his speeches. If his supporters were so inclined as well, we might have had the first shootout already (this is also a thinly veiled argument against gun laws as they stand now).
Still, I will not hold these lunatics, or, for that matter Bush, against all conservatives. That would be like blaming a whole nation, continent, religion or ideology responsible for, say, a bunch of terrorists in their midst.
Even if Obama would not get his second term, him being elected itself was a fundamental change. Even the nasty side effects forced things to the surface, like peoples attitudes that otherwise would still remainded half-hidden.