Tuesday, September 08, 2009

That was then, this is now

Then: When George H. W. Bush gave his speech to school children, then House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt said, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students. And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action."

And Democrats in Congress called for special hearings.

Now: According to John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times if you oppose Obama's speech to school children, you're dangerous and just not smart enough to raise your children effectively (and maybe even subtly racist). Here's the exact text (video here).
JOHN HARWOOD: In this case you've got a lot of people who are truly agitated about [the president's school speech] and I think partly that's the polarization continuing over time. And partly it's simply because Barack Obama is a different kind of president: first African-American, international elements of his background. But
I gotta tell you, Amy [Robach], as somebody who's covered Washington for a long time, this is one of the most ridiculous controversies I've ever seen. So far as I can tell, the biggest danger to kids in this whole thing is that a lot of the parents complaining aren't smart enough to raise them very effectively. Because if you think that a president coming into your school, kids school, and saying work hard and stay in school is a danger to kids, you've got some problems.
If this is what passes for news analysis, is it any wonder why people are tuning out the mainstream media? Viva the blogosphere which is now doing their job more effectively and without all the make up. Lights, computers, action!
SPUNKY: I gotta tell you, as someone who's raised six children, John Harwood's statement is one of the most ridiculous I've ever heard. So far as I can tell, the biggest danger to our country are elitists snobs who think they know better than we do what's best for us or our children. Because if you think that questioning the actions of our president is a dangerous to kids, you've got some problems.
Update: You can watch the President's speech here. Via Twitter: Mark Knoller of CBS News wonders if the question about universal health care by a ninth grader was a plant.

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