Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Florida GOP Gets A Dunce Cap

President Obama will address the nation’s school children next week.

The Department of Education’s press release says about the address: “The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.”

That sounds pretty much like the boilerplate rah-rah hit-the-books and achieve educational blather that students have been hearing from presidents and state leaders for time out of mind. But the Florida GOP chairman, Jim Greer, sees it as the biggest threat to children since cooties.

As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.

[…]

While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, 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.

Hoo boy. And Mr. Greer is considered to be a “moderate” Republican — of course, nowadays that means he only takes a BB-gun to a town hall meeting.

Eric Kleefeld of TPM followed up this press release with a chat with Katie Gordon, the party’s press secretary, who affirmed Mr. Greer’s lunacy:

Well, I know that a lot of the President’s ideas don’t reflect my values and don’t reflect the values that I would be teaching my children. And to be quite honest, there are a lot of the President’s ideas that I wouldn’t want my children discussing in a public school. It’s not appropriate, the place for that is in the home.

[…]

This is an abuse of power and an attempt by the Obama Administration to indoctrinate young Americans into supporting his socialist agenda. Parents should be extremely concerned.

If Ms. Gordon is teaching her children that what the president’s agenda is is “socialism,” she has a hell of a lot to learn about political and economic theory; apparently anything short of “I got mine, screw you,” or beyond the scope of My Pet Goat is socialism.