Rethuglican School Daze

From the Atlantic:

What began as idle musing by Michelle Malkin and a few other conservative bloggers has since hit Politico, the Associated Press, and the New York Times. Obama’s Sept. 8 speech to public school children, which will be broadcast online and on C-SPAN so classrooms can tune in, started out as about “the need to work hard and stay in school,” reported the AP. But now? Turns out that it’s a secret White House plot to “indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas,” as the Times described the fears of Obama’s critics. As several school districts vow to avoid the speech, a few questions. How did this happen?

Original DVD cover

* Malkin’s Kick-Off Malkin got the ball rolling on Wednesday by accusing Obama of “using students as junior lobbyists” and “disgraceful abuses of power.” How? “Zealous teacher’s unions have enlisted captive schoolchildren as letter-writers in their campaigns for higher education spending,” she said. “Out-of-control activists have enlisted their secondary-school charges inpro-illegal immigration protests, gay marriage ceremonies, environmental propaganda stunts, and anti-war events.” She pushed for parents to get involved, writing, “Parents have every right to worry about their children being used as Political Guinea Pigs for Change.” And, boy, did they ever.

* Conservatives Chorus Builds David Boaz wrote on Cato’s blog, “The Obama administration is trying to push its president-worship onto 50 million captive schoolchildren.” Christian conservative leader Gary Bauer released a statement declaring, “The Obama Administration is using its power in unprecedented ways, this time injecting itself into the nation’s classrooms. Tuesday may be a good day to sit in on your child’s classes.” Prominent Florida Republican Jim Greer accused Obama of “using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda.” RedState was all over it as well.

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) ―President Barack Obama is set to address students across the nation on September 8 with a message about staying in school, working hard, and achieving educational goals. But according to a press release from the Republican Party of Florida, it’s actually a plot to indoctrinate students to his socialist agenda.

The rhetoric was similar to that used by Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann who has said Americorps were actually re-education camps.

While the “socialist agenda,” is a laughable idea to most citizens, it has taken hold in some extreme elements of the Republican Party.

“I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer said. “I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda.”

Greer also said in his statement that Obama’s intent in speaking to the children was to justify his plans for “government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs.”

From Scott Maxwell at the Orlando Sentinel:

There once was a political operative who loved to tell crowds he had a simple way of explaining to children the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

“Republicans get up and go to work,” he would tell his son. “Democrats get up and go down to the mailbox to get their checks.”

This man not only talked to his son about Republican values, he went into public-school classrooms and talked about them as well.

That man is Jim Greer — the same Jim Greer who, as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, just threw a nationwide hissy fit, claiming that the classroom is no place for politics and Barack Obama’s “indoctrination.”

One Seminole County mother, Barbara Wells, remembers the day Greer spoke to her son’s sixth-grade class. “My son said he made some sort of Hillary Clinton joke,” she recalled.


There’s no longer any question: Greer is a hypocrite.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether mainstream Republicans in Florida will allow him to drag them deeper into the divisive and irrational fringes of their party.


Presidents have been talking to schoolchildren ever since we’ve had schools.

And not just presidents. Politicians of all stripes — from Govs. Jeb Bush and Lawton Chiles to Mayors Buddy Dyer and Rich Crotty.


One of the last times Obama spoke to schoolchildren, he said the following: “No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands. You cannot forget that.”

Heavens to Betsy! The indoctrinator in chief must be stopped!

Late Friday, I caught up with Greer, who said he has no regrets about accusing the president of spreading “liberal lies” before Greer even knew what Obama was going to say.

In fact, Greer actually believes that, had he not called Obama out, the indoctrination would have taken place.

And he didn’t see any fair comparison between his own school visits and the president’s. The main difference, Greer said, is that he didn’t have the Department of Education organizing lesson plans meant to idolize him the way he’s convinced they would have for Obama, had Greer not stopped him.

But Jim, Thursday night on Hardball you said: “Before anybody talks to my children from a political perspective, I want to know what they have to say.” And yet you didn’t run your opinions by any of the parents before you started molding young minds, did you?

“That was different,” he said. “I wasn’t using lesson plans.”

I’m honestly not sure whether Greer really believes what he’s shoveling. But I know I’m not alone in thinking his divisive rhetoric is beyond the pale. Conservative talk-show host Joe Scarborough labeled Greer’s comments “insane talk.”

But Scarborough didn’t stop there. He wondered why Florida’s leading Republicans weren’t taking on Greer, “standing up and saying: ‘Guys, calm down. This is no way to conduct a debate.'”


So I ran Greer’s extremist statement by four high-profile Republicans: Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Rep. John Mica, State House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon and Orange County GOP leader Lew Oliver.


I just wanted to see whether a single one had the guts to call Greer out and take a stand for mainstream values and rational debate.

Not a one of them did.

And that is even scarier.


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15 responses to “Rethuglican School Daze

  1. jeb

    Jim Greer can speak authoritatively about tools because he is a tool.

    Guess these folks who are screaming loudest would rather have a President reading “My Pet Goat” with a deer in the headlights look while the nation is under attack.

    • did you see the little weasel on hardball? he sat there with a self-satisfied smirk on his weasel face, because his idiocy had gotten him on national television. i hope this crap is thrown in the face of charlie crist when he runs for the senate. crist is just as big a weasel, because he knows this is total crap, but he doesn’t have the balls to say so.

  2. How can anyone take these people seriously???
    The evils of socialism!!!!!!!


    • the only ones who take them seriously are each other. they’re fueled by hate and nothing else, and people like princess sarah and rick perry and the wingnut talkers keep throwing them more and more red meat. hopefully, one day they’ll choke on it.

  3. If only…If only we could stand as strong as the republicans united do… but we progressives are wimps and can’t unite to fight these assholes.. or so it seems.. we always give up… I say fuck em all and do what the hell we want.. but it doesn’t work that way does it..

    • The problem:
      Repubs are honest to goodness out and out right wingers with a bit of bigotry and racism thrown in who want America to be like it is in the movies. They have an easy clear cut path to follow, plus they get oodles of cash dollars from big corporations, who love them to bits.

      Dems are honest to goodness liberals who are both realistic and practical, and who would be brilliant at everything, except that they tend to be conflicted.
      The nature of the conflict — to get elected requires Big Money Contributors, and nearly all the BMCs are corporatists who want their pound of flesh in return for their big money donation — which means that a sizable proportion of elected Dems have to prance around saying one thing to please their constituents, and doing the opposite to please their BMCs. They end up being like on the surface Dems who are acting as a sort of undercover repubs. And the overall result is that they mess up the otherwise neat and tidy picture of what the Dem party is supposed to be about.

      My solution:
      Bloody corporations need to be put in their rightful place and told to stop meddling in politics, or else! (The “or else!” means that they have to give free products and services to the public if they cross the line, and don’t do as they are told.)

      (Apologies for my simplistic approach.)

      (Nonnie, the stats counter has gone funny again 😯 )

      • i think most of the problems in american politics could be solved if corporations were taken out of the equation. of course, there will always be bigotry and differences among people. that’s just human nature. however, the corporations deal with everything as though it’s an advertising campaign, and they know exactly what chords to strike. nowadays, it’s the fear card. they are trying to make obama and the dems scary. they use every buzzword in the book and create false tableaus of “ordinary americans” to reassure and embolden the bigots so that they’ll come out and continue the corporations’ work.

        (maybe we need to get the stat counter looked at by a stat counter mechanic? 😉 )

    • the dems are a very diverse lot from all over the map with different priorities. the rethugs, in contrast, have become very regionalized, so there’s not a lot of divergent opinions. the mistake that obama made was not demanding everything the dems wanted at the beginning of negotiations. he began from a place of strength with majorities in both houses. he could have looked magnanimous and given the rethugs cover by peeling away those things most dems could live without. instead, he took too much off the table too soon and left only bare bones to negotiate with.

      • He gave away the strongest possible option–single payer–before any negotiations happened. Even if it was a non-starter, it would have moved the Overton Window and made a public option more likely.

        • exactly! it’s like when nancy pelosi said that impeachment is off the table. i’d like to play poker with some of them. they clearly don’t know how to bluff.

          • Nonnie, I have news for you; Democrats don’t really do impeachment. The only two presidents who have ever been impeached have been southern Democrats who ran afoul of radical Republican congresses.

            What about Nixon, you might ask? The Democrats may have been in the majority when the Judiciary Committee passed the bill of impeachment out of committee, but that wouldn’t have happened without Republican help. Also notice that Nixon was never impeached. The GOP congressional leadership, including Barry Goldwater, went up to the White House to tell Nixon that there were enough Republican votes to convict. Impeachment is the GOP’s weapon, not the Democrats.

  4. “Zealous teacher’s unions”–that gave me a flashback, and not a good one, either.

    While Ollie North running for Senate in Virginia as the GOP nominee was the first thing that made me wonder whether I still belonged in the Republican Party, it was watching Bob Dole’s acceptance speech at the 1996 convention that really set off the alarm bells.

    “The teachers’ unions nominated Bill Clinton in 1992, they are funding his re-election now, and they, his most reliable supporters, know he will maintain the status quo.

    And I say this, I say this not to the teachers, but to their unions. I say this, if education were a war, you would be losing it. If it were a business, you would be driving it into bankruptcy. If it were a patient, it would be dying.

    And to the teachers unions I say, when I am president, I will disregard your political power, for the sake of the parents, the children, the schools and the nation. ”

    I was a member of a teachers’ union then and I’m a member of a teachers’ union now. I began asking myself why I was a member of a party that so disliked the organizations that bargained on my behalf. I wasn’t alone. By the 2000 general election, not only had I left the GOP, so had my mother and two sisters, teachers all of us, and brought our father along with us.

    Oh, and to give you an idea of how big a loss that was to the GOP, in 1964, my mother did get out the vote for Barry Goldwater. In 2008, she did get out the vote for Obama–in UTAH! Thanks to her and others like her, she helped turn Salt Lake County and Summit County blue. Go Mom!

    • the rethugs hate any organization that represents people. they only love those that represent corporate interests. government of the people, by the people, for the people is nothing but a cute little slogan of yesteryear.

  5. But working hard and staying in school is one of the fundamental tenets of Stalinism!
    How people cannot see that this undercuts the American ideal of success via fortuitous parental selection, or the wise old adage of ‘It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow’ merely illustrates how froth-speckled liberals running wild in the media have brought a great country to the brink of destruction.


    • i don’t know about you, darkblack, but when the school bus stops on my block and drops off those newly minted little radicals, i’m locking all the doors and hiding! 😯