Now even school officials are kowtowing to the right-wing radio loudmouths and their zombie followers. No longer in America can the president give a speech to schoolchildren about the importance of taking education seriously and having aspirations.
Can you imagine this happening if John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan had given this speech? Schools would have devoted the whole day to social studies and patriotic pageants. Now, Obama haters fear he might try to indoctrinate their children. Mark Steyn, substituting for Rush Limbaugh on his show yesterday, accused the president of trying to create a personality cult like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il.
Wilson and Williamson counties
have directed schools not to give time to Obama's speech, and Metro Nashville is thinking about how to handle this (as if ignoring the wingnuts isn't an option). Sumner County sent home
a permission slip that must be signed by parents before children can watch their president give a speech.
Officials in Rutherford County
showed a little gumption. They sent students home with a note saying, "We do believe that when the president of the United States speaks, it is our duty to listen, even if some don't agree with his policies." The note also says students may be excused from watching if parents object.
Florida's Republican Party chairman, Jim Greer, said he "was appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology." At least the Tennessee GOP chair, Chris Devaney,
isn't saying that:
"I think presidents addressing school children about the importance of education is not a bad thing. But if President Obama tries to hawk his big government ideas, like health care and the like, now that is out of line. I certainly think parents have a right, if they feel a speech like Obama's is going to be out of line, I think they certainly have a right to take their kids out of school."
So Devaney comes across as the voice of reason because he admits it's "not a bad thing" when the president of the United States gives a speech on the importance of education. That's how low we've sunk.
Update: No Chaser comments.
Democratic Party chair Chip Forrester weighs in
: "We cannot afford to be scared by people who have nothing to bring to the table but fear and ignorance."