Separation Anxiety

Being wired as they are – as hive creatures – liberals want the soothing balm of firm-but-benign authority inserted into every conceivable crevice of not only their own lives, but those of everyone around them.

And so they want President Obama to address America’s grade-school kids next Tuesday.

It’s not the dumbest idea this administration’s had, but it’s right down there:

With just four days left until the first day of school for most students, school administrators spent Thursday fielding angry phone calls and e-mails. Some parents and community members are pressuring schools not to show the telecast, arguing that it’s an attempt to advance the president’s political agenda through the public schools.

Here’s your Minnesota tax dollars in action:

“Some parents are calling their superintendent and saying they’re not going to have their kids go to school,” Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. Dooher urged superintendents to show the broadcast anyway, for its educational value.

“The education of our students shouldn’t become a partisan pawn for those who are trying to score political points against the president,” he said.

Dooher – whose job is all about scoring political points (as the head of Minnesota’s most powerful, and most relentlessly DFL-leaning, union – is, of course, being disingenuous.  As is the Strib, for not telling the less-politically-savyy reader that Dooher heads a union whose main function is to tell the Democratic Party when to “jump”, and off what.

But it’s a moot point.  This speech is illegal.

We all know that for many liberals – even many of those that profess some sort of organized religious faith – that liberalism is a substitute for religion, eliciting much of the same zeal that it does among the faithful (and, among the fringe extreme, even some of the same creepy excess).

This was accompanied by plenty of considered religious imagery during Obama’s campaign; his wife said his purpose was the save the nation’s soul; the point was not lost on a fawning media:

So presenting Obama’s speech violates the Separation Clause just as surely as broadcasting the Pope or the Dalai Lama to our kids would.

26 thoughts on “Separation Anxiety

  1. Mitch, surrender Mitch. Put down your guns and stop your bitter clinging to an imaginary freind. Embrace the True Faith. Accept Obama as your personal savior. Think how much netter life will be.
    Deep down you know you want to.

  2. It’s not just the grade school kiddies that dear leader will be addressing. The high school kids are getting to see him as well. They even have their own lesson plan put together by our betters in DC.

    There is no escaping the reach of the One – you should know that…..


  3. And as you begin the school year, just think of what you can make of the future. Many of you are the class of the year 2000. In NASA lingo, that means “T” minus 8 years, 3 months, and 13 days. And you, the students of today, will help keep America the world’s leader. And all of you, if you work hard, but all of you can turn learning into an adventure.

    And to do this you have to prepare not just by studying, but by studying hard, especially math and science. And that means doing what I too often fail to do, that means homework. And it means setting goals both for you and for America.

    This is why our administration and the Nation’s Governors created six national educational goals, one of which is to be the first in the world in math and science. And together you can help say of American education, “All systems are go.”

    (George H.W. Bush in a national telecast to school-bound youth in 1991)

  4. “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.’ “ — House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt

  5. Thanks, Master of None. I figured there was resistance from the other party to the elder Bush’s speech but I couldn’t find anything. Does anybody remember if parents threatened to keep their children home?

  6. Does anybody remember if parents threatened to keep their children home?

    Does anyone remember if the teachers unions were preparing lesson plans around George W. Bush, to the tune of:

    “How can I best serve George W. Bush?”

  7. There appears to be a world of difference between Bush 41’s speech and the word on what President Obama was to say (until resistence came about).

    The *entirety* of Bush 41’s speech is available on the President G.H.W. Bush online presidential library.


    Menu of Classroom Activities 
    President Obama’s Address to Students Across America  
    Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education 
    September 8, 2009 
    Before the Speech
    * Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidens and Barack Obama. Teachers could motivate students by asking the following questions:
    – Who is the President of the United States?
    – What do you think it takes to be president?
    – To whom do you think the president is going to be speaking?
    – Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
    – What do you think he will say to you?
    * Teachers can ask students to imagine that they are delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States.
    – If you were the president, what would you tell students?
    – What can students do to help in our schools?
    – Teachers can chart ideas about what students would say.
    * Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
    During the Speech
    * As the president speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful.  Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a “cluster web;” or, students could record their thoughts on sticky notes.  Younger children could draw pictures and write as appropriate.  As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:
    – What is the president trying to tell me?
    – What is the president asking me to do?
    – What new ideas and actions is the president challenging me to think about?
    * Students could record important parts of the speech where the president is asking them to do something. Students might think about the following:
    – What specific job is he asking me to do?
    – Is he asking anything of anyone else?
    – Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
    * Students could record questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech.  Younger children may need to dictate their questions. 

    Menu of Classroom Activities (PreK-6)
    President Obama’s Address to Students Across America  

    After the Speech
    * Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes, or place notes on a butcher-paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, such as citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty.
    * Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
    – What do you think the president wants us to do?
    – Does the speech make you want to do anything?
    – Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
    – What would you like to tell the president?
    Extension of the Speech 
    Teachers could extend learning by having students:
    * Create posters of their goals.  Posters could be formatted in quadrants, puzzle pieces, or trails marked with the following labels: personal, academic, community, and country.  Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in that area. It might make sense to focus first on personal and academic goals so that community and country goals can be more readily creaed.
    * Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.  Teachers would collect and redistribute these letters at an appropriate later date to enable students to monitor their progres.
    * Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.
    * Interview one another and share goals with the class to create a supportive community.
    * Participate in school-wide incentive programs or contests for those students who achieve their goals.
    * Write about their goals in a variety of genres, such as poems, songs, and personal essays.
    * Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.
    * Graph individual progress toward goals.

  9. * Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
    – What do you think the president wants us to do?


    “We are going to fundamentally change America” – Barack Obama

  10. The speech is illegal? Can you explain, please.

    I think conservatives are overreacting on this, and if President Obama comes out on Tuesday and give a inspirational ‘study hard and you can do anything you dream of’ speech, then we are going to look idiots. Better to give the president just enough rope to hang himself with, and then pounce on him if he makes it partisan.

  11. Everyone is focusing on the K-6 script. I think the 7-12 is far more insidious.

    One huge difference between GHWB’s speech and Obama’s is that GHWB told kids (twice) to study math and science. Obama wants everyone to study HIM:

    • Teachers may engage students in short readings. Teachers may post in large print around the classroom notable quotes excerpted from President Obama’s speeches on education. Teachers might ask students to think alone, compare ideas with a partner, or share their thoughts with the class. Teachers could ask students to think about the following:

    What are our interpretations of these excerpts?
    Based on these excerpts, what can we infer that the president believes is important in order to be educationally successful

    (GHWB answer: Study math and science hard and do your homework)

    • Create a “concept web.” Teachers may ask students to think of the following:

    Why does President Obama want to speak with us today?
    How will he inspire us?
    How will he challenge us?

    What might he say?
    Do you remember any other historic moments when the president spoke to the nation?
    What was the impact?

  12. Just exactly HOW DOES Great Leader inspire and challenge us?

    Dave, I think Mitch is using parody infused nuance to claim that this is illegal. There is no established Church of the Obamassiah.


  13. Dave,

    Read the post again, & look at the photos. Lefties try to keep religion out of schools based on a claim of separation of church & state. So if leftism is a religion, & Obama is their Messiah, then Obama in the schools would be the state promoting a religion…

    I think it’s called “tongue in cheek”

    I would agree that if the speech is a basic “work hard, go far” speech then fine, but if this is a typical Alinskyesqe tactic of “community organizing” then it should not happen. I think both are equally possible, but when the White House is telling teachers to ask students how they can help the President & promote mechanisms to hold each student accountable to their pledge, which is to be made immediately after the speech, I think it is totally reasonable to be suspicious.

  14. “I would agree that if the speech is a basic “work hard, go far” speech then fine,”

    This is what’s bugging me. Why didn’t the Whitehouse just release the transcript for the speech when it announced it? They released the study guide, they should have released the speech at the same time and then maybe none of this would get so over blown. I hear the speech will be available this weekend to pre-view, but that seems like an afterthought, and horribly timed with the Labor Day weekend.

  15. I forgot to add, most of the “reasonable & good” pledges made in the video, are things that people often claim that their religion calls them to do. Love your neighbor, help the helpless, that sort of stuff.

    These people are making these pledges not in the name of God, but in the name of Obama.

    I don’t think Mitch is off the mark.

  16. M of N,

    I have to run, so I can’t elaborate now, but I think it’s for the same reason that he didn’t provide a real birth certificate, even though on does exist. Get people all “wee-weed up” to manufacture an appearance of his critics as irrational fools.

  17. I would have had no problem whatsoever if this were “study hard, keep your grades up” speech. But study guide hints that it may not be. And since that is the only thing we can go by sans transcript, it is not kosher. 0bama is simply not a trustworthy kinda fella.

    PS. I did check with my son’s school, and they are not running the speech. Reason? “We have way too much to do to waste time on this”. Phew…

  18. JPA,

    My son’s teacher said the same thing, & she also said that THIS school would not be willing to push a political agenda. Better keep that quiet, so the brown shirts don’t catch wind.

  19. Pretty subtle for tongue in cheek.

    I’m worried about how the politics of this will play out. Big conservative pushback on the speech and the lesson plans leads to a straight up speech. Liberals get to talk for a week about how inspiring the speech was and how conservatives are paranoid of Pres Obama. The objectionable lesson plans will be lost in the noise, or just pawned off as the product of the Dept of Education, not the White House (another one under the bus).

    This speech dominates the news on Tuesday and Wednesday, which keeps health care off the news cycle. What happens Wed night?

  20. Subtle? It’s the whole point of the post, & there is a poster of the Obamessiah with a halo!

    Your worries are exactly related to what I wrote above to Master of None:

    … I think it’s for the same reason that he didn’t provide a real birth certificate, even though on does exist. Get people all “wee-weed up” to manufacture an appearance of his critics as irrational fools.

    It’s an Alinsky tactic. Rule 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself; Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon; Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. And what Leftist doesn’t enjoy ridicule?

    Just like the Birther thing, John Stuart will get all sorts of love & praise for mocking people who in current reality have a good reason to be concerned, but in hindsight will appear foolish?

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