School Speech

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Okay, so here’s what I don’t get. On the one hand, Joan Walsh over at Salon says she likes “seeing [President Barack Obama] play that paternal role, Father in Chief [italics mine], not just for his own daughters, but for all of our children.” Because ‘[a]ll of our kids need to be reminded that education is a precious opportunity they must seize, whether they live behind the high gates of a tony private community or in a violence-plagued housing project.” This is just common sense to her.

And yet, she is puzzled that anyone would be opposed to such a speech:

Lunatics like Pamela Heller of Newsmax, radio host Brian Fischer and WorldNetDaily’s Bob Unruh are trying to organize parents to take their kids out of school for the day. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s “troubled” by Obama’s speech. Crazy Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin are raging against “indoctrination” while Townhall’s Meredith Jessup is calling it “a massive abuse of government power.”

Granted, Obama’s Republican opponents, entranced with executive power so long as it’s wielded by a Republican executive (and in love with socialism so long as it’s military socialism) have no legitimate moral legs to stand on. They’d be defending a John McCain address right now had November ended differently (Republican presidents have delivered such school speeches with little kurfluffle), as the  big, strong father-in-chief who could keep the country safe.

The problem is the very idea that the president is, can, or should be some kind of “father in chief.” This notion crosses party lines and is embedded in the very American concept of nation and government.

6:48 am on September 4, 2009