Thursday, September 03, 2009

Expectations of Obama's Upcoming Speeches

On Tuesday, President Obama will address school children. On Wednesday, he will address Congress.

What should one make of these events?

Some "conservative"* parents are protesting the Tuesday event, saying that the President is seeking to indoctrinate their children with socialism. We especially like the move of these "conservatives" in arguing that the state ought to review the speech to approve it as curriculum. Quite graceful to fight socialism with government control of education.

We say that parents who worry about indoctrination of their children ought to consider that children aren't stupid. If the President strays from the usual bromides about studying hard and staying off drugs, instead calling for students of the world to unite and throw off their capitalist chains, parents should simply help their children understand that socialism doesn't work. Begin the task of economic education with the rug rats. They'll catch on soon enough, sooner than they'll organize for revolution.

And by the way, if parents think kids are that easy for political figures to indoctrinate, let's see how effective the indoctrination proves to be as far as the studying hard and the staying off drugs are concerned.

So what should be made of the Tuesday speech is utterly nothing. We hope the kids enjoy a break from the routine to watch the President do his Presidential thing.

The Wednesday speech is more momentous, at least until it happens. The goal here is to restart the healthcare initiative. The Prez has one available gambit that might win: pull everything off the table except one element somewhere in the middle, like providing a tax break for individuals to buy insurance, paid for with a tax on high-end insurance offered by employers as a benefit. That is so noncontroversial that it ought to pass.

Except that the left wing of the Democratic Party expects the Prez to deliver everything or nothing. Liberal Democrats await the arrival of universal, government-provided health insurance like Christians await the return of Jesus, only with more urgency than most Christians. So a realistic, incremental, bipartisan move will go nowhere with this administration that owes its political life and soul to the left. And now, it seems, they've said as much, if Joe Biden is to be believed.

What will the Wednesday speech produce, then? We say nothing. Obama's initiative is dead, not because he's a bad politician but because he's backing an inherently bad idea. Folks know that you can't do what Obama promises without more money than there is now or ever will be. It'll take awhile for the drama to play out, but this "failure" will be about the same as Clinton's, also accompanied by a speech to Congress, some sixteen years ago.
*We hereby adopt the stylistic convention of putting conservative in quotation marks whenever it refers to the liberal stereotype of conservatives or people who behave like the liberal stereotype of conservatives.


caress said...

It's interesting that people are afraid of schools indoctrinating their children with political ideology. Because really, this is one of the purposes of public education. How do Americans learn to be patriotic (i.e. buy into the whole "democracy and capitalism is great" ideology that is Americanism) if not from school. Family, of course, is another important source of this "indoctrination" also called political culture or nationalism or whatever degree/kind you like.

As for this whole thing about socialism. Can we get a dictionary?

rustypants said...

my school district (65/35 for mccain last year) is not expressly forbidding us from showing the address to our students Tuesday, but they are requiring that we have a direct academic connection, put in a "media request," and should be government or civics teachers to do so.

christine said...

Our school dist made a big deal about not showing this without previewing it and getting parent's permission. But last year they showed the Al Gore movie at the school with no warning whatsoever.

Go figure.

Chicago Jake said...

We hear the wailings of Obama followers crying, "What is wrong with these people who don't want their children to hear our glorious leader?" They are asking the wrong question and placing the blame on the wrong people.

Instead, they should ask, "What has our glorious leader done to lose the trust of the people? What can we do to gain the trust of all Americans?"

Obama just doesn't get it. He has done nothing to gain the trust of those who did not vote for him, and he has even lost the trust of many who did. Just about everything he has done has shown his lack of experience, his inability to explain complicated issues--like healthcare reform, and his incompetence as an executive in a democracy. This attitude of distrust is Obama's fault.