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.