Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Froth First, Ask Questions Later (If At All)

The lunatic fringe at WorldNetDaily (the site that, more than almost any other, has been carrying the Birther torch for quite some time now) put up a pretty sad little attempt at justifying right-wing consternation over President Obama's pretty bland, middle-of-the-road speech to America's youngsters today about the virtues of working hard and staying in school. This is a topic that is so "Golly, Mr. President!" that previous Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both felt moved to flog it in national addresses as well. Full disclosure; the Democrats at the time, moved by a similar sense of high moral dudgeon stretched to idiotic lenghts, acted like asses.

Note: most of this hysteria was generated before the full text of Obama's speech was even posted, so it can be viewed as a case of shooting first and then asking questions - if questions were going to be asked by the right at all. In the case of WND's article, they've pretty much avoided questions at all and opted for hysterical bullshit:

"Obama has pushed his political agenda to the extreme by forcing himself on America's children," Staver said in a statement today. "Obama's political agenda on healthcare and his expansive vision for government is being rejected by the American people. Now Obama is after our children, who, like some socialist members of Congress, have not read the healthcare bill. Americans do not appreciate the president's attempt to use our children as political pawns in his game of chess. Mr. President, you must abide by the rule of law and stop this illegal activity. Our children do not belong to you."

"Obama has pushed his political agenda to the extreme by forcing himself on America's children," Staver said in a statement today. "Obama's political agenda on healthcare and his expansive vision for government is being rejected by the American people. Now Obama is after our children, who, like some socialist members of Congress, have not read the healthcare bill. Americans do not appreciate the president's attempt to use our children as political pawns in his game of chess. Mr. President, you must abide by the rule of law and stop this illegal activity. Our children do not belong to you."

Staver's critique cited 20 U.S.C. § 3403, which regards the Department of Education and states, "No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system."

Staver's concerns were echoed by others as well, including Liberty Legal Alliance spokesman Matt Barber, who said, "Not only is this a violation of federal law, it's just plain creepy. It's surreal. Obama's actions here are right out of the playbooks of Saul Alinsky and Chairman Mao. Soviet Russia? Sure. America? No way. I'm furious. Hands off my children, Mr. President!"


Now, this heinous bullshit is tired and ridiculous on its face (especially the Chairman Mao thing - the bait I've been using for wingnuts on Facebook recently is some iteration of "CAN U BELIEVE THEY POSTED OBAMA'S PORTRAIT IN CLASSROOMS? JUST LIKE MAO AND STALIN OMG!!"). What sets my teeth on edge about this is that the "case" against Obama's speech - that he is somehow interfering with local schools through heavy-handed federal intervention - completely ignores that fact that every aspect of Obama's speech was entirely voluntary: exactly the leniency on Obama's part that has made this a newswothy item by allowing wingnut school disctricts to opt out on the president's speech entirely.

At this point, even conservative friends of mine are avoiding the obvious and important questions - do you people believe even a tiny bit of this stuff? Are you just trying a "throw it all at the wall and see what sticks" approach? And - most importantly - is there a conspiracy theory so vile, so stupid, or so incoherent that you *won't* believe it about this President...and how much of this has to do with the fact that a black guy with a foreign name is now occupying the White House?

1 comment:

  1. Well said sir! This false outrage has got to stop. All they're doing is wetting themselves in their zeal to fake protest. I sincerely doubt that most of those nutjobs know who Mao is anyway.

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