Fool’s Gold: Obama disrupts school day


by David Safier
Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute should have just left this one alone, but he couldn't. He had to say something.

When his public approval ratings are plummeting, what's a president to do? One possible answer: address a captive audience of millions of highly impressionable young minds, and follow it up with educational "lessons" that induce a positive image of the president.

 That is what is happening today with President Obama's unprecedented address to the nation's schoolchildren. Preaching personal responsibility and perseverance–positive qualities, to be sure–the speech nonetheless contradicts them by disrupting the school day.

Where to start? Does Bolick actually believe this speech was hatched in the last few weeks in response to Obama's ratings? I was telling everyone last spring, I can't wait to hear Obama address students on the first day of school, because it was so obvious that was going to happen if he was elected.

"Unprecedented address"? Which part is unprecendented, the part where he does the same thing as Reagan and Bush I, or the part where he includes no politicking in his speech?

And the gotcha! moment, where Bolick claims he's caught Obama in a contradiction, because he's telling students to study hard, then he's disrupting the day so they can't study hard? Come on, guy, there's stretching and there's stretching, but that's quite a stretch. Maybe you're not aware, as every teacher is, that no class day starts with the students' nose to the grindstone and keeps on grinding until the final bell. What you call disruptions, teachers call pacing. And if a teacher can find something that can calm students, focus students, even inspire students, that's about as disruptive as a coach giving his team a good pep talk.

And then there's this line:

The blitzkrieg approach to the national message caught parents and school officials unaware.

Blitzkrieg? Is this yet another way to paint a Hitler mustache on Obama? I assume Bolick is saying the announcement of the speech was at the last minute. I don't know the date it was first announced, so I don't know if that's true. But Blitzkrieg? Here's the Merriam-Webster definition: "war conducted with great speed and force; specifically : a violent surprise offensive by massed air forces and mechanized ground forces in close coordination."

To use another war-tinged term, isn't that a bit of overkill, Clint?