by David Safier
If it wasn't clear before, there's no doubt now that the right wing scream machine has turned its volume up to a continual roar. I felt it on a visceral level as I sat through Giffords' town hall on Tuesday, and I hear it on every media outlet, about every possible issue having to do with Obama and any other Democrat the right thinks is important enough to be attacked.
The Bush administration, Republican politicians and the right wing media screamed in outrage at everything the Democrats said or did when Bush was in power, until Dem members of Congress acted like victims of battered wife syndrome. Now that they're out of power, they have a larger target than before, and their assaults are continual, and louder than ever.
The latest? Obama is planning to address students as the school year begins. Great idea. If he can get students to focus a little more, if he can get parents to pay a bit more attention to their children's educations, the benefits could be immediate and long lasting. And I honestly think he can make a difference, with this speech combined with other education talks, addresses and videos he puts together throughout his administration.
But they're screaming. Shrieking. Yanking their kids out of school that day. Schools are intimidated, so teachers in some schools are required to get permission slips from parents before children are allowed to hear the President speak, as if the teachers were planning to show an R rated movie. The President of the United States wants to address the nation's students because he cares deeply about education, and the right is creating howls of protest.
If they're successful, they'll drown out his message, and whatever good it might do, in the process.
I imagine Obama will say some things some parents will object to. Sure. That's how things go, and have always gone, when leaders speak in this country and everywhere around the world.
Go ahead, commenters on the right. Tell me how Obama is going to be speaking to a captive audience, that he'll be spewing propaganda at all these impressionable young minds. You can play that card all you want. You're as aware as I am, that's not what the screaming is all about. You're generally politically savvy people who understand this is part of a systematic game plan cooked up by expert strategists to keep Obama and other Dems off balance, keep the crazies inflamed and keep the persuadable middle confused.
And children are the pawns being used in this phase of the game.
I can't really say this kind of assault is unprecedented in American history, because I'm not much of a historian. But I can say this is unprecedented in my lifetime in the sheer quantity and intensity of the attacks.
UPDATE: Here is the page on Dept of Ed website discussing the event, if you're interested. Also, you can be certain that part of the scream strategy is to flood schools and school districts with calls protesting Obama's address. Some calls supporting Obama would be helpful by way of balance.