The latest controversy that has Republicans' panties in a collective snit is President Barack Obama's plan to address the nation's school children Tuesday in a speech designed to motivate, challenge and inspire excellence through education. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, not if you're a closed-minded conservative who views Obama's address as a form of "indoctrination."

A parent interviewed on Fox News Thursday morning said she's so angry that she's keeping her children home rather than subject them to Obama's speech: "This is government of the's not about us having to do for government but what the government should be doing for us."

So much for the selfless principle behind President John F. Kennedy's stirring, patriotic plea to the American people during his 1960 inauguration address: "Ask not what your country can do you for, ask what you can do for your country." This woman couldn't have presented the typical Republican 'I-don't-give-a-shit-about-anyone-but-me' philosophy any clearer.

And right-wing media pundits have piled on. In her column Thursday, Michelle Malkin incredulously warns that Obama's campaign calls for kids to "Create posters of their goals." She raises this flag as if there's something wrong with challenging our children to aspire. To have goals. Am I missing something? Just what is Malkin and her Republican brethren so afraid of, anyway? That kids will think Obama's a cool guy who makes a lot of sense? How about giving them some credit for being able to make their own determinations and draw their own conclusions?

Not likely. These Obama-hating conservatives and their dumbed-down, myopic philosophies appeal to the lowest common-denominator of their party, which is why it got trounced in the last election. There used to be a time when a presidential address to children would've meant something. When it wouldn't have been turned into some cheapened partisan charade played by self-serving political operatives trying to shape the next election. Or by ignorant, fearful voters who've been brainwashed into thinking that Obama is the devil-incarnate out to poison their children's minds.

'Indoctrination?' Really? Does anyone really think Obama is going to very publicly abuse his power by making some sort of blatant amoral partisan appeal to our children while the whole world, including his rabid critics, watches? Do you think he thinks he'd get away with something that obvious? Jeez, people, I know the president's behavior seems odd given that in eight years George W. Bush couldn't string together two sentences without mangling the English language, and that he had the intellectual curiosity of a slug, but how about we just take Obama's intentions at face value? That he's a president who cares about children, what they think, and who wants to engage them in the national discourse.

What a terrible concept: a U.S. president talking with school kids about the importance of education, of expanding their intellectual horizons, of setting goals, and of getting involved in civics. Wow. Truly despicable lessons to impart on children, huh? Why expose our kids to such irresponsible 'indoctrination' when we can just keep 'em home that day and fill their heads with the really objective stuff like abortion is murder; gays are evil; guns are good; Obama and Democrats are destroying life as we know it; and that God is a Republican.

posted by The Ostroy Report @ 9:33 PM