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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

American Political Dialogue is Stuck on Stupid

The White House has released an advance copy of the President's address to schools today. This was a speech that right wing blowhards and their gullible followers have called an indoctrination of schoolchildren into the evil socialist mindset of the White House.

"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," said on critic. "The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power."

Was that Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh? No, that was a supposedly serious voice -- that of the Chair of the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer. In a hysterical (and not in the "hysterically funny" sense of the word), Greer warned that Obama was going to shoot kids full of his Marxist brainwashing rays, turn them into little liberals, and push for healthcare reform.

Others picked up that panic. And it's apparently occurred to none of them that kids can't vote. He'd kind of be wasting his time here. But, for people who see American education being taken over by the evils of evolution and environmentalism, classrooms were already the enemy. This was just one more front.

Of course, it turned out that Greer's fears were baseless. The speech tells kids to wash their hands so they won't spread the flu, work hard, stay in school, get out of bed when your mom tells you to, set goals for yourself, don't veg out with video games, and set goals to realize their own potential. Obviously, not the worst thing ever.

After the advance text was released, Greer was completely unrepentant. The White House had changed the speech from the pure godless communism it was originally to "one that he should give," he said/ Of course, Greer has no idea whether this was the original speech or not -- it's the first time he's seen it. As is so often the case with wingnuts these days, Greer and company were in a panic over something they'd made up out of nothing. It was the death panels, the birther controversy, the secret Muslim story all over again. Some right wing mindreader decides they know what the president is thinking and, suddenly, this speculation is accepted as fact by people actively looking for reasons to hate Barack Obama.

If you need proof of this, just head over the FOX News' A post there is titled "Read Obama's Speech to Students: What Do You Think?" Oddly, the URL indicates a different original title: "obama-going-after-school-children-help." That's what ya call yer "Fair and Balanced."

The post includes a link to the full text, which the wingnuts who frequent FoxNation have obviously not followed.

"I don't care what political aisle i'm in, i just want people like me to live, not become the first victims of a massive genocide against the weak and crippled..." writes commenter martin smith. "almost a third of the country is estimated to be in my position. I want change, not Obama's continuation of the same policies that we have followed for well over 50 years. Get every one of these murderers, Democrat and Republican alike, out of congress ASAP." This was a continuation of a previous post where martin said that Obama was going to enslave us all.

Others echo Jim Greer -- Obama obviously changed the speech, because this is nothing like the crazy BS they were expecting. As always, conservatives are never wrong, so there must be some other explanation. Their mindreading act is always a big success.

And, as always, the media plays along. Oh boy, they say, big controversy! Who cares if the controversy has any grounding in fact? They can get talking heads to come one Sunday talk shows and defend the controversy -- they did the same thing with Sarah Palin's BS "death panels" without any trouble at all. Republicans are shameless liars, so it's not much of a challenge to find one to go on national TV and lie their black little heart out.

Once there, they'll treat it all as a difference of opinion -- a "he said/she said" sort of thing. They won't bother to do any actual journalism and find out who's telling the truth... I suppose because that would kill the big controversy. No one wants to tune into a Sunday morning yack program and hear about actual policy. No, it's all about drama. If that drama is cooked up in some GOP kitchen, who cares? Remember, the purpose of TV news isn't to inform, the purpose of TV news is to get you to watch TV. They don't care if you turn off the TV and find yourself no better informed than you were before you watched a bunch of idiots sitting around a table contradicting each other. In fact, it's actually better if you wind up just as confused, because then you're more likely to tune in next time to see if anyone's cleared it all up.

This suits Republicans just fine. As this cooked-up "controversy" shows, it serves them better when you have no idea what the truth is. Keep in mind, the GOP message is always "be afraid." If you've got the facts, that's a lot harder to do.


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