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September 4th, 2009
06:33 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnuts' try to politicize president's talk to kids

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R).

Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R).

As a heated wingnut summer heads to a close, we look at a new GOP “socialist” attack on President Obama for speaking to school children, a ‘brain dead’ attack on Democratic centrists and, in a bonus round, a callous conspiracy theory just in time for the 8th anniversary of 9/11.

President Obama is slated to give a speech to America’s school children next Tuesday on the subject of taking personal responsibility for their success in school.

Last time I checked, personal responsibility and socialism were opposite concepts, but that didn’t stop Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer from firing off an unhinged press release. Here’s an excerpt:

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology … I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates…Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

Greer accused the president of using the speech to promote his political agenda – though the speech was never slated to cover policy. The Department of Education did change language in a lesson plan that suggested students write a letter about how they would help the president after hearing him speak. PolitiFact’s Truth-o-Meter did a rundown on the ‘controversy’ and published its results with a “Pants on Fire” ruling.

This knee-jerk name-calling and hyper-partisan hysteria is the latest sign that things have become completely unhinged inside the hotbox of the GOP. Accusing the president of having a “socialist ideology” and spreading “liberal lies” and “propaganda” don’t even raise common sense – or common decency – concerns.

Wingnuts live in a world without perspective, and those on the right are trying to turn the President of the United States into a fearful figure in order to score partisan points with their base. Only the far, far left fringe would have accused President Bush of having a ‘fascist ideology” – and they would have rightly been laughed off the stage. These statements are coming from GOP party officials – politicizing a talk to school kids by the President of the United States. Stay classy, GOP.

But liberals have showed plenty of their own wingnuttery in recent weeks, wrestling among themselves over the anger at town hall protests and asking whether compromise is courageous or cowardice. Liberal Democrat Rep. Pete Stark, who heads the health subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee, took aim at the centrist Blue Dog Democrats on a conference call with reporters, saying they “just want to cause trouble” and that they are "brain dead.” Here’s the full quote:

"They're for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they're just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process."

Lyndon Johnson once famously said that the difference between liberals and cannibals is that cannibals don’t eat their friends and family members. The idea that the Blue Dog Democrats – who have been trying to rein-in spending and fighting to preserve the possibility of a bipartisan bill – are promoting a "right-wing agenda" is evidence of a creeping intolerance on the part of liberal congressional leaders. They are starting to look like mirror images of the play-to-the-base partisanship they rightly decried during the Tom DeLay era.

Finally, in an off-the-grid bonus round that hits a new low, former CIA analyst and conspiracy theorist Michael Scheuer lobbed another offensive claim just in time for the 8th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th – asserting that the Obama administration wants America to be attacked by terrorists:

"Oh sure we're going to be attacked … and, you know, Rahm Emanuel wants an attack. He loves crisis, and crisis, the Democrats, he says, can get all of their programs through. These people simply do not care."

A few months ago, Scheuer hit on a variation of the same ugly theme, this time almost cheerleading for an attack: "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States ... Because it's going to take a grassroots, bottom up pressure, because these politicians prize their office, prize the praise of the media and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation, again. Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand a government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary."

It’s hard to imagine an uglier or more offensive accusation, especially on the approaching anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in history. It’s shameless and a shameful new low in the wingnut ring of dishonor.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Avlon.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
soundoff (449 Responses)
  1. Girja

    GOPism and the Bush doctrine forced us in to bankruptcy. Even if we do not like Socialism and Communism, guess what? China is financing YOUR Republican's way of life. We were lucky enough that everything came-down crashing at the end of the Bush administration. This country would have been one pay check away from becoming a third world country. We are rebuilding USA to a pre-Bush era and Republican's are not needed for this job.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  2. A. Goodwin

    This is rediculous. Guess the GOP only wants the kind of president who goes to schools and sits quietly while WE ARE BEING BOMBED!!!! I guess going to a school and talking to kids about staying in school is a BAD thing? Greer is a fool, and his hysteria is totally laughable. What planet are these people from?

    Every time I read a post from a Rebpublican, I keep thinking how backward some people are.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  3. mary grace

    OMG.. I am a Floridian. Shut up Jim Greer!! You sound like that Congressman from the 50's-McCarthy-accusing everyone being a Communist. And we all know now he was an idiot!!

    mary grace-Ormond Beach FL

    September 4, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  4. DB

    The wingscum continue to reach new lows. There is no excuse for this uncivil behavior. I hated Bush/ Cheney, and still hate them, but I never protested when Bush wanted to send his "right wing indoctrination" to school kids to keep off drugs. Obama's message about working hard in school could reach kids, but not in the la la land of the lunatic wingscum.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  5. John E

    There is a campaign to delegitimize Obama as the president. This is part of it.

    Bush W did have a fascist ideology – sorry – invading a country without legal grounds is fascism. So is using government money to create a billion dollar private army that assassinates those who inform on it's activities – Blackwater. It's not being a leftist wingnut to point out the truth. The only thing that prevented W, Nixon and Reagan from completely undermining our system of government was the constitution, but it was sorely tested. What progress the nation could have made had we not been damaged by these men.

    Ruthlessly running over the rule of law is fascism and it's just about the only thing the Republican party stands for now – this includes attacking Obama for the most benign of actions, a Presidential address to schoolchildren. The right wing is so extreme now they would burn down the house, rather than divide it, rather than acknowledge their demise. Why don't you all move to Texas and secede and the nation will build a really high fence around it so that you can't immigrate back?

    September 4, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  6. Cindy

    The hysteria about the President's speech is politics at its worse. He is president of the United States and the fact that he is speaking to school children about responsibility should be celebrated. The Republican Party would be well-served to condemn their wingnuts rather than allowing them to blather on as if they were spokespeople for the party. I also agree that on the Democratic side of the aisle, the Pete Starks of the world should listen more and talk less. The Blue Dogs were elected to represent their constituency. Cause trouble?? Why, they could be elected as Republicans and do just fine. Perhaps they reflect moderate reasonable issues that should be considered rather than condemned.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  7. Joe Whiteman

    oBOWma and the NEA are co-brainwashing our children. This is nothing new for the NOW women that run and are members of the NEA. oBOWma is going to help them sell their communism (ala Van JOnes) as community service. The Community Organizer in Chief was recently slapped down by Sara Palin for his stupid govt takeover of healthcare. oBOWma wants to indoctrinate children to become community organizers and ACORN children. Stop oBOWma now!!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  8. Mike

    David W Reid wrote "Schools are missing an opportunity to educate young citizens by allowing parents to interject politics into President Obama’s televised speech..."

    You need to step back and listen to what you are saying. Allowing parents? Are you serious? That is dangerous thinking, that the government has the right to limit a parents right to choose how their child is taught.

    As for many others, you should be a bit concerned that every time there is any opposition to this administration the press reports one of two things; either the dissenters are crazy GOP radicals (wingnuts), or it is a racist attack. What happened to allowing people their voice? Just because I don't agree with something does not mean that I should be attacked or marginalized. This is far worse than the "you're either with us or against us" attitude after 9/11. I like many other here am not upset about the actual speech to the children as long as it is not about politics. My issues are with the associated curriculum.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  9. Nick San Diego

    Keep it up Republicans...................Keep listening to the Limbaughs, Hannity and now Beck and your Party of NO will have even greater losses than last year. You're LOUD and make noise, but don;t mistake that for support. You're losing the middle. Do you think Reagan or Goldwater would apporve of your tactics They were Conservatives with a concious and CLASS . You now instead have become obnoxious and hateful.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  10. Sean McDonald

    If the GOP continues their attack on our President they will only have right idiots left like Sarah Palin in their party. They are against the public option for health care because they want to line their pockets with the money from the Healthcare lobby and insurance companies. Let call it like it is, they absolutely hate the idea that we have an articulate, well educated black family man who speaks better English that they do. Just follow the money and you will see who bought them.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  11. Miss J

    S. Watt–I don't want to be disrespectful here, but as a white American who voted for the first Black President of the United States–your opinion that White America is opposed to a Black Man telling them what to do is totally, completely wrong. Most people, if they don't have their head hidden up their arse, are up at arms about the ideological ramifications of the President supposedly manipulating children. Bush did the same thing, and I'm thinking teaching civic pride in school and community is an idea whose time is long past due. Get over the Black/White thing, already. We've beaten that into the ground.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  12. John

    I keep seeing the names Bush and Reagan. Are you guys saying that it was OK for them to do it or are you just upset that you didn't make a big deal about it back then?

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  13. lizinpa

    Thank you cathyinaz. There is nothing wrong with the Department of Education's suggested study guides, etc. Questions like "How did the President inspire me" and "how can I help the President" refer to he speech that they just heard. They are meant to make students think of what they can do to be a success in school and help the President help them suceed. So the answers, are responses like "study harder" "read more books", "enourage my friends to study harder and not tease them if they are too studious" etc. They're not being asked to go out and fight for healthcare reform. Good Lord, people – try to think rationally.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  14. Benjamin

    Having witnessed personality cult in former Soviet Union, I am appalled to see attempts to instigate Obama's personality cult among the young. It proves once more that he is a closet communist in the White House

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  15. Lori from Planet Texas

    Living as I do in the city that vilified President John F. Kennedy, and then put a bullet in his head when he came to mix with the people, I have to say that very little has changed here. If anything, this insanity has spread to all areas of this nation.

    I am embarrassed for us. A president addressing school children is nothing new, but a black president? Oh no, must be the ANTI-CHRIST!! There are many parents here who plan to keep their children home from school out of fear that they may be "exposed" to "liberal brainwashing". The school will accept a note from the parent explaining why they decided to keep their kids home on that day.

    Yet, my daughter (senior in high school) is enrolled in a "Bible Education" class through our PUBLIC school. She did not sign up for it. I don't plan to have her attend, and I suppose that a note saying why I want to shield her from such right-wing extremism should suffice. I don't want her BRAINWASHED.

    The hypocrisy here is thick, I tell you what.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  16. Ashley in AL

    @Paul

    How?

    He ran a great campaign with a catchy message of change.

    He campaigned as if he would run a moderate administration, and many people gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    He's black. There's no sense in denying that his race didn't played a huge role to getting him to presidency. Many people voted for him not because of his policies, but because they wanted to see a black man in the White House.

    And besides, if Obama was white, Hilary would have been the Democrat candidate.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  17. LN

    The rest of the world thinks we are insane.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  18. Bri

    Did anyone notice that in Mr. Greer's rants (President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves) that he talks about "American's children".

    Isn't it "America's children"?!? Perhaps it is Mr. Greer who should spend a bit more time in class.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  19. mike

    Well, what do you expect? We are a nation of wingnuts, who elect wingnuts to represent us. Thoughtful, intelligent, mature dialogue is extinct. No one is interested in working together, in bridging differences. Every issue is an opportunity to impose one persons will upon another, with no desire to see things from the others point of view. Whatever happens, we deserve whatever we get.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  20. Gregory

    Dear Morons,

    "[H]ow I can help the President" DOES NOT mean "how I can help the President pursue his political agenda." To interpret that phrase to mean that the President was asking school children to help advance his agenda or for advice on how to do so isn't just absurd, it's nonsensical.

    Clearly the phrase used "President" not just to refer to the man and his ideologies but the Office of the President, i.e. help the government help America. Thus an acceptable answer to the assignment could be conservative or liberal. You could help the President by "telling him how much it hurts you that he is raising the National debt."

    Very truly yours,
    Common Sense

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  21. Nick

    Guess what? I dislike Obama to my core. That is my right, and it has nothing to do with race. If he wants to address the kids of this nation then fine, he is our president. But asking the kids to write about what they can do to help the president is absolutely insane, scary and ridiculous. The USA is not about the president, we are about the PEOPLE! Wake up!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  22. Melanie

    MD September 4th, 2009 10:20 am ET

    When Obama comes to school, my kids will be absent that day!

    ___________

    How sad for your children's classmates and teachers that YOU are teaching your children hatred and racism.... instead of teaching you children respect, tolerance, graciousness AND RESPECT FOR THE PRESIDENT OF OUT COUNTRY!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  23. Pascal

    Forget the wingnut talk, the polls show America doesn't want what Barry is selling.

    Clearly, some folks voted for this guy and don't trust him anymore.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  24. CG

    "I think that America should be ashamed. The point of the uproar is not President’s Obama’s views, its that “White America” does not want a Black man adivising their children on personal responsibilty. Let’s be honest."

    This kind of racist drivel is the problem. People like you make me sick. Grow up and stop living in the past.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  25. Mandy

    Interestingly, I remember doing virtually the same letter writing exercise when I was in 2nd grade, back when George H. W. Bush was in office...

    I just can't believe that people are going crazy over something so ordinary as the President addressing children regarding the importance of their education. And is it really such a horrible thing to encourage both kids and adults to become more involved in their communities? I'm not a liberal, and I didn't vote for Obama, but I think he has the right idea there.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  26. Keithy

    The problem is not that the president will be speaking to the kids, which would be a good thing. The problem is that there is a lack of trust in what he will say, and many people feel that he will be trying to spread his agenda through these kids that will hear his message. If all he is saying is "do your best, and be responsible for your life" there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is the timing – he is trying to push an agenda, and is having great difficulty. This is seen by many as just another way to spread his 'gospel'.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  27. Gene

    I take offense at being called a Wing-nut. If anyone opposes the view of the president they are labeled as a knee-jerk reactionary. Being in the media he should know that everyone has the right to free speech. When the left has a view it is gospel and everyone should just bow down to it.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  28. Stan

    I am a moderately conservative white american who used to consider himself a republican. The idea that right wing nuts would object to a US president speaking to a public education class is one of the things that leads me to no longer consider myself a republican. I think attacks of this sort are completely political, inane and ludicrous. How many white presidents have done the same thing... let me get out my calculator... I think the total adds up to... hmmm... 43.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  29. Diane R CP Fla

    There is no problem with the President addressing children of the United States with a positive message to work hard and stay in school. The problem is with the accompanying materials from the Department of Education which Avlon conveniently failed to mention. Teachers would ask kids to ask themselves what they could do to help “President Obama”. Not themselves, their families or their country. What is this? Pres. Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I do believe that the media is failing us in a huge way, reporting bits, and not the big picture. The big picture is this administration’s policies, “czars” and advisors to the president, are far to the left of what even most Democrats would be comfortable with if you would only do your job and report on it. Presently, the media is acting as “Useful Idiots” while most of us are asking “What is the President’s agenda? Who are the people advising him? Why are so many in the media not investigating these things? Why is any dissent or question met with scorn? Why is it okay to even consider passing a health bill, or cap and trade bill without READING it? Where has all the stimulus money gone? Why isn’t there a full accounting? Why is Charlie Rangel still chair of the House, Ways & Means Committee with repeated tax violations?

    Cheryl: Exactly where were you when GWB was addressing a Republican fundraiser and he said, "Ah, yes – my base – the 'Haves' and the 'Have-Mores'. Doesn't that gall you? And, there's a difference between dissent and scorn and the ONLY things spewing out of the mouths of rightwing nuts – is scorn and pure hatred. Your not interested in better government, if you were you wouldn't say the things you do. As far as the President's lesson plan – perhaps you would be better off to get your information about the plans some where else other than the Neocon Slut, Michelle Malkin, or the Racist Rodeo Clown, Glnn Beck. Perhaps it would be better if you kept your children home from school that day. We wouldn't want them exposed to a pep talk about education and personal responsibilty. Oh yes, by the way – the President's lesson plans followed the exact same content of those when Reagan and GHW Bush were presidents. Your outrage smacks of nothing more than hypocritical whining.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  30. Robert

    It's times like this that I'm ashamed to be an American. Republicans should either grow up, get more educated or go form their own 3rd world country.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  31. george howell

    These right wing nuts have been jumping of the cliffs for the past month. Most of them have no idea what is in the health care plan.
    Now they claim that the President is going to make them support his policies.

    Give me a break. All the president wants to do is encoruage the kids to stay in school and make them understand that staying in school is a lot better then dropping out.

    So you right wing nuts grow up and be part of the solution instead of creating problems.

    You right wingers out there must forgot that it is the GOP that created this nightmare

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  32. Scott

    Why is anyone from Washington speaking to young children in the first place? In my opinion, the children of America should be speaking Congress on how to cooperate with each other and how to be less selfish. They grasp these concepts better than anyone in our government.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  33. Ben

    Right wingnut commenters should take the time to read the freaking story all the way through. It states explicitly that the Dept. of Education materials which they refer to were changed. The non-partisan PolitiFacts Truth-O-Meter investigated these "liberal brainwashing" claims and found them to be complete lies, without any basis in fact. Cynthia W. and on2u, grow-up or wake-up. Even better, shut-up. If you can't form an opinion based upon fact, you shouldn't waste our time with your drivel. The First Amendment may protect speech, but our founders didn't expect to protect lies and fools.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  34. Laura

    President Reagan did an address to school children that was broadcast nationally that discussed overtly political matters (in addition to telling them to stay in school and say no to drugs). He discussed national defense, nuclear disarmament, and tax policy- in great detail advocating tax cuts. So it was apparently ok for a Republican President to give a speech to school children on political issues, but not for a Democratic President to simply talk about staying in school.

    Again, hypocrites.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  35. Maria Sudduth

    GOP will not be happy until President Obama is out of office and it doesn't seem to matter what kinds of lies are spread, how much hate is fomented, how heated the rhetoric gets. This is not free speech, it is hate speech, and it needs to stop. And those of you who say that the "racist" word is just used to stop opposing points of view. Tune into any "tea party" rally and you will see viciousness at a level that only can be determined as "I can't stand it that my country voted for a BLACK man and I want my country back" Meaning, I want the balance of power held by white men as it always has been. If that isn't racism, I don't know what it.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  36. Fenarkleman

    You know, the lies made up by the far right wing over healthcare reform are simply not creative enough. They are disappointing America. They are letting us down. They are letting freedom down. They are letting patriotism down. This is what happens when educational standards fall. We need the far right wing to come up with far more creative lies. Sad. Just sad. I shed a tear.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  37. Vicky Bevis

    I'm 62 & the ONLY time I ever saw anything governmental at (high) school was the TVs set up in the auditorium in 1962 to watch our Ohio boy & former Senator, John Glenn, circling our planet. And that was by individual teacher's permission only. What a proud moment for ALL Americans. Talk about a "Can Do" attitude! But then, we had a Physics Club, 4 yrs. of Latin & a very high graduation rate. We were encouraged to take the "harder courses in math & science." There weren't any "touchy/feely" courses like "Underwater Basket Weaving." Math & science are HARD! Boy my sons & myself all have degrees in these disciplines and we worked all the way to achieve it; no one gave us a free ride.

    This,at a public school, which had a dress code that was enforced as was other discipline while in school. We were taught to be "Ladies & Gentleman" no matter what our race, creed or color & we HAD everything from black to whltes to Catholics, to Protestants, Greek Orthodox, to Russians, to Italians, to Serbians, to Christian Lebanese, & Polish. And, surprise, surprise, we all got along fine even with our substantial differences. Why? We were expected to do so!

    If Obama wants to encourage kids to study harder, not "hook" out on classes, do their homework in a timely fashion, behave like ladies & gentleman, finish high school, aim for something beyond that, I'm all for his speech "inspiring" today's kids. They have so few role models; anything that helps them grow up with a goal in mind is wonderful.

    HOWEVER, ANYTHING ELSE IS PROPAGANDA. WE WILL SEE WHAT TRANSPIRES!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  38. Gilbert Garcia

    Parents should keep their kids home the day of the President's speech, that way the schools will lose money for their attendance that day for choosing to force that on the students. Then parents can watch the video and speech at home with their kids if they choose too and not worry about their kids being misinformed.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  39. Brian

    2005 – George W. Bush's Department of Education paid Armstrong Williams to promote No Child Left behind. This had to be found out through Freedom of Information Act request. Can you say "propaganda" in it's truest form?

    Obama's speech about personal responsibility has been very public. And aren't personal responsibility and socialism opposite points? Much ado about nothing (as is usual from the wingnuts).

    September 4, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  40. Sherry

    Bush did not address all school children without their parents present. Bush asked children to send the dollar during a prime time speech. and did nott ask for the child to do an assignment on what the president talked about. Big difference in my book.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  41. Jim

    As seen on TV both Reagan and HW Bush did the same Presidential address to school children. Funny, I don't remember scads of "Pre" speech nonsense about how their speechs were going to ruin school kids lives or how both of them would cram their agendas down young throats.

    If anyone thinks this feigned outrage is TRULY about a President talking to school kids then your brain dead. This is fully about hatred for a lost election,health care reform and a black President in the WH.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  42. MD

    Jack Lowe – that is your personal choice. The govn't should not force socialism on anybody. That is the difference man.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  43. Eileen

    Oh, and just think of how UNAMERICAN it would be if a Republican President was scheduled to speak to children and parents didn't want their children to listen. Imagine the headlines.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  44. Pascal

    The right is full of wingnuts.

    They told him he was proposing Death Panel and he pulled it from the plan.
    They told him they didn't trust him preaching to the kids and he pulled the plan.
    They told him that White House oughtn't be collecting "fishy" emails and he pulled that plan.

    Throw in Public Options, Closing GITMO and reassessing these Czar and it look like the wingnuts are pretty popular or pretty influential.

    Maybe wingnut is a term losers use against winners.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  45. the girl

    Why are concerned parents being called racists? Barack Hussein Obama has no right to ask our children what they will do for him -– he has been hired to work for us. Obviously someone forgot to tell him or his racist wife this fact.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  46. Makabongwe

    I like the saying that "don't look at what the country can do for you" but "look for what you can do for your country". People should stop bashing the president and try to put their thoughts together and make the USA a better place.

    The president is trying has best to make the US a better place and put back the broken pieces that he inherited. Now inorder for us to put our thoughts together too we are just bashing the little good that the president is trying to do. SHAME

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  47. Alan

    I suppose when you spend your life being directed by Rush Limburger's words, following his every "instruction" over the air, it's easy to think your kids will be brainwashed by a speech made by the President.

    I feel so sorry for the rightwingnuts kids.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  48. John

    Really? The same parents who don't know what their kids are watching on TV. Don't know who they're talking to online. Don't know what the school served their child for lunch. And so on and so on. These are the same people who are worried about what the President of the United States might say to their kids?

    Even if you don't respect the man, respect the office. Parents should be thrilled for their child to have this opportunity.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  49. Dorothy Fitzpatrick

    President Obama is not the first President to speak to school children, and hopefully he will not be the last. School children need to listen to the Presidents talk and form their own opinions both good and bad. Unfortunately, their are some parents who instill their own predjudices and hatred into their children.,.

    The fanaticism of the "naysayers" is frightening. These people cannot and will not tolerate the fact that we the people elected a black president.. They are bigots in the first degree!

    I am a white woman, retired educator, who has five grown children, and grandchildren who are old enough to listen and weigh the facts of any speech they hear. They have all been taught to find facts to back up their opinions.

    CNN anchors have not always provided facts or both sides of a story, therefore , I encourage anyone listening to CNN to investigate on their own., using factcheck.org.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  50. lemp

    I think people are missing the point. It is a matter of trust based on the president's actions and the people surrounding him. The system is not broke. It's the people running the system. Then when bills are presented that cannot be deciphered it opens the door to suspicion and abuse of power. The answer is simple. Introduce clear and concise legislation. Proponents should vouche for the bills, stop the name calling and answer questions. The burden is on them to answer the very real concerns of the people. I have a question. Who wrote the heath care bill?

    September 4, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  51. Jacksonville

    This is sad. I am shame for alot of these bloggers. To keep a child home because the President of the United States will address them with responsibilities. What are the parents teaching the child and/or their children about another human being? Mr. Obama is a great person; who happens to be very educated, intelligent, loving, caring and has two beautiful daughters of his own. Yes, he is biracial, black but I guess it's a problem because he isn't considered to be a white man. What is wrong with people of the world? This is the 21st century and it's time to get over it and move on; if not the energy you are using to be negative and racism could be used for something positive. For example: Listen to what the President has to say and we can discuss it when you come home from school. Of course, if the parents are concern about what President Obama will say; then watch the program for themselves and stop listening to what other people (GOP) are speculating about what the speech is about. This is no political gain for President Obama. He has already proved to alot of people that he has what it takes to become the President and do all he can to get this country back on track and that was proven during the primary and general election: He is "Our" President of the United States of America. Love U President Obama 2012 YES WE WILL ....AGAIN. 2ND TIME IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE 1ST. MORE LOVE TO SPREAD AND SHARE.........

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  52. Jeff

    The funny thing is that people in Bush's cabinet REALLY DID write early in his term, before 9/11 that an attack on the country would help them push through their agenda.... man talk about having things backwards....

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  53. lolo

    The bottom line is that is is all about Obama's skin color. Most of old America are living in the dark ages no matter what party they belong to. These fools do not realize that things cannot stay the same if we want to grow as a nation. Everytime Obama tries to do something they complain. They must have written their own bibles, because it is not the bible that I read. Remember during the campaign all of the hatred that came up, Barack the magic Negro, He is uppity, and so on. It is a shame. They are really coming out of the woodwork, using scare tactics for anything this man tries to accomplish and they call themselves proud Americans. I am quite sure Obama was expecting all of this backlash. He is ready and prepared to fight back. Texas can leave the union who cares. They will be back. I am just sick to my stomach at what is going on. Next they will be trying to kill people out of love for America, because this is exactly where things are heading. The news media and politicians will not say this out loud, but mark my words, there will be trouble if we do not stand up and get a handle on these outburst. People are really showing their true colors and we as a country are ignoring it. This man can show our next gerneration of kids, black or white that all things are possible if you work at it. I just do not understand the thinking of people today. To think that we are in the yaer 2009 and things like this are going on. No one wants to take over white America, we all just want to get along and support America for all people.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  54. Carrie Simonsen

    What is the matter with my country? It is always, us against them. What is wrong with the president talking to students and then having a discussion afterwards? Our children leave school without even know how our government works. Civics is no longer taught. Most high school graduates, h*ll, college graduates couldn't pass a citizenship test. So why is it so terrrible that the president is bring government to school. I think it is a great idea. Every year on Patriot's Day, previously Constitution Day, the schools are supposed to switch part of the days class studies to the Constitution. I wonder how many do?
    For those who have a problem with President Obama's alleged socialism. I would like to remind them that the man who wrote the Pledge of Alligence was a Christian/Socialist. Christian/Socialists worked to end child labor and helped woman get the right to vote. I would also advise those Christians, who feel that Obama is a socialist, to read Matthew 25: 31-46 and then ask themselves if Jesus himself if wasn't a social activist.
    I would love to see everyone in this country take a deep breath and talk to each other civilly without the rhetoric of the talking heads of both parties. I love my country and I know it can be better. Remember: No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  55. Pete

    Van Jones, the "Green czar", proclaimed himself as a socialist... but the people claiming Obama has a socialist agenda are "wingnuts"?

    And do we hear anything on CNN or MSNBC about Van Jones???

    Of course not! Totally biased reporting. Thats why independents like myself watch Foxnews, to hear ALL the relevant news.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  56. Scott from Charlotte, NC

    I really don't have any issue with President Obama speaking to our children, encouraging them to stay in school and do well. If that's the nature of the speech, I'm all for it. If he plans on adding any political rhetoric other than school related issues, then I think he will be crossing the line. The part that has me concerned is the lesson plan that goes along with the speech. To me, this is THE real problem. The word that comes to mind is "INDOCTRINATION" Talk to the children, yes. – How cool for the kids. Anything more than that reeks of "FOR THE STATE INDOCTRINATION" and how scary is that. Yes Mr. President, give the speech, help inspire our children to do better but leave it at that.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  57. Tony

    I guess the all the alarmists didn't see the recent article in Parade Magazine where Backdoor Billy Phone Sex,of Fox, unfair and unbalanced, tabloid TV fame, was urging children to emulate the example set by Obama. Even had his picture. Billy's not Obama's.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  58. Michael

    Bush 41 actually asked the school kids to send in $1.00 to "help" in Afghanistan. Reagan and Bush used their speeches to indoctrinate and hopefully "brand" their audience as future republican voters, but all this dialogue is nothing more than subterfuge.

    Greer is happy to play the dunce for his buddies in the insurance industry. As long as Americans are busy calling each other names, they are distracted from the fact that insurance companies are the ONLY big winners if President Obama's health care plan fails.

    Wake up people! You are already paying for those who don't have insurance, and you're paying more because most of these people wait until their medical problem requires emergency care. Hospitals simply spread the cost of this care by raising prices for the rest of their paying customers.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  59. Paul T

    Work hard and stay in school! Ken and I demand that there be some balance to counter this liberal propaganda! How about bringing in the Assistant Manager from the local McDonalds?

    In fact, why stop there? Anytime the President speaks it is manifestly unfair we are hearing only one side of the story! Obviously we should have an Un-President who has equal say and equal exposure! Or else elections are mere preludes to Propaganda! All Presidents must be surgically grafted to the losing opponent! And if they run unopposed they will be grafted to Larry the Cable Guy!*

    *All these rules will become null and void upon Republicans regaining control of, well, anything.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  60. Amber Cohen's had enough!

    For right wing Bible thumpers, hypocrisy is a virtue and the rest of the country and world should just "deal with it".

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  61. D

    s watt says:
    September 4th, 2009 6:44 am ET s watt
    "I think that America should be ashamed. The point of the uproar is not President’s Obama’s views, its that “White America” does not want a Black man adivising their children on personal responsibilty. Let’s be honest"
    you are totally wrong..thats the kind of thing feds and politicians are posting to deface truthers..its not real..noone cares if hes black,green,transperent..it doesnt matter..hes smart and well spoken but his views are flawed and not sincerely what it is claimed to be.so if you want to "lets be honest"..look in the mirror..you are probably a wolf in wool trying to get people upset for a false cause of racism. race hasnt been an issue for along time..we all know that,..catch up to the current times, you may learn a few things

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  62. Tex

    My first question to Greer would be:

    Do you even understand what you are saying out loud?

    -then-

    How do you sleep well at night if this is what you do during your waking hours?

    This guy makes no sense whatsoever. The crossover for the crazies being people who elect GOP members to the crazies BEING the elected GOP members has never been more apparent.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  63. tyler durden

    We have heard more then enough from obama and his predictable followers. Using worn out terms like wingnut, racist, etc. only makes you look stupid. America is waking up to the fact that the left can not handle an honest debate and demonstrates this by their usual attempts at slander. Obama and his administration are filled with radical anti-American ideals. People are sick of it and speaking out against it. He brought this on himself and it's only going to get worse as more people wake up. You had your chance liberals, now Americans of all creeds and colors will be looking at you with the same contempt you look at America with!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  64. Laura

    President George HW Bush gave an address to all school children. One of the last lines in his address was "Write me a letter - and I'm serious about this one - write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals. I think you know the address."

    Apparently, when a Republican President asks school kids how they can help him, it is fine. But not when a Democratic President does it.

    Hyprocrites.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  65. Norma Rowland

    I have been reading the many comments posted and have come to the conclusion that there is hope for America. People are finally realizing that the Republicans are just a bunch of scared crazy old white people. I am an old white woman 64 who loves that fact that we have some diversity in government at last, a biracial man and women in powerful positions. I believe that OUR President, President Barack Obama will become the greatest President we have ever had. On the "wingnuts" ther just appear to be so many who will not listen to the actual facts but would rather listen to inuendo or rumor.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  66. Scott

    "Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American’s youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

    I'm sorry, but comments like these are blindly partisan and downright irresponsible. Democrats & members of the media may not have been happy when President Bush spoke to the school children, but ranking Democratic party officals didn't accuse him of lies and indoctrination. Say what you will, but the modern Republican Party has largely shown that it is willing to do anything to retain power (how does reaching out to conservative Christians & passing "moral" laws fit with a philosophy of small government?) while the Democrats regained power largerly by sticking to what they actually believe in.

    And as for the user comments, God, more people comparing Obama with Nazi Germany. Do you really expect comments like that to be taken seriously? That's right – it's a big conspiracy! The President is actually a Socalist who hates America and wants to destroy freedom! Because he has a lot to gain by doing so. But 8 years ago we had a guy who's FAMILY OWNS AN OIL COMPANY force us into a war with Iraq, and all of the conservatives said "this is about freedom...Nothing to see here...Move along". I'm just saying you should consider what someone stands to gain with an agenda before blindly following party politics.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  67. Blah Blah Blah

    I think politicians should shut their mouths and do their jobs, which is be a civil servant and run the country. All they care about is getting re-elected and in doing so they make ridiculous statements to excite their base. Politics has become so polarized that the base of each party is filled with lunatics that want to demonize the other side, leaving the rest of us in the middle scratching our heads wondering where all sense and reason went. Politicians should be limited to one 6 year term in office then move on. This would correct the lobbyists, the constant election cycle and probably most of the crazy talk that comes out of their mouths. If these people were not given a soapbox that everyone turns to when they open their mouths, most everyone would walk by them ignoring them, like they ignore the crazy drunk on the street corner.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  68. DD

    FL Republicans are outraged because the President's message of staying in school and being responsible is opposite what they want. They prefer ignorance = retaining power.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  69. honky

    why do people keep saying white america doesnt want a black presidant to do this or that.If "white america is still majority of the population, and obama won his presidency in a landslide, doesnt that mean that "white" america voted him in office?

    September 4, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  70. JD, Kansas City, Mo

    justbcos, thank you for repeating those very valid questions. Are they not ? just because you say they are talking points from Fox News, doesnt mean they arent valid and dont need answers. Get a clue. you're probably one of the 47% of the nation that doesnt pay a cent in Federal Income Tax.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  71. D. Schneider happy in FL

    Let's just agree that the GOP will be opposed to ANYTHING the President does simply because he's african american. If Obama was white, you wouldn't hear a fraction of all this hatred and lunacy from right wingers. Having an african american President is a huge blow to the notion of white superiority.

    FACT: This is still a VERY racist country.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  72. marcia

    What in God's name is wrong with telling children that they are responsible for their success in school. That is one of the biggest
    problems in society today...no one is responsible for anything that
    they themselves do!
    Congratulations to our president for stepping up to the plate and
    reminding the citizens of this country that they are accountable for
    their actions. Best to learn this little lesson early on instead of learning
    it the hard way...in prison!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  73. saftgek

    With respect to the public opinion process, Jim Greer is "crazier than 3 bags of loon s**t." President Obama's efforts are in no way an attempt to indoctrinate the youth of our country.

    Our President took on a hugely daunting task: cleaning up the mess left after 8 years of terrorism at from the hand of the Bush/Cheney Regime. After an 8 year drought of a legitimate head of state, President Obama is doing what he believes is reasonable to right the wrongs of the Regime.

    Yes, President Obama is taking a somewhat "shotgun" approach to improving our lot in life. While not the approach I would take, clearly the President and his staff believe the approach is reasonable.

    In my observations, since Inauguration Day, the Right – especially the ultra-extremist Right – are SO angry over the results of the election, they have and will do whatever they can to ensure total failure of the Administration. This, at the cost of the citizenry.

    Shame on the Right and their reprehensible conduct!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  74. RR Florida

    I am so proud of the american people...We are the people and we will not let a socialist and his socialist friends ruin our country.
    Obama ALWAYS has an agenda. He has spent billions (of tax payers money) on himself tooling around the country and europe....I do not think he has spent 30 days in the white house??
    He wants to pass health care to be able to tax us and hide all of his frivolous spending!!!
    Are WE THE PEOPLE over reacting?? No, because we do not know the half of it....yet....but we will!

    September 4, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  75. Kaci

    I am a high school student in Kentucky and we have to get our parents to sign a permission slip so we will be able to watch OUR President.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  76. Larry

    America is ready for a black president and/or a female president. To say otherwise is using the race card or the gender card and it is time for that to STOP. What America is not ready for is a socialist president or a totalitarianist president.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  77. Only in America

    The right wing or so called conservatives find themselves in the corner with nowhere to turn. They can not accept the reality that a Black man is leading the country to a better future once they used own. It is a hard pill to swallow for them as well as their croonies. Whatever President Obama is doing, they all are against it. What is wrong with the President pep talk with the students to excel on their education and become a leader like he become. The "socialist" or "Maoist" doctrine will not stick according to GOP claim. Now we have to hear any garbage spewed from anti Obama administration for the next three years and until they become majority again which I doubt with the non sense.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  78. Capt D

    Gee, I thought all "wingnuts" were left-wingnuts,... there's a right wingnut too? Wow. "Fear based extremism"? Oooo,... cool, another pointless phrase. What about the "fear based extremism" the left is and has been depending on its entire life? Fear the old people,... they're not current/with-it/hip/plugged in. Fear the military,... it wants to take your sons and daughters and throw their lives away "over there". Fear big business,... they want to steal your livelihood. Fear hunters,... they kill Bambi. Fear oil,... it despoils the planet. Fear nuclear,... we don't want to glow. Fear religion,... they want to tell us how to live. Fear the white people,... they want to make slaves of us again. Fear, fear, fear,...

    What you need to do is get over your own fears, grow a pair, and take control of your own life. Pay for your own mistakes,... don't expect your neighbor (or the US government) to do it for you.

    As to Obama talking to anybody in this country and telling them what they should or shouldn't do,... I didn't vote for him, I don't work for him, I don't like him, and I sure as he11 won't be preached to by him,.. why would I let him do the same to someone I loved?

    The left wingnut hate mongers were all about disrespecting Bush,... but they can't take what they dished out. Too bad. So sad.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  79. Angie

    I think the President should disclose the transcript of his speech before he makes it. If it is (as it should be) about personal responsibility, respect for our country and others, and doing your personal best – I'm all for it. However, if it's about "help me to help America", "save the earth", "we will think for you", and "healthcare should be free" – which translates go home and tell your parents they should support cap and trade and govt. healthcare, (as I unfortunately suspect it will) then I am strongly opposed. I fear this will be akin to that disgusting "I Pledge...to be a servant to Obama" advertisement. If he has nothing to hide – disclose the speech transcript.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  80. Eileen

    President Obama is not a candidate running for office anymore – get over it. So the ELECTED President of the United States cannot talk to the children of the country that elected him???

    September 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  81. Joe

    Machiavelli advocated lying well and Josef Goebbels advocated lying big. The crazies of both far right and far left seem to have learned those lessons well. And in a country where fewer and fewer high school graduates can even think let alone read critically, their lies are likely to find fertile ground. Give me the solid center, please. And a little more common sense and common courtesy.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  82. Karel

    I have to start by saying that I did not vote for this President. That being said I do not understand how the most important, prestigious, and highest held position in this country is continually under attack by crazy idots. All I have to say is that if the President of the United States cannot address our children with a positive message to strive for excellence in school - then who should? We send our children to school every day trusting that the teachers we know nothing about will do their best to impart wisdom. It is the parents obligation or role to teach our children to understand right from wrong. Tell me that TV, movies or the computer games kids are playing do not do more damage than any of this. Let the position speak for itself and get off it.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  83. HELLO

    This biased and insulting article was written by a person who does not understand the question...
    The questions are:
    1) When was Obama elected Superintendant of Public Schools?
    2) Is it the job and responsibillity of a Federal Agency, even one labeled Department of Education, to dictate curriculum in local schools?
    3) Is it appropriate for school children to be required to write letters telling what they can do for Obama? The teacher will hold each child accountable for fulfilling their vows in the future.
    4) Is it appropriate for children to be collecting "inspiring quotes" from Obama and making a poster of those quotes to hang on the classroom wall?
    Maybe all the "inspirational" wise and wonderful quotes of Obama could be collected from the children and bound in a little red book, Everyone could then be required to have a copy..because it is OK according to the Federal Regulatory Agencies to force Americans to have copies of books published by the government. I personally have two such books ..and both are required reading. Right Wing Nuts can't read? Right Wing Nuts have jobs and money to pay for Government Required Editions and have to pass tests on the material therein.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  84. DaleW

    Someone needs to emphasize the value of education – it certainly does not appear to be coming from home/family. If you research a bit, the dropout rate in 1998 was about 29%, 2009 40+% (in the largest 50 cities). We think the budget is out of whack now – in 10 – 20 years the dropouts are going to be looking at the gov't for support (if not sooner).

    Whether Rep or Dem, conservative or liberal – it is undeniable there is an issue here – a big one. Somehow over the past several years it has become "cool" to be stupid and/or kids will make it big in sports (less than 1% do). Again someone has to emphasize education and its value. Unlike sports, with an education everyone can turn pro (paraphrased from Dean Kamen).

    http://www.scienceleadership.org/drupaled/blog/nel/15-jan-2009/4627

    This article explains a report by an educational advocacy group founded by Colin Powell. The report was about a study conducted in the 50 largest U.S cities to find their dropout rates and show how bad the situation is from a more statistical standpoint.

    After the study, it was discovered that only 52% of students graduate after four years in the studied cities. But the findings go deeper. For example, it was concluded from a 2003-2004 Department of Education study, which found that, “17 of the public school systems in 50 major cities have graduation rates of 50 percent or lower, and the average graduation rate of all 50 systems is 58 percent.” Also, the article looks into the impact on dropping out from living in urban areas vs. suburbs. It found that urban areas have much higher dropout rates than suburbs. For example, in Baltimore, Maryland, only 34.6% of urban public high school students get their diplomas after four years, but 81.5% in the suburbs graduate.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  85. Paul

    I keep reading this "the country is center right" theory and that nobody wants Obama's socialist policies. If that was the case why did he win the election? How did, as the repubs claim, one of the most Liberal senators win the general election. Would he need to get 100% of the votes for people to realize that a Liberal Centrist won the election on a platform of Health care reform, getting out of Iraq and investing in America's future. Now he is doing exactly that and the minority repub party followers claims he doesnt have the support. He is the President people. Wake up people you are living in a fantasy world!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  86. Mark

    To answer a few comments. It was a black man who showed up with an AR-15 during one of Obama's rallies. No, white America is not prejudice, it's only a very small percentage and no more than blacks are racist. You see, racism comes in all colors. It was the "white" vote that got your Mesiah in office. I don't like Obama because of his Socialist/Marxist ideas and policies, not because of his skin color. You can't deal with the truth! Get over it!
    Mark

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  87. DJH

    I keep seeing the same false statements over and over again from you folks. Is your ideology really that important to you that you would destroy your credibility?

    First of all, I don't know anyone who would have a problem with Obama addressing school children on education – BUT THAT WAS NOT THE SOLE TOPIC! The original materials made available clearly outlined a political undertone and that is what set parents off. And pretending like it was only the 'republican parents' (just like pretending only republicans or paid insurance stooges are protesting at the town halls) who had a problem with this is a blatant falsehood.

    And for those who keep claiming no one minded when Bush addressed school age children; why don't you do a little bit of research before looking foolish. The protesting and cries of politicizing our children were deafening – nearly any article on this topic specifically mentions that... yet you folks keep claiming no one minded. Where do you people come from and is reality a commodity available in this locale?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  88. Joe Whiteman

    Van Jones should address our childen with Barry oBOWma. Let's just be honest about his purpose. I am surprised that BArry didnt make Van Jones Sec of Education and indoctrination.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  89. Ramoth

    Hey Shag;

    It is interesting that.. the Polls that I have looked at, shows that 77% of Americans does NOT want a Public Option for the Healthcare. I also read a Poll recently that showed that, only 37% of those Polled, actually KNEW what the Public Option meant, and others had no idea what it meant for them, but they favored it anyway because it had the word "public" in it, so it obviously had to be a good thing, when the fact remains that neither of them have bothered to research it.

    So why not! Bring on that public option, I would be very happy, to take your money, to pay for my medical needs.

    Thank you very much!

    Interesting, how B.S. these Polls are, isn't it? Poll's are nothing but jokes, and only favors a select group of individuals which the poll specifically targets; every American knows it, most just aren't willing to admit it to themselves yet.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  90. Bill

    I suggest that everyone pick up and read the "Communist Manifesto," by Karl Marx. If you read that then you will know that Obama is no more a socialist then both Roosevelts, JFK, LBJ, Reagan, (yes, Ronald Reagan, by firing the Air Traffic Controllers and responding to the S&L crisis implemented "socialist" doctrines...even Lincoln was more socialist than Obama for crying out loud! Are the right "wingnuts" wanting to blow up the Lincoln Memorial?

    Obama wants to tell school children to work hard! The language in a lesson plan that someone found offensive is GONE!

    These idiot "tea party" goers and persons yelling stuff at congressmen would be the first to complain if Obama HADN'T taken the actions that he has taken.

    God Bless President Obama and God Bless the United States...even those right wing "nuts".

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  91. ANDROLOMA

    Wingnuts to the right of me, socialists to the left.
    Here I am, stuck in the middle again.

    Been this way since I don't know when.
    Been this way before I was born.
    Be this way long after I'm gone.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  92. MikeMike

    I have a 16 year old son and the US government called my house last night and attempted to get him to join the marines. So the US governement can get my home phone number and call my kids about joining the government effort in Iraq, but Obama talking to our kids about responsibility is a political weapon. These people in washington are so out of touch. They suck our kids right out of their neighborhodds for war and a speech is seen as brain washing.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  93. Ashley in AL

    I'm so sick and tired of people using the race card against people who disagree with Obama and his policies.

    It like all you have left when you don't have anything more constructive to say.

    And since I disagree with most of Obama's policies and support some of the health care protesters I must obviously be a racist or have some serious prejudice against black people. Oh, btw I'm black.

    This country will never resolve some of the racial tensions if people are so quick to inject race into the issue when at many times its irrelevant.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  94. KLj

    Mr. Avalon has hit the nail on the head. We have extremists on both ends of the political spectrum who are preventing real dialogue on the issues. His commentary was accurate and balanced. One the few articles that you will read today that is void of bias.

    One person accuses Mr. Avalon of having a liberal bias because he didn't mention the comment by Van Jones. Following this twisted logic, should I argue Mr. Avalon has a conserative bias since he didn't mention the pastor who prays for the immediate death of the President? It just proves his point that there are wingnuts from both political parties.

    From reading some of the postings, it is apparent some people missed the real point of his commentary.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  95. Tony

    Speech hasn't been made public yet, but accounts say the president's message will be "Stay in School, Set high goals, VIsualize and commit your goals to writing, Work hard."

    Seeing that Greer's state of Florida LEADS the country in education, I can see why he doesn't want this message to get to his constituents.

    What a hypocrite! Lay off, already!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  96. Big Blue Patriot

    Without being too paranoid, I wonder if anyone at CNN has looked into Karl Rove's potential involvement in all this. I know that the health insurers and big pharma (and now the oil lobby, starting to astroturf against climate change legislation) have been shown to be behind some of this town hall outrage, but no one knows better than Rove how to create a narrative that makes it look like many more folks are behind a certain p.o.v. than actually are. This strategy (Rove's "thin green line") helped win a presidency.

    Or did his tactics become so ingrained in the GOP playbook that any Republican can employ them?

    If so, given the deterioration of investigative journalism and the corporativized media, heaven help us.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  97. Linda in Maryland

    Hooray for you, Mr. Avlon! You have hit the nail on the head and thank you from the bottom of my heart. And for those of you commenting and upset about "wingnut" too often referring to the right, I ask that you only look at the insanity since January and you tell me who are the wingnuts. A quick check of Politifact and Factcheck proves the point.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  98. Joe Whiteman

    Barry wants to indoctrinate our children to become young Van Jones's. Van Jones has the prefect background and qualifications to be an anchor on CNN or MSNBC. Liberalism is a mental disorder!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  99. Maggi

    I don't think, at least from the parents and other grandparents I've spoken with, the problem is with Obama's speech. The concern I've heard is with the lesson plans distributed by the federal Dept of Education. I did go on the DOE web site and based on what I saw there yesterday, I do think parts of the lesson plans are problematic.
    In my opinion those parents that have, also in my opinion, over-reacted are not reacting specifically to this one event but to the overwhelming sensation that this administration is reaching into way too many aspects of our lives – health, cap and tax, the deficit and now the schools. It's just too much, especially if you are already feeling financially insecure. At least that's what I think.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am |
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