Has stupid met its Waterloo? For many, many weeks now, stupid has gone virtually unchallenged by the leaders of the Con party. At last, though, it has become so egregious that not even Rudy Giuliani can support it:
Meet the Press:[snip]
MR. GIULIANI: I think it's unfortunate and I think, you know, what's the--it almost seems a shame to say what's the harm in a president speaking to a group of children.
I think, I think the president should be given the opportunity to do it.
This is the same man who was spouting off about death panels earlier, mind you.
And while David Gregory can't pull his head out of his ass long enough to call a spade a spade, Tom Friedman calls the brouhaha over the POTUS telling the kiddies to stay in school "signs of the apocalypse," and Tom Brokaw unloads:
MR. BROKAW: It's stunning to me. I come from a time and a place in America where it would be thrilling to have a president of the United States address your school about the importance of studying and staying in school. And this president, whatever else you think about his political philosophy, is a symbol of working hard, coming from difficult circumstances and getting to where he is in part because of education. I think it's so ripe for satire, it's unbelievable. The superintendent of the Gettysburg Public School System said today that they have devised a plan for students to be shielded from a President Abraham Lincoln who will be coming to make an address. Look, that is the most tortured thing I can possibly imagine, what we just read there. It sounds like East Germany trying to form some restrictions on people leaving the eastern sector to go into the western sector. I think it's perfectly appropriate for parents to say, "I don't want my child to hear that. I would rather keep them out or put them in a different school that day." But this is completely out of control, in my judgment.John Harwood's way ahead of you there, Tom.
MR. FRIEDMAN: But David, you know, you said, it's a firestorm. And we live in the age of firestorms. You know, today, or this week, it's the president speaking in school. What it needs is for people to stand up and say that's flat out stupid, OK? That's flat out stupid what you're talking about. The president of the United States, addressing schoolchildren in this country to study hard, work hard because that's the way you advance in today's global economy. And instead of that, we kind of dance around it, you know. It's flat out stupid.
Utah's governor made a statement that we should've been hearing from Congressional Cons:
What will it take to get some of that sanity from the Cons in Congress, I wonder?
I haven't found any high-profile Republican officeholders willing to denounce the nonsense, but the conservative Republican governor of Utah deserves at least some credit for being a lone, sensible GOP voice.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert supports President Barack Obama's plan to deliver a televised back-to-school speech to the nation's students on Tuesday, saying he sees "nothing but good coming out of this."
Herbert said he favors letting students listen to the speech, and he thinks it will foster a dialogue between parents and their children.
"I think it's great. To hear from the president of the United States is an important thing," he said Saturday. "I'd like to hear what he has to say.
"I hope parents will take the opportunity to discuss the issues with their children, hear what the presidents views are and what his vision is for the future of America. If they agree, then explain that. If they disagree, explain to their children why. I see nothing but good coming out of this," he said.
The governor, who has grandchildren in the Utah school system, said he can't imagine that they wouldn't watch the speech.
This sounds like a sane person. What a pleasant change of pace.
Ah, here's one lonely national office-holding voice:
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who was Secretary of Education under the first President Bush, also defended Obama’s speech, saying “of course the president of the United States should be able to address students and of course parents and teachers should decide in what context.”I'll bet the Faux News viewers hated hearing that. Primary challenge in 3...2...1...
Newt made sane noises on the same program. Dday reminds us not to take him seriously:
Second, here comes the sensible Newt Gingrich, riding in to denounce the hysteria and position himself as a serious, brave conservative who only concerns himself with real-world issues like the threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack and using lasers to wipe out North Korean missiles. Now we can make way for the parade of liberal DC columnists like Joke Line and Richard Cohen lauding the bravery of conservative heroes like Gingrich, boldly going against the attacks of his own party supporters. (Hey wait, here they are!) Maybe this will kick off his Presidential campaign in 2012, although he'll have to get past early adopter of the "Obama's education speech is fine" gambit, Joe Scarborough.
Being able to assert that it's OK for the President of the United States to give a "stay in school" speech to children is about the lowest bar anyone in politics will ever have to surmount. If that's evidence of conservative sanity, then whoever said "the soft bigotry of low expectations" was a genius. Now Gingrich and Scarborough and whoever else can get on with their attacks on Obama's government takeover of health care and efforts to make America vulnerable to Evil Terrorists. At least they aren't too crazy.
I'm reminded of the Chris Rock routine:
The sound and fury from the right is, as per usual, much ado about nothing at all. Oh, and it's completely fucking hypocritical:
In 1991, then-President Bush addressed school kids in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide. Among other things, he promoted his own administration's education policies. But before he wrapped up his remarks, H.W. Bush told students something else:Hunter at Daily Kos sums up the stupidity nicely:
"Let me know how you're doing. 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."
Wait, kids were being encouraged to send letters to the White House? To quote Minnesota's comically ridiculous governor, "There are going to be questions about -- well, what are they are going to do with those names and is that for the purpose of a mailing list?"
It's worth noting, there was, at the time, no public backlash. The right didn't complain about Bush "abusing his power," and the left didn't throw a fit. Some Democratic leaders on the Hill complained about the president using the speech as some kind of pre-election campaign ad, but they didn't push the issue and it barely registered as a story at all. Even after 11 years of Reagan-Bush, and in the midst of a recession, the left had better things to do with their time than throw a tantrum over a presidential pitch to kids.
Perhaps we have managed to shoot the moon, to wrap around again to the point where uninformed, dribbling paranoia is now finally and permanently more respectable than actual governance. Sarah Palin is, for a large part of the Republican Party, the closest thing to an intellectual voice that their version of know-nothing populism will allow, and that is very nearly the scariest thought to set itself down in the political landscape for a great many years.
Republican leaders have taken intelligence to the guillotine, and lopped its head clean off: from now on "the opposition is plotting to kill your grandmother" will have far more sway, in politics, than any actual realities of a healthcare system clearly and blatantly gone wrong. We boo those with medical conditions. We deny outright that the first non-white President of the United States is even a citizen of his own country, much less leader of it. We still insist that an administration breaking the law is less divisive and controversial than daring to investigate it. We put brick-stupid or malevolently selfish people on television, and feign outrage at anyone who points out their stupidity or selfishness. And the President speaking to your children is the onset of communism, although perhaps barely a tenth of the population that utter it have any actual notion of what "communism" might actually be.
And Tbogg, speaking of a different manufactured controversy that was perpetrated by the same bunch of raving fucktards, puts it quite a bit more harshly: "...and let's quit excusing them as "low information voters"...they're dumbshits..." Agreed. You shall not hear the words "low information voter" pass my lips unless I'm being sardonic.