Free Markets, Free People

Revisiting Political History

A little reminder for those on the left who sniff at those uncomfortable about a politician addressing school children. It’s also handy for those who like to like to recall George H.W. Bush’s address to school kids and pretend like the left wasn’t bothered by that:

But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.

Of course that won’t happen in this case. Nor will this:

The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it “cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers’ money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C. — while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters.”

And you certainly won’t hear Democratic politicans saying anything like this either:

“The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.'”

But you know, this is all a new bit of right-wing paranoia, isn’t it?



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19 Responses to Revisiting Political History

  • Gotta admit…..turnabout is not only fair play, it’s a good load of fun as well.

  • So, the fact that the left over-reacted 18 years ago means that the right should too ?

    • No.

      How many times must it be said? It was not the idea of the speech, but rather the attached lesson plan that had/has people up in arms.
      It is a continuing example of the narcissistic behavior of the current Administration and the cult of personality that pervades ‘the Left’ (I’ll pretend that ‘current Administration’ and ‘the Left’ are not synonyms).

    • You’re missing the point. If those who complained and investigated 18 years ago (or their political heirs) objected to Mr. Obama’s speech the way they complained about that one, they would have some credibility, as opposed to none.

      And looker is correct, to a point. A lesson plan that asks what parts of the speech “resonated” with them, and doesn’t ask about weak points or disagreements with the speech is just more indoctrination. A second point is that it’s pretty difficult to imagine him giving a speech that’s not political at this point. Everything he’s said for the past 2 years or so has been overtly political.

      • My statement was based on ideal theory for the President. In THEORY he could give a speech that would have nothing to do with ‘him’, apart from his giving a speech to children. An essentially harmless, theoretically helpful, speech to encourage them to stay, and do well, in school that might inspire some child or children, which is of course their claim.

        Would that I had some level of trust in this President beyond trust in the knowledge that he loves to see himself on TV and trust in the knowledge he and, especially, his staff are not above using children to move their agenda forward.

    • Actually I think it is rather that they have said that they would never be that way that makes it all the more fun.

      Having their phrases and memes turned back on them is such fun.

      barrel fish shooting …. some assembly required

    • Well that depends. If, like me, your basic premise is all politicians should be kept out of the classroom, then the point of the post woundn’t be “see, they’ve both done it and complained about it” – it would instead be that both found it objectionable at one time and for the most part I agree with their objections.

      However, if you operate from the premise that its ok for politicians to use school time to make address to a captive audience of schoolchildren and that’s ok because it could never be abused (original lesson plan notwithstanding) like you do, I’m sure you’d find all of this silly.

  • I think the Democrats who complained in 1991 are just as silly as the Republicans who complained in 2009. And I note that the President’s remarks were non-partisan, focused on individual motivation for success and achievement, and ennuciated values shared by both the left and the right. And when a Republican has the White House, I hope he or she takes the time to make a similar address. Life is not all about political partisanship!

    • I’m complaining.
      I’m not a Republican.
      Try again.

      ” enunciated values shared by both the left and the right.”

      Which values would those be?

      The ‘right’ believes hard work yields fruits for your labors.
      The ‘left’ believes that others are entitled to the fruits of your labors.
      The ‘right’ believes in self reliance.
      The ‘left’ believes the government should take care of you.

      Those values are mutually exclusive.

    • Scott Erb:…the President’s remarks were non-partisan,…
      Quit being retarded.
      Everything the a politician says is “inherently” partisan.
      Some of you people are unbelieveable. Seriously.

      • Easy now – shark’s an irreplaceable member of this blog’s community. Sometimes, without shark’s snark (wow, it rhymes too – sound like a great name for a blog) to give me a laugh and break up the day, I’d go off the deep end.

  • Bush did it, then Clinton did it, then Bush did it, then Obama did it, ad nauseum…….
    The 21st century politics are so 20th century.
    The repulsive part is what drives this manical machine, indicated in the very first comment above by this *shark* character, “It’s fun, Fun, FUN!!!”

    • You left out Reagan…

      Am I correct in my understanding that the ‘right’ should stop all protests and let the ‘left’ have the field, (both in giving such speeches or complaining about them) so as to make it less ‘Pathetic’.

      You do understand why that won’t happen I trust.

      • @looker, I understand implicitly. If either side drops the ball the herd may catch a glimpse of reality and stampede, so the volley must continue at all costs. Costs to the herd of course, whom will never wake up apparently.

    • The repulsive part is what drives this manical machine, indicated in the very first comment above by this *shark* character, “It’s fun, Fun, FUN!!!”


      Actully no. The motivation is to teach. When baby touches a hot stove, you can be sure he’s careful around it next time. Maybe a few good doses of their medicine will teach the Dems- who have acted absolutely shamefully for the past 8 years- a lesson for next time.

      And if they don’t, at least I get some laughs out of it.

      • The politicians are teaching but all of the students are on vacation.
        Keep watching the bouncing ball, its fun.

      • sharkWhen baby touches a hot stove, you can be sure he’s careful around it next time. Maybe a few good doses of their medicine will teach the Dems- who have acted absolutely shamefully for the past 8 years- a lesson for next time.

        Would that were so! Sadly, I don’t think that it is or even CAN be.

        Politics has some of the aspects of a “blood feud”, a deep-seated and irrational antipathy toward “the other”. It is self-sustaining as there is ALWAYS a tu quoque that one can fall back on, some past transgression that is so heinous that retaliation is not only acceptable but REQUIRED. Further, politics is ultimately about WINNING, and you don’t score points by being nice. Hence, both sides have similar reactions to criticism: instead of even CONSIDERING that the criticism might have merit, they immediately find an example, no matter how old or tenuous, when the other side allegedly did it and throw it back in the their face.

        It works, and so they’ll keep on doing it.