My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Not Ready For Prime Time, Or . . . 

So, as amusing as its been the last couple days to watch the various schools I'm involved with try to figure out a way to do what they really want to do, but to do it in a way that doesn't completely tick off the community, I think there's a bigger lesson to be learned here.

First of all, the President's decision to speak to schoolchildren directly is just wierd. If he wants to do a big PR thing, ask the networks to run a 45-second PSA of him talking up the value of education. Everybody in America would see it, parents could discuss it with their children, and no problem. But instead, he's asked for a captive audience of children who are away from their parents and in the control of somebody else--often, somebody else who has decidedly strong views on the President, Hope, Change, and children's role in the coming revolution. All I need to know about this is what my 13-year old said: that kinda sounds like Hitler. BINGO! And, mind you, this is the same 13-year old who rolls her eyes and starts making faces whenever I start to talk about history, so . . . I'm glad something is soaking in, at least.

Then, there's the schools. I've seen everything from memos that informed teachers what time to bring their classes down to the gym for the whole-school broadcast to statements of "room-based decision" whether to show it. One office had to send teachers three different emails talking about the event, and then forward the district talking points about the event! The smartest thing I saw was from a principal who said, in effect, you can watch it if you want, but we're not going to force you to, we'd ask you to only show it if you can see some curricular correlation, and if the speech deviates from the stated intent (to talk about the value of education) we will shut it off. Here's my question: if the stated intent is motivational, that's at best a tangential curricular correlation; if the speech becomes political, you're going to shut it off; is there any remaining possible purpose to this? Why show it at all, IF you're concern is curricular.

But mostly, I can NOT believe that the "assignment" asking for children to write a letter talking about how they could support the President ever made it off the table! Does nobody read these things before they go out!?! The Orwellian overtone of that is just creepy.

Which begs the question: is the White House really this amateurish? Are they really that clueless? The problem is that we've been told by a breathless media that this is the smartest President we've ever seen, that the operation he runs is tip-top, etc. . . which, I guess would mean that somebody would be able to read this and understand the strangeness of the thought process.

Which leaves one possibility: the ARROGANCE of the comfortable liberal is finally starting to show. And I say "finally" with tongue planted firmly in cheek. SO convinced of his own popularity; SO certain that the GOP is collapsing; SO positive that his charm can overcome any doubts . . . but not nearly self-aware enough to recognize the reality staring him in the face.

So the staff and the President continue to make bush-league mistakes. How long do think it will be before one of these blunders happens on a big stage with immediate and big consequences?

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