One pap-filled 20-minute speech about working hard and serving others is so lethal a threat to tender minds that they have to be yanked off the premises for the day to shield them from it? Or is this more of a protest in principle at the idea of the president giving a captive audience of schoolkids a pep talk on civics?
Yes, the speech itself will almost certainly be harmless. I don’t expect anyone’s kids to be coming home and berating their parents for being against this program or that agenda. I do expect Allah has it quite right, that this speech will be just another Daddy Speech, meant to encourage my son to work hard in school.
But you know what? The President of the United States — whether an Obama a Bush or a Lincoln — is not my son’s daddy. That’s my job. We’ve had enough nannystatism, and enough daddystatism, too.
The other thing I object to is a big portion (an entire portion?) of a school day being devoted to the President and His Works and Admonishments, for no reason other than he seems to think it should be. There’s no national emergency, this isn’t an inauguration or a joint address to Congress. It’s the President deciding, for reasons entirely his own, to take over the public school system for twenty minutes or an hour or a day.
And, yes, I object to that.
UPDATE: The White House folks are so impressed with their own efforts on this one, they’re already backtracking.