September 4th, 2009
03:07 PM ET

‘Wingnuts’ try to politicize president’s talk to kids

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/04/wingnuts.stark.greer2.art.jpg caption="Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R)."]
John Avlon
CNN Contributor

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.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Education • John P. Avlon
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    How very sad that some children will be prevented from getting a perspective they may not get at home. What is education but to teach children to hear different views, think for themselves and if necessary discuss with their parents. This is truly a sad statement of how buased a nation we still are. The parents preventing their children from participating and the politicians spouting only negatives should be very much ashamed of themselves – they are only hurting the children and perpetuating stagnent thinking.

    September 4, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  2. Kathy

    As the mother of four children ( 2 in high school, 1 in jr. high, and 1 in elementary) I was rather excited to hear that the President was going to address children about the responsiblity of gaining an education. What a great way to kick-off the school year. I then learned that this was more than a speech. The White House, with the Department of Education, has created lesson plans to go with this speech. I've been to the Department of Education's website and read these lesson plans, and I have to confess I find them a bit troublesome. I've been a jr. high social studies teacher and feel that it would be more approriate for teachers to drive the discussion after the speech and not the White House. There is a little too much focus on personal perceptions of the President and not on the importance of education in these plans. I think the White House and the Department of Education are out-of-line in this instance.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Michelle

    What is sad is that CNN gives these people airtime.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  4. dan

    It seems like these days Obama needs to ask the GOP's permission to scratch his nose. This all goes into the GOP's game plan from the begining to drag their heels and not do the dems any favors. I mean can you really blame them? If you are calling the plays for the GOP and you see your party get its butt handed to them in presidential and congressional elections and the country is in a deep hole they probably partly caused what do you do? You drag your heels on any legislation the dems put out in hopes they will either look power hungry runing over minority oposition or stagnant in not getting enough done soon enough and not providing the change they promised.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Memphis

    Wingnuts indeed...and people I thought were rational, intelligent humans are believing this craziness and it's creating awful fights among otherwise sensible people.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  6. Julia

    From what I've gathered, the ever-nuttier conservatives believe that President Obama is trying to kill old people, control the minds of kids, take all guns and turn the U.S. into a giant socialist community...I know they're bitter that their candidate didn't win but they seriously need to get over it and show a show some respect. He is the President of the UNITED States!! In my opinion the conservatives are the ones ripping this country apart with their hypocritical views and conspiracy theories.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  7. Char

    As I was watching this last night, Jim Greer was dancing on the issue that he had facts backing up his statement. He knew he was not telling the American people the truth and we knew it too. Why are the Republicans so against our President no matter what he tries to do. It is so disgraceful for our country and to the American people. Is this a race issue, sorry, but I cannot think of any other thing it could be? The Republicans have never treated any other President like this even if they did not like him.They are so disrepectable to President Obama. It is time that is brought to the forefront and discussed, after all the ELECTED Republican Officials should be held accountable.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  8. Patti Meredith

    Wingnut-repubs have jumped the shark.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  9. Michael Amarillo, TX

    I for one am fed up with people in this country name calling. My kindergarten and Pre-K age children don't know what a socialist is. They don't care. People keep using words like indoctrination and brainwashing to spread a message of fear. Sounds very Bush-like to me. That is the language that made me change my beliefs about politics. I voted for Bush and was lied to for 8 years. I voted for Obama and now I'am called a member of a cult of personality. So you don't like the Idea of Obama speaking to your children with a lesson plan attached. Stop the name calling then, and get to the true reason you are upset. You are a partisan player with a single-minded purpose. Hate for anyone who doesn't believe what you do. I hope that someday this country will be able to realize it is not just about individuals, it is about all of us. If we can't reach across the aisle and speak to one another without the name calling, I fear for this nation.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  10. toadman

    These people are beyond stupid. They're so stupid, they're creating a "vortex of stupid" that's sucking in all sorts of unsuspecting people into it's singularity of idiocy, where nothing can escape, especially the truth. The crushing weight of the singularity of idiocy crushes rational thought and compromise and will be our undoing.

    This crap has to stop, or it's curtains, folks. Curtains. Fox, MSNBC, and yes, even CNN have been guilty of propagating and feeding this monster, giving it air time and thereby legitimizing it's moronic and exceedingly one sided point of view.

    I dream of a world without Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Malkin, Savage, O'Reilly, and yes, without Maddow and Olberman. I dream of a world where people can have rational intelligent conversations without fear of losing digits, without fear of being named a socialist for want of helping others. I fear my dream is dead, though.

    Good night, USA.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  11. vincent M.

    When I grew up I was taught to respect the office of president and the president. Regarding our current president, there is a common thread in the criticisms and that is a total repudiation of what they think he will do in advance of the actual information.
    At present there is no healthcare bill, it's a process and a bill will emerge at which point folks can weigh in and access and discuss.
    Additionally, to date, we have no copy of the speech given to school children, however, it will be released a day in advance to the public.
    Today I read a Q and A from 1998 with Ronald Reagan answering questions from students in a similar back to school forum with the president addressing students nationwide.
    In a response to a student's question asking if he had any regrets about what he could not accomplish, the president replied talking about the ills of the federal government and spending beyond their means and the need for a line item veto.
    I don't recall any public outrage before or after this concerning the president preaching political viewpoints to students. I think that the pavlovian howling protests on everything this president does in advance of what he actually says and does is a sign of blatant disrespect, wholesale ignorance , and a bias rooted in our worst character flaws.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Jay

    If no one will say I will. “It’s because he is not white”. I never used the race card in my life, but hurts to see the media air or write the “anger” with my other fellow Americans. Have or could the media show me and group Blacks that our just as outraged at the President’s up and coming speech. I listened to other past President’s as a youngster and now a 40+ yr old Black man, and was smart enough to form my own ideals and move on. Obama may never get a fair shake while in office…what a shame!

    September 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  13. scott benton

    If President Obama discovered the cure for Cancer...the GOP and there Right wing extemist partners would Launch an attack of some sort....its useless dealing with them. Its all about Hate and "No" and Divisive with them. Democrats and Left need to go on the Offensive

    September 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  14. Rhonda

    As a parent of school-aged children I have always thought one of my responsibilities was to introduce my children to all views of US Politics and hope they will get involved based on having information. Only exposing them to my personal views would seem like parenting out of fear that they might have their own opinion on day. I certainly hope elected officials who have espoused themselves to the political process would have AT LEAST as much objectivity!

    September 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Darren

    I like the "wingnut" lable. It's so fitting for the true left and right nuts out there.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  16. akins

    I think even if Obama says he found a cure for cancer they will find a way to call that a "Socialist" medical discovery

    September 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  17. wil

    This is just another attempt to divert attention away from health care reform talks to some abriturary insignificant issue like some how this is an outradge! Who in their right mind wouldn't want the President to speak to the children, especially now that our school are falling so far behind those of orther countrys. Once again the republicaint's show that when you don't have anything constructive to say , they open mouth and insert foot. I shutter to think what state this country would be in if You know who had won. Just pray for them America, they need it bad.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm |