Tuesday, September 8, 2009
If you don’t understand why people have a problem with Van Jones, the hubbub about Obama’s speech today, or concerns over Obama and his administration at large, then I entreat you to a little walk down memory lane. I’m sure you think many in this country have gone crazy. Maybe they have? Or maybe, just as the right often over emphasizes the power of the left-wing dominated mainstream media, you have over asserted the power of right-wing dominated radio? In truth, most people right or left think for themselves and formulate their own beliefs from their own experiences. The difference is that in your support and trust for your philosopher-king, you’ve pardoned, overlooked, mentally blocked all the instances leading up to the criticisms of Van Jones, of Obama’s school speech, and even of Obama altogether. The following NPR article certainly has. I’m here to point out a few things that you’ve forgotten or missed.
A good friend and excellent blogger, Left Coast Rebel, has been out covering the Van Jones “scandal” and the Obama September speech. I suggest you check out all his crazy and outlandish opinions on the matter, there are some that have certainly commented on it. If you need validation, check out the NPR article I linked to, Daily Kos, or others. Believe me. You don’t need to search hard to find someone that thinks the country has gone crazy and overly sensitive to our President. There is just one problem. It’s not the 2007 primary races. It’s not the President’s first day in office. If you remember, nearly the entire country was behind Obama from the start. What happened? How did we get here? How did we go from, “We’re All Socialists Now” to pulling children out of school when the President gives a speech? I’ll give Keith Olbermann a hint and it’s not, racism! It’s simple really. Obama has lost the trust of the American people. Obama has lost his credibility.
Let’s start with Van Jones. You can believe that it’s crazy to have a problem with him. After all, he’s not in an important position. Or you can look at the entire context of Obama appointees and you are faced with a President who has done a horrible job vetting his appointees. To date he has appointed 8 tax cheats, two under criminal investigation (Richardson and Car Czar Ratner), and now concerns over Van Jones.
Obama inherited many things from Bush, one such heirloom was a gross expansion of executive power. Obama has worked hard to implement the machinery that continues the use and expand on this inherited power as well as manufacture new power. The executive branch was not running banks, but now we are and with that, executive pay. The President was not running car companies, but now we are and with that, giving away interest in companies to union cronies. The executive branch was not running the IGs that would provide oversight for Van Jones, that power used to be shared with congress. Don't worry, because congress wants to ceed that power. I doubt Obama will object. With a passive democrat controlled congress, who’s to question Van Jones if not for the American people and tell me why that is such a crazy idea? Especially given Obama's track record on vetting.
Obama’s education speech is an even easier topic to cover. One can’t show a Disney movie in school without someone objecting. Why? People are sensitive to what is taught to their children. Atheists don’t want religion in school and the religious don’t want atheism in school. It’s a sensitive subject for all walks of thought.
Now tell me who had a problem with Obama giving a speech? Most media outlets pegged the problem correctly and asserted that people had a problem with the proscribed lesson, not the speech. They were concerned about what the lesson would be teaching. What were the teachers going to be teaching and reinforcing? What do you expect with an open-ended lesson plan and no details on what the speech was on? It came out, way after.
I want my child to hear Obama speak. Especially, if I’m present and can use the event as an opportunity to point out the problems with flowery, pro-centralized government mentality. However, who, that ascribes to the ideology that free-markets are the best way to run an economy, would not object to a lesson plan crafted by someone who said some of the following at Notre Dame’s graduation commencement? After all this is the last address Obama has made in an academic setting.
“This generation, your generation is the one that must find a path back to prosperity and decide how we respond to a global economy that left millions behind even before the most recent crisis hit -- an economy where greed and short-term thinking were too often rewarded at the expense of fairness, and diligence, and an honest day's work.”
I assert that this statement is not in the mainstream of American thinking and though it has merits in the realm of rational, thoughtful, adult discussion. It does not belong in the halls of elementary school, where children are impressionable. I suspect Obama would have the tact to leave ideology out of his speech, as I expect teachers to do the same. However, I can exercise my right of oversight over a teacher and demand to see the teacher’s lesson plans. I’m sure many parents do. I guess people are crazy for wanting to see the President's.
In the greater context of what is and has happened since the Obama administration has taken over the reigns of power, is the nation going crazy? Even Obama has declared how “dramatic and unprecedented” his handling of the economic crisis has been. A moderate takes dramatic and unprecedented action? “Remaking America” is a phrase from a moderate? It is funny this idea of a moderate Obama, the idea that only seems to get floated when radicalism is seen from the mainstream as something bad. Yet when Obama speaks, he always speaks as one trying to gain acceptance for bold, new ideas. Change, right? That’s not the viewpoint of a moderate. A moderate speaks to people matter-of-factly because the people already believe and ascribe to your ideas. Or maybe he’s a moderate, because you’ve moved so far left? I’ll leave you to figure it out. I’m going to join the rest of the crazies and continue to voice the need to diminish Obama’s expansion of executive power.