The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. 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.
Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported.
With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. "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.'"
Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech.
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Today's media is running interference for Obama by attacking anyone posing a threat to Obama's agenda -- Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, Limbaugh, Beck, birthers. This week the media has turned against parents who want to keep their kids from hearing Obama's speech. How times have changed.
Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds
But, but that's different. He was a republican!
NEA reaction to Pres. Bush's "staged media event":
"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.'"
NEA reaction to Pres. Obama's "inspirational" speech:
"If students want to be successful, they must take responsibility for getting the most out of their educations. That was the message delivered by President Barack Obama to millions of students across the nation in an inspirational address on Tuesday, September 8."
The NEA need desperately to cease to exist. They serve no legitimate purpose. Just another leftist money laundering scheme.
The corrupted media knew all about the Democrats hypocrisy and chose to ignore it. That is how useless they have become. I read about the Bush 1991 controversy on this very blog several days ago. The bloggers have embarrassed the MSM once again. I think Obama amended his speech today, knowing his every word was being scrutinized for political rhetoric. Telling the children to excel is another of his lies. He does not believe in individual responsibly, he believes in the government having control. In Marxism everyone is the same. To excel is a waste of time. Everyone will be equally poor, and that is why it eventually fails.
"Dear children.... I am your President. I want you to work hard, study hard, get as much education as you can so I can tax your ass off to give to losers who choose to screw off, drink beer, smoke dope, hip hop around, but vote for me. Thank you."
At least Obama didn't give his speech a month before the election with "campaign money" (that's what the investigation was about, by the way...)
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