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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Go for the jugular politics

Way back in the Stone Age, when I was in school, we had courses called civics. That's where I contracted this syndrome that makes me interested in politics and public affairs. It's been a lifelong affliction, but I have managed to cope.

So I suppose I should applaud the conservative hue and cry over plans by the Department of Education to promote a noontime speech by Barack Obama next Tuesday, aimed at welcoming children back to school.

Start them down the road to civic awareness know and they may not listen to talk radio or fall for the lies being told in the guise of "debate" on health care reform.
“As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education - it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,’’ said Oklahoma state Senator Steve Russell. “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.’’
Way to put things in perspective Steve.

The conservatives are crying foul because Education Secretary Arne Duncan accompanied the plan for voluntary viewing with a letter to school officials urging them to watch the leader of the nation address students coming back to school.

The administration stepped into it, a bit, with what they admit was an "inartful" lesson plan suggestion that students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.’’

It wasn't that long ago that some political warriors suggested there was far too much animus against the president and anyone who disrespected him was guilty of treason. These were the same people who used to say that politics should end at the water's edge -- until Bill Clinton came along.

It appears the fumes on which the conservative movement has been running have become so thin they need to work hard to prevent comity and civility from being part of the curriculum. After all, some of those kids might not become Rush Limbaugh listeners if they have a chance to listen to the President of the United States.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Chris Rich said...

Fumes? It's more like a case of the vapors. It is clear that relentless deranged attack, no matter how inconsistent, no matter how implausible or how ridiculous is what passes for a 'plan' among right wing corporates and wing nuts.

It seems to have two echelons like old Ottoman invasion tactics.

First you send in swarms of useless rabid cannon fodder to wear down the opponent.

Then you follow with the 'shock troops', the right wing punditocracy that still has a few shreds of respectability and they make sober cases against anything that might cause the oligarchy to actually give up some attained privilege or advantage in their relentless quest to own everything and impose neo feudalism.

The former is losing its efficacy from excesses of repetition and the latter just bores all the people known as low information voters but does help the various libertarians sound like they have a clue.

September 04, 2009 9:21 AM  
Blogger Judy Meredith said...

Hey fellow old timer who remembers civics class fondly, did you know that

.....Since the 1970’s, civics has not been a requirement for Boston Public High School students?

The Hyde Square Task Force advocated for mandatory civics classes for all 11th and 12th grade students enrolled in Boston Public Schools, believing that BPS high school students will be empowered with the knowledge, resources and tools to be able to understand their rights and responsibilities as members of a society.

The Campaign for Civics in Boston Public High Schools
http://www.hydesquare.org/programs/Public_Ed.html A campaign for a civics curriculum that prepares students to be politically aware, involved, and engaged in bettering our society

After 3 years of hard work, including advocating with the Mayor, the City Council and the 2 different Superintendents, Civics is a requirement for all Boston Public School students and pilot courses start this fall.

September 04, 2009 2:27 PM  
Blogger Ian McCarty said...

There's a fine line between funny and scary when you begin to realize that these 'consevatives' will never realize that 'freedom of expression' does not directly translate to 'validity of opinion.'

September 05, 2009 6:59 PM  

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