Kathleen writes - Why all the fuss? An A in Overreaction.
Granting a super-sized benefit of the doubt to protesters, Obama's speech originally included classroom instructional materials from the Education Department that asked students to express how they were inspired by the president and how they might help him.
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Okay, benefit-of-the-doubt rescinded. Even asking kids to help the president improve the nation doesn't justify charges of socialist indoctrination. John F. Kennedy's famous "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" is hardly considered a bugle call to summer camp in the Urals.
Actually, I see a lot of difference. John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address - not even a speech publicized as directed to school students - quotes George Bernard Shaw's line - to serve your country. That is way different, to my mind, than how to serve B. Hussein Obama, who at best will be President four or eight years. We need students and communities and states to serve, support, and protect the institutions that keep America strong and safe for her citizens.
Administrations come and go. As a nation, the founding fathers determined that a king, an individual representing the sanctified spirit and soul of the nation, was inappropriate. Thus we have had a Pledge of Allegiance - to a flag, and a republic. Thus we swear on entering public office or military service, to serve - the constitution. Having the President inspire school children to consider how they might server B. Hussein Obama is a spit in the eye to Americans that honor the Constitution of the United States.
I cannot understand that the venerable pledge of allegiance (to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.) could be challenged in court - and Obama's call for allegiance to President Obama to go unchallenged. It amazes me. President Obama is not a fitting repository of devotion and reverence. The office of the President of the United States is, the Constitution is, the Congress is, but the individual holding office deserves respect only insofar as he or she fulfills the requirements of that office.
Ultimately Kathleen Parker's piece covers the criticisms and the resulting speech. But she fails to acknowledge the way criticism before hand shaped the speech that was ultimately delivered, to avoid the most egregious abuses.
I think President Obama should thank those that pointed out the dangers to a democracy of some parts of his original message. I think the change in the speech, from first concept to delivery, is entirely to the benefit of America.
As for your article, Kathleen Parker, Ma'am, I think you completely missed the point. Your article chronicles the education of a President, and the strength of the right to free speech in criticizing the President. Calling this process overreaction is disrespectful and disingenuous.