I started a new job last week and have been a bit cut off from the outside world. Maybe that’s been a good thing. Even in the few minutes I spent glancing at headlines (or, what Bush thought of as due diligence), the shrill scream of Republican lies managed to penetrate my cocoon. Like something from a bad Saturday Night Live routine, the latest lie blared out at me: Obama is going to "indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda." (warning: link to Republican party of Florida site that is actively spreading this lie).
Ignorance has found a comfortable home in today’s Republican party. When officials with the Republican partyof Florida were asked for evidence to support their wild, irresponsible charge, they couldn’t come up with anything. Well, that’s not quite true–they did come up with this gem "If the former administration had done something like this, the media would be handling this a lot differently."
Ah yes, that damn liberal media, forever giving Obama a pass after subjecting Bush to a level of scrutiny previously unknown to journalism. I’m sure that if the Bush administration had hired public relations firms to manufacture fake news segments, aired on local news channels, that shamelessly pushed the Bush agenda, there would have been outrage. Oh wait, they did that. Well, if the Bush administration had secretly paid columnists and pundits to shill for them, that certainly would have sparked a national scandal. Actually, they did that too. The Government Accountability Office even found that the Bush administration had engaged in illegal "covert propaganda", but I don’t remember any blanket media coverage. The Bush administration also benefited from a phony reporter who asked softball questions at White House press conferences, and set up staged press conferences where questions were asked by planted administration staffers.
I guess if Bush, or maybe his father, had ever had the temerity to speak to schoolchildren about doing well in school and behaving in class, the media would have jumped all over him as they have done with Obama in the last few days. Oh wait, the first President Bush actually did do something like this, as did Reagan. I guess the media was too busy engaged in the intrepid business of holding Reagan and Bush I accountable for Iran-Contra to direct any wrath their way when they set out to indoctrinate the nation’s youth.
The Republicans are really pushing me here. I truly don’t believe I have enough sarcasm left to handle the next manufactured fit they throw over the latest make-believe evidence of Obama’s secret plot to install a totalitarian state headed up by space aliens intent on providing unlimited federal dollars for forced abortions and mandatory euthanasia. Perhaps there is some hope–Steve Benen notes that Jon Harwood, who is hardly a foaming at the mouth liberal firebrand, has called out the Republicans on their phony outrage over the great schoolchildren indoctrination of 2009. Here’s to much more of that–Andrea Mitchell, Wolf Blitzer, Chuck Todd, and the rest, it’s past time to step up and do your jobs.