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UPDATE: transcript of President Obama’s prepared remarks now available.

This video is from 1992, right before the election. That wasn’t President Bush Sr.’s only address to schoolchildren, either – a few years earlier, he also made a 15-minute appeal to kids that saying no to drugs “won’t make you a nerd.”

Calling Obama’s plan for a televised address to schoolchildren “an indoctrination into socialism” is akin to labeling the video up above of Bush Sr “an indoctrination into fascism”. Since the speech is entirely voluntary on the part of each school, there’s no coercive element to this whatsoever.

Those ODS-afflicted parents who insist on keeping their kids home from school that day are welcome to do so. Their kids will miss out on a day’s education, be taught to perpetuate the atmosphere of political hatred, and view the Office of the Presidency with disrespect. That is perfectly within their right – but let’s not mince words, it is they who are indoctrinating their children, not Obama.

Perhaps ODS is an insufficient term here. I think Obamaphobia might be more apt.

Incidentally, Team Obama has a sense of humor, acknowledging that kids might not be that interested in what a dumb ol’ boring politician has to say, so they recruited someone rather more interesting people to help him out:

Related: good coverage of the Obama school controversy from The Christian Science Monitor, Politico, and an editorial in the St Petersburg Times, brilliantly titled “Danger! Obama talks” which notes, “this is not a partisan issue. This is about civic engagement and respect for the presidency.”

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