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Previously on Show Me Progress: Alternate Activity

Yesterday, on MSNBC:

Anchor: John, what about this controversy over opposition to Obama’s speech to school children?

John Harwood: I gotta tell you Monica, I’ve been watching politics for a long time and this is, this one is really over the top. What it shows you is there are a lot of cynical people who try to fan controversy. And let’s face it, in a country of three hundred million people there are a lot of stupid people, too. Because if you believe that it’s, uh, somehow unhealthy for kids for the President to say, “Work hard and stay in school,” you’re stupid. In fact [crosstalk]…

Anchor: [laugh] Ouch.

John Harwood: …I’m worried for some of those kids. I, I’m worried for some of those kids of those parents who are upset. I’m not sure they’re smart enough to, to raise those kids.

Anchor: [laugh] John Harwood, showing no mercy on this one….

Sure, in our society parents have every right to be stupid. Everyone else suffers, but that’s our way of life. It’s the “…cynical people who try to fan controversy…” for their own purposes that help bring out the stupid.

And where were all these concerned people when Ronald Raygun and daddy bush made those speeches for school children? [sound of crickets]

Steve Bennen at Washington Monthly:

…In 1988, then-President Reagan spoke to students nationwide via C-SPAN telecast. Among other things, he talked about his positions on political issues of the day. Three years later, then-President Bush addressed school kids in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide. Among other things, he promoted his own administration’s education policies….

….This is no small, isolated fit, thrown by random nutjobs. The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, AP, and others all ran stories this morning about the coordinated national effort to either keep children at home so they can’t hear their president’s pro-education message, or demanding that local schools block the message altogether….

….Even Joe Scarborough asked, “Where are all the GOP leaders speaking out against this kind of hysteria?” They are, alas, nowhere to be found. As John Cole explained, “The entire party has been taken over by crazy people.”