Marty Peretz of the New Republic is usually a thoughtful liberal. I enjoy the New Republic. That’s why I was rather stunned by this article.
Some parents don’t like the idea of the President beeming his image into every school in the country on Tuesday. I think a lot of people have gotten carried away with criticizing the president on this, but I’ll admit that I dislike it, too. I dislike it not because the President’s speech is too political, but because it is not political. As I note here, the President really has nothing to say about government policy. Here’s the speech in a nutshell: “Welcome back to school. Stay in school, work hard.”
My kids don’t need to hear that from the President. This is a President who once again shows that he has no idea of the proper role of government. If the President wants to talk about governmental affairs, great. I’d love for him to stop by our school to do so. That would be a great experience for the kids. But I do not want the President trying to raise my children. When people ask, “how can you object to the President urging kids to stay in school,” I ask them what they’d think if I stopped by their house one night, uninvited, to tell their kids how to behave.
But Marty Peretz takes the cake. You know what Peretz thinks? He writes, “it is almost disloyal to refuse any children the right to hear him. Disloyal and nutty.” Well gee, Martin, thanks for the “almost,” at least on the first try.
Where’s Hillary when you need her?