The president's calm, inspiring and somewhat stern address to students today was classic Obama. The administration made one mis-step: the language on the website asking kids to think of what they could do to help the president (they should have asked what they could do to help the country). But the uproar - especially in secessionist Texas - and the extraordinary talk radio hysteria whipped up by the loony right was the real political mistake - and it wasn't Obama's. Have these crazies learned nothing? Richard Neustadt, take a bow:
After reading the text on Monday, even Jim Greer, the Florida Republican Party chairman who last week accused the president of seeking to use the speech to foist “socialist ideology” on schoolchildren, said he could find nothing to criticize in its text. "In its current form, it’s fine,” Mr. Greer said in an interview. “But it remains to be seen if it’s the speech he’s going to give.”
That was my lone guffaw reading the paper this morning. The only way to defeat the loony right is not to take their bait, but to let them do their worst, indulge their inner Beck, and then well ... beep beep.