Presumably egged on by false equivalences between a democratically-elected President and “fascism,” Republicans took an immediate objection to the news that the President would address public school children on September 8th, prompting boycotts and assertions that the speech would constitute “propaganda.”
By all markers, the speech stands to be fairly blasé, a chance for a president who stands for education, to speak about the importance of education. Coming from the first black president, at a time when dropout rates remain high, it’s hard to characterize this speech as anything but good, let alone nefarious, without resorting to conspiracy theories, or generic partisan vitriol. Previous Presidents — Reagan, for one — have used these speeches as chances to push a social agenda, but until Obama’s speech actually happens, such objections are notably premature. Call conservative objections obstructionism, then, or partisanship for partisanship’s sake — whatever it is, it’s a cheap way to score political points without ever putting forward a real policy idea.