The latest Republican exercise in manufactured outrage may very well cost them for decades. The GOP threw weeks of melodramatic anger at the speech with accusations of indoctrination and socialism. Conservatives ignored the Department of Education's description of what the speech would be about, i.e. stay in school, take responsibility for your education, work hard in school, and went about treating the speech like they have treated the stimulus and health care reform. They ignored the facts and invented their own specifically designed to maximize outrage.
Based on the lies put out there by the Republican Party, parents kept children from school, school boards alternatively decided not to show the speech, or required parents to opt in, or opt out, etc. The lies caused some parents to have visible breakdowns on television, driven to anguish and concern by the fantastic claims of socialist indoctrination.
Now, the speech has been given. What do the students think? The Saint Petersburg Times compiled a list of students comments at http://www.tampabay.com/features/article1034344.ece . Here are some excerpts:
Justin Jones, 16, Chamberlain senior
Obama's speech was just dripping with socialist values, especially when he told kids "I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter."
Rachel Lubitz, 17, Countryside High senior