My DMN Column is Up, Read it and Weep. Or Something.

It’s in tomorrow’s print edition, but it’s online now. Here’s a taste – but the rest is on their site. Link below.

No, You Can’t, Mr. President

There’s no doubt the presidential address directed to the captive audience of the nation’s schoolchildren Tuesday will be nonpartisan and positive. Chock full of “study hard and stay in school.”

The problem? It’s not his place to deliver it.

That’s why my first-grader won’t have any part in this.

I know some people will say that we live in a democracy, he’s the national leader and the people voted for him.

Those people are wrong on all three counts. We’re a republic. He’s the president of a federation of states. And a majority of the members of the electoral college voted for him.

What could further cement this fundamental, dangerous misperception of the proper, limited role and power of the president’s office than to have him beamed into every classroom speaking virtually ex cathedra? I got nothing.

By the way, see how I haven’t mentioned the president’s name? That’s intentional…

The complete column is posted here.

Also, early yet, but already an awesome comment:

Is it because the president is a democrat? Is it because the president is black? Is it because the internet has turbocharged stupidity? Could be all or none of the above. Regardless, you should be ashamed of your role in fanning the flames.

UPDATE: From PeterK, Jawa Report has it all over me on this paragraph:

I don’t know about the rest of you parents, but if he doesn’t actually promise a Skittles shitting unicorn in every house, my 3rd grader probably won’t be listening. Because, like most girls in third grade, her free time is consumed with dreams of 3rd grade princesses frolicking in pastures with Skittles shitting unicorns, while the adults deal with idiots like that Mr. President guy interrupting her day.


  1. Yeshua says:

    I can assure you I’m quite well read. And that is not a blanket talking down of our forefathers. Andrew Jackson, though he was wholly cruel to the Native Americans, actually had a sense of how states rights, in the end were a problem. Historically, they have primarily served to protect many of the bigotries that stain our history, namely racism, slavery, etc.

  2. Bear says:

    Reading Democratic talking points pamphlets and the World Socialist Worker’s website on a regular basis does not make you “well read”. It makes you an idiot, which is EXACTLY what you are when you say WE can afford a tax increase. YOU may be able to, but the rest of us CAN NOT.

  3. Yeshua says:

    Bear- such is the nature of the gospel… is contrary to the bottom line economic “wisdom” of this world that cares only about the corporate beast. Capitalism and Christianity do not mix. They never have. Read the book of Acts.

    And I find it interesting that you assume that because I maintain such views that I surely am taking “crack cocaine”, as you put it. It disturbs you, doesn’t it, that there are actually Americans who would dare speak against the greed machine that currently devours those at the bottom.

  4. Baudrillard says:

    The argument that the United States is a compact between the several states, or a “federation,” as Mr. Garrison would have us believe, was tested by the seceding states during the Civil War. The South lost the argument.

    “And a majority of the members of the electoral college voted for him.”

    A majority of voters voted for him, period. Which means that Mr. Obama won on both republican and majoritarian grounds. Dipshit.

    (Apparently, I was misinformed about the efficacy of the dilation and extraction procedure. A late third term abortion like Mr. Garrison should not have even the ability to speak, much less be able to write this column. I would like to file a wrongful birth suit on his behalf. We stand to earn millions!)

  5. @Yeshua

    Thankfully, we have separation of church and state — another great legacy of those “racist and misogynists” forefathers.

    Which means you can peddle your crazy all day long, but you can’t make it law.

  6. “Baudrillard” and the like show exactly which side is unhinged.


  7. Yeshua says:

    Then, Trey, I’m sure you won’t mind if we stop using the phrase “under God” in both the US and Texas pledges. Is that not indoctrination when I have non-Christians and other faiths in my classroom?

    Bush’s leadership, as a result of his pandering to the religious right, has left us with abstinence only education, and Texas being the highest with teens giving birth a second time. Is that not indoctrination?

  8. Bear says:

    Being a Christian minister explains much… With the Christian Devil to blame for your bad behavior and your Savior’s robes to hide behind to avoid dealing with the consequences of that behavior, it’s no wonder you expect the higher power of government to be the instrument of salvation in all things. I minister in a different faith….We have neither devil to blame nor savior’s robes to hide behind… We have to be self responsible and self accountable at all times… Our higher power only makes it possible for us to succeed, we can’t expect them to be there if we’re unwilling to do what it takes for ourselves.

  9. Bear says:

    Since when is the use of the phrase “Under God” in either the US or Texas pledges compulsory? Isn’t lying in such a fashion a sin in Christianity, Yeshua?

  10. manderson says:

    Hey Trey, still waiting for your thoughts on Pres. Bush and Reagan’s nationally broadcast speeches to schoolkids back in the day. I assume you denounce them as you do Pres. Obama’s coming speech, but I’m curious why you didn’t cite them in your editorial since they were easily available with a quick internet search. Your editorial, and in particular your proclamation that it didn’t matter to you which president was speaking, would have been more persuasive to those not already predisposed to agree with you (and therefore more effective) if you had. Peace out.

  11. Craig f Swift says:

    On president Obama’s speech to school children. The facts are where were you on your republic value when GW Bush was being appointed by the Supreme Court?
    Also it is apparent that you and other who oppose President Obama’s speech almost universally white. You oppose his speech for 2 reason and 2 reason only 1) He is African American 2) He is a Democrat.

    Can’t wait for the next Republican incompetent to win the White House or get appointed. Where were you when Kay Bailey Hutchinson using her former high school and it’s students when launching her campaign?

    You people are pathetic and anything but Americans.

  12. @manderson

    I had just 630 words of space. But no, I don’t support those either.

    Two (three) wrongs don’t make a right.

  13. Baudrillard says:

    The gurgled utterances of the products of conception do not unhinge me. This poor creature’s ability to speak and write words beyond BLUB BLUB PLEASE KILL ME BLUB are matters of scientific interest and deserve study. Its apparent capacity to copulate and produce a son are especially noteworthy.

  14. Matt Nall says:

    Just read the article. All of this paranoia is so over the top (we saw nothing ike this with Pres. Bush – either of them) that it makes me ask the question – “what is different about this President?” It is that he is black, and conservatives don’t want a black man as their President. Fox and Rush et al have provided rationals for this paranoia, and it lets conservatives be bigots, while letting them think they are being “principled.” It’d be funny if it was not so sad and scarry…

  15. Bear says:

    In the case of prior Presidents making similar speeches, there was no questionable “study guide” associated with same, nor were they routed through the Department of Education specifically as an “educational event”(Something which is forbidden by law, BTW). Also, in all similar cases, the full content of those speeches was made available prior to the speech.

  16. manderson says:


    I had just 630 words of space. But no, I don’t support those either.”

    The ol’ ‘space limitations didn’t allow me to elaborate’ defense, eh? Allright, I’ll give you that, but then you have to own up that zombie Milton Friedman was highly underrated as president.

  17. Hey manderson, you go with the defense that works. Seriously — pounded it out in an hour, made some changes, and had to let it go to make today’s edition.

    Re: the other — I had problems with z-Friedman’s public debate with Senator Boxer — that whole “I’m coming for you Barbaraaaaa!!!” line crossed the line — but beyond that I like his policy except the subsidies for “Send more copssss…” and those weird fat camps he wanted fat kids to go to.

  18. Joshua says:

    The reason you didn’t hear much bitching about Bush Sr or Reagan’s school speeches when those occurred is because to get people’s opinions journalists actually had to track people down and ask it back then. Now we can just hop onto Twitter or Face book or whatever and thousands of people’s opinions are right there easy to grab so it’s a lot easier to notice people bitching these days. If Trey had access to a blog during Bush Sr’s time then I’m sure he would have posted how much he thought it was a bad idea also.

  19. @ Joshua

    You’re right, and more even — given the way the old media has declined in power, the new communication portals, and the alternate (right and left) media-sphere — ideas and events that the Powers That Be (again, whether right or left) don’t want publicized can’t be covered up anymore.

    The media gets fact checked by their own audience now, and some of their audience members have bigger megaphones than the old media.

    Pro-immigration rally in Dallas in 2006? Done by Facebook.

    Cops or protesters beat down someone and the TV doesn’t cover it? Hello Google Vids.

    Organizing a protest? Twitter.

    Vids of me modeling my Speedo? Hello Youtube.

  20. Oh, and I like how a lot of comment posters say that even though the entire column is about the office of the presidency — not the occupant — they say it’s just because the current occupant is black, and I’m a racist.

    Did they miss where I posted and promoted the counterpoint view from my fellow blogger at Dallas South?

  21. manderson says:

    @ Trey and Joshua,
    Agreed that the difference between now and the days of Pres. Bush and Reagan’s speeches is largely due to old media vs. new media. IMO, it’s crazy that teh internets has the power to blow up something as benign as speaking to schoolkids into a Manchurian candidate moment but hey them’s the times we’re living in!

  22. John Hightower says:

    Thank you for writing a very clear, well-written and readable statement of your position. I appreciate that you took the time to do so.

    The position itself, IMO, is illogical, irrational and not supportive of the facts of the event or speech itself. I support your right to come to your own conclusion, but for me, it’s a conclusion which is just so extreme, absurd and unrelated to the facts as to render it unpersuasive.

    I think you’re doing a disservice to your child as well. You’re singlinig him out among his peers based on your own extremist interpretation of an event his friends and classmates will get to experience themselves.

  23. keith johnson says:

    Obama is Hitler and I have proof!
    Take this you snarky little Obambots!

  24. Jen says:

    Wow, there be crazies here. Love the article Trey, as always. Boy it’s amazing how the crazies ruffle their feathers without doing research into the one the are angry at.

  25. Missy says:

    Bear, you are my new hero.

  26. Tim says:

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Trey is just being Trey.

  27. Peterk says:

    interesting video I guess those that who are opposed to Trey’s message find nothing wrong with this

    @Baudrillard “A majority of voters voted for him, period. Which means that Mr. Obama won on both republican and majoritarian grounds. Dipshit.”

    an excellent example of the failure of our public school system assuming that you are a product of a such a system. he doesn’t matter how many people voted for Obama, what matters is the number of electoral college votes that he garnered during the election.

  28. keith johnson says:

    @Baudrillard “A majority of voters voted for him, period. Which means that Mr. Obama won on both republican and majoritarian grounds. Dipshit.”

    According to recent polls, a majority of Americans no longer support the Community Organizer in Chief.

  29. Chuck Bloom says:

    Will there be a posting of the blatant introduction of religion into the public school classroom by the state of Texas? Sorry, but the Bible should NOT be taught (even as a mandatory elective) in school when they are SO many children of families that are not Christian or even believers – such as …. THE GARRISONS!
    It’s OK to discuss adultery (the story of David) but not what Obama has to say????? Now THIS drives me bananas. If I had a child in the Plano schools, I’d sue the crap out of those jellyfish, spineless wimps in the PISD administration!

  30. keith johnson says:

    I agree Chuck let’s leave religion out of the classroom, since someone like yourself may be offended. Let’s also not teach the unproven “theory” of evolution, as that may offend Christians.
    As Chuck can’t be offended, neither should Christians.

    How about that Van Jones, Chuck? Good riddance, eh?

  31. keith johnson says:

    I’m all for keeping religion out of the classroom, as I don’t want Obama, as did Bush, preach how “peaceful” Islam is to my kid the next time we’re digging thousands of dead Americans out of rubble.

  32. Dave says:

    Last i checked there wasn’t any religion in public schools, except for Obama ending his speech to students with “God Bless you and God Bless America” as the transcript that’s been released shows. I’m sure there will be howls of protest from the left about this blatant disregard of the separation of church and state.

  33. S.A. says:

    Trey-All these people who are so enammored of Obama-find it impossible to
    answer all the items the rest of us have problems with. There is a pretty good
    start on a list of these (worrisome) items in Keith Johnson’s post 3 Sept. 2009
    All they do when anyone with legitamate concerns-voices these concerns-
    is CRY RACIST!
    Get a new pat (wrong) answer people!!