I’m not as pumped about this as conservatives are. The initial lesson plan was pretty creepy, but the speech seems harmless enough, though Huebert on LRC pointed out that “where you sit, 250 years ago” is very bad history. Rusty was looking for “Listen to your parents”, found it, and was satisfied.
Again, with the exception of LRC, nobody is even coming close to the core principles here. Public schools were originally set up as engines of indoctrination, initially to make Irish Catholics into good Protestants. The religious Right would still like them to indoctrinate; they just want control over the content. Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, claims that the speech is illegal, citing 20 U.S.C. § 3403. But where was he during No Child Left Behind, which is also an attempt at Federal control of curriculum? And unlike the Democrats in 1991, congressional Republicans have been pussies on this issue; all the heat has come from the grassroots.
To the extent that this leads parents to talk about the history of presidential power and of the history of government schools, this could be a good thing. But most of the parents who are aware enough to do so have already pulled their kids out of the system.