Obama Opts Out of the Public School System

For much of the last few years, the Left and the Left media have not been discontent to just oppose Bush’s Iraq War policies. They have tried to pull the rug from under George Bush’s sincerity with regard to the Iraq War. This was particularly true when the war was not going well. Now that the surge has apparently worked despite what the chattering classes just knew to be true, this sort of noise has diminished. Nonetheless, as recently has 2007, the LA Times was whining that the Bush family was not setting a good example by serving in the military.

Jenna Bush was donating the her earnings from her book to UNICEF, yet the LA Times complained that the ``25-year-old makes the rounds of TV talk shows this fall in a White House limousine, dozens of her contemporaries will be arriving home from Iraq in wooden boxes.”

Of course, and the LA Times knows it, it is notĀ  possible to holdĀ  Bush morally responsible for his adult daughters’ decisions. There is no evidence that if any of the Bush children wished to serve in the military George Bush would have objected. Moreover, as Prince Harry of Great Britain discovered, despite the noblest of intentions to serve, the presence of celebrity can endanger other soldiers.

It is not unreasonable for parents to have mixed feelings about dangerous occupations for their children. For example, everyone would agree that firefighting is a noble and dangerous profession that is crucial for society. Yet there is no parent of a firefighter who does not worry about the safety of their child and many who wish their children would find a safer occupation. This does make parents hypocrites, but parents.

It is unlikely that the LA Times will rope President-elect Barack Obama with he same stilted standards it tries to bind Bush with. Obama was supported overwhelmingly by public school teachers’ union members. Yet when given the opportunity to use the services offered by his ardent supporters, he politely declined. He will not send his young daughters to a District of Columbia public school, something the President Jimmy Carter did. Despite having heaped praise on D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, Obama will be sending his daughters to the elite private school, Sidwell Friends. What does this say about Obama’s real assessment of DC public schools? This particular school choice is a decision made by the adult Obamas, not by their children as in the case of military service for Bush’s children.

This is not a criticism of Obama. He has an positive obligation to provide for the best education of his children. If he did less, we should all believe less of him. However, we should remember that Obama’s choice is an option that he withholds from others when he stands with the public school teachers’ union in refusing to give the parents of poor children even modest school choice.

Nor are we likely to see the LA Times praise Senator John McCain or Governor Sarah Palin for sincerity on their Iraq War positions since they have children who serve or have served there.

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