So, here’s the deal. I make fun of Presidents all the time. Nixon is obviously the easiest to emulate. George W. Bush’s constant verbal assault on the English language makes him a prime target. And oh is it easy to fake Bill Clinton’s accent and make jokes about jogging around the block to McDonald’s, or yell out the occasional “Go Baby!” I would make fun of Jimmy Carter except that I don’t have sweaters that ugly and it would be just too damn easy.
I also make fun of presidential contenders. I mean, come on, how can you not laugh at some of the dopes that decide to run for President? Mike Huckabee? Jesse Jackson? Ralph Nader? Dennis Kucinich? SARAH PALIN?? ROSS FREAKING PEROT!?!? Presidential campaigns are breeding grounds for jokes about everything, and probably the main reason that Imus and Bill Maher still exist.
And yes, I make fun of the current President. Stand up, look side to side while occasionally raising my eyebrows, get a little gospel in my tone, lose the teleprompter and give a long “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, and then talk about Hope and Change, and we got ourselves a gold mine. Not to mention his chicken legs trying to play basketball, his attempts to sing Al Green, and his overwhelming ability to be owned by his wife. Yep, being President is funny.
And that’s actually more of a badge of honor than anything. We live in a country that allows us to take shots at the Commander In Chief without worrying about Castro showing up at our door in a 1954 Oldsmobile with Che and a Soviet rifle. Which is why I don’t quite get the reaction from the teacher in the video.
“Stop, no, because there is no comparison,” (the teacher) says. Romney, she says, is “running for president. Obama is the president.”
When the student says they’re both “just men,” the teacher continues to argue that Romney, as a candidate for president, is not to be afforded the same respect as the president.
The teacher tells the class Obama is “due the respect that every other president is due.”
“Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom,” she says.
. . . Later in the conversation, the teacher tells the class it’s criminal to slander a president.
“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” she says of former President Bush. “Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”
The student responds by saying being arrested for talking badly about the president would violate the right to free speech.
“You would have to say some pretty f’d up crap about him to be arrested,” he says. “They cannot take away your right to have your opinion. … They can’t take that away unless you threaten the president.”
The student is very correct. In the eyes of the Constitution they are both citizens of the United States and “disrespecting” the president is not slander nor illegal. In fact, I would have concerns about a Social Studies teacher not modeling Constitutional values in her classroom if this tirade is equal to the teaching.