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posted: 9/9/2012 4:39 AM

Only explaining grade-school civics

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Only explaining grade-school civics

Here is what is galling about the Republicans crying over Obama's "You didn't build that." Obama's little disquisition of the role of government in society should be wholly unnecessary. It is no more or less than seventh-grade civics.

But it needed to be said anyway. It needed to be said because the Republican party has ceaselessly attacked the role of government. It needed to be said because our country's mechanism of governance is falling apart. It needed to be said because a bunch of selfish opportunists with no civic mindedness see it to their advantage to relentlessly attack the very foundations of the social contract.

That is the context of Obama's remarks. Obama finally stood up to the demagogues. And he did it in a fairly calm and sane manner. He was forceful. But he wasn't over the top and he wasn't mendacious.

Especially compared to every Republican stump speech this spring and summer which said government destroys anything it touches. Especially compared to every time Republican politicians told their audience, "It's your money, the government has no right to confiscate it."

Especially compared to every demented rant against the Affordable Care Act delivered by an elected representative who ought to know better. After decades of the worst sort of attacks, the president got just a little bit heated while explaining grade-school civics. And all those Republicans start shouting and pointing and crying and stamping their feet because they feel they discerned something mean about the president's affect.

I say stuff a sock in it.

Michael Glass

Glen Ellyn

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