OK, it's now officially over the top. When President Bush was criticized, or even just teased for his mangling of the language, the Right said "you can criticize the President, but you must respect the office,"
Now those same people, after calling President Obama a Nazi, a non-citizen, and a socialist, are objecting to his doing a broadcast to schools this week. The socialist agenda he's going to spread? Stay in school and work hard.
It's time we called (you should pardon the expression) a spade a spade. The continuing foaming at the mouth on the part of the Right is not about health care, socialism, or anything else. It's racism, pure and simple. While the majority of the country was ready, willing, and able to elect a liberal African-American to the Presidency, a small but vocal minority is proving unable to live with a Black President.
Respect for the office? Irrelevant. This isn't "Advise and Consent" or "24," this is "Blazing Saddles," and "the sheriff's a *****!"
Those of us who still believe in the America of JFK, RFK, EMK, and MLK need to fight this, and the first step of the fight is to call these people out for what they are – racists and bigots, and stop letting them define the ground for the fight. We can fight them on health care, show them birth certificates, and be outraged at their blocking their children from hearing (and seeing) President Obama, but they'll just go from phony issue to phony issue until the real one is named.
The culture of America has changed sufficiently over the past 50 years that it's no longer OK to be overtly racist – the North, particularly the Northeast has been that way even longer, but now even in the South racism is the hate that dare not speak its name (publicly at least). So we get sly references to monkeys instead, and the use of socially acceptable language such as calling Obama a Socialist, a Liberal, etc. (like those are bad things).
We on the left of center did what it took to get Obama elected; now we need to go on the attack against the hate and hypocrisy so that he has a chance to succeed. Remember, there is more than one kind of assassination, and character assassination may be the worst of all in that it kills not just the man's chances, but his legacy as well.