Candidates, campaigns, and core values
Welcome to Red Mom Blue Mom, ParentDish's special coverage of the 2008 Presidential election. Each Tuesday through November 4, columnists Rachel Campos-Duffy (Red Mom) and Ada Calhoun (Blue Mom) will take on issues relevant to parents on both sides of the aisle. You can find past Red Mom/Blue Mom posts here.
Red Mom: Making a choice about schools
By Rachel Campos-Duffy
Even some of Barack Obama's biggest fans concede that the press has gone pretty easy on him. Consider the famous US Magazine cover of an adorable would-be first couple under the caption, "Why Barack Loves Her" contrasted with the cover and caption the Palin's received, "Babies, Lies and Scandal."
Of all the things Barack gets a free pass on, nothing gets my goat more than education, a topic of considerable importance to me as a parent and one he touts as his forte. Quite simply, when it comes to education policy, Barack and Michelle Obama are hypocrites!
While Barack and Michelle champion public schools (Michelle waxes endlessly in speeches about her own public education), they fail to mention that their own daughters attend the University of Chicago's Lab School, one of our nation's most exclusive prep schools that costs some $20,000 a year in tuition per child. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, Chicago's Lab School is among the top five feeder institutions for our nation's most elite universities. To be fair, the Obama girls began attending while Michelle was a University of Chicago employee and were therefore eligible for a tuition break.
Though Michelle no longer works there, the Obama's cite the proximity of this elite institution to their home as the reason they continue to attend. I get that, but I think there's more to it. Conspicuously absent from the Obamas's hard-knocks, they're-just-like-us video biographies during the Democratic convention were Michelle and Barack's impeccably Ivy League credentials. Presumably, they expect nothing less for Malia and Sasha.
Well, don't we all!
Michelle and Barack are opposed to school choice programs, also known as tuition vouchers, which would allow middle class and poor parents to also have choice when it comes to their children's educations. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Obama's to stand in the way of other families trying, as they do, to give their kids the very best education they can.
Interestingly, despite private school options in Wasilla, the Palins chose public school for their own children. And while it's not surprising that the very wealthy McCain family sent their kids to private schools, at least John McCain, who is a proponent of school choice, wants to help other parents have the same opportunities when it comes to their children's education.
So why do Michelle and Barack stand in the way of an innovative program that would give poor minority parents the power and choice that rich and privileged people like them enjoy? A big part of the reason is teachers unions, who are threatened by the potential exodus of students (and money) to private institutions. Too bad Obama doesn't have the audacity to stand up to that powerful lobby so that all families can hope to give their child the very best education they can. Now that would be change I could believe in.
Blue Mom: What happened to family values?
By Ada Calhoun
For years, the Republican party has promoted itself as two things: fiscally conservative and the sole defender of "family values."
Talk about irony. As Representative Steny Hoyer
John McCain vows to continue many of Bush's failed policies, including the continuance of huge tax breaks for the very rich at the expense of our children's and grandchildren's future. In a broad policy study
Sarah Palin's family bills itself as "Joe Sixpack," but it's been churning out one maverick-y scandal after another. In her attempts to punish her ex-brother-in-law, Palin engaged in what the recent report called a
How can the McCain-Palin ticket still be trying to claim the moral high ground?
Meanwhile, Joe Biden
Last week, Barack Obama suspended his campaign not to stage a failed last-ditch bid to portray himself as a non-partisan economic savior, but to pay a
Together, the Obamas have decided the best thing for their family and country is to put forward Barack's pro-family policies and also -- so refreshingly! -- their family's good example. How wonderful would it be to fill the White House with the laughter of the confident, lovely Obama girls rather than the tight couture grimace of Cindy McCain or, heaven forbid, the smug hypocrisy soap operatic-lifestyle of the Palins.
|Very important - I am a values voter.||96 (32.8%)|
|Somewhat important, but there are bigger things on the table.||131 (44.7%)|
|Not important at all - the economy is the real issue.||66 (22.5%)|