State GOP chief Jim Greer rips Obama -- but pushes Republican views at schools

There once was a political operative who loved to tell crowds he had a simple way of explaining to children the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

"Republicans get up and go to work," he would tell his son. "Democrats get up and go down to the mailbox to get their checks."

This man not only talked to his son about Republican values, he went into public-school classrooms and talked about them as well.

That man is Jim Greer — the same Jim Greer who, as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, just threw a nationwide hissy fit, claiming that the classroom is no place for politics and Barack Obama's "indoctrination."

One Seminole County mother, Barbara Wells, remembers the day Greer spoke to her son's sixth-grade class. "My son said he made some sort of Hillary Clinton joke," she recalled.

But you know what? Wells didn't pitch a fit.

She didn't call up the local TV station to scream about Republican indoctrination.

Instead, she advised her son: "Whatever you are told in life, remember there are two sides to every story."

In fact, Wells didn't even think much about Greer's foray into her son's classroom until she saw him on TV complaining about Obama.

There's no longer any question: Greer is a hypocrite.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether mainstream Republicans in Florida will allow him to drag them deeper into the divisive and irrational fringes of their party.

Mainstream conservatives, after all, are being left behind.

While they want to talk about real issues, like out-of-control spending, they are forced to watch their state "leader" make a buffoon out of himself in the national spotlight. This just two weeks after a former House speaker was allowed to rack up $170,000 in GOP credit-card bills on Greer's watch.

This country needs a healthy two-party system with smart debate.

But there's nothing healthy or smart about Greer's claim that the president's pep talk about succeeding in school was really an attempt to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda."

Presidents have been talking to schoolchildren ever since we've had schools.

And not just presidents. Politicians of all stripes — from Govs. Jeb Bush and Lawton Chiles to Mayors Buddy Dyer and Rich Crotty.

In fact, as I sit here, rereading the previous two paragraphs, I find myself amazed that I even had to kill trees to print such obvious statements.

Are we really so far removed from reality that we don't understand the value of a president encouraging children to work hard?

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