Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Obama's Blackboard Jungle

As summer vacation ends, the President is looking like the principal of a dysfunctional high school, trying to quell yelling in the corridors and fist fights in the auditorium and get the student body to pay attention to what's going on in class.

Shades of "The Blackboard Jungle," in which an idealistic teacher struggles to educate a rowdy mob that controls the school! In that classic 1955 movie, the hero has to take away switchblade knives before he can inspire rambunctious students to start paying attention.

In today's Washington, the learning curve is at a standstill, and it's unclear how much lecturing can get through the clamor of an undisciplined crowd. But the former law school professor will give it a try with an address to Congress next Wednesday to confront critics and stimulate supporters of health care reform.

Meanwhile, the parent body is losing confidence that anything constructive is going on in Obama High, and the President is already taking steps to connect with the next generation through a national address to students the day before he tackles the invincible ignorance of Washington lawmakers.

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