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July 27, 2010

SHOWING THE SCOUTS SOME LOVE.... The right gets angry about the strangest things.

Seizing on a report from CNS News' Penny Star, several conservative blogs are attacking President Obama for not speaking in person at the Boy Scouts' upcoming 100th anniversary jamboree because he will be in New Jersey to speak about the economy before heading to New York City to film an upcoming appearance on ABC's The View.

On his radio show, Glenn Beck also went after the president over the Boy Scouts' event, which suggests we may be hearing more about this from the usual suspects.

There's an obvious response here -- this isn't a snub. The president will address the Boy Scouts' jamboree via a taped message, and he already showed his appreciation for the group by hosting an Oval Office gathering just two weeks ago.

But if we're going to talk about politics and scouts, it's worth remembering that Beck and his cohorts are barking up the wrong ideological tree here. Did you ever notice the right's hostility towards the Girl Scouts?

A few years ago, James Dobson's Focus on the Family encouraged Christian fundamentalists to steer clear of the Girl Scouts because it made use of the word "God" in its oath optional. Another religious right group complained about the Girl Scouts' emphasis on "empowerment," which Robert Knight argued would "steer" girls "into collective action for liberal causes, such as environmentalism."

There was also the hatchet job Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote for National Review, which claimed, among other things, that that the Girl Scouts are under the sway of radical feminists and lesbians. "There are currently 2.7 million Girl Scouts in the U.S.," Lopez said. "That's a lot of liberal feminists to look forward to."

And the right wants to complain about Obama sending a pre-recorded message to the Boy Scouts? This is evidence of some kind of scout animosity? Please.

Steve Benen 2:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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These are the same people who went into hysterics when he was going to address children at the start of the school year last September. Their hypocrisy makes my head hurt!

Posted by: whichwitch on July 27, 2010 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Gee - I want Obama to come to my birthday party - I'm a regular Joe who needs some face time with the President. Oh gee you mean he's a busy man with a full schedule, and he in no way means to snub me? Well, I'm going to call Fox news and let them know that the Pres is a big fat meanie with a radical agenda to take away my right to have big wigs at my party.

Posted by: northwest moderate on July 27, 2010 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

As a former Girl Scout leader for nine years when my daughters were younger, I must put in a good word for the Girl Scouts. Not only is the word "God" optional in the Girl Scout promise, but Scouts are taught that they can use another word if that's what their religion teaches them (Allah, for instance). Or say nothing at all.

And when that decision was made at a national meeting, friends who were there described it as "the most organized, fair solution they've ever seen." (Must be a "mom" thing.)

Scouts and Scout leaders who might be lesbians or are unsure of their sexuality are shown no discrimination. Girl Scouts is not about sexuality, after all. Boy Scouts aren't, either. Maybe some day they'll learn ...

Posted by: Molly Weasley on July 27, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

There is a tempting exercise in which the devotee places a celebrity such as the stern Kathryn Jean Lopez , who satisfies without being overly sweet , in an optimum historical moment . Over the six thousand years of history , where would the pungent genius of scolding , aside from her current triumphs , find her flinty logics striking philosophic gold equal to her present body of work . This happy woman would be equally comfortable working her magical thinking from Anne Hutchinson shoes , to Madame Defarge needles .
You go grrll

Posted by: FRP on July 27, 2010 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

whichwitch - precisely. if he had gone there in person, it would have been an evil attempt to convert the Boy Scouts into a personality cult of Obama -- exactly as Stalin and Hitler did!

When Nixon was running for president in 1967, he repeatedly opined about the obvious right thing to do in Vietnam was. Of course, his opinions were always exactly the opposite of whatever Johnson was doing, lying in order to drive him crazy.

Posted by: Rathskeller on July 27, 2010 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Would you let Glenn Beck babysit your children?

Posted by: ego on July 27, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

As an eagle scout and die hard liberal, the right loves to play politics with the BSA. Yes, they have anti-gay policies which are bad, and they are largely very religious which is also bad, but from the kid's point of view, I found it a great experience that wasn't very politically charged at all. Beck and the other rightwing nut jobs would do well by scouts to let them fend for themselves. Presidents (including Obama, of course) are all very giving of time and support, even if its only tacitly through some autopen signatures, so I really don't know why the BSA doesn't tell the RW blowhards to kindly let them fight the battles (which don't really exist), themselves.

Posted by: do on July 27, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Beck and the other rightwing nut jobs would do well by scouts to let them fend for themselves.

Which they might do, if this attack had anything to do with doing well by the scouts. Instead, it's just reaching for whatever is handy to throw at the president and pretend they're outraged about it.

Posted by: Redshift on July 27, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

molly: ...I must put in a good word for the Girl Scouts.

And they make better cookies than the boys too!

Posted by: cr on July 27, 2010 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

several conservative blogs are attacking President Obama for not speaking in person at the Boy Scouts' upcoming 100th anniversary jamboree

All the problems the country faces at the moment, many a direct result of "conservative" mismanagement and incompetence, and they're bellyaching about the President not addressing the fucking Boy Scouts in person? Seriously??

And if he had shown up, does anyone want to lay odds on how fast the caterwauling would have started about how Obama was trying to "convert" the Scouts to his "socialist, liberal agenda?"

Posted by: electrolite on July 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I do hope they continue attacking the Girl Scouts. I'm sure that's a big political winner.

Posted by: manwith7talents on July 27, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Molly -- My father led my Girl Scout troop, which I recall caused some murmuring but no one said outright that he couldn't have the position; another example of GSA's forward, inclusive thinking. But ho! I see on the BSA website that women can lead Boy Scout troops. So there's some hope for them yet....

Posted by: Free to be you and me on July 27, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'd suggest that Obama continue to avoid speaking to groups that officially support discrimination against gays and atheists, but then he'd have to cancel all those sit-downs with Republican leaders.

Posted by: noncarborundum on July 27, 2010 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

This plus the flap over Obama not being at Arlington for Memorial Day - it's the latest Republican plan: Keep Obama so busy doing useless ceremonial crap that he doesn't have time for anything else.

Posted by: Virginia on July 27, 2010 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck Norris has been all over this "story" recently. Apparently Obama has been failing in the President's second most important job: managing the BSA:
http://townhall.com/columnists/ChuckNorris/2010/06/22/white_house_vs_boy_scouts

Posted by: Homer Abernathy on July 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

It figures Beck would speak up. Since the financial crisis the Boy Scouts had several years back, where they were bailed out by the LDS church, they have essentially been operating as a new Mormon youth group, in many places. A scary thought to this Eagle Scout.

Posted by: Steve on July 27, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I was in the boy scouts and I'll tell you, I'm as queer as a three dollar tax cut!

Posted by: Trollop on July 27, 2010 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the Boy Scouts, with their anti-gay policies, are A-OK with the right. This country is all about exclusion conformity.

Posted by: Rugosa on July 27, 2010 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK
Steve: "There was also the hatchet job Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote for National Review, which claimed, among other things, that that the Girl Scouts are under the sway of radical feminists and lesbians."

That's right! And if you don't believe her, I'd urge you to check out Ladylumps Productions' new video called Campfire Down Below ...

Posted by: Out & About in The Castro on July 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Rugosa: Of course the Boy Scouts, with their anti-gay policies, are A-OK with the right. This country is all about exclusion conformity.

Also, for the gender determinists among them, rugged (and borderline paramilitary) organizations like the Scouts are more "proper" and "natural" for boys anyway.

Posted by: Chet on July 27, 2010 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Piss-ant is foaming about this nor any number of mudslinging reasons but 2$ says that the Mormon Church is upset at the 'snub' ergo Piss-ant is upset.

The Boy Scouts were co-opted by thew LDS about a decade ago.

Posted by: Bigsky on July 27, 2010 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

So the Girl Scouts are fair game for the Repukes. There really is no limit to how low they can go.

Hopefully the Scouts will be with us long after the Pigs are.

Posted by: don on July 28, 2010 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Glenn Beck's criticism may have another dimension to it, as the Mormon church has used the Boy Scouts as their youth program for years. The high participation rate of Mormons in Boy Scouts is one reason that organization is so adamant about retaining the God link and in hostility to homosexuals.

Posted by: BC on July 28, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

@BC, the high LDS participation is a long-standing feature, but I think that's kind of separate from the political/social issues.

Individual troops are sponsored by an organization. Sometimes its a church, sometimes its a community group. (My troop was sponsored by a Rotary Club chapter.) It was an urban setting and troop was pretty tolerant about everything. We didn't discuss religion in my troop, ever. My sense is that most troops today operate on the gay or atheist issue as essentially "don't ask, don't tell". Perfect? No. But, better than my sense as to how the LDS-sponsored troops run which is as a young Mo club, which isn't really acceptable. But, I guess in Utah, almost everything is a young Mo club.

Posted by: Do on July 28, 2010 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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