Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wingnuts Biggest Fear Coming True, Obama Encourages National Service

One of the common themes at last week's tea parties (apart from the subtle racism that underlies much of the activities) was that Obama is bad because he wants to force Americans into doing some sort of service, thereby curtailing the rights of citizen or something like that. Well, those angry protesters now have an opportunity to expound on their fear because (drumroll please) the President signed a bill yesterday that tripled the AmeriCorps budget and increased the ability for young people to attend college. I know, I'm just as shocked and appalled as you are.

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Calling on Americans to volunteer, President Barack Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill Tuesday that triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years and expands ways for students to earn money for college. "What this legislation does, then, is to help harness this patriotism and connect deeds to needs," said Obama, a former community organizer in Chicago.

"It creates opportunities to serve for students, seniors and everyone in between," he said. "And it is just the beginning of a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to involve our greatest resource — our citizens — in the work of remaking this nation."

Joining Obama was Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been battling brain cancer. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the bill was named in honor of the Massachusetts Democrat.

Nevermind that the legislation is about creating opportunities for the next generation, that the bill is bipartisan and there is nothing "mandatory" about it. Wingnuts will be emboldened by Obama's utilization of the government regardless if it helps Americans where private enterprise does not.

Thankfully, those angry teabaggers protesting programs like this are merely a fringe group in the political sphere. Meanwhile Barack Obama enjoys a 70% approval rating and a strong backing from the Congress, especially on items like increasing AmeriCorp funding.