McCain Campaign Goes All Keyes On Us

Recycles the silly claim that Obama wanted to teach kindergartners all about sex.  I dealt with this in October of 2004 when Alan Keyes tried the same crap:

Of the many carnards that Alan Keyes has tried to use during this race, the one that disturbed me most was his rant that no sex education for Kindergartners is appropriate (video to come–this was in Collinsville). He then went on a rant about how this showed some moral depravity. Barack reminded me of it today in a story where he explains the issue of storks versus birth which is a decent example.

But there is a far more serious side to this–relevant sex education at that age also includes information about how to deal with good and bad touches. IOW, how to teach children to appropriately deal with people who want to touch them in personal places. AKA child molestation. This can be an important defense against child sexual abuse and is not in any way promoting sex-in fact it does the opposite–it can protect children from abuse.

I have little use for demagoguing on this issue. Having dealt with kids who have been abused a little, the notion of boundaries is one of the most difficult issues with which those kids deal. I am not naive enough to think that such education is enough to stop sexual abuse of children, but it can be an important component of reducing it.

The Brody Files also addressed the issue quite well in 2007

“Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is ‘age-appropriate,’ is ‘the right thing to do.’ ‘But it’s the right thing to do,’ Obama continued, ‘to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools.'”

Here’s what Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki is telling The Brody File this morning:

“Barack Obama supports sensible, community-driven education for children because, among other things, he believes it could help protect them from pedophiles. A child’s knowledge of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching is crucial to keeping them safe from predators.”

So, at this point at least, what Obama is referring to is teaching five year olds about inappropriate touching. The Obama campaign also tells The Brody File that parents would be able to opt out. As for further details, the touching aspect seems to be the main idea here. Obama doesn’t want to hand out condoms to five year olds. He doesn’t want cucumber demonstrations as part of show and tell. The legitimate reasonable discussion here is whether the federal government and/or local school boards should get involved in providing these five year olds information about inappropriate touching or should it be left up to families only.

Still, The Romney campaign is already ripping Barack Obama. The campaign is sending out this You Tube video where Mitt Romney spoke about this last night in a Colorado Springs speech. Watch it here.

I must say that Romney’s comments suggesting that Obama wants to teach sex education to kindergarteners is a little misleading. Because he didn’t put in the proper context, many in the audience probably left thinking that Obama is ok with the condoms and cucumber approach.

The Brody File found a Chicago Daily Herald article from October of 2004 that shads some light on this latest episode. Read below:

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barack Obama, addressing college students Tuesday in Lisle, moved to clarify that he does not support teaching explicit sex education to children in kindergarten.

The sex-education question, from a student who identified herself as being part of an anti-abortion group at Benedictine University, mirrors a charge Republican candidate Alan Keyes has leveled at Obama.

The legislation in question was a state Senate measure last year that aimed to update Illinois’ sex education standards with “medically accurate” information. At one point, the legislation included a provision to allow students from kindergarten through fifth grade to be added to the middle and high school students receiving sex education.

Obama was chairman of the Senate committee that voted along party lines to move along the measure, which ultimately went nowhere.

“Nobody’s suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it,” Obama said. “If they ask a teacher ‘where do babies come from,’ that providing information that the fact is that it’s not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing. Although again, that’s going to be determined on a case by case basis by local communities and local school boards.”

Also, in October of 2004 during a debate with Alan Keyes, below is the exchange they had with regards to this topic:

KEYES: Well, I had noticed that, in your voting, you had voted, at one point, that sex education should begin in kindergarten, and you justified it by saying that it would be “age-appropriate” sex education.

But then on another vote, when they wanted to put internet filters on computers for the schools and in the libraries, you voted to oppose that, which made me wonder just exactly what you think is “age-appropriate.”

For instance, do you think that, in the first and second grade, we ought to be teaching from books like Heather Has Two Mommies, where we will be presenting, whether or not parents agree with it, a lifestyle that many folks in the state of Illinois believe is not advisable? Is that the kind of sex education you mean?

OBAMA: Actually, that wasn’t what I had in mind.

We have a existing law that mandates sex education in the schools. We want to make sure that it’s medically accurate and age-appropriate.

Now, I’ll give you an example, because I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean.

And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age. So, that’s the kind of stuff that I was talking about in that piece of legislation.