Making Boy Scouting a political football — shame on those outlets

When President Barack Obama met with a group of outstanding Boy Scouts in the Oval Office a few weeks ago to discuss policies affecting Scouting, and especially policies affecting children, teen agers and young adults in the U.S., very few conservative sites thought it important to cover.  Let’s be more precise:  No conservative Obama critics, nor much of anyone else, bothered to cover it.  I’d love to see links even of local media in the Scouts’ hometowns that printed a story or photo.

To the credit of the White House, neither did the press promote the meeting as a political point.  Scouting prefers not to be a political football, and Scouting policy asks that Scouts avoid even looking like politicking while in uniform. (Scouts are encouraged to participate in the political process, including through the three citizenship merit badges, which encourage Scouts to communicate their concerns about policy to elected representatives, while working for the merit badge and in the future as participating citizens.)

2010 is a grand year for Scouting.  It’s the centennial of Scouting’s coming to the United States.  There’s a special Scout Jamboree, being held at Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia (the last time the Jamboree will be held on federal property — that’s another story for another time).   It’s always fun when presidents come to the Jamboree and speak, but it’s not always possible.

But today, news comes that President Obama will send a video speech to the Scouts at the Jamboree, as has been done sometimes in the past.  Many of us are disappointed that President Obama will not appear in person; but some of us who have experience scheduling such things know that elected officials cannot make every appearance they would like to.  Presidential schedules in the modern world are particularly difficult; for an appearance at Fort A. P. Hill security must be imposed (even on a Scouting event), aircraft landing sites need to be arranged and secured . . . dealing with more than 30,000 Scouts becomes an onerous task.

Still, we’re disappointed.

Adding to that disappointment, comes now a group of harpy Obama critics, no friends of Scouting that I can determine, but anxious to claim this scheduling decision as some sort of snub to Scouting, and to the American flag.

Media Matters has the facts, and puts the scheduling stuff into perspective, “Overhyped conservative nonsense of the Day:  Obama hates the Boy Scouts.”  UpdateBlue Wave News has it in perspectiveWonkette’s satire, unfortunately, goes awry, but her heart and brain are in the right places.

The snub is by those critics who attempt to turn Scouting into a political football.  The insults are all from them.

Shame on them, collectively and individually:

Update: We’re going to have to add on a wing to accommodate the Wall of Shame:


I’ll wager none of those authors bothers to volunteer for Scouting.  I’d be surprised (and disappointed) to discover any were Scouts.  Scouting wouldn’t revoke their citizenship merit badges, but they’ve forgotten them, if they ever earned them.

Scouting faces severe hurdles these days, some of them I would say were placed by poobahs at the top of Scouting; these guys listed above are not helping.

Here are some tests to see which of these blogs and pundit outlets is friendly to Scouting:  Which of them covered the award, this morning of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award to Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee?  Which of them covered the dedication of the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp honoring the Scouting Centennial, today?  As of this moment, I can find no media coverage of these things at all, even by local media.

Why do these pundits cover Scouting only when it gives them a chance to make an unfair shot at a politician they don’t like?  Seriously, who is doing disservice to Scouting, and the nation?

Good news about Scouting’s 100th Year, and the Jamboree:

102 Responses to Making Boy Scouting a political football — shame on those outlets

  1. sherminator505 says:

    As a Scouter, I don’t like to see people make the BSA look bad. I feel the same way about the GSUSA, even though I have never been involved with that organization (save the purchase of Thin Mints, etc.). Still, it strikes me that both of these organizations have drifted towards their respective poles to the point that they bring a lot of these bad vibes upon themselves. In my view, both organizations need to pull themselves back to the “kindred values” that all Americans share rather than continue to marginalize themselves.


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