Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hatin' On The Girl Scouts

Indiana has a state legislator who has decided the Girl Scouts (U.S. version) are baaaaad.

(Update: He has made a sortapology. Yeah, nice career you had in politics, there. Any plans for the future?)

He voted with his (daughters') feet and they're in one of the similar organizations with an agenda closer to his liking. I don't have a problem with that; in fact, it looks to me like an optimal solution: don't like the .org, find one you do like.

...However, he took the occasion of a non-binding resolution marking the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting to 'splain how they were "a radicalized organization," and note that --oh, shock, horror -- Michelle Obama was their Honorary President, and she's in favor of Planned Parenthood and all manner of liberal progressive stuff and therefore yadda-yadda.

Now, the First Lady probably is onboard with all that, and I'm no big fan of her husband's politics, but the fact of the matter is, the President and First Lady are, by virtue of the President's job, Honorary Presidents of Boy and Girl Scouts, respectively. Scouting, wherever you find it, tends to be quite strongly patriotic and involved in public service, and here in the U.S. namin' the Chief Executive and his spouse* to the nominal top office is part and parcel of that, all part of being Head of State. GSUSA wasn't magically conservative for eight years and then magically flipped over.

Nope, here's the thing: Girl Scouts (and Boy Scouts, too) are both "big tent" organizations; they try to walk a narrow line of common values -- honesty, helpfulness, respect, spirituality -- and no matter how hard they try, there'll be folks who find them too much one way or the other. (I think the current LDS-dominated Boy Scouts are a bit too SoCon, for instance, and Girl Scouts leans a bit the other way -- but I do think both groups make an honest effort as they see it). That's why there are alternatives and plenty of them, from American Heritage Girls to Navigators USA; if you don't like the big show, there are others. Are there issues? Why, yes -- what did you expect?

--But land's sake, is it not possible that the hundredth anniversary of a children's organization that does enormous good (and sells first-rate cookies, IMO -- if the supply of Thin Mints was not limited, I would probably live on them) might not be a time to go flailin' away at the drum of how awful you think they are? Bob Morris, I'm not saying you should vote to congratulate an organization that makes you distinctly uncomfortable, just that you could maybe have found some other time to go soapboxin' about it? Thousands of little Daisies and Brownies and their big sisters got to watch you on TV, sayin' how their friends and local Girl Scout leaders were horrible, bad, awful people.

What lesson do you suppose they took from that? Do you really think it was the one you intended?
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* Y'know, they're both gonna have to do a fast shuffle the first time we elect a female Prez -- and I wonder what's been done by Girl Scouts in the past when we had bachelors or widowers in that office?

14 comments:

Nathan said...

I don't think BSA will have to do a fast shuffle for a female president...they'll just make her their honorary president and won't make a fuss about it. After all, there are plenty of girls in the BSA Venturing and Exploring programs. And there have already been female scoutmasters; the district I grew up in had its first when I was active on the district committee a number of years ago.

Nathan said...

Oh, and yes, Morris is an idiot.

Dave H said...

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma tried to rebut Morris' statements, but his mouth was full of cookies:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-22/indiana-girl-scouts/53205262/1

AngelaG said...

I recall reading that one bachelor/widowed president had his sister serve as first lady. Unfortunately, I can't remember any names or dates, so take that with a grain of salt.

Shermlock Shomes said...

http://tinyurl.com/4munmon

Drang said...

Have we had a bachelor or widower as CinC since the GSUSA was founded?

Hmm, your new and improved WV is actually legible, how do you rate?

Dwight Brown said...

Angela G:

James Buchanan, Jr. was a lifelong bachelor. When he served as President, his niece, Harriet Lane, filled in as First Lady, though she is not acknowledged as one on this list of First Ladies.

Dwight Brown said...

Whoops, I was wrong: Harriet Lane did make the list.

Anonymous said...

Strangely, Prersident Obama chose not to attend the Boy Scouts 100th Anniversary Jamboree. I wonder why?

Roberta X said...

I am shocked, shocked to read that. Or not.

Nathan said...

Obama is not the first President to not attend the Jamboree. According to this guy, Obama is not the first president not to attend or appear at Jambo.

I suspect the attitude about this comes from the fact that every president since Reagan has attended or appeared by video, so now it has simply become expected after 1964-1985 when nobody did. (Except I recall Pat Nixon attending 1973 East*, which is the one I attended that year...but I guess I've slept once or twice since then and could be remembering it wrong.)

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* In 1973, BSA decided to split the Jamboree between East and West so more Scouts could attend. It turned out to be a logistical nightmare and was never repeated.

markm said...

Angela & Drang: Buchanan was the only bachelor elected President, and I think the last man who won the election without a wife at his side, but several others needed substitute First Ladies because their wives were deceased or in too poor health to .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Lady_of_the_United_States

Anonymous said...

Eating too many Thin Mints can be construed as a contraceptive policy...

Antibubba

Matthew said...

You've raised an interesting point.

Perhaps we should add Thin Mint cookies (and perhaps Samoas?) to gold and ammo as key SHTF trade good stores.

Hell, if Brin could make the mail a demarcation of civilization, how much moreso a seasonal green box of happiness?