Maybe Greer spent a little too much time in the sun

MAYBE GREER SPENT A LITTLE TOO MUCH TIME IN THE SUN…. At first blush, it seems like the kind of thing that’s entirely innocuous, even by Republican standards. President Obama will deliver an address on education on September 8, to be broadcast live to schools that choose to air it.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the president “will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible.” Hardly controversial stuff.

Apparently in the midst of some kind of breakdown, Florida’s Jim Greer is throwing a tantrum over this.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida on Tuesday issued a statement to “condemn President Obama’s use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

Jim Greer also accused President Obama of “using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda.”

Greer’s hysterical press release, which doesn’t appear to be a joke, went on to argue that the president will force children to “watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care.” The Florida GOP chairman called Obama’s speech “infuriating” and “an invasive abuse of power.” He added that the president “has turned to American’s children to spread his liberal lies.”

Seriously, is there something in the water? Has Jim Greer suffered some kind of trauma recently that would explain something like this?

What’s more, as Eric Kleefeld notes, Greer is “seen as one of the more sensible, mainstream Republicans, as he is a long-time ally of moderate Gov. Charlie Crist.”

Quite right. In fact, as recently as July, Greer expressed interest in becoming the head of the Republican National Committee’s Rules Committee. Many GOP leaders balked — they said Greer isn’t conservative enough.

It’s as if the whole party has gone stark raving mad.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.