THE NEW GOP MESSAGE ON EDUCATION…. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked this morning for his thoughts on the right-wing fit over the president’s speech, encouraging kids to do well in school. “I think we’ve reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can’t tell kids to study hard and stay in school,” Gibbs said.

That’s true. The problem, of course, is that the “silly” season never ends.

That said, the DNC’s response was much more amusing.

“What this absurd episode shows is that the GOP can in fact come up with new ideas. For example, it’s now clear that the new Republican education platform will argue against personal responsibility, hard work and staying in school.”

Right. The president wants to share a simple, straightforward message with the nation’s students: work hard, play by the rules, excel in school, and take responsibility for your success. Angry, paranoid, right-wing activists are desperate to make sure children don’t hear that message.

If the situation was reversed, and it was Democrats criticizing a Republican president’s speech to kids, the pushback would be obvious: the left rejects basic, pro-education messages. That, or they’re so closed blinded by partisan rage that they don’t want Americans to hear innocuous messages from the Commander in Chief during two wars and an economic crisis.

Why do conservatives hate America?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.