I think politicians make this their business because it's a cheap way to get some 'positive', 'family-friendly' press. "Congressperson Jones, what have you done to protect families from the horrible content on the Innernet?" Not gonna lose too many votes in the name of protecting children, even if, as you say, it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.
For those older children, the 'tweens' and above, they'll find a way to see whatever content they want anyway. It just won't be at a federally funded Internet community center.
In terms of parents monitoring their kids, yes, we can expect that for kids under 11ish, but let's face it, parents have to give their kids some latitude as they grow older. And chances are, if parents have done well by them up to that point, kids will make more right than wrong choices when the time comes. In this case, I think we have to cut parents some slack. Despite the best efforts of technology, parents shouldn't be expected to monitor their kids every move until they're adults.
Hello to Rachel at the Law Library! Are you and Heidi and I having lunch next week?