Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How to Get to Serious Street

Hugh Hewitt says that it taking on federal funding of public television and radio, Mitt Romney is Attacking the church of the Left:

This deep-seated reaction of springing to the defense of one's church has a counterpart on the Left, and we saw it at President Obama's Thursday rallies, where chants of "PBS, PBS" rose from the crowd of Obama die-hards who weren't going to let the worst debate performance by a sitting president in history check their grim determination to back him.

Mitt Romney had attacked PBS and Big Bird -- and by extension Ken Burns, NPR and "Morning Edition," Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Joseph Campbell and -- horror of horrors -- Bill Moyers. Terry Gross, "All Things Considered," the neat one-minute sound breaks: Romney put them all on the chopping block.

The Left is as angry with Romney as Mass-attending Catholics are with Obama, and for the very same reason. They have both attacked an institution that defines some people's sense of themselves and their place in the universe.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Jesus and Peter, but the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its children, PBS and NPR, are part of LBJ's Great Society spasm, which counts for nearly as much with the Left.

With the country facing an imminent fiscal cliff and staring into a much larger abyss of debt whose day of reckoning isn't much farther off, people are wont to ask whether America is finally going to get serious about getting its house in order and quit postponing the tough choices that will have to be made to do that.

On a national level, whether the government should continue to subsidize children's television characters has suddenly become a hot topic in this year's presidential campaign. On a local level, despite cries that we don't have enough money for schools and social services, the State of Minnesota has agreed to subsidize a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Neither is an indication that we're anywhere close to taking the looming fiscal realities as seriously as we should.

So by all means let's debate whether taxpayers should continue to feather Big Bird's nest (even if in reality Sesame Workshop receives very little public funding and would likely do just fine on its own). You can say that funding for public television and radio is just a drop in the bucket, but if we can't get serious about the little things we're never going to get around to addressing the big ones either.