Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh goodie, more symbolism from the GOP: House votes to cut off funds for NPR

The Hill: The House on Thursday passed a bill to defund NPR, a measure strongly opposed by the White House but one Republicans say will save taxpayer money.
The GOP-backed measure, which will be sent to the Senate, passed 228-192. One Republican voted present, and seven voted against the bill. No Democrats supported it. [MORE]
Does anyone believe for one second that this bill will make it past the Senate or Obama's veto pen?  Honestly, the Republican leadership is overdosing on symbolism.  If they are dead serious about cutting NPR's funds then they have to include this bill with something the Democrats cannot say no to.  

I think the problem with the GOP establishment is that they simply do not believe that things have changed since 2008.  There is growing support in the nation that there is too much on our plate and cuts will have to be made.  However, unless the GOP starts clearly explaining how dire our financial situation is and then act accordingly, the American public could easily slip back into believing that cuts can wait.

Enough with the symbolic gestures, get to getting.


Nick Rowe said...

You're absolutely right. Put it in the budget bill, and the Demon Rats will have no choice but to sign it.

The problem with that is the other side of the compromise - what will Republicans have to give up to gain the votes for that? Since funding for NPR and PBS should be cut unconditionally, there's no compromise worth making.

What's the benefit of voting on a bill that won't get passed? It makes it clear who your allies and enemies are. Just because the bill disappears in the Senate, doesn't mean it's gone forever. It will show up again. We'll see who the champions are in the Senate.

I tend to agree that this was a political mistake, but we can't discount the notion that there was some benefit other than symbolic to be gained here.

All things considered (no pun intended), cutting PBS/NPR is a minuscule part of our budget and government problem. But all the small things add up to a lot of large things.

It also keeps our opponents and their resources fighting on several fronts. Every dollar and minute that liberals pour into PBS/NPR is another dollar or minute they don't have for campaign contributions.

The tactic might not be too effective, but it's virtually free. Marginal benefit exceeds marginal cost.

Jim McKee said...

The country-club Republicans are not much better than the Dems. I hate to think about a third party, because it will take MANY years to be viable (the deck is severely stacked against it). But, painful as it may be, it just might come to that.

Side note: My Word Verification word is "fiends". Seriously.

Jake G. said...

I'm sitting on the fence on some of these. True, they don't stand a chance in hell in the Senate, but the bills do not die there. Certainly they can be revisited again should we gain a Republican controlled Senate in the 2012 elections. They are sorta, damned if you, damned if you don't situation. The NPR bill should be able to stand on its own. Let the public see that the Senate democrats are obstructing.

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