Will killing Big Bird eventually be the death of the GOP?

Using the budget crisis to kill programs the GOP doesn’t like

Everyone understands we have a severe fiscal crisis at both the state and national levels.

And I’d bet most of us would agree that serious cuts and changes are needed to balance our budgets and keep the state and nation prospering.

The sad thing is the Tea Party and Republicans are busy using the budget crisis at the state and federal level to pursue an agenda that really has nothing to do with fiscal integrity.

In the name of reducing the federal deficit Republicans want to kill Big Bird and cut off funding to PBS.

Anti-abortion elements inside the GOP are using the budget crisis to attack Planned Parenthood.

In the name of reducing their state’s deficit, Wisconsin’s governor wants to repeal that state’s collective bargaining laws.

In Arizona fiscal restraint is expressed by hijacking local law enforcement budgets to turn local cops into junior Border Patrol agents and enmeshing the state in endless litigation with the federal government. Create new jobs in Arizona? Sure…new legal jobs suing the feds and defending the state against lawsuits from the feds.

The fiscal crisis at state and federal levels has created a once-on-a-lifetime opportunity for conservatives and especially agenda-driven social conservatives to attack stuff they have always hated.

That ultimately undermines people’s basic trust in government because to really do the adjustment of government’s cost to reality, ideology really need to take a back seat in order for the pain and suffering of budget reduction to be  seen as fair and equitable by the public.

The ideological goal of “no new taxes” insures that budget cuts will have to reach into stuff like public education.

Is it more important to avoid taxes than to make sure the next generation of Americans can achieve middle class incomes and opportunities?

I am guessing those who are riding on their waves of election victories last year with their believed mandate to cut government spending and reduce government programs are going to find out that the majority of Americans did not believe they were giving those elected officials a mandate to kill Big Bird.

Big Bird may die…but so will the claim of the extreme right wing that they are the majority in America.

Maybe in 2012 the epitaph on Big Bird’s tombstone will read “I died…and took the GOP with me.”


About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
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