Barack Obama, in typical liberal fashion, was less than completely honest the other day when he made this statement about government funding:
Obama was meeting in a backyard conversation with neighbors, but in addition to fielding questions, he suggested a few things to ask Republicans on the campaign trail.
Specifically, "What are you going to cut. There's this deafening silence."
Deafening silence. My first thought was, he didn't speak to any conservatives I know! Since at least the days of Reagan, the conservative movement has been rife with suggestions on how to cut the federal budget.
Upon further reflection, I decided that one major obstacle to frank and honest public discourse is the demagoguery of Democrats and other liberals.
When Republicans wanted to give more money to school lunches in the form of grants to the states, thus taking it out of federal control, Democrats demagogued this issue by saying that Republicans wanted to "cut school lunches". More money = cuts. Got it!
When Newt Gingrich proposed allowing people to direct the investment of a mere two percent of their Social Security retirement (some might actually call that "choice") it was demagogued as "privatizing Social Security", privatization implying a takeover instead a supplement or complement.
Back in 19955, when Republicans suggested a cut back in support for public television, the issue was (and is again) being couched as "Republicans hate Sesame Street", or "Republicans hate Big Bird". Never mind the fact that the Muppets, a division of the Disney empire, have garnered huge financial rewards via licensing, toys, books, movies, clothing, DVDs, etc. In the demagogues' mind, moving Big Bird away from the public trough is to "hate" Big Bird.
In the wake of the Juan Williams debacle, the wisdom of public funding for such a slanted media outlet comes again to the forefront, and still the demagogues trot the Muppets out as if Republicans hate children.
In the arts, if a chocolate smeared Karen Finley or a Robert Maplethorpe of bullwhip fame, or Andres Serrano (Piss Christ), (or most recently, a picture of Christ receiving oral sex from another man), provokes public outrage, Demagogues-R-Us march out their legions to decry those Philistines who want to eliminate funding for the "Arts". You know...ballet and symphony orchestras.
Maybe the "deafening silence" you hear, Mr. President, is the result of decades of lies, smears and innuendo heaped upon conservatives by the demagogues in your own party? Perhaps if the party of Demagogues would sit down and rationally and calmly discuss the matter, the budget could be cut in ways that the vast majority of the American people would find acceptable.
It is not just the art that is obscene, Mr. President. It is the spending.
And the demagoguery that defends it.
Cross posted at Proof Positive