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Attacking the church of the Left
Washington Examiner ^ | 10-8-12 | Hugh Hewitt

Posted on 10/09/2012 7:40:15 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

Mitt Romney has done it now. He has attacked the Left where it lives -- on PBS and NPR.

Mass-attending Catholics rightly perceive that President Obama launched a direct attack on their church. Their bishops have informed them. Evangelicals and other people of faith have mobilized to support Catholics against the Obamacare regulations that will oblige Catholic hospitals, schools and human welfare agencies to close rather than provide the morning-after pill, sterilization, and other drugs and procedures prohibited by Catholic doctrine.

Catholics are angry, and they will vote that anger in key swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado. Indeed, if anything combines with President Obama's spectacular faceplant in Wednesday's night debate to put Pennsylvania in play, it will be the Catholic vote shifting in great numbers to support Mitt Romney and thus defend their church from the government.

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.

I spent a decade inside the CPB web, as a nightly anchor for LA's KCET and host of "Searching for God in America." The television and radio networks are full of wonderful professionals who, but for a very small number -- 1 percent, perhaps? -- are incredibly left-wing. It is hilarious, actually, how unrepresentative the Left's broadcast networks are of the taxpayers who fund them.

As a veteran of two score pledge drive weeks, begging for support and hustling CDs with the likes of Ed Asner, I know who it is that dial in their pledges. These are the faithful -- the Peter, Paul and Mary-loving, Boston Pops-supporting, college faculty club-dining, die-hards of the revolution that was. For them, "Sesame Street" isn't just a kids show, and Big Bird isn't a puppet. The whole enterprise, from Oscar to Carl Sagan, was about good intentions and fit thinking and progress and freedom from the dark ages of nuns and military-industrial complexes, lounge singers and land-grant colleges.

Romney dared to declare we shouldn't borrow money to subsidize this attitude adjustment operation.

And there the Left's love of the Establishment Clause ended. CPB, PBS and NPR are their church, and their saints are involved, their beads and incense, their vision of the future.

They were already fully committed to the president, but now they are marching, a crowd mostly over 55, ponytails tied back, backpacks slung over their shoulders, a dark vision of a Moyer-less future pushing them forward. Desperate that their last, best hope and their morning chimes and evening bells not fade into the past.

Examiner Columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aginghippies; catholic; left; media; npr; pbs; romney

1 posted on 10/09/2012 7:40:30 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
"Mitt Romney had attacked PBS and Big Bird -- and by extension..."

Romney didn't "attack" any of those things. In fact he said he liked Big Bird. Romeny just said we couldn't afford to give them free money anymore.

2 posted on 10/09/2012 7:44:34 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity
Romney didn't "attack" any of those things.

Hewitt is simply mirroring back the extremism adopted by the left. If we're not supporting their agenda, we are "racist haters" and "attacking" them.

3 posted on 10/09/2012 8:24:38 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (ABO to the core.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The proliferation of commercially viable cable television stations over the past 30 years with arts, science, history, and public affairs programming demonstrates PBS has the opportunity to survive and flourish if removed from the government dole. If there is a market for the programming, only new sources of revenue need to be found (advertising or paid subscriptions). If there isn’t a market for the programming it will have to adjust to the marketplace or die.

Having opened the door to privatizing government functions by suggesting he will eliminate PBS, Romney should address privatization or elimination of funding for a number of organizations. This will be a winning issue for many Americans. Those who object will not vote for him anyway.

Obvious candidates for immediate divestiture include Rural Electrification and Telephone, TVA, Public Broadcasting, Amtrak, US Postal Service, General Motors, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, TSA, Army Corps of Engineers, US Import/Export Bank, the weather service.

Elimination of grants to public service organizations is another immediate expense saving step Romney can take that won’t cost him a vote. End funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for Democracy, USAID.

End grants to non profits and public interest groups - Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, community organizing groups, Urban League.

If he eliminates this funding in his first year, the left and the media will scream but within a year the general public will have forgotten the cuts as most average Americans are not affected directly by this spending. PBS will still be on the air, the postal service will still deliver mail (although there may be fewer post offices, fewer postal employees, and Saturday delivery may be ended), and rural households will still be receiving electricity. There may be more starving artists as they will no longer be paid by Uncle Sam for their creations, and local museums may have to seek local sources of funding or close. Non profits will find other sources of funding, downsize, or close.

Romney should also explore user fees to cover the cost of other government functions. Shouldn’t the full cost of the Coast Guard and Customs agency be paid by companies importing and exporting goods (say a fee levied on every incoming and outgoing shipment) instead of being subsidized by the taxpayer? The same with the cost of maintaining the navigable waterways and airports. It would seem reasonable the entire cost of the FAA and TSA should be covered by fees on airline takeoffs and landings. The same with government grants to improve and expand airports. Let the users pay the cost not every taxpayer.

There are many opportunities for Romney to attack government spending by eliminating it entirely or transferring the cost to users. Attacking the little items, with small constituencies, in the first term may be preferable to trying to eliminate entire departments (Education, Labor, Commerce). Small cuts of millions each will quickly add up to billions. No matter how much the public interest groups and media scream, the middle class will understand the elimination of non-essential spending. Once Romney proves these kinds of small cuts can be made, and save the taxpayer billions of dollars, he’ll have the credibility to go after the big cuts.

4 posted on 10/09/2012 8:40:33 AM PDT by Soul of the South
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Soul of the South

Thanks for posting this great article by Hugh Hewitt. He’s right, Catholics are fired up, the “leftist Catholics” aka there is no such thing in the Catholic Church, you either follow Catholic teachings, or excommunicate yourself, there’s no inbetween. Catholic teachings haven’t been changed in 2000 yrs., no matter past/current trends, they can never be changed.

Excellent post Soul of the South. The recipients you mentioned get way too much money, with the result they use it to fund other leftie causes, iow, the money stays in their arena. All one has to do is check out the boardmenbers of the nonprofits that get the money.

5 posted on 10/09/2012 9:07:10 AM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Yep, political correctness is not like a religion, it is a religion.

6 posted on 10/09/2012 9:09:06 AM PDT by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Too bad he didn’t go after the REAL “church of the LEFT”: The Department of Education.

7 posted on 10/09/2012 9:26:22 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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