Conservatives were likely not thrilled see in the New York Times on Thursday morning that “President Bush will seek a big increase in the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.” Nor were they likely pleased that the White House political machine was going to send the First Lady out to do the dirty work of announcing a spending plan that would likely get up the dander of conservatives more than the idea of Bush having Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, and Tom Daschle over for a nice dinner at the President’s Place to talk about everything but the need to get his judicial nominations confirmed.
As social conservatives are well aware, funding for the NEA — in fact, the program’s mere existence — has long been a contentious issue. The battles of former Sen. Jesse Helms and other principled conservatives to de-fund and end the NEA are famous. Never were they successful in ending this tax-payer funding for many “art” pieces and performances that did nothing but offend the sensibilities of ordinary Americans. But they did effectively bring the NEA under heavy scrutiny and limit the organization’s funding.
Why, then, is the Bush Administration working for an $18 million boost in the NEA budget — an increase of 15 percent? Do they figure a thumb in the eye of conservatives is a good move to garner the friendship of Democrats?
Memo to the White House: The Democrats will NEVER like you. Appealing to their better nature is a futile attempt to gain friends.
Mr. President, remember the $328 billion omnibus spending package you signed last week that contained $10.7 billion in earmarks? Did your support of this spending bill gain for you the support of any Democrats?
You pushed for a massive increase in AIDS funding, did that get you anywhere with the Left?
In spite of the fact that you worked for and signed a massive new government entitlement program known as a Medicare Prescription Drug bill, liberals’ attacks on you and your administration have remained as acerbic as ever.
Did you notice that despite working hand-in-hand with Teddy Kennedy to create the No Child Left Behind Act, he has only become more vitriolic about you?
You even signed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill. Did it get you anywhere?
The $491-billion Farm Bill you signed has failed to make any Democrats more amicable.
Amnesty-masked-as-a-temporary-worker-program really did the trick, didn’t it?
Mr. President, will your White House ever learn that nothing short of leaving Washington, D.C., forever will placate these shrill and hate-filled liberals?