Romney vs. Big Bird
During last week's first presidential debate, Mitt Romney declared that he would cut all funding for programs on the basis of the question: "Is this program so crucial that it is worth borrowing money from China to protect?" He then headed directly at an issue some commentators had noticed -- Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the debate, is an employee of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
Romney stated unequivocally that he would cut PBS's funding -- saying to the moderator, "I really like Big Bird, and I even like you Mr. Lehrer." But hey, we're in a financial crisis, and some cuts are going to have to be made. It's not personal, it's just business.
Now the internet is aflame with Bird Bird vs. Romney discussions. They range from an appearance of Big Bird on Saturday Night Live, to graphics claiming that Obama killed Osama, and Romney is planning on killing Big Bird. Others claim that this year's blockbuster Halloween costume will be Big Bird with a pink slip up his backside.
Don't get me wrong -- it's all hysterical from my perspective. This is the best that people can say about Mitt Romney -- he hates Big Bird. But this Republicans Are All Darth Vader meme actually ended up helping Romney during the debate. He scored a win just by showing up not wearing a black helmet. The drumbeat that the media has tried to create about Romney being an uncaring, out-of-touch Thurston Howell III just wasn't true. And it was obvious last Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado that Mitt is a nice guy. But not so nice to give the president a second term.
I rewatched the presidential debate and it looks like Romney is firing Obama on national television. He's called him into his office and given Obama his final performance review for the last four years. Obama, You're Fired. I'm sorry, but it did not work out.
The whole Big Bird joke is that he was even mentioned in a presidential debate at all! But it's also indicative of the Republicans representing adults; adults who make adult decisions. We cannot afford PBS anymore, not with our current financial situation. A child doesn't care about the future; a child just wants what he or she wants right now.
I think PBS is great -- so great that it can (and most likely will) survive on its own. So this won't be the end of Big Bird, or Sesame Street. It's just the end of their sinecure. Don't think of it as Big Bird losing his job, but suddenly having a job.