As snark goes, I must admit, the new DNC ad contemptuous of Mitt Romney's plan to take an economic knife to Big Bird is pretty funny. It is right out of the Alinsky's Rules For Radicals - "ridicule is man's most potent weapon."
Ridicule is designed to communicate to the listener that the object ridiculed is not worthy of any serious consideration. So will that backfire on the left in this instance? Lord knows it should. The deficit is among the top concerns for voters. And at the debate, 70 million people heard Romney seriously address the issue:
[Our $16 trillion deficit is] not just an economic issue, I think it's a moral issue. I think it's, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they're going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives.
And the amount of debt we're adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral. So how do we deal with it?
. . . [F]irst of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don't pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it. Obamacare's on my list. . . .
I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. . .
Romney's point was not that he would make cutting PBS a central part of his plan to reduce the deficit, which is what the Obama now wants everyone to believe. Rather it was that Romney's cuts would be so far reaching and disciplined that they would even encompass PBS.
Yet Obama has latched onto Big Bird with a death grip - yes, he is choking that chicken. The Weekly Standard notes "that in the last few days, Obama has mentioned Big Bird eight times, and Elmo five--and Libya not at all." Big Bird is now central to Obama's narrative, and if you have seen Obama talk about Big Bird over the past few days, you've seen him having a lot of fun with it. It is right in his wheelhouse.
No single ad that I have seen to date so well encapsulates all that is wrong with Obama and the far left. They are demagoguing Romney's promise to cut all non-critical programs. If anyone who sees this ad thinks about it for a minute, they should walk away with a damning indictment of Obama. And if Obama wants to play the Big Bird card at the debate, Romney should make him eat that bird, feathers and all.
Romney should ask whether anyone thinks that our deficit, $16 trillion and growing at over a trillion dollars a year under Obama, is a subject for humor, one to be brushed off with ridicule? If we can't touch all non-critical funding - including PBS subsidies - when we have a $16 trillion deficit, then what that makes crystal clear is that the left is simply not serious about addressing the deficit.
Obama and the DNC might have outdone themselves this time. They have created a Big Bird trap that they themselves are standing in.
Update: As Maggies Farm points out:
Back in 2008, Obama said that, “if you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.”
Big Bird is the epitome of Small Things.