Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn was accorded the unusual honor today of a mention on the New York Times’ editorial page, although unfortunately for Rep. Lamborn, it wasn’t really what you’d call an honorable mention. Opining on the fast-tracked bill from Lamborn to defund National Public Radio (read the latest at the Colorado Independent),
The bill, sponsored by Representative Doug Lambon, a three-term Republican from Colorado, would block all taxpayer dollars that NPR might receive, starting with any of the money given to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Local stations could not buy programming from NPR – such as “Morning Edition” or “All Things Considered” – or any other source using the $22 million or so that they get from the Treasury for that purpose. It would not actually save any federal money; it would simply make sure that none of those dollars go to NPR.
“I wish only the best for NPR,” said Mr. Lamborn, unpersuasively. He said he simply wants NPR to survive “without the crutch of government subsidies.”
This is not a serious bill. [Pols emphasis] Unattached to a budget measure, it will never survive the Senate or a presidential veto. It is designed simply to send a punitive message to a news organization that conservatives have long considered a liberal bastion. The politicized criticism amped up last week when a fund-raiser for the organization was secretly recorded calling the Tea Party a racist organization and criticizing Republicans…
The latest sting video from infamous conservative, uh, sting guy, James O’Keefe, provided the impetus for GOP House leadership to fast-track Lamborn’s bill–which, as the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation is quick to point out, violates Speaker John Boehner’s pledge to make all legislation available on the internet for 72 hours before it’s voted on. So there’s that.
It’s also a really big hoopla to make over $22 million, which the federal government tosses out with pocket lint every day, and only about 2% of NPR’s budget–a bit of a curious item to blow Boehner’s “Read the Bill” pledge on. And it’ll be DOA the moment it passes the House as the Times explained above, meaning it’s just a meaningless exercise in partisan bullying. But for Doug Lamborn, it’s a rare taste of the limelight. More than payback for all that time he wasted trying to switch the names of Mount Democrat and Republican Mountain–because Republican Mountain should obviously be taller.