It’s come to this.
Facing flagging public support for their platform, Washington Democrats are now resorting to enlisting cartoon characters to help drum up support for funding public television with taxpayer money.
Yesterday, Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) held a press conference featuring the beloved public television cartoon character Arthur (from the eponymous “Arthur” show, which is in turn an adaptation of the “Arthur” series of books by children’s author Marc Brown), and the famous duo of Bert and Ernie from state-run television staple “Sesame Street. They joined together to protest House Republican leaders’ plans to reduce funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
At the presser, Bert and Ernie received a “GOPink slip,” symbolizing House Democrats’ allegations that the Republicans’ budget proposal will put token handicapable person Maria out on the cold street, force Kermit’s banker cousin Gordon Gecko to foreclose on Big Bird’s nest, and deprive kids of their daily two-minutes-of-hate against Fox News. Or something. I was too busy trying to figure out who the other Muppets in attendance were—wait a minute, those aren’t muppets, those are Democratic Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Nita Lowey, Sam Farr, Paul Tonko, and Bill Owens.
My bad. I have trouble telling muppets and House Democrats apart—unserious people look alike to my senses.
Back in 1995, 15 years before Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-People’s Republik of Kalifornia) invited another foam-headed ninny—progressive comedian Stephen Colbert—to have his derping placed in the Congressional Record for posterity, Rep. Nita Lowey invited Bert and Ernie to testify before Congress, when then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich led the charge to reduce public media funding.
Possibly hoping that the arithmetically-inclined sanguisuge, The Count, could teach the nation’s children what the number “14 trillion” means, Lowey called on Republicans to “focus on creating jobs, not laying off Bert and Ernie” and “silencing Cookie Monster.”
The irony and disrespect of using taxpayer money to insult and degrade entire swaths of taxpayers as “teabaggers” and “trashy,” as NPR and PBS have done in the past, is so biting that even Statler and Waldorf would cringe in shame.
In January 2010, National Public Radio featured an artist’s Flash cartoon (commissioned using taxpayer dollars), which sought to teach the viewer “how to speak Tea Bag”—a pidgin parody of conservatives’ concerns about the growth of government.