The Corner

The Nea Strategy

I’ve gotten a few e-mails like the one Jonah just printed, suggesting that raising NEA funding and other liberal measures will lead the Democrats to try to outflank him on the left–calling for quadrupling NEA funding, giving immediate citizenship to the population of China, etc. Well, sure the Democrats will try to get to Bush’s left. But that would mean that we will be debating how much to increase NEA spending. I should have thought that’s not the debate conservatives would want us to be having. And what is Bush’s retort going to be? He can’t say it’s ridiculous to increase spending on such a worthless program, especially in a time of war and deficits. He’s for doubling the program himself! I can’t see any way to spin this positively.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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