EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 11, 2012

Editorial: It's time for Big Bird to support himself

America’s yellowest welfare leech turned up in Derry Monday to protest Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s suggestion that maybe it’s time for him to get a job.

Yes, Big Bird, who has been hanging around on Sesame Street and collecting a government check for 43 years now, turned up carrying a protest sign at a Romney campaign event in Derry. This was not the “real” Big Bird, however, merely an Obama supporter in a rented suit.

Reeling from his drubbing in the first presidential debate, Obama is grasping at straws. Unable to defend his administration’s performance on matters foreign and domestic, the campaign has seized on a stray remark Romney made about government subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service.

“I love Big Bird ... but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things [we need] to borrow money from China to pay for,” Romney said.

Democrats howled when Romney characterized Obama as the candidate of the dependent class. But Obama has now tied his political fortunes to an icon of dependency, one that generates tens of millions in product revenues, all while insisting that the government checks must never stop.

So when Romney suggested in last week’s debate that maybe the country can no longer afford to borrow from China to hand Big Bird and his friends at PBS a subsidy, the overgrown chicken’s pals in the Democratic Party went nuts.

To the Democrats, Big Bird is the most sacred of sacred cows. The Obama camp has produced an ad that claims Romney wants to take on Sesame Street while ignoring Wall Street’s crimes.

PBS was established to provide an alternative to commercial television. This was, of course, back in the day when television consisted of a handful of stations — fewer in rural areas — operated by three or four national networks. Now, there are hundreds of channels offering varying degrees of cultural sophistication.

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