ThinkProgress has a post up, called Mitt Romney And The Fundamental Unseriousness Of Cutting Arts Funding. The most disturbing thing in it to me was that he's stated that he plans on cutting all arts funding if he gets elected, which is just a kind of creepy thing for a government to do. But Alyssa Rosenberg explains why, apart from that, it's just a sleazy, evasive argument:
Talking about cutting arts funding is a diversionary tactic, both in terms of the amount of money that would actually be saved by doing so, and in terms of a philosophical discussion about what the proper funding of government is. The arts are an easy thing to toss to the crowd because you can cherry-pick an example of something that was funded by the NEA or NEH that will sound silly to someone, even if it has tremendous value in terms of preserving folklife traditions or ensuring access to arts and culture to rural communities. Arts funding is a way at getting at an interesting question. Should the government perform functions only that we believe shouldn’t be allowed to be controlled by private interests, like control, regulation, and deployment of the armed forces? Or should it step into voids left by private enterprise and personal charity when there are important functions that don’t appear to be supported by the market? That’s a real conversation, and scapegoating arts funding is a way of avoiding it.
And the profound unseriousness of going after spending by targeting programs with small budgets and without constituencies that are perceived to be powerful (or as is the case with Amtrak, something else Romney has proposed cutting funding for, with constituencies it’s politically valuable to rope-a-dope with) is really something that Republican politicians should be held accountable for.
I'm pretty seriously sketched out by the idea of Romney winning the coming election, and I'm seeing more reasons for that every day.