Romney has promised to defund the Public Broadcasting System.
Reagan promised to defund the left, and did not seriously try it. If Reagan did not, what chance Romney? But if Romney is serious about it, which I doubt, here is how to do it:
The Public Broadcasting System is, in large part, half a billion dollars paying media people to be left wing, which includes paying them to be nasty to Republicans in general and Romney in particular. If you are going to defund the Public Broadcasting System, might as well defund the other key major left wing institutions: the State Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Harvard. You will have the same sized conflict either way. Theoretically this is a straightforward application of financial power of congress, but in actual practice, will be more like a military coup.
Theoretically money is allocated by Congress in a budget every year, and then spent for the approved purposes by public servants. Theoretically, congress controls the purse strings. That is civics 101. Theoretically, they could simply pass a budget with zero funding for the major centers of the left.
Now if that was the way it actually worked, the budget would be power, and you could not stop congress from passing a budget every year except by cutting off their hands with chainsaws, because getting their hands on the budget would be getting their hands on power.
If the budget had such power, they would hunger and thirst to pass a budget.
They have not bothered to pass a budget in several years, and nothing much has changed as a result, revealing that the budget was an empty ritual, like the Queen of England proceeding to the houses of parliament in a stagecoach. Therefore, passing a budget zeroing out funding allocated to the public broadcasting system, the state department, the justice department, and Harvard would have no effect. The public service would ignore it, the way they have ignored the fact that they have been operating without a budget, the way various laws and plebiscites abolishing affirmative action and so forth have been ignored.
A budget that actually mattered would be an event as extraordinary and dramatic as Meiji Restoration. Sometimes political systems revert to their past, but that is not the way to bet. The Meiji restoration required quite a lot of bloodshed, even though officially nothing happened and it was no change at all.
The Meiji Restoration was the restoration of a simple and workable system which had existed and worked in the remembered past: Monarchy. It is far from clear that US system described by civics 101 has ever worked.
To actually make the system work in accordance with civics 101, there needs to be a credible threat that if it does not function in accordance with civics 101, there will be a pile of dead public servants with bullets in their heads lying by the side of the street outside the Justice Department, and smoke and flames coming out of the Justice Department.
From time to time, State Department proxies kill Pentagon proxies, and vice versa.
For a long time, Australia and Indonesia have been theoretically allied in the war on terror. For a long time, Australia was less than happy with the Indonesian government’s performance in this supposed alliance. It came to pass that there were a series of accidental Australian army incursions into Indonesian territory, doubtless due to faulty map reading. Indonesian troops would then accidentally open fire on Australian troops, who would then accidentally fire back, with such accidental effect that Indonesian troops would run away. After several such unfortunate accidents, each followed by pious apologies from both sides, Indonesia developed a somewhat more cooperative policy on suppressing Islamic terror.
I would suggest to Romney, therefore, that should he encounter a lack of cooperation in foreign policy from the state department, a series of unfortunate targeting accidents in which the Pentagon accidentally blows up State Department facilities and personnel. After several such unfortunate accidents, such as perhaps several one ton bombs accidentally landing on 2401 East Street, it might then be possible to zero out the budget for the State Department, the Justice Department, Harvard, and, oh yes, also the Public Broadcasting system.
But while I hope for the Public Broadcasting System to be zeroed out as promised, I really do not expect it until after currency collapse and similar dramatic events.