The video: Yesterday on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tossed Republicans a juicy, "crazy" bone, complaining that a "mean-spirited" Republican bill to cut $57 billion from this year's budget would spell doom for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in his home state. (See Reid's poetic Senate floor moment.) Pointing to the National Endowment for the Arts, which is on the GOP chopping block and helps fund the poetry festival, Reid said: "Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist." Just who are these cowboy poets? Watch a video from this year's festival, below:
The reaction: "If Democrats are unwilling to abide belt-tightening on federal subsidies for regional cowboy poetry festivals, that tells you everything you need to know about their seriousness on spending," says Guy Benson at Townhall. Yeah, "if the taxpayer-subsidized cowpoke poetry (cowpoketry?) festival is the best example the Senate Majority Leader can find to illuminate the devastation that GOP cuts would bring to bear, we may be getting somewhere," says Kyle Wingfield at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I mean seriously, Reid's plea was "comedy gold." Wait, "hold your horses," says Ian Crouch at The New Yorker. Reid's plea was certainly snark bait, but the festival actually does bring thousands of people, and their tourist dollars, to the town of Elko, Nev. See these cowboys wax poetic: