It’s grimly hilarious and depressing that, just as House Republicans are using the debt ceiling fight to go after Pell Grants, the need-based college assistance program, they also decided to use this moment of national tension to try to cut $10.6 million out of the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts. This is rearranging deck chairs on the Titantic, but with extreme malice. Fortunately, 55 Republicans stood up and voted with all of their Democratic colleagues to preserve the funding. I’m obviously supportive of public funding for the arts. But I’m also just depressed by these public displays of unseriousness and pettiness. $10.6 million in cuts will not save the nation, but it would halt a lot of revenue- and salary-generating projects.