California state representative Duncan Hunter was on Fox last night, and he's still got his knickers all in a twist about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia last week. Late last week, he introduced legislation that proposes cutting Columbia's access to federal funding (the university received $458 million in '05) in order to punish them for hosting an adversary of America. Basically, Hunter postulates that Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia, and the attention surrounding it — the discussion, the blogs, the numerous tabloid covers — might have given the wee Iranian Heidi Montag Disease, the recently identified condition in which a minor character is plucked from obscurity and elevated by a bored and restless culture to a level of fame far greater than their original stature ever warranted. Except, you know, Hunter doesn't exactly mention the condition by name (maybe because Heidi is a constituent?) Anyway! Hunter's bill does not, unfortunately, call for an end to The Hills.
It is called the Restore Patriotism to America's Universities Act, and even though it is probably more of a publicity stunt than a serious piece of legislation, it is still pretty scary, not only because Columbia would be screwed without the government cash, but also because the bill "reflects the increasing willingness of some in the federal government to involve it in the affairs of American campuses," Terry W. Hartle, senior vice-president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education told InsideHigherEd. The best part is Hunter, a Vietnam vet and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to run for president this year. Wow, that 2008 docket is really looking awesome.
Hunter Introduces Restoring Patriotism to America's Campuses Act [Duncan Hunter via IvyGate]