Candidate Mitt Romney tells Fortune magazine, Politico reports, that he plans to shrink the federal government, and one target of his planned shrinkage will be the arts. Romney says he’ll eliminate PBS and the National Endowments for the Arts, garnering what one columnist called “chump change,” about $590 million, a small drop in the federal bucket.

At the same time, the erstwhile shrinker-in-chief is rattling his saber about Iran, at potential costs (the wisdom of the policy aside) far in excess of his arts savings. The arts always get shortchanged, even though their intangible values are critical to any society by qualitative measures.

Here again candidate Romney shows himself not as statesman, but as an anything-that-appeals, know-nothing politician with limited vision and questionable values. The more he talks, the more we know about his values, the clearer it becomes that his candidacy must be rejected.

Ronald Goldfarb, Washington, D.C. attorney and author, represents writers and writer organizations.