Sorry for the slow blogging, I've been occupied with other things. Hopefully I'll be blogging more frequently again going forward.
This Monkey Cage post gives a great overview of the necessity of NSF funding for political science and why those that are attacking this funding have a weak argument.
The only thing I'd wish to add is that observational sciences, like political science, are what got the scientific revolution underway. Astronomy practiced by Copernicus or Galileo was essentially observational, controlled experiments came later. It's absurd to draw a distinction between "hard" sciences and other sciences, science is about approach, methodology, and philosophy not about whether the source of observations is a test tube, the sky, or the human population of a nation.
I'd also like to add that I can't really think of an explanation for why political science gets so much criticism compared to other observational sciences like Astronomy other than that the critics either don't understand the scientific method or they simply don't like the conclusions reached by applying scientific principles to the study of human society.