Sequestration: what really happened (and didn’t)
The sequestration fight has been rougher on President Obama than I had earlier predicted. It is now clear that Obama has overplayed his hand with the sequestration talks. I thought (and I’m sure Obama thought too) the media would do what it has done for over four years and spout off Obama’s talking points verbatim, painting Obama as the man who could save us all if only the republicans would accept another round of tax hikes “reasonable” solutions. Unfortunately for Obama, a couple of things played out that prevented that from happening to its full potential.
The first was Obama’s ridiculous choice to fly down to Florida two weeks before the sequestration deadline to golf with Tiger Woods. Any other president would have been skewered for this, but the main stream media is so deep in tank for Obama, he has been free to make all of the bad decisions he has wanted with relative impunity. This time however, he kept the media in the dark during the golf outing.
This had the opposite effect of Obama’s intentions. Instead of a quiet outing with a celebrity, the blackout became a big story, shining a larger spotlight on the golf outing. The reason for the blackout was also plainly obvious to even the lowest information voter. No president should be out golfing with celebrities when the sequestration deadline is looming.
Had this been the only hit the president had taken, Obama would still be fine, as the media quickly forgave him and was happy to play along with his sequestration rhetoric — mainly the lie that the Republicans were the cause of it and it was going to be terrible. We were going to see dams breaking, airplanes falling out of the sky (yet our editor made her trip to D.C. safely Sunday), poor kids on school lunch programs going hungry, etc…
Making matters worse, Obama’s cabinet leaders were hell-bent on ensuring this Armageddon was here. Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security released thousands of criminal illegal aliens from jail, the Navy decided to delay a carrier battle group from deploying to the Persian Gulf, government agencies are furloughing or laying off government workers instead of finding less impacting ways to cut from their budgets. One way or another, the sky is going to fall.
Unfortunately for Obama, respected journalist (and no friend of the right) Bob Woodward came out to remind us that sequestration was an idea conceived and drafted by Obama and his staff during the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011. Moreover, the idea that the president of the United States would sit idly by and allow the delay of an aircraft carrier deployment to the world’s most unstable region over a piece of paper is “Madness.”
This too may have also blown over or been quickly buried had Gene Sperling, Obama’s director of the national economic council not threatened Woodward, telling him he would regret doing this. In response, Woodward hit the cable news circuit to tell the story. This hurt Obama in three ways: it reminded us Obama was the originator for sequestration; it showed the lengths he and his administration are willing to go to keep this inconvenient fact from reaching the public; and, it exposed the Chicago style manner by which Obama and his ilk play.
Obama had to retreat quickly and retreat he did. Softening his rhetoric, this suddenly was not going to to be as bad as he had originally proclaimed. We may not even notice the effects of sequestration for months. Making matters worse for him, the Republicans came up with a plan that would have allowed Obama to choose where he wanted the cuts to go to. Naturally the man whose best skill is enraging mobs to do his bidding balked at the idea he may actually have to make a real decision. Fortunately for Obama, Senate democrats bailed him out and rejected the bill.
Late on Mar. 1, Obama made a meek statement and sheepishly signed the very sequestration paper he had originally drafted. So far the sky is still intact and kids are still eating school lunches. With Gallop showing Obama’s approval numbers dropping down into the mid 40s, it appears his protective coating is beginning to crack a little. Republicans haven’t scored a victory in this by any means, but neither has Obama.
As the effects of sequestration begin to trickle out, there is little doubt Obama is going to continue to try to paint republicans as the evil ones who could have stopped this. The right needs to continue to make the case that these are only cuts in the rate of increase. Meaning, every government agency will be getting at least the same amount of money they received in the previous year and most will see a little more. If republicans can effectively make this case, it should resonate to the American people who have little to show for in the way of increased wages but a lot to show for in increased taxes.
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- Bob Woodward and the “madness” of Obama (conservativeread.com)
- Calling out the White House: Woodward exposes more Obama lies (triblive.com)
- Bob Woodward – Obama owns sequestration (grumpyelder.com)
- Gene Sperling: Bob Woodward Is a ‘Legend’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Bob Woodward Agrees With Hannity: Journalists Should Ask Obama About Bill Ayers (roybatty.newsvine.com)
- President Obama signs order to begin sequestration cuts (kfor.com)
- Bob Woodward (louisproyect.wordpress.com)