Posted on | February 28, 2013 | 24 Comments
Oh, the high-minded tones of the apologists, e.g. Mataconis:
Therefore, President Obama is incorrect to attempt to place sole responsibility for the sequester on the Republicans. At the same time, though, it’s true that the negotiations that led to the sequester would not have been necessary if Republicans had not insisted in the summer of 2011 that any deal to raise the debt ceiling including spending cuts. It’s also true that the Budget Control Act passed both the House and the Senate with majority Republican support. Therefore, it’s incorrect for Republicans to claim that the sequester, which they now want to see go through, was the President’s idea entirely. As with most of the bad things that come out of Washington, the sequester is one that both parties are equally responsible for.
I confess I get a kick out of Mataconis on Twitter. Follow the guy. He badly wants to make 10K followers. His tweet stream, which manages to combine a fine abstract libertarianism with a strong devotion to the status quo within the beltway, remain a thing of beauty.
Look, Doug, this is a question of leadership, that commodity in such scarce supply in our age of homo bureaucratus. If President Obama gets the credit for delivering his speeches, or bagging Osama, then the flip side is that he owns the sequester. I realize that, as a lawyer, attempts at blame spreading are what you do on defense. Conservatives do it, too, pointing out that the Democrats retook Congress in 2006, in an attempt to mitigate Bush’s folly, as spoofed immortally in this (NSFW) SNL bit from 2006:
Don’t laugh. If the GOP keeps tubing it, the Congressional S&M dungeon could make a comeback.
Back on topic, though, sequestration is an important part of the demolition of our constitutional order. Rather than lead any sort of sober reform, the Obama Administration continues to place legislative Improvised ‘Explosive’ Devices (IEDs) along the road, with the apparent goal of eliminating the opposition. Moving the foe off the map is a strategy for unifying the remainder, I suppose.
And, sure, we can criticize the GOP for failing to come up with anything bolder than Ryan’s budget, which basically pets the malignant tumor of entitlements as though they were a cat. And then there is the Senate, which hasn’t passed new budget legislation in four years. Elections have consequences, as we have learned. The GOP wants to hold the Progressive course, and expects that trotting out the patriot drum for elections is going to help Republicans re-take the helm. Maybe, maybe not. Progress is dying, and Obama is the captain, and he receives all the blame/credit that implies.