The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make Whose Idea The Sequester Was?

Posted on | February 28, 2013 | 24 Comments

by Smitty

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.


  • Adjoran

    Use to follow him, had to stop. He’s a complete idiot. No redeeming value at all.

    Not even humor, however unintentional. But then, I don’t laugh at fart jokes anymore, either.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Obama needs a sign on the Resolute Desk: “The Buck Gets Passed Here”

  • smitty

    I enjoy some collegial back-n-forth with the chap.
    @dmataconis’s total realpoitik view, while not what you want to hear, has a good batting average.

  • DaveO

    The Sequester, the looming crisis of the 2013 Budget/CR, the fight over how accurate the economic numbers are, the crisis of the designated hitters, or the prevalence of eastern Europeans in hockey – crises planned years ago for the purpose of destroying the GOP through internecine warfare, and ensuring Americans are too worn out to even give a damn.
    If Mataconis is aware of this, he and Obama have common cause, just like the mensheviks and bolsheviks in September, 1917.

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  • smitty

    ‘Pass your buck$ here’

  • Shawny Lee

    Ummm….more like a sign that says “Get the Buck off my desk”. IYKWIMAITYD

  • Shawny Lee

    Ok, so instead of getting bogged down in manufactured crisis number 4,227 designed to terrify the masses into submission year after year, let’s just focus on exposing the liars and subversives of all flavors currently in our leadership. Since their not doing their jobs anyway, let’s keep them busy pissing their sneakers instead. Americans are tired of wringing theirs out….but I wouldn’t bet on them being too worn out to give a damn.

  • smitty

    This administration can be seen as an extended example of bucking off.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    What does Chuck Todd say? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Fart jokes can be funny.

  • Neo

    The Obama plan is to position the Republicans as the fall guys.
    If the economy gets better, he can reclaim the sequester.
    If it tanks, he can now, with the aid of his minions in the press, blame the Republicans.
    He sees this as a win-win.

    The worst case scenario is that nothing happens. Then the Republicans can’t be blamed and there is nothing to take credit for.

    This only goes to prove that no good deed will go unpunished.
    Meanwhile, our President isn’t interested fixing the debt problem except by raising taxes. It only takes simple math to understand that there just aren’t enough rich folks to actually solve the problem that way.

  • alanhenderson


  • McGehee

    “Buck? What buck? I never saw a buck. Valerie, you know anything about a buck?”

  • McGehee

    “Buck??? RAAAAACIST!”

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