It seems almost everyone ( but not all) thinks the sequester scheduled to go into effect March 1 is a bad thing. And maybe it is. But those condemning the sequester the loudest have been Barrack Obama and the Democrats.
Obama has been going into overdrive in his town hall meetings ( and when it comes to Obama and town hall meetings that's saying something) pointing out how the Republicans are being obstinate and refusing to compromise or meet him half way to forge an agreement to avoid the sequester. And all of that is true. Except there wouldn't be a sequester in the first place if it wasn't for Obama, and his own negligence, incompetence and his once again, failures of leadership in his not dealing with the debt ceiling when he could have, when the Democrats controlled both houses of congress and they could have done what they wanted with no Republican roadblocks. If he had, all this would have been avoided.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the sequester was all Obama's idea, not the Republicans. And the cuts are Obama's cuts. You can blame Republicans all you want for their Draconian, almost medieval ideas about everything,their political dishonesty, ineptitude, and putting politics over everything and all that would be true, but it is Obama's inability to be a leader, to take it to the Republicans and instead instituted this sequester that is the heart of the problem.
The sequester was Obama's response to the Republicans holding the country hostage over the debt ceiling in 2011. The Republicans threatened to let the country go into default on its debts for the first time in its history by not raising the debt ceiling unless Obama agreed to budget cuts they would accept, and then and only then would they be willing to raise the debt ceiling, something the Republican congress did eight times without batting an eye when Bush was president.
The smart thing to have done, the leadership thing to have done, certainly what I would have done, is call the Republicans bluff, and even label their threat to default a violation of the constitution which states " the debt of the United States shall not be questioned", and call their intentions treasonous.
How long do you think the Republicans would have stood up against that kind of attack? How long do you think they would have gone on trying to defend themselves against being traitors to the United States and the constitution? How many polls do you think the news organizations would have done asking the American people if they thought the Republicans forcing the country to default on its debts was treason against the country and the constitution?
But instead of calling the Republicans bluff and daring them to cause the United States to default and holding it hostage to raise the debt ceiling, (calling them "budget terrorists" would have done nicely also) Obama did what he does more than any president in history -- he caved in and initiated the Draconian budget cuts in the sequester as a way of bribing the Republicans to raise the debt ceiling and prevent default, something they should have done anyway. Republicans 1, Obama 0.
We heard from Jay Carney the other day that the sequester proposed by Obama was never supposed to go into effect. They why did he propose it and agree to it in the first place? To play games with the Republicans? When it comes to gamesmanship Obama and the Democrats come out on the losing end every time, mainly because there are no Democrats in leadership positions or Democratic strategists that really know how to play the game or take it to the Republicans. They think they do but they don't (see the recent fiasco with Harry Reid backing off his original intention to get rid of the filibuster, then compromised with McConnell on something way less, only to see the Republicans spit in Reid's face and use the filibuster against Hagel only days after he backed down on the filibuster and capitulated to McConnell).
So Obama proposed a series of deep budget cuts that he thought the Republicans would never agree to as a way of playing a political game by thinking he was tricking the Republicans with a bribe to get out from under Republican threats to default on the U.S.debt and now Obama's back is to the wall because the Republicans seem ready to accept Obama's bribe and let the sequester go into effect.
In other words, Obama didn't have the backbone to call the Republicans bluff on default and the debt ceiling , but Republicans seem very willing to call Obama's bluff on the sequester and blame him for it and now Obama and Democrats are crying foul.
Had Obama called the Republican bluff on the debt ceiling in 2011, called their intention to let the country default treasonous, he would have been holding all the cards. Either the Republicans would have backed down and there would now be no sequester, or had they followed through on their threat and caused a default and all that came with it, it would have been a major campaign issue in 2012 and the Democrats would have assuredly retaken the House and now controlled all three branches of government, and in that case there wouldn't be any sequester either.
Democratic groups like MoveOn, The DCCC and others keep sending out dishonest emails asking people to sign petitions blaming the Republicans for the sequester that was initiated and crafted by Obama ignoring the fact that Obama was grossly negligent in not dealing with the debt ceiling and the budget in his first term when he had a huge congressional majority, and now they act like he had nothing to do with it.
This is what happens when dishonest politics grips both parties. The email from the DCCC showed a picture of Obama and the words " Have His Back. Sign your name".
If Obama had had the country's back, if he had been a leader and was able to see down the road more than 6 inches in front of his face, if he had dealt with the debt ceiling when he had the chance or if he had called the Republican bluff in 2011 instead of caving in, if he didn't offer a compromise he had no intention of wanting to honor in the first place, none of this would be happening. Its all the fault of a lack of leadership by Obama and the sooner Democrats admit it the better. Blaming Republicans for accepting cuts Obama proposed because Obama is now yelling, "but wait, you weren't supposed to accept this, I was only kidding", is not going to work. In a recent town hall meeting Obama said, "these cuts are not fair, not smart and will hurt the economy". He also said, "we can't afford the reckless sequester". He forgot to add, "and it was all my idea".
The Democratic groups who are now complaining about the sequester and Republican refusal to compromise and what it might do, should wise up that they are complicit in this also by supporting a president who has not been 1 /10th of what they pretended he would be, and still doing nothing about it, which would be to pressure Democrats in leadership positions to do something they have been incapable of doing in the past -- get tough with Republicans. And force Obama to use his backbone or get one, instead of asking rank and file Democrats to sign petitions that are supposed to be a substitute for one.