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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 05:46 PM

"...we see congressional Republicans focusing on how best to play the blame game."





Posted with permission.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/19/17018558-obama-challenges-congressional-gop-put-away-the-meat-cleaver?lite

Obama challenges congressional GOP: put away the 'meat-cleaver'
By Steve Benen
-
Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:39 PM EST


With just 10 days to go before brutal sequestration cuts kick in, President Obama has decided to use his bully pulpit, not just to frame the debate and show the way out of this latest manufactured crisis, but also to make his opponents look reckless and irresponsible. In this case, it meant appearing at a White House event, surrounded by first responders who will suffer if congressional Republicans continue to refuse to compromise.

The president had a fairly compelling pitch to present, which had the added benefit of being true: "hese cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls."

"{I}f Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won't consider whether we're cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn't make those distinctions.

"Emergency responders like the ones who are here today -- their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

"And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf."

Obama added that he and his party remain open to a compromise, including changes to social-insurance programs like Medicare, but he's not open to a remedy that gives Republicans 100% of what they want. The president said, "That would be like Democrats saying we have to close our deficits without any spending cuts whatsoever. 'It's all taxes.' That's not the position Democrats have taken. That's certainly not the position I've taken."

Obama concluded with a challenge: "Republicans in Congress face a simple choice: Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care and national security and all the jobs that depend on them? Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations? That's the choice."

As it turns out, GOP officials are aware of the choice, and for now, appear to have made a decision.

It's probably not the decision the White House is hoping for.

The Hill reports this morning, however, that Republicans say they're not worried about the political impact of the sequester. They tell the paper that they will be able to make the case to the public that the sequester was Obama's idea, meaning he'll take the blame for the damage it does.

The competing approaches are important. On the one hand, we see President Obama warning of dire consequences and pleading with lawmakers to consider a compromise solution to prevent real hardship. On the other, we see congressional Republicans focusing on how best to play the blame game.

For those who care about reality, the sequester really wasn't Obama's idea -- it was part of the ransom paid to Republicans when GOP lawmakers held the nation hostage in 2011, threatening to crash the economy and trash the full faith and credit of the United States. Republicans took credit for the sequester and they voted for the sequester.

But as a practical matter, it doesn't matter whose idea it was. There's a looming threat to the nation and it kicks in next week. One side is focused on resolving the manufactured crisis with a bipartisan compromise; the other side is focused on how to win a public-relations battle, instead of focusing on fixing the problem they helped create.

The odds of avoiding this self-inflicted wound, undermining the economy, the military, and the public's needs are, at least as of today, quite remote.

9 replies, 1111 views

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply "...we see congressional Republicans focusing on how best to play the blame game." (Original post)
babylonsister Feb 2013 OP
maxsolomon Feb 2013 #1
Proud Liberal Dem Feb 2013 #7
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #2
babylonsister Feb 2013 #3
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #4
babylonsister Feb 2013 #5
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #6
babylonsister Feb 2013 #8
Proud Liberal Dem Feb 2013 #9

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 05:50 PM

1. I'm weary of hearing about the effect on our poor poor military.

Hurt our "readiness"? We're AT war, aren't we therefore demonstrably already READY for war?

The sequester cuts to the military should be just a baby-step START at reigning in the main driver of our deficit & debt: our empire.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:19 PM

7. Me too

It's like the sequester is somehow going to reduce our military to being armed with, as Zell Miller famously put it, spitballs?



Fox News was laying the propaganda pretty thick the other day (I was a captive audience) with this line of talk.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:10 PM

2. And the voice of the Republican party (FOX news) was immediately on message today

They blamed sequestration on the President. So predictable...

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:36 PM

3. So people are being willfully ignorant if they want to believe this;

there is plenty of proof to the contrary, even from some of the m$m.

It feels like we're fighting a losing battle and it's going to happen anyway.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:23 PM

4. They play on emotion, and for Fox News viewers, a natural bias

Fox news viewers are after all the most misinformed out there.

I can't stand that sequestration is going to happen, but the austerians like Paul Ryan couldn't give a fuck. They got their pound of budget flesh, and ignore that they just ripped a child's arm off to do it.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:46 PM

5. It boggles my mind they don't give a shit.

Really; what was posted in the OP is only part of what will happen w/sequestration. How can one party hate one man so much?

And do you recall any of these asshats being concerned about the deficit when the dim one was in office?

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:02 PM

6. Oh, when shrub was in it was "deficits don't matter"

As soon as the President was in office, they began to scream like banshees about the deficit. Completely partisan and planned by the right wing entertainment complex.

As for hatred - it's obvious they are willing to destroy the country to satisfy the hatred. And that's if we're lucky.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:41 PM

8. Hurts my heart, and there's no way to

fix this that I can think of.

I thought this would be a great 4 years; how wrong was I!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:00 AM

9. They weren't concerned about the debt ceiling either

Now, it's like catnip to them and their "base"

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