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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:15 AM

Three reasons why Obama isn't leading on the sequester

http://theweek.com/article/index/240524/three-reasons-why-obama-isnt-leading-on-the-sequester


Three reasons why Obama isn't leading on the sequester
February 23, 2013, at 5:50 PM


President Obama has talked about the sequester often enough, and his press secretary, Jay Carney, is clear about the consequences during the daily White House briefings.

But where's the urgency? The situation seems more dire than the previous economic cliff crises because Republicans genuinely believe that they will win by holding out, and because they're angry about having to yield to more revenue increases than the deal that created the sequester implied. But Obama has not resorted to full finger-shaking, red-faced exhorting. Why not? Here are three reasons in order of significance:

1. Any deal that comes from the White House will not pass muster with House Republicans. So every effort must start and end in Congress. That is an incontrovertible political truth.

2. There are no cage-rattlers at the White House. Rahm Emanuel was a cage-rattler. He was capable of making ripples that could tip dynamics and make the incontrovertible... controvertible. The White House today is much quieter. There are no huge, saber-teeth personalities.

3. The agencies are doing the job for him. From flight delays to FBI furloughs, entities that are more trusted than politicians are giving the lowdown to the media, which is repeating it. The projected misery is what will influence public opinion, which, in turn, might influence Congress.

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Reply Three reasons why Obama isn't leading on the sequester (Original post)
babylonsister Feb 2013 OP
gordianot Feb 2013 #1
AndyTiedye Feb 2013 #2
Wounded Bear Feb 2013 #6
greymattermom Feb 2013 #3
busterbrown Feb 2013 #7
Igel Feb 2013 #4
dmosh42 Feb 2013 #5
Filibuster Harry Feb 2013 #8

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:26 AM

1. The mentally unstable alcholic Speaker of the House is lucky to make it through the day.

Have you ever tried to reason with a drunk? The entire GOP is infected with self inflicted mental disorder.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:31 AM

2. Nothing Will Influence the Rapeuglicans in Congress

The GOP's strategy is to cause as much economic hardship as possible and get their media to blame it on the Democrats.
Same as it has been since 2009.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:26 PM

6. Don't you mean "since 2000?"

Or maybe it's 1980.........

Hell, I don't know, either.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:37 AM

3. this time everyone will be affected

by flight delays, tax refund delays, closing national parks, and just wait until an interstate bridge fails a safety check, somewhere between the mainland and the beach in a red state. By repeating the message about this being all about protecting the rich so many times, the president's message is finally sinking in. What I don't get is why the rich don't want the stock market to go up.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:45 PM

7. Oh, but they do and it has.......

Over 14,000 at this moment. The 1% did not sell off their investments in 2008 because they could afford to hang on to them. People know that a Market almost inevitably comes back, the question is, if one is secure enough not to sell off.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:56 AM

4. He botched it.

He played two short games, because to engage in the one long game would have messed with the elections.

The long game is this: The tax-reduction expirations and the sequester were timed to be bundled into one package. The legislation for the sequester required that plans on how the budget cuts would be implemented be handed to Congress a month before the election. The administration didn't produce the plan.

Instead, they argued about the tax reductions that they wanted versus the tax reductions the (R) wanted. It needed to be "balanced", which is a code word for "what we want." Nobody considers their approach unbalanced. It's only really a potentially meaningful word when a disinterested party uses it in evaluating somebody else's proposal.

So now the second short game is the sequestration. The scare tactics have a short run: Having missed the deadline agreed to last fall, the agencies are now doing the heavy lifting by letting them dribble out. Instead of a large packet to wade through, there are dozens of scare stories, each tailored to the interest that'll be affected. Teachers are told one thing. Retirees another. Military folk a 3rd. And so on. It's not a policy discussion, it's a targeted, focus-group driven sales campaign to a bunch of niche markets.

Chance for important discussion missed. Chance for looking at any big picture, any kind of strategy, shot to hell. All that's left is petty, micro-tactical issues, a long list of them that nobody wants to staple together into a single list much less generalize into some sort of hierarchical list coordinated with some sort of value system and reasoned set of priorities. You can't find a compromise in that kind of discussion because there's no motivation for anybody to compromise. Everybody is so focused on avoiding their own particular pain, billed as all that really matters, that no pain anywhere can be acceptable. Except to those that we discount as not really "people."

Petty politics is all we're left with. At least we used to have petty politics that served a larger goal. Now petty politics just serves petty goals.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:41 PM

5. The constitution has laid the responsibility for appropriating money on the ......

House of Representatives, but for some reason the Dems don't like to remind everyone of their responsibility.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:47 PM

8. 47 -49 % of the people believe if the sequester goes through that the Rs are to blame. And another

73% of the people believe the right course of action is a balance of spending cuts and revenue increases. The Rs don't have an answer. They have had all this time to come up with a plan but can't, won't, for political reasons. They don't want anymore revenue increases because of fear of being primaried. They can't be seen with the president for fear of being primaried. It is high time to let the sequester take place and let the Rs hear from their constituents and from businesses.

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