This is the kind of diary you can read as a plea for correction because I don't want to believe Obama really, truly f*cked up and handed the GOP exactly 98% of what they wanted.
It seems to me that President Obama got took, was had, walked into a huge, obvious trap when he proposed the sequester. And to the extent that it was Jack Lew's idea, isn't Lew a shining example of failing upwards?
Here's my reasoning: Obama knew who he was dealing with in the GOP and its leadership when he was negotiating over the GOP hostage taking also known as the debt ceiling. He knew they were unreasonable. He knew they were interested in making Obama a one term president.
But he also knew that the GOP is pro-austerity. So what does he hand them to get the debt ceiling issue resolved? Austerity on steroids. A sword of Damacles so horrible, so bad, he thought neither party would let it fall and the budget deal would get done. Seems he thought wrong.
I didn't need to hear from Rachel Maddow last night in her segment about how the GOP is now introducing legislation to only undo the parts of the sequester that the GOP doesn't like to think this, it's just part and parcel of what the GOP is known for doing. Still, for those of you who didn't see it, here's maddow's self-summation below the squiggle.
The sequestration cuts are now law. How hard is it to undo them? How hard is it to undo the ones the GOP likes (WIC, unemployment insurance, etc.)? Because we see what they are going to do about the ones they don't like (give the Pentagon an increase beyond what Obama -- or even the Pentagon -- wants). And to all those who say public pressure will lead to their undoing, how does that work for GOP representatives safe in their gerrymandered districts? I'd love to see a Democratic majority after 2014, but hasn't it been determined that gerrymandered districts will prevent that?
So how is this NOT the single biggest stumblef*ck of Obama's first term? How will it not define second term? How is listening to Lew's advice regarding the sequester not a huge mistake? Is it possible our confident, in charge president got hoisted on his own "let's be bipartisan" petard? It sure feels that way to me. Even the title of Maddow's segment, "GOP caught in own foolish sequester trap", seems almost pollyanna-ish in retrospect. Should it read "Obama", instead? The GOP has moved from trying to defeat to trying to ruin and any of the citizenry that gets caught in between is shit out of luck.
Still, I'd love to be proven wrong. Have at it. And for those of you eager to jump on me for criticizing Obama, I'm not a troll, I've been here for years. It just seems that pointing this problem out about Obama is an emperor-has-no-clothes proposition.
For those who missed it, here's the entire segment from Maddow's show.