I believe the impending sequester, if handled correctly, represents the best chance to win back the House in 2014.
Just to be clear, I think the sequester is a terrible idea that will act as a drag on our economy, so nothing in this diary should be read as an endorsement of the sequester itself. But it nevertheless presents a significant political opportunity.
Here's my simple suggestion: Pivot from talking about "the sequester" to talking about "the cuts." The sequester itself has disputed paternity - "It was the President's idea!" vs. "We only suggested it because we had the debt-ceiling gun to the nations head!" So it's hard to fully pin the sequester on the Republicans. So simply stop talking about "the sequester." Instead talk about the cuts.
The cuts are easy to pin on the Tea Party and the Republicans - Federal spending cuts are what they have been pushing for all the time.
Why this "cuts" strategy will be a political winner is easy to see. Many people, if asked, are in favor of cutting "government spending." That's because "government spending" is an abstract concept. But once these cuts go into effect, people will see the actual effects of cutting spending. Folks waiting on a runway because of air traffic controllers that have been furloughed are most decidedly not in favor of those cuts. That scene gets repeated again and again across the country in different parts of the economy.
And every time the effects of the cuts get publicized, we simply say: That's what the Tea Party has been pushing for - cuts in spending. Make them own the cuts.
What has happened in the UK and Europe emphasize the misguided attempts to encourage a recovery by cutting spending. But those are abstract - here we have an opportunity to demonstrate the actual concrete consequences of cuts. When soldiers get furloughed, ask about the small businesses near the bases to show the multiplier effect of cuts.
This could be like the Gingrich's government shutdown - a once in a decade political gift. We don't have to like the sequester, but we certainly should embrace it (and not just because the Pentagon shares some of the pain).
The President has already started to do this with a state-by-state breakdown of the cuts. But he hasn't quite fully pivoted from talking about the sequester to talking about the cuts. Remember, Republicans and the Tea Party want cuts - make them own the cuts! And when they whine about not wanting these particular cuts, make them specify exactly what cuts they would substitute.
So remember - it's all about the cuts, which is what the Tea Party and the Republicans have been asking for. Talk about the "Tea Party cuts" and how they will damage the economy. They wanted to take an ax to government spending - fine, then let them own the consequences.