Skip to main content

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.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site