Senate Republicans are expected to introduce legislation Thursday to give the president the authority to make smarter sequester cuts -- whether Obama wants it or not. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he won't vote for such a bill. Reid, too, invoked the Titanic's deck chairs. To D.C. Dems, smart cuts are analogous to hitting an iceberg.
That's why Republicans will let the bad cuts happen if they must. They know that if Washington cannot pull off these modest cuts -- already included in the Budget Control Act -- they must abandon any notion of fiscal discipline.
Timing worked against Republicans during the fiscal cliff negotiations; they could agree to Obama's tax increases or to bigger automatic increases slated to begin Jan. 1, so they took the better deal.
The March 1 sequester start date works for the GOP. Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, told me: "We are going to make these cuts. We can do it (Obama's way), or we can do it a smarter way."