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Well, at least sequestration was supposed to bring about a post-apocalyptic world until President Obama realized Republicans weren’t going to capitulate to his will (again) and raise taxes (again) to replace the sequester he birthed in 2011.
There was a distinct change in tone from the White House this week on what sequestration would mean. In little more than a week we went from roving bands of teacherless children wandering darkened streets filled with uninspected rancid meat, illegal aliens and pre-convicted felons released because of lack of funds setting fires there aren’t enough firefighters to extinguish to not a “cliff” but a possible gradual “tumble downward.” That’s on the order of the difference between ordering a ham sandwich and getting a foot massage.
What caused this change? Two things. The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward’s spam filter seemingly malfunctioned, blocking White House talking points and forcing him to tell the truth about the sequester’s origin, and Republican leadership took pills to address their low testosterone.
Woodward’s piece left no ambiguity as to who introduced the concept and insisted upon adoption of sequestration as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Within days Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor decided they wanted to keep their titles and thus would bend no more to the will of a relentless demagogue.
Woodward immediately took a beating from his fellow journalists that makes being “jumped out” of a gang feel like afternoon tea. Conversely, Boehner and Cantor had only to do nothing, at which they excel, to force the president’s hand.
The scare tactics the White House tried to employ proved as successful as their attempts to employ Americans.
The wheels came off this strategy when it became clear these “cuts” were going to happen. They’d oversold and Armageddon would under-deliver.
The panicked selling of the Mad Max world reached such extreme levels that Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., predicted 170 million jobs, roughly 30 million more jobs than exist in the country, would be lost. Shaving what amounts to a rounding error off the rate of increase in yearly government spending was so bad not only would we lose every job we have, sequestration would create 30 million more jobs just to lose them too. Snake oil salesmen were blushing in their graves.
Waters made a gaffe, but the absurdity of it didn’t dwarf the absurdity of the President’s claims; it fit in like a Legos snap together – like it belonged there.