It's to their credit that Republicans are obsessed with getting the government to address its unconscionable and unmanageable debt, freeing up the productive private sector to create economic growth and maintaining the nation's military preeminence. But there's something almost pathetic about the way leading Republicans complain that the president doesn't negotiate in good faith. Of course he doesn't. He's not interested in governing -- at least not with Republicans. He's determined to campaign from now until November 2014 so that he can replace them.<p>Democrats are so focused on blaming any misfortune on Republicans that they've become almost cartoonishly predictable. Mr. Obama devoted the first two years of his term, after his policies failed to deliver the economic results his administration had promised, to blaming his predecessor. Following the 2010 elections, the president continued to shake the George W. Bush mask with one hand and pointed the finger at the Republicans in Congress with the other. It was the Republicans who were to blame when the recovery dissipated, unemployment remained high and labor force participation tanked. The how part was a little vague, but never mind.
The sequester is just the latest opportunity to play blame the Republicans. President Obama lost no time in anticipatory blame shifting. "As long as the sequester's in place, we'll know that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act," he told reporters (aka admirers) on Friday. There's a big snowstorm in the forecast for Washington, D.C. Doubtless it will be called the sequestorm.
While the Democrat-controlled Senate could not manage to pass a budget for four years, it did find time to pass a revised version of the Violence Against Women Act, one of those fat federal excesses that supplants local responsibilities, shovels money to dubious "violence prevention" programs, has perverse incentives (there is evidence that mandating the arrest of alleged abusers, as the first version of the law did, may actually increase death rates from domestic abuse because women are more reluctant to call police) and wastes money (a DOJ study found that among 22 randomly examined grantees, 21 had violated the terms of their grants).
When you call something the Violence Against Women Act, it almost doesn't matter what's in it because Democrats will demolish any Republican who opposes it.