As Democrats prepare to demagogue the hell out of Mitt Romney's poorly-phrased but entirely reasonable "fire people" remark (here's Lefty Greg Sargent defending him), let's recall that President Obama recently announced his own plan to essentially lay off 80,000 Americans. Unlike the people who Romney says he "likes to be able to fire" (underperforming service providers), Obama is targeting members of our armed forces:
Pentagon officials acknowledged the risks in a strategy that declares that American ground forces will no longer be large enough to conduct prolonged, large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns like those in Iraq and Afghanistan — Defense Secretaryhas said the Army must shrink to 490,000 soldiers over the next decade, from 570,000 — and so said they were prepared to change course if required.
...Analysts said the strategy appeared good but that without the details — specifically, what kind of budget cuts it would result in — it was hard to judge. The specific cuts are to be made public in coming weeks. “It’s kind of an incomplete,” said Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a military expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “It’s like when you jump out of an aircraft with a parachute, the first five seconds are ‘so far, so good.’ But you’re still waiting for the chute to open.”
The Marine Corps is also slated to downsize by tens of thousands. Many Republicans have sought a pay freeze for government employees and have suggested trimming the overall federal workforce -- but this isn't exactly what they had in mind. Unlike thousands of government pencil-pushers, the US military provides a Constitutionally required service, and the safety and endurance of the republic literally depends on its strategic capability. The military is also more trusted and beloved by the public than any other civic institution. Yet this president has decided to curtail their numbers and limit their capacity to wage worst-case scenario war, while increasing the pay of other federal bureaucrats. This decision comes despite last year's warning from Obama's own Defense Secretary that further military cuts could "damage our national defense."
But we ought not question President Obama's commitment to jobs, nor his national security priorities. If opponents raise the latter issue, Obama himself will be the first to remind them that he totally nailed Osama bin Laden. Football spike, case closed.