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February 18, 2013 4:34 PM Cuts R Us

By Ed Kilgore

Here’s a fine nugget from Jonathan Bernstein at the WaPo Plum Line about Republican efforts to blame Obama for the sequester if it happens:

Most of the time, on most issues, the best bet is that most of the public will tune it out; the rest will react according to their partisan beliefs. That’s even true to a remarkable extent about tax increases and cuts; very large groups are capable of never knowing a change has happened, and partisans are even more capable of believing that changes aligned with their prior assumptions about the incumbent president. Sudden, dramatic cuts in government spending, however, might just be enough to get a lot of voters’ attention. And they’re even more likely to get the national press to pay attention, and to make it seem as if voters are fed up.
And it’s hard to see how the Republicans’ position here — the pro-cuts position — plays well if that happens.

Republicans have been claiming with every more feverish intensity for decades now that federal spending is the source of all evil. All they have to offer as a substitute for the sequester is an equally large batch of spending cuts, and every budget they pass includes a vastly larger collection of spending cuts. Getting rid of the Cuts R Us label at this point just ain’t happening. Yeah, occasionally Republicans can convey the sense they are willing to hammer some beneficiaries of government spending (e.g., those people) to protect others (virtuous white seniors). But with a plenary cut like the sequester, such fine slicing and dicing won’t work.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • stevioi on February 18, 2013 4:56 PM:

    They all voted for it, just like Bush's tax cuts, wars, and prescription benefits that helped to drag the whole economy down. To blame Obama now is doing what they do so well: Finger pointing hypocracy.

    The MSM will blame it on Obama or say it was equal parts dems and repugs (which it was). By the way,wasn't the whole plan never voted on?

  • c u n d gulag on February 18, 2013 6:13 PM:

    Conservatives/Republicans, from the richest, to the poorest, all think that they're either rich, or on the cusp of being so, or eventually will be, or about to win the Powerball, and become part of "Teh Rich!"

    And all of them are willing to let go of their last penny if it means that no black/brown/yellow/red/gay/single-women have less than NO pennies, and no prospects for every getting any.

    They are all sociopaths.
    Period! P-E-R-I-O-D! PERIOD!!!

  • Mark-NC on February 18, 2013 6:49 PM:

    Republicans are really good at one thing - lying.

    Never underestimate the power of liars with no moral, values, or integrity. These people will steal your shirt, and as you watch them put it on, they will blame it on somebody else.

  • boatboy_srq on February 19, 2013 6:27 PM:

    Republicans have been claiming with ever more feverish intensity for decades now that anytime there's a Democrat in the White House federal spending is the source of all evil. All they have to offer as a substitute for the sequester is an equally large batch of spending cuts, and every budget they pass includes a vastly larger collection of spending cuts.

    Fixed it for you.

    They were silent all through Reaganomics and "Supply-Side" mania. They were silent through three Bush wars (one Bush I and two Shrub). They were silent for Medicare part D. They were silent all through the recessions of the 80s, the early 90s, and the fiasco of 2001-8. The only time the deficit is bad is when They don't hold the pResidency. "Deficits don't matter," after all.

    Personally, I think sequestration is just the medicine the GOTea needs. They're so fixated on "entitlements" that they forget that the DoD and DHS are their equivalents. Automatic, non-negotiable Defense and other MilInd cuts will make predictably Conservatist industry segments apply pressure to their Congresscritters to do something about this awful austerity (in fact, I'm surprised outfits like Lockheed, Northrup, GE, SAIC and General Dynamics haven't made visible efforts to turn the GOTea back to negotiations, but the furlough announcements are only just starting and the big defense contractors are only beginning to do the math). Perhaps this time they'll listen; or we just might end up with the DoD we need instead of the DoD the Reichwing insists we buy.