Political Animal


April 02, 2013 9:10 AM Now the Sequester Is Hurting

By Ed Kilgore

For once, I’m kinda happy this is an incredibly slow news morning. That’s because one story that needs to be read perhaps will be. It’s from HuffPost’s Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel:

The Huffington Post set out to do an extensive review of sequestration stories from the past week, with the goal of finding 100. What seemed like a daunting task was completed in hours. No one region of the country has been immune. Rural towns in Alaska, missile test sites in the Marshall Islands, military bases in Virginia, university towns across the country, and housing agencies in inner cities are all beginning to feel the cuts.

Read it all. It’s a reminder that the reported nothing-burger nature of the sequester, which Republicans celebrated on grounds that of course there’s so much waste, fraud and abuse that big cuts can be absorbed without pain, is proving to be a hoax as the cuts are finally being implemented. In addition to the many incidents Stein and Terkel write about, international travelers are being advised to skip trips to and stopovers in the United States if possible because suspension of overtime pay for customs officers is making entry at U.S. airports (particularly Miami) a rolling nightmare.

So I hope Republicans enjoyed their little stretch of hahahas over the sequester as a symbol of government’s uselessness. Before long, nobody much is going to be laughing.

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.


  • Robert on April 02, 2013 9:32 AM:

    The country needs to be reminded day after day, who was responsible for this mess...

  • c u n d gulag on April 02, 2013 9:36 AM:

    There are enough Red States to keep the Republicans close to getting/keeping the Senate, and enough districts have had their mander's gerried, that the parties politicians don't care.

    They'll just do like they do with everything - blame Obama.

    And our cowardly, compliant, and complicit, folks in the MSM, will nod their heads, and say, 'Both parties are to blame, so a pox on both of their houses!'

    And the merry-go-'round keeps going 'round and 'round - only less merrily with every rotation.

  • James on April 02, 2013 9:37 AM:

    But wait. Didn't Obama say mind meld. har har. chortle chortle. guffaw. Therefore, this stuff is unimportant.

  • T2 on April 02, 2013 9:57 AM:

    I find it interesting how easily the Sequester went down the nation's throat. The thing that was supposed to be so horrible that it could never be allowed was enacted with barely a whimper from anyone except the president......who is now inaccurately blamed for it. As gulag says...thank you Media.
    But as soon as the GOP governed states start seeing the pinch it will probably go like this:
    First, the Rick Perry's will, of course, blame Obama = this is already happening,
    Second, behind closed doors they'll start yelling at their Senators to "do something" before the people start blaming them, instead of Obama. But, for instance, in Perry's case, his yells will fall on the deaf ear of Ted Cruz, because the Sequester is the Tea Party's dream come true.

  • Kathryn on April 02, 2013 9:57 AM:

    As noted by Gulag and James, our cynical, shallow MSM should take another bow for the crappy way they report. If the sky doesn't fall on day one, nothing to see here, a special nod to Joe Scarborough, a consistent horse's ass pulling in the dough undeservedly.

  • Josef K on April 02, 2013 10:01 AM:

    I don't think Ed gives the Republican's enough credit. They're thick enough, or counting on enough of their constituents to be thick enough, to think this chaos is a good thing.

    This is like telling someone trying to loose weight to infect themselves with Necrotizing Fasciitis - or flesh-eating bacteria - and that they should let the infection run its course as it won't do actually do anything life-threatening to them. Its about as insane and dishonest as you can get, yet here we are.

  • Ron Byers on April 02, 2013 10:08 AM:

    Robert on April 02, 2013 9:32 AM:

    The country needs to be reminded day after day, who was responsible for this mess...

    It is on Fox echoed by the mainstream media every day. The person responsible is President Obama.

    Too bad the truth is never told.

  • jjdaddyo on April 02, 2013 10:15 AM:

    What the Democrats need to say, loud and often, is "Where are the jobs?"
    The Republican article of faith that if you cut spending and cut taxes,there will inevitably be a jobs boom. So where are they?
    Of course, their fall-back position is that we just haven't cut enough yet. But as soon as we cut some more unemployment benefits and Head Start teachers, this country will have zero unemployment somehow.

  • Govt Lawyer on April 02, 2013 10:34 AM:

    I work for the feds. The pain has not yet truly begun to be felt, but it is coming, if nothing is done, in the form of furloughs, aka 20% pay cuts, which are now scheduled to begin in June. Things will reach a fever pitch over the next couple of months.

  • Peter C on April 02, 2013 10:36 AM:

    If the Senate were not dysfunctional (if we'd gotten filibuster reform), then the Senate could be putting forward legislation to fix these funding shortfalls and paying for them by closing loopholes. Take away tax-breaks for Oil companies and restore Pell Grants. - that sort of thing.

  • Malkam Dior on April 02, 2013 11:33 AM:

    Sequester cuts are doing real damage all over the country. Please read

  • Mimikatz on April 02, 2013 11:43 AM:

    I think it is by design. It is hard to escape the conclusion that inflicting pain on others is part of the mission of the GOP. And on their own followers! Remember that recent story about the happiest and saddest states, with the saddest ones in Appalachia and allied areas in the South. http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2013/mar/7/saddest-states-america-red-and-southern/

    Either they are like the East Europeans and Russians who simply didn't know how good it was in the west because they couldn't travel and their media never told them, or they are still suffering the slow decline of feudalism. Either way they could benefit from a little more redistributive politics. But no. We blue states redistribute to them, but it all goes to the rich. No wonder higher income correlates more closely with the GOP in the sad states.

  • Yastreblyansky on April 02, 2013 2:21 PM:

    Alas, in the comment thread at Huffpost they're saying it's some kind of diabolical trickery on Obama's part, and in one case "my taxes keep going up".

    It's a brilliant story, though, thanks for calling attention to it.