I Am Officially Confused by the Republicans
I know I have a go at the GOP on a regular basis. That's because I think they have become uniquely radical for a major political party in American history, and also uniquely obstreperous and anti-democratic in their attitude toward the political process. So I think they're pretty nutso, but I usually understand what they are doing and can see how, from their potted perspective, it makes a certain sense.
But the hand they're trying to play now just confuses me. I do not understand it. I do not understand how they think they can be the ones calling for the sequester to kick in and then expect the public to blame Obama. Especially while Obama is out there with cops as his backdrop saying we simply cannot allow this sequester to kick in.
I really just don't get this thinking. In my column yesterday, I used an analogy of two neighbors who don't get along. So let me continue in that vein. We have a tree, a grand old oak, that straddles the property line. Let's say it's dying, but slowly. My wfie (the equivalent here of Gene Sperling and Jack Lew) says one day, a couple of years ago, "Well, if the tree isn't better by a date certain in the future, we may have to cut it down." The date nears. My neighbor wants to cut it down now. I (and my wife) say let's wait, we're against cutting it down for now.
A company comes in on that date certain and cuts it down. There's an uproar on the block because the tree was a stately old thing. Who are the neighbors going to blame? If you think they're going to blame me and my wife, I say that you are not following any earth logic of which I'm aware.
I just don't get it. I think there is no logic. There is an urge, an emotional thirst: They came to Washington to cut, and they're going to cut, and the sequester represents what they now see, having learned some of the capital's byways now since arriving in 2011, that this migh be their only chance.
This "it was Obama's idea" business is just the best brand of lipstick they can paint on this pig. It's the best they can come up with. But it can't fly. And this #obamaquester hashtag business is just silly. By the way they've really fallen off their game over at the RNC, or wherever these things are coming. I guess the National Republican Campaign Committee. Between obamaquester and the platinum coin sinking the Titanic from a few weeks ago, they seem to think the American people are a bunch of nincompoops.
So this is entirely about their hunger--not just to cut budgets, but to defy liberals and the establishment, and yes, cause a little turmoil and pain. I suppose I don't blame them for trying to say it's Obama's fault. And the Obama administration shares a little of the responsibility for this, but like 20 percent at most. It's pretty clear to most Americans which side has made offers and concessions and which side hasn't.