As the axe prepares to fall on the defense budget, keep an eye out for careful wording like this:
Recall that the sequester was engineered to force Congress and the president to work out a long-term debt reduction plan.My, what a passive voice we have. Charles Krauthammer reminds us who did the engineering:
The idea had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. The political calculation was that such draconian defense cuts would drive the GOP to offer concessions.The White House was so sure the Republicans would go wobbly (they still may) that 18 months later they've got no Plan "B." After the drag-out fight of the fiscal cliff, new taxes are a non-starter: Obama got his tax rate increases, derided the GOP's preference for eliminating tax loopholes, with no spending cuts. He can't come back now and say: "I want those too."
By failing to pass a budget year after year, this White House has engineered this seemingly-endless series of deadlines, cliffs, and crises. Own it.