The Republicans have the upper hand in dealing with the sequester. If 2012 had not happened and their ability to be as incompetent as Democrats not been so clear (or if I were a fan of conspiracy theories, which I am NOT), I might think they planned this. They lost the first few rounds of this tit for tat with the White House on the budget to win when they wanted to. And their laissez faire attitude towards the whole thing reminds me of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men when he instructed his team to never look upset or surprised — jut act is if everything was going just as they planned. They have become the cat who ate the canary.
President Obama, however, seems to have lost his coating of cool. At least his Administration has. This is why I think you can tell the GOP is winning. One could make the same argument about what happens when you call someone Hitler; it means you are losing the argument. The same can be said of fear mongering.
If you believed some from the Obama Administration, you might expect to wake up tomorrow morning to hoards of locusts. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, for instance has told multiple news outlets that approximately 40,000 teachers will lose their jobs and that the pink slips are already going out. Some of that may be true but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the sequester.
If this was just based on who looks calmer, the GOP currently holds the lead. The cause of their upper hand is another story. Most Americans just aren’t paying attention. Several polls indicate they aren’t worried about the cuts because they don’t know about them. My feeling is that this is a lot like a bad sequel to a bad movie. This is Police Academy 4. We’ve been to the brink, we’ve even gone over it and survived. How is this any different?
And then we come to how they are winning. First, they are getting spending cuts that they claim they want (they have done nothing to make me think they are more interested in cutting spending than the Democrats). Secondly, John Boehner said that if we want to prevent the sequester, “the Senate needs to get off of their asses.” Ouch. Could that be a dig at Mitch McConnell?