Video: The road to a deal begins with … one million steps?

posted at 9:21 am on February 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Just how far has Barack Obama traveled to avoid reaching a deal on the sequester?  The House Republican Conference put together this clever video illustration of the President’s travels over the last two weeks, showing an itinerary of over 5,200 miles of jet-setting to gripe about the sequester.  The distance between the West Wing and Harry Reid’s office?  Why, that’s less than two miles:

Most of that traveling and “endless campaign[ing]” has been in service to blaming Republicans for the sequester.  It’s not been ineffective either, which is why Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers went on CBS This Morning earlier today to make it clear that the sequestration started with Obama, and it’s continued because Obama hasn’t made that short trip to Reid’s office:

Just to emphasize the paternity of the sequestration, former Bob Woodward aide Josh Boak defended Woodward’s reporting on this point:

Here’s what Woodward wrote in the op-ed that didn’t get them hot and bothered on Twitter, even though it should have: “[Months] of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)”

This is the far more disturbing conclusion than any debates about goal posts.

The sequester was a risky gambit by the president. It succeeded in preventing a government default with a debt ceiling deal right before he sought re-election. But it failed to work as advertised on deficit reduction because people assumed it wouldn’t happen. …

The White House officially introduced the idea of a sequester into the deal—which became the Budget Control Act of 2011—on July 27, 2011. “There would be no chance the Republicans would want to pull the trigger and allow the sequester to force massive cuts to Defense,” the book has Obama’s team as reasoning.

Jump to page 345 as the deal is coming together and Democrats are stunned that Republicans would even put the Pentagon on the bargaining table as part of the deal,

“[Obama adviser David] Plouffe couldn’t believe it. These guys are so afraid of increasing revenues that they’re willing to put Defense on the chopping block? Republicans’ revenue phobia was so intense that they would sell out the Pentagon.

“’This is a deal we can probably live with,’ Obama said, willing to do almost something to salvage something and prevent catastrophe.’”

Now Obama wants to pass the buck, and he’s traveling thousands of miles to do so while refusing to take a short stroll to Reid’s office and show some real leadership.

Update: Andrew Malcolm puts it all in perspective:

The president, his Cabinet secretaries and his press secretary are describing a veritable fiscal Armageddon for the country if the cuts he proposed in 2011 start taking effect on Friday, as legislatively required. And conveniently forgetting that in late 2011 Obama vowed to veto any attempts to disarm the sequester cuts he now raises alarms over.

Remember now, these aren’t real cuts in current spending. These are cuts in the future increases of current spending. We’ll still be spending more and more and more each year, as we have since Obama took the throne. In fact, he’s been spending more than $1,000,000,000,000 above what the government takes in every single year.

We’ll just be spending a little bit less of the usual annual federal budget increases. Only 2.3% less, as a matter of fact. Could you cut $23 in spending out of a $1,000 raise you might get someday if you ever find a job during this Obama economy? See?

But to hear Obama describe the ugly upcoming scenario you’ll probably have to send your kids to school unfed, maybe even naked. See how awful Republicans are?

I’ll bet Nikki Haley’s kids could do it.


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“[Obama adviser David] Plouffe couldn’t believe it. These guys are so afraid of increasing revenues that they’re willing to put Defense on the chopping block? Republicans’ revenue phobia was so intense that they would sell out the Pentagon.

They did you one better, Poof. They put defense spending on the table AND raised taxes. The fact that Obama is still vehemently opposed to cutting 40 billion tells you all you need to know about where his priorities lie.

Doughboy on February 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics,” Page 215 (July 12, 2011):
“A trigger would lock in our commitment,” [White House national economic council director Gene] Sperling explained. “Even though we disagree on the composition of how to get to the cuts, it would lock us in. The form of the automatic sequester would punish both sides. We’d have to September to avert any sequester” — a legal obligation to make spending cuts.

“Then we could use a medium or big deal to force tax reform,” Obama said optimistically.

“If this is a trigger for tax reform,” [House speaker John] Boehner said, “this could be worth discussing. But as a budget tool, it’s too complicated. I’m very nervous about this.”

“This would be an enforcement mechanism,” Obama said.

Obama Nov 21, 2011: “I will veto ANY attempt to prevent the sequester.”

Obama Oct 22, 2012: “First of all, the sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen.”

During one of the presidential debates, Obama declared that he did not propose the sequester, but that Congress did. Drawing largely on the reporting of our colleague Bob Woodward, we concluded that claim was worth Four Pinocchios.

In sum, during the debt-ceiling showdown, the White House originally proposed the idea of a compulsory trigger, with White House aide Gene Sperling calling it an “automatic sequester.” Initially, the White House plan was to include tax revenue, not just spending cuts. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) was “nervous” about using it as a budget tool.

But once tax increases were off the table, the White House staff came up with a sequestration plan that had only spending cuts and sold Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) on the idea. The White House put together the plan for sequester, using language from a congressional law approved 25 years ago.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/who-is-responsible-for-the-looming-sequester-spending-cuts/2013/02/10/a4f39dfe-73b4-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_blog.html

J_Crater on February 26, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Republicans’ revenue phobia was so intense that they would sell out the Pentagon.

Yeah, that fear is so powerful that they voted to raise taxes less than 2 months ago.

I reckon the Campaign feels it can continue to lie about this because Republicans will be reluctant to remind everyone that they just passed a tax increase bill.

Maybe State Run Media will do it.

forest on February 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Yeah, that fear is so powerful that they voted to raise taxes less than 2 months ago.

I reckon the Campaign feels it can continue to lie about this because Republicans will be reluctant to remind everyone that they just passed a tax increase bill.

Maybe State Run Media will do it.

forest on February 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Not really. The GOP has repeatedly reminded people in recent weeks about the tax hikes. It’s not like the base is unaware of it, so they may as well be upfront. As for Obama, I think he’s relying on the ignorance of the low-information voters or at the very least his ability to continue to play class warfare.

Doughboy on February 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Don’t call my bluff, remember that little statement Barky? I know it was in different circumstances but don’t think for a minute thst some on the R side of the aisle didn’t forget that bold statement and knew that some time in the future that they would use it against the boy king. We see your hand now and we call. Want to raise the pot or fold? Your call Barky.

D-fusit on February 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I have one slight problem with this video: gop.gov

When you are trying to reduce the size of government, the first thing to do is to stop using .gov resources.

unclesmrgol on February 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

But it failed to work as advertised on deficit reduction because people assumed it wouldn’t happen. …

Wasn’t it during the second Presidential debate (the one Candy Crowley moderated while sitting in his lap) that the rat-eared wonder catagorically stated that sequestration wasn’t going to happen?

Well you lazy dimwit, your chickens are going to come home to roost. Today when you visit Newport News Shipbuilding and whine about the idled workers take along a mirror so that you can address your remarks directly to the worthless human being that is most responsible for those workers being idled.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM

unclesmrgol on February 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I think Congressional committees, including the party caucuses and conferences, are required to do so for security reasons.

Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Rep. Rogers wasn’t very articulate.

Charlie Rose throws a softball at 1:58 on the video asking her if the president was using scare tactics or misleading the public with his position on the sequester. Why doesn’t Rogers answer a firm “yes” and “yes”?

Her answer is too tactful and convoluted.

At that point, all of the low-info voters watching would shrug their shoulders and say, “what difference does it make?” on the Republicans’ position.

Pazman on February 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

So, at the approximate cost of $182,000 per hour to fly Air Force One multiplied by 5,200 miles, he has spent $946,400,000 to do NOTHING.

BeachBum on February 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM

They did you one better, Poof. They put defense spending on the table AND raised taxes. The fact that Obama is still vehemently opposed to cutting 40 billion tells you all you need to know about where his priorities lie.

Doughboy on February 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I floated this idea last night on another thread but it bears repeating.

Why not avoid sequestration by the balanced, fair share, approach advocated by the rat-eared one?

Immediately reduce entitlement program payments by 10% across the board, no exceptions. Thanks to Obama’s sequestration those workers at Newport News Shipbuilding are facing a 100% cut in pay. Isn’t it time for the parasite class to step up and face the kinds of reductions the productive class has been facing for years?

We could quickly reduce real spending by billions if we just paid a few bucks less to those on entitlement programs.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Ack, just realized I did the math wrong. Substituting miles for hours. Ugh

BeachBum on February 26, 2013 at 9:55 AM

So, at the approximate cost of $182,000 per hour to fly Air Force One multiplied by 5,200 miles, he has spent $946,400,000 to do NOTHING.

BeachBum on February 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM

More than that. Some costs, like base pay for the support staff is fixed. But overtime, logistics, accomodations, advance team, etc…
It costs far more than $182,000 per hour to execute a Presidential trip.

But what really ticks me off when he flys across the country for less than a couple hours so that he can have a bunch of worthless tools in brightly colored t-shirts standing behind him (or school children, or military, whatever the prop-d’-jour happens to be) and gives a speech he could have as easily made from the Rose Garden or East Room.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

No deal. Armageddon is not a’coming.


Exempted From Sequester: Obama’s Salary & Most Of His Strawmen!

Resist We Much on February 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Dem’s biggest fear: What if we gave a sequester and no one showed up?

Resist We Much on February 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I’m sure the President will claim that since he didn’t actually sign the sequester bill, but rather the White House used an Auto-Pen, that he is somehow not responsible for what is in the bill.

Using this tact only indicates that none of the problems we have today are because of President Obama because he has done absolutely nothing .. and deserves no credit nor blame .. making him Pres**ent Obama.

J_Crater on February 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM

So, at the approximate cost of $182,000 per hour to fly Air Force One multiplied by 5,200 miles, he has spent $946,400,000 to do NOTHING.

BeachBum on February 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM

You might want to check your math.

AF-1, while not the speediest plane in the inventory, does fly substantially faster than one mile per hour.

Solaratov on February 26, 2013 at 10:09 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0

scalleywag on February 26, 2013 at 10:09 AM

CBS has an incredible and true point here. The Obama administration realizes that Americans overall are going to blame republicans but Republicans seem oblivious to this fact. Obama still has the same connections he had before his last two elections that told him that his campaign strategy was working and now they are telling him, “Don’t worry about the fact that the sequester was your idea. We’ve already convinced the masses that it will be the Republicans fault. All is well according to plan.” Republicans have to learn the methods that the left is using because we fail to communicate to the public.

PLEASE SHOUT THIS ON EVERY HILL OR WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOSE IN THIS BATTLE OF IDEAS POPULISM.

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Dem’s biggest fear: What if we gave a sequester and no one showed up?

Resist We Much on February 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I’m going to be mighty disappointed if, come Friday, planes are not falling out of the sky, houses are burning with no fire department available, schoolchildren roaming the streets in feral herds because they have no teachers, and five-hour waits to get past the one TSA employee still working at the airport.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I’m going to be mighty disappointed if, come Friday, planes are not falling out of the sky, houses are burning with no fire department available, schoolchildren roaming the streets in feral herds because they have no teachers, and five-hour waits to get past the one TSA employee still working at the airport.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I hope it’s not like when Y2K happened, when the nuclear plants blew up and my AOL account tried to kill me.

sentinelrules on February 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I’m getting so tired of Republicans being surprised that they are getting their buts kicked all the time.

FIND OUT WHAT SHOE THEY ARE WEARING AND KICK THEM BACK!

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

McMorris Rogers was awful.

KCB on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Don’t forget the hordes – HUGE hordes! – of mexicans charging across the unprotected borders – because of the hundreds of Border Patrol agents laid off; and the hundreds of terrorist incidents being perpetrated – unopposed – because law enforcement has been reduced to a skeleton force…with no equipment to meet the threat.

Solaratov on February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I’m getting so tired of Republicans being surprised that they are getting their buts kicked all the time.

FIND OUT WHAT SHOE THEY ARE WEARING AND KICK THEM BACK!

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Yea, that video was good but it was a size 6 when they needed a steel toed size 12. :) Everyone knows the president is lazy and can’t get things done. Even people on the left have to be able to see that, the man has spent more time in Air Force One than the Oval Office. They. Just. Don’t. Care.

scalleywag on February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I like her,Cathy McMorris Rogers.

What an ugly old man on that CBS morning show. “Blah blah blah blah, The Republicans!” What a goofball. The people are going to blame YOU, because the president is campaigning and winning by telling lies and making the sequester as bad as it possibly can by. Why won’t you mean republicans stop that?

Fleuries on February 26, 2013 at 10:20 AM

What a pathetic little shit we have playing Pied Piper while doing his very best to louse up what’s left of this once-great nation.

hillbillyjim on February 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Using this tact only indicates that none of the problems we have today are because of President Obama because he has done absolutely nothing .. and deserves no credit nor blame .. making him Pres**ent Obama.

J_Crater on February 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM

“President” without an “ID”?

Archivarix on February 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Remember now, these aren’t real cuts in current spending. These are cuts in the future increases of current spending. We’ll still be spending more and more and more each year, as we have since Obama took the throne. In fact, he’s been spending more than $1,000,000,000,000 above what the government takes in every single year.

A hiring freeze.
A pay freeze, including a “step” freeze.
Plus the “Penny MacK.”
http://www.conniemack.com/issues/penny-plan/

Obama and Michelle need to go on a spending Diet, Let’s Move!

Fleuries on February 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM

McMorris-Rogers (LOL) voted to keep Boehner as Speaker. She’s dead to me.

Mr. Arrogant on February 26, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Don’t forget the hordes – HUGE hordes! – of mexicans charging across the unprotected borders – because of the hundreds of Border Patrol agents laid off; and the hundreds of terrorist incidents being perpetrated – unopposed – because law enforcement has been reduced to a skeleton force…with no equipment to meet the threat.

Solaratov on February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM

That’s what is so stupid about the current campaign to try and pressure the House GOP into deal-making. Friday will come, sequestration will hit, and absolutely nothing will happen. It is a full month (minimum) before the first furloughs occur for federal employees. Despite the claims of the rat-eared fraud, sequestration is not a “cliff” event. That is why there is no sense of urgency. So to have the bastard show up and make the claim that if some sort of a deal isn’t reached by Friday a shipyard full of workers is going to be out on the street is absurd.

The GOP has nothing to lose by waiting and hearing just how the rat-eared one and his filthy party propose to fix the worst excesses of sequestration and then follow normal order proceedings.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Yea, that video was good but it was a size 6 when they needed a steel toed size 12. :) Everyone knows the president is lazy and can’t get things done. Even people on the left have to be able to see that, the man has spent more time in Air Force One than the Oval Office. They. Just. Don’t. Care.

scalleywag on February 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM

My point isn’t that we need a better shoe but we need the same shoe the left has been using on us. Their shoe also comes with a George McFly “Kick Me” sign on our back. It’s the efforts like this video will do nothing to change the opinion of the general public. They will never see it. We need to turn the tables. We need to remove that sign. We haven’t figured out what it is yet. It mostly consists of a sophisticated social networking infrastructure they we have nothing like.

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:33 AM

“President” without an “ID”?

Archivarix on February 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Would that make him an undocumented President? Because I really want there to be a paper trail when the indictments start going out.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

eah, that fear is so powerful that they voted to raise taxes less than 2 months ago.

Yeah, but that money was already spent (in less than a month) on a pork stuffed hurricane bailout bill. Which hurricane victims have seen very little of.

tommyboy on February 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Orwellian

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Let it burn. Seriously. I want to see how pennies on the dollar derails a nearly 240 year old republic into the abyss.

Senate Democrats? Bah! SMOD could knock on their collective front doors tonight, and they would ignore the smoke, flames, and debris.

itzWicks on February 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

45% is very close to 47%… margin of error… Romney was right.

RalphyBoy on February 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Once again, there are no cuts. The federal government will spend more after the sequester than it spent the previous year during the same period.

InterestedObserver on February 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I’m getting so tired of Republicans being surprised that they are getting their buts kicked all the time.

FIND OUT WHAT SHOE THEY ARE WEARING AND KICK THEM BACK!

shick on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Screw the shoe!

For the time being, only a cricket bat or Louisville Slugger will do.

Resist We Much on February 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Screw the shoe!

For the time being, only a cricket bat or Louisville Slugger will do.

Resist We Much on February 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I think you missed my point. That being we have to use the same shoe they have been using on us. Because our shoes and cricket bats and LSs have done nothing. They are beating us with propaganda. We stink at it.

shick on February 26, 2013 at 11:32 AM