White House “recalibrating” on sequester hysteria after world keeps turning

posted at 12:01 pm on March 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The world kept on turning, and now Democrats are starting to worry about dealing with the debacle of botched expectation management.  After a series of media reports demolished the claims of Barack Obama and his Cabinet of disaster from a 2.3% reduction in the rate of increase in federal spending and the impact of the sequester all but undetectable to most Americans outside the Beltway, Politico reports that the White House has begun a “recalibration” effort:

President Barack Obama hopes to spark a pitchfork revolt against Republicans over sequester-induced budget cuts — but many Democrats fret that he’s undermined that effort with an early strategy marred by hype, poor planning and muddled messaging.

The stakes in the sequester debate aren’t quite as high as they were during the debt ceiling battle of 2011, but Democratic veterans of the Obama-Republican wars of 2009 and 2010 are getting a creepy sense of déjà vu from a White House messaging shop they believe fumbled the rollouts of the stimulus and health care initiatives.

Over the past few days, Obama and his team have pulled back from a kick-off strategy that portrayed the $84 billion in automatic cuts this year as a parade of instant horrors — hellish waits at airports, a quick cascade of private job losses resulting from voided federal contracts, teachers immediately sacked.

That’s part of a “recalibration,” according to one Obama insider, intended to take the focus off the veracity of the administration’s claims — and back on congressional Republicans who have refused to give ground on new tax revenue demanded by Obama as a condition of any long-term budget deal.

The creepy sense of deja vu comes from yet another wolf-crying episode where Obama overpromised and underdelivered.  The problem, according to one House Democrat staffer who remains unnamed, is that the White House never quite realized that they had lost their leverage after the tax deal, and now they have to deal with the consequences:

One top Democratic Congressional aide offered this bit of advice to Obama: “Don’t accentuate a fight you don’t intend to wage [and] can’t win. … They spent two weeks building up sequester as a horror show and then got fact-checked a dozen times and were forced to back off their own claims of it being a disaster once they were forced to acquiesce to the cuts happening.”

If they really thought that the hysterics would force House Republicans to cave, then they’re reading far too much of their own press.  The shift in leverage was obvious from the moment that the tax-rate issues were settled without any further sunset-clause extensions.  Republicans might not like the nature of the cuts, but they weren’t about to offer more revenue for spending reductions — and they didn’t have to do so, thanks to the automatic application of the sequester, which Obama and his team authored.

Besides, the sequester isn’t really stopping government from doing anything that the White House really wants.  Case in point — ObamaCare taxes, which the government will collect despite threats of reduced services at the IRS and Treasury due to the sequester:

Implementation of the taxes and fees from President Obama’s healthcare law is on track despite the cutbacks at the IRS from sequestration.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010 and derided by Republicans as “ObamaCare,” contains the broadest set of tax changes enacted in some two decades — more than 40 alterations in all, including penalties on people who choose not to purchase insurance.

But while IRS and Treasury officials have warned of reduced services as employees are furloughed under the sequester, neither agency has expressed any concern that the automatic spending cuts would delay the rollout of the healthcare overhaul.

A spokesman for the IRS declined to comment any further on the agency’s concerns about sequestration.

Budgeting is all about prioritizing limited resources.  We can certainly see where the Obama administration’s priorities lie.

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That’s part of a “recalibration,” according to one Obama insider, intended to take the focus off the veracity of the administration’s claims — and back on congressional Republicans who have refused to give ground on new tax revenue demanded by Obama as a condition of any long-term budget deal.

The GOP already caved on taxes. If Obama and the Dems want more hikes, let them put down on paper what rates they want to raise(cuz closing loopholes alone ain’t gonna do d-ck).

Doughboy on March 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Seems the hype and hoped-for hysteria failed.

Quite the ‘leader’ we have in Obama.

Pfft!

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

UNWARRANTED UNSUBSTANTIATED FEAR YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!!!!

pilamaye on March 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

So the big asteroid named Sequestration missed us by only… 16.6 trillion miles or so! Whew, that was close!

Marcola on March 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Everything – everything – is political with 0bama.

He has absolutely no clue how do just do what’s right.

UltimateBob on March 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Offer to close the family trust fund tax loophole. Watch Democrat heads explode en masse, with many Washington Republicans to follow suit.

Archivarix on March 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

President Panic strikes again.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Translation: The Dear Liar’s Sequester isn’t working out as expected.

Galt2009 on March 6, 2013 at 12:08 PM

2008: HOPE AND CHANGE!

2013: The Horror. The Horror.

pilamaye on March 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Baseline budgeting is the root of all these problems and until they are eliminated both sides get to take turns playing the villain and the hero until the whole house of cards collapses.

fourdeucer on March 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Where are the trolls?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

So, a 2.3% cut didn’t cause all h3ll to break loose.

Maybe we should continue testing the cut percentage until we bump into that threshold. Then back it off a bit for now. We’ll never know what threshold is until we try, it could be not just 2.5% or 2.8% but 5% or 10%.

Do it for the children.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Obama is determined to make his “Chicken Little” pretentious predictions about the Sequestration come true, no matter how much they hurt the people he is supposed to be protecting from “enemies foreign and domestic”.

This is not Presidential Leadership. This is Presidential Sabotage.

kingsjester on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

One of the things the left really, really admired about Hugo Chavez was his ability to mobilize the poor to major street protests — basically to use Venezuela’s version of the low information voters against Chavez’s opponents.

That’s the eventual end game Team Obama and the others on the left want for the U.S. — not just to scare the low info voters into re-electing The One, but to be able to snap their fingers and have people out in the streets protesting whatever agenda item of the day this White House wants to push.

But they can’t do it right now, even though they were hoping they could with the sequestration fear-mongering. You can’t run a re-election campaign by telling the low info crowd the budget deficits and government spending don’t really matter and then turn around in the weeks before March 1 and expect them to act like it’s The Most Important Thing in the Universe.

Obama got re-elected because enough voters were convinced it wasn’t important to care about the budget, and now they’re stuck trying to figure out what government operations they can shut down or hamstring to make the low information voters care about the budget. They did it to themselves and are angry that they don’t have the Chavez-like ability to shut down major cities by getting ‘their’ people to protest Republican conservatives in particular and anything that doesn’t funnel more money to the government in general.

jon1979 on March 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM

2008: HOPE AND CHANGE!

2013: The Horror. The Horror.

pilamaye on March 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM

You forgot the eternal liberal lament: “The minority Republicans are stopping everything good we have planned!”

Obama is such a crybaby.

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:14 PM

This is not Presidential Leadership. This is Presidential Sabotage.

kingsjester on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Some might call it treason. I do.

VegasRick on March 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Strangely, the sun came up this morning…

The feral cats were begging at the back door…

Sold a few things overnight online…

There’s the usual avian riot going on at the bird feeder…

Mailman dropped off the mail…

It’s almost like this sequester crap… Doesn’t matter.

trigon on March 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Some might call it treason. I do.

VegasRick on March 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

So do I.

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

White House “recalibrating”

Right, recalibrating how to manufacture another sequester crisis they can blame on GOP.

petefrt on March 6, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Will the government spend more next year then this year?

Then why are we playing the Democrats game and calling it cuts?

Also, I’d like to see the Republicans stop talking about deficit spending and starting talking about “future tax increases on the middle class” and “tax increases on our children”.

18-1 on March 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM

That’s the eventual end game Team Obama and the others on the left want for the U.S. — not just to scare the low info voters into re-electing The One, but to be able to snap their fingers and have people out in the streets protesting whatever agenda item of the day this White House wants to push.

I don’t think that will work all that well for them here though.

If Chicagoans or Los Angelites want to burn down their own cities because their SSDI checks suddenly stop coming, I don’t care.

18-1 on March 6, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Obama is determined to make his “Chicken Little” pretentious predictions about the Sequestration come true, no matter how much they hurt the people he is supposed to be protecting from “enemies foreign and domestic”.

kingsjester on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Yep, and he’s none done yet. If anything, he’ll double down. There’s almost surely more punishment to come.

petefrt on March 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Some might call it treason. I do.

[VegasRick on March 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM]

I don’t, but I do call it this.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Where are the trolls?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Hiding under their rocks where they belong.

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I think Obama still can’t believe that the GOP didn’t cave this time.

Bitter Clinger on March 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

…which is why there is a dog and pony show lunch with Republicans now on the schedule.

How long will it take for Republicans to learn Mr. Obama’s motives are never pure, always political and meant to demean Republicans?

Despite his protestations, Mr. Obama is the ultimate ideologue. He will sacrifice our collective well-being and country for his misguided political ideas. He is obsessed with trying to destroy the Republican Party at any cost- no matter how destructive that is to our way of life and the survival of our republic.

Even the common man can see the simple illogical, misguided and contra-intellectual method by which the president has approached every issue. The veil is off and the truth is laid bare for all to see. Underneath is a monstrously incapable man whose professed ideas are not only destructive, but bereft of any leadership qualities possessed by all his predecessors.

Marcus Traianus on March 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Heh. I liked this part;

That’s part of a “recalibration,” according to one Obama insider, intended to take the focus off the veracity of the administration’s claims

a capella on March 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Hiding under their rocks where they belong.

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Yes. This thread, one of truth, isn’t something they like. It doesn’t include dead children they can use for a soapbox.

The ghouls that they are…

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Obama is such a crybaby.

[Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:14 PM]

You know who would have been whining and crying like this?

Bush!

Bush would have hunkered down and made sure the fewest number of people were affected. He’d have cut back on the WH operations and his own travel.

Bush would have handled this problem much better than Obama has.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Chicken Little has come home to roost.

fogw on March 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

[Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM]

You know who wouldn’t have been whining and crying like this? D’oh.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Bush would have handled this problem much better than Obama has.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Bush is done, gone, and old hat.

What about Obama, in the here and now?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Must reread comments before hitting submit.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

President Barack Obama hopes to spark a pitchfork revolt against Republicans

This is allowed in the media, at Politico, but not at HA, I warn you.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Where are the trolls?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

For sure! Always enjoy your points, Liam.

Question I’ve been meaning to ask: What is the html code everyone uses on this site for links? There are so many.

One example: I’m used to using on one site, but on another site they use [ /].
And, then there is this site: http://www.quackit.com/html/codes/html_link_code.cfm

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Bush is done, gone, and old hat.

What about Obama, in the here and now?

[Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM]

I knew that typo would provoke the wrong reaction.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

President Barack Obama hopes to spark a pitchfork revolt against Republicans

The Tea Party (taxed enough already, for the idiots who ever forget what it stands for) is not dead.

Breitbart isn’t either.

This Lilliputian charlatanic thug woke them up, good, without pitchforks.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

That’s part of a “recalibration,” according to one Obama insider

Watch out, the word “recalibration” will now send the gov’t sissies into ‘trauma training’.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:37 PM

God bless Bob Woodward. This will be his legacy.

He did the good ol’ land a big favor.

The leftist turds diminished him and rejuvenated Nixon, the frenetic thugs.

He is a D who still loves his land and he used his old gonads to try to save her from the Lilliputian thug in chief.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Resist We Much on March 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Ramirez and you are national treasures.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Will the sequester slow the hiring of the additional 16,000 IRS agents needed for obamacare? I think not.

STL_Vet on March 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

WTF? Why don’t Senate Republicans bring the entire Senate to a dead stop and filibuster EVERYTHING until a budget is produced?

olesparkie on March 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

If Chicagoans or Los Angelites want to burn down their own cities because their SSDI checks suddenly stop coming, I don’t care.

I care, because I live in a Los Angeles suburb, and this time the gimmiecrats may not be satisfied with torching and looting their own neighborhoods and might spill over into the burbs this time, and darn it, I don’t have nearly the ammo I need for such an event, should it occur. I may have to reluctantly borrow from the neighbors, and I hate to do that.

hawkeye54 on March 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

O/T Sorry but I just had to put in a big irony alert. Congress had to cancel its global warming hearings today because of the big snow storm. I think this has happened more than once, I think they are doing it wrong.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Aesop’s later works include the fable about the Little Wolf Who Cried Wolf. In this tale the sheep turned on him and then laughed at his demise.

DanMan on March 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Well, that didn’t come through at all. My keyboard strokes didn’t get posted. Tried again with no result. Anyhoo, what/where is the html code that you all use here, or where can I get an example?

Thanks.

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM

At least, he’s shown he’s not partial to one party over another. It’s a beginning…

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:46 PM

They’re going to end up sounding like these guys…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt0Y39eMvpI

CurtZHP on March 6, 2013 at 12:46 PM

beat me to it RWM

DanMan on March 6, 2013 at 12:46 PM

They spent two weeks building up sequester as a horror show and then got fact-checked a dozen times and were forced to back off their own claims of it being a disaster once they were forced to acquiesce to the cuts happening.”

And:

1. They released 2000 criminal illegal aliens, then lied that Napolitano didn’t know, then she threatened to release 3000 more, due to sequester, the cow who just a week ago ordered 45 million worth of new uniforms for TSA…she and him are criminals.

2. They threaten the safety of the US people by releasing the crimianl illegal aliens, cutting this and that from cops, which is a lie, since they are locally funded, but Holder approves dropping drones on American citizens, even on American soil, with no due process, while he preaches to the senate to move on gun restrictions. Holder and his boss are criminals.

3. Obama and his admin. ignores the billions of wastefuly/criminal findings by his own IGs (inspectors general, non partisan hard working types) – Greta featured last night, while he scares the country about the sequester.

4. Kerry lauds the Egyptian “form of gov’t” and hands out millions, during the threat on the sequester.

5. Add your own…

To say that Irony is Indignant is to have RWM call me the “king of the obvious” or of the “understatement”.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

The Lord has a great sense of humor.

kingsjester on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Some might call it treason. I do.

[VegasRick on March 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM]

I don’t, but I do call it this.

Dusty on March 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I call it that too.

Eyes on Rand Paul. He may be building the case, with a view toward leading the charge.

petefrt on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

O/T Sorry but I just had to put in a big irony alert. Congress had to cancel its global warming hearings today because of the big snow storm. I think this has happened more than once, I think they are doing it wrong.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I believe you are correct, such sweet, sweet irony.

fourdeucer on March 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM

OT!!!
Rand Paul is doing a good old fashioned HT Drudge
Filibuster.

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

MontanaMmmm on March 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

WTF? Why don’t Senate Republicans bring the entire Senate to a dead stop and filibuster EVERYTHING until a budget is produced?

Because their fearful leader is Mitch McConnell?

Though frankly the problem start with Boehner at this point.

Take Clinton’s last budget and adjust it for inflation, pass it in the House, and disband the session.

Let Obama “shut down” the government and argue why Clinton’s last budget is insufficient, or agree to halving federal spending.

18-1 on March 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

O/T Sorry but I just had to put in a big irony alert. Congress had to cancel its global warming hearings today because of the big snow storm. I think this has happened more than once, I think they are doing it wrong.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

That has happened several times. Therefor, using liberal ‘science’, it can only be concluded that Republicans cause snowstorms, which also cause global warming.

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

“ObamaCare,” contains the broadest set of tax changes enacted in some two decades — more than 40 alterations in all,

So now tax increases are “tax changes” or “alterations”? Nice.

jdp629 on March 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The Lord has a great sense of humor.

kingsjester on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I find the real beauty of His irony is that He is so subtle about it.

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Oh he!!. I’ll try it myself.

HotAir

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM

A bit O/T

Here is an article that seems to put a great number of American’s in an anti-government group? This looks as if if you believe in our Republic, you need to get a look at by holder/group?

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/06/southern-poverty-law-center-chronicles-explosive-rise-in-radical-anti-government-patriot-movement/
L

letget on March 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Meanwhile Gallup, Reuters and other pollsters report Ogabe’s approval down to 43 percent and next time will report it has dropped even further down from 43 percent to 43 percent because the pollsters don’t want to sued by JusUs, threatened by Sperling or Fosterized by Ogabe’s chief pimp / enforcer sleazy Eric Holder.

Of course, polls don’t matter to Ogabe when he can give brown nosers Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Angria Mitchell and George Stuffinenvelopes a call to report all is well at the Kremlin and everyone there couldn’t be happier than a White House calligrapher pulling in 96 grand when not filing her nails.

viking01 on March 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Budgeting is all about prioritizing limited resources. We can certainly see where the Obama administration’s priorities lie.

The underdeveloped narcissistic teenager Lilliputian charlatanic thug was rewarded with a re-election, based on nada.

He is free, at least in his tiny head, to do whatever he imagines he will do.

Alas, he succeeds apace at much of it, just because the majority of the people are stupid and most in DC are too.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM

That worked. Now, I know the secret.

Experiment.For the last time. It’s not a halo.

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

The people noticed…late, alas.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/06/southern-poverty-law-center-chronicles-explosive-rise-in-radical-anti-government-patriot-movement/
L

letget on March 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

According to the SPLC, Malik Zulu Shabazz, the head of the New Black Panther Party is…you guessed it…a right-wing extremist!

The SPLC is a joke.

Resist We Much on March 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

The SPLC is a joke.

You are correct. This was just a fyi for any interested in reading.
L

letget on March 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

avagreen on March 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

okay ava, I was following your comments…care to spill the beans?

DanMan on March 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Where are the trolls?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

They won when Teh One won… probably still celebrating in the basement…

Khun Joe on March 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

That’s part of a “recalibration,” according to one Obama insider, intended to take the focus off the veracity of the administration’s claims

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to FOCUS on ‘truth’, or the LACK OF IT, coming out of Barry’s mouth.

GarandFan on March 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

WTF? Why don’t Senate Republicans bring the entire Senate to a dead stop and filibuster EVERYTHING until a budget is produced?

olesparkie on March 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

…no leadership!

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Among the GOP lawmakers expected to attend: Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Meeting (dinner) with Republican senators, these, what could go wrong?

right2bright on March 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Where are the trolls?

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

…dry humping each other!…my 15 year old lab is jealous…he can’t get up on his hind legs anymore!

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

IMPEACH PREZ ASHTRAY AND VICE PREZ ASHTRAY…

ARIZONAVETERAN on March 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM