Coburn spokesman: Obama, Democrats “just jumped the sharquester”
posted at 5:11 pm on March 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Chris Cillizza covers much the same ground as Politico did earlier today, reporting on the fear among Democrats that Barack Obama got caught crying “wolf” over the sequester. Failure in this case isn’t an orphan, and unnamed Democrats are happy to point back to the Oval Office for paternity on the hysteria strategy:
Then the sequester hit — and (almost) no one noticed. (Sidebar: It’s kind of like the “snow” storm currently “hitting” D.C.; lots of advance warning, very little immediate impact.) The sky is falling language seemed overblown, and the devastating consequences amounted to the suspension of public tours at the White House. Obama hasn’t helped himself post-sequester — landing in a bit of political hot water with a mistaken claim about what the sequester would do to janitors on Capitol Hill.
A number of Democratic strategists condemned the strategy behind the sequester gambit by the president — albeit under the cloak of anonymity.
The best part of the piece, though, is this quip by Senator Tom Coburn’s spokesman John Hart:
Republicans, not surprisingly, lept at the chance to play some offense on an issue their party had seemingly determined would have to be endured as a necessary political loss. “They just jumped the sharquester,” John Hart, a spokesman for Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R), told the Washington Post Tuesday.
Awesome. And the faceplant seems to have Obama looking for a way to save face:
And, rhetorical change aside, President Obama seems far more committed to making a “big” deal this week than he was even seven days ago — perhaps aware that the political ground beneath his feet is less solid than it was pre-sequester. He’s having dinner with a handful of Republican Senators tonight then heading up to Capitol Hill to huddle with them next week. Heck, he even called Wisconsin Rep.Paul Ryan! Everything — in terms of political body language — screams that he is ready to make a deal.
Republicans now must decide if they want to take it. While they clearly feel as though they have political momentum behind them at the moment, the GOP would do well to remember that the high ground can shift rapidly. That’s especially true when it comes to the sequester, which has been compared to a wave; it might start small but it can quickly grow into something that can swamp you. Remember that this is a $1.2 trillion spending cut spread out over a decade, meaning that the longer the sequester is allowed to stay in place the broader and more painful the cuts will become.