There will never be a better chance for Republicans to accomplish their goal of containing the rate of growth of spending than is now presented by using the sequester as the vehicle of leverage.

One point two trillion dollars, all on the spending side, is not small change.

The House Republicans have a huge opportunity here, but only if they can hold everybody together in supporting using the sequester to exert pressure on core Democratic interest groups.

This, of course, means that Republican defense hawks must be willing to support the effort. The conventional wisdom is that they will not give the House leadership that much running room. But if the defense hawks can look beyond the present to the long-term implications of this critical fight, they should be able to stand with the effort.