New GOP gimmick: How about we let you guys decide which parts of the budget to cut?

I’m torn. On the one hand, it’s a harmless gimmick aimed at leveraging the bottom-up spirit of the “Contract From America.” Plus, anything that puts people online in a more activist mood online is all to the good. Problem is, not only are the potential cuts touted on the site pitifully small — tokens, really, which has always been the knock on Obama’s own pitifully small budget cuts — but what America needs desperately is leadership on spending, not attempts to pawn tough decisions off onto voters or, in The One’s case, onto unelected deficit commissions. Again, I don’t want to make too much of what is, essentially, a cute nod at direct democracy, but cute nods aren’t going to solve our coming entitlement armageddon. This is deadly serious stuff and deserves to be treated that way. The best argument I can make for “YouCut” is that it’s a way to get the public very gradually accustomed to the idea of small cuts so that big cuts down the road don’t come as quite an earthquake. Is slicing a million dollars from HUD’s budget for doctoral dissertations or whatever really going to help steel people to the idea of social security reform, though? I am, shall we say, skeptical.