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.