Dumb. Arbitrary. Inexcusable. Those are words President Obama used Friday to describe the $1.2 trillion in federal cuts that Washington imposed on America.

What the president didn’t do was accept any responsibility for the so-called sequestration that took effect Friday. Nor did House Speaker John Boehner, the leading Republican in Congress, as the nation’s long-running and mind-numbing budget fight entered a new phase. What did the nation’s leaders do? They blamed each other…

He bristled when a reporter asked why he was so powerless. “Give me an example of what I’m supposed to do,” Obama chuckled. Later, he dismissed a reporter who suggested that he lock GOP and Democratic leaders in a room until they fix the problem.

It’s come to this: The president of the United States asking a reporter how to avoid a budget crisis — and taking the reporter’s silence, somehow, as confirmation that he is completely right and the GOP is totally wrong.