Obama's 'Republican Sequester' 2014 endgame
By Mark Alexander
Ahead of the implementation of sequestration on March 1st, I provided Beltway Republicans and pundits with a comprehensive analysis of Obama's sequestration strategy and objective under the title, "Obama's 'Republican Sequester' Setup." Unfortunately, Republican "leaders" have yet to comprehend how they have been set up to fall.
Yes, most Republicans and conservative analysts recognize that for Obama, politics always trumps people, so the focus of his never-ending campaign is now the 2014 midterm election, which will determine, in large measure, his second-term legacy. But they're still unwitting pawns in Obama's sequestration game.
Republican and columnists have devoted endless airtime and print to how sequestration was Obama's idea, how small the sequester cuts are compared to the budget and deficits, how overstated Obama's dire economic warnings have been, and how Obama's sequestration cuts in defense are grossly disproportionate.
These politicos and pundits are right on all counts, but they're so focused on tactics that they've completely missed Obama's macro sequestration strategy -- and have done so at great peril to the future of Liberty. While they acknowledge that Obama is intent on winning a socialist Democrat House majority in 2014, none have connected the dots on the role of sequestration in that strategy -- and it is a leading part.
While I offer below a few tangible examples of how Republicans should respond to Obama's high profile cuts in services and personnel "mandated by the Republican sequester," let me first lay out Obama's 2014 strategy again and see if it can break through the Beltway gauntlet against grassroots solutions.
1. Despite feigning dramatic opposition to the "Republican sequester" in his national "Chicken Little" tour, both Obama and his congressional Democrats wanted sequestration to occur as it is key to their strategy to use it as a noose to hang Republicans ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. To ensure the implementation of the "Republican sequester," Obama made Republicans an offer -- more taxes and no spending cuts -- that they could only refuse. If there remains any doubt that Obama intends to hang Republicans with this strategy, just consider an internal memo picked up by the Washington Times this week, in reply to an agency director who inquired about spreading sequester cuts to lessen their impact. The White House response: "However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."
2. Now that sequestration has been implemented, Obama and his NeoCom cadres will blame the "Republican Sequester" for any and all economic, national security and social ills near term. Obama knows that the net effect of his January $150 billion payroll and income tax hikes, on top of $489 billion in defense cuts already enacted, and estimates that ObamaCare premiums and taxes will add up to more than $500 billion, is a formula for sustained economic recession. Thus, from sequester forth, every negative economic GDP or jobs report, which in reality demonstrates the planned failure of Obama's socialist "recovery stimuli," will be blamed on the "Republican Sequester."
3. Though Obama dramatically overstated the immediate effect of sequester, that exaggeration was intentional. It got the attention of all of his most reliable government plantation constituents, and tens of millions of others who are in any measure dependent on the government for their welfare or income. In the coming weeks and months, when the burden of Obama's massive tax increases and continued unabated accumulation of debt shows up in poor economic reports, his constituents won't remember the pre-sequester hyperbole. They will only recall that he warned the nation about the terrible "Republican sequester." And when Obama employs his classist "politics of disparity" playbook to blame sequester "cuts" for every runny nose in America, with the full support of his public relations network, the Leftmedia and their MSM propaganda machinery, he may well lay the foundation for substantial Democrat victories in 2014.
Thus, Obama's strategic objective is the evisceration of what's left of the Republican Party in order that his Socialist Democratic Party can control the Executive and Legislative branches, and most of the Judicial branch, effectively rendering the constitutional pretense of checks and balances null and void. That one-party control is a necessary component of his macro political strategy -- breaking the back of free enterprise under the weight of increased taxes, regulations and trillion-dollar annual deficits, and "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
For the record, I also warned Republicans that before the March 1 meeting with Obama, he would use it "to tell the nation Friday afternoon that the Democrats did their best to avert the economic trauma caused by the 'Republican sequester.'" (No doubt he will use the follow-up meeting this week for the same purpose.)
Indeed, that afternoon, Obama called a press conference and cemented his sequester strategy.
Obama: "As you know, I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today. I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. They will cost us jobs. All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy. It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They've allowed these cuts to happen because they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that's apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts."
Obama softened the hyperbole: "Now, what is absolutely true is that not everybody is going to feel it. Not everybody is going to feel it all at once. ... That is real. That's not -- we're not making that up. That's not a scare tactic, that's a fact."
Then Obama set up his 2014 slam dunk: "Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable; that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal; the fact that [Republicans] don't take [the sequester deal] means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right. ... The majority of the American people agree with me, including a majority of Republicans. We just need Republicans in Congress to catch up with their own party and their country on this [when] members of Congress start hearing from constituents who are being negatively impacted, as we start seeing the impact that the sequester is having. ... What I can't do is force Congress to do the right thing. The American people may have the capacity to do that."
In other words, between now and the 2014 midterm election, he will blame the "Republican sequester" for everything that might otherwise be blamed on his own planned economic policy failures, in order to crush Republicans ahead of that election.
Obama's 2014 objective was aptly summarized by The Washington Post last week, which noted that Obama is "executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama's thinking."
So what should House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell do?
First, short of resigning in disgrace for dereliction of duty, they should get their heads out of their, uh, I mean shake off that Potomac fever and stop playing Obama's game. Call out his sequester strategy and hang it around HIS neck. Obama's strategy can backfire on him, but only if Republicans start lighting their own brushfires. Thus far, Boehner and McConnell seem lost in Obama's smoke.
Republicans had better get those brushfires burning in order to obtain political high ground ahead of the Continuing Resolution renewal due March 27, and the debt ceiling debate that will follow. The House has already approved a measure to fund government operations through the end of fiscal 2013 -- 267 to 151 with Democrats voting against -- but forcing a "Republican government shutdown" may be part two of Obama's 2014 strategy -- if he thinks he can get away with it.
In both cases, Obama is counting on negative economic news to support his position for more taxes, spending and debt.
In the meantime, Republicans and conservative commentators should go for the throat of Obama's strategy blaming "Republican sequester" for high profile cuts, like suspending White House tours -- which, by the way, are conducted by volunteers.
Republicans and pundits should hit all the sequester softballs Obama is throwing their way, out of the park!
For example, Obama's civilian budgeteers at DoD have cancelled all promotional air events by the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels for the remainder of 2013, insisting those cuts were necessitated by sequestration.
In response, Republicans should publicly demand that Obama and his administration cancel all political and recreational junkets on Air Force One and the hangers full of other administration exec jets, and reallocate the enormous cost of those wasteful and irrelevant operations to offset sequester cuts to vital national security operations.
Oh, and Republicans might also want to mention that Obama's record 20 percent first term increase in government spending dumped more than $6 trillion in debt on the backs of our children and our grandchildren, but that the $253.5 billion increase in national debt in February alone is nearly SIX TIMES the total $44 billion fiscal 2013 sequestration cuts.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.