Politico: Is Obama Overplaying Sequestor Hand?


A random act of journalism from Carrie Budoff Brown and Jake Sherman

(Politico) President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress – it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.

He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.

Is anyone particularly surprised that Mr. Obama didn’t bother talking to Boehner nor McConnell until yesterday? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had failed to discuss this with Congressional Democrats. It’s all part of Obama’s crisis creation governance system, based on Cloward-Piven. We’ve seen this time and time again, it follow the same pattern. He waits till the last minute, he demonizes and insults his opponents (before even engaging them in discourse), he scare-mongers in front of groups of human shields, and also tends to scuttle any deals which Congressional Republicans and Dems have worked out. Plus more demonizing and insults.

That’s because Obama’s all-in on an outside strategy, doing just about everything other than holding serious talks with Republicans. In the last two days alone, he’s courted local TV anchors, called in a select group of White House correspondents to talk off-the-record, chatted up black broadcasters, and announced plans to stump next week at Virginia’s Newport News Shipyard. Throughout, he’s talked in tough terms that signal little interest in compromise – or suggestion of backing down.

All this is guaranteed to create a crisis without attempting to do anything to mitigate or solve the issue. It’s part of the Neverending Campaign, but campaigning is not governing.

White House aides argued that a precedent had been set in the short-term deal by paying down the sequester with a share of spending cuts and tax hikes. They also rationalized that the reprieve would give both sides some space to figure out a solution.

But there has been no discernible effort by the White House to work on a bill that might pass.

Well, you know, golf lessons and hitting the links with Tiger Woods. One has to prioritize one’s calendar, and Obama probably understands the reality of the situation, namely that the Sequester is meaningless. It contains no cuts, it’s simply a slight reduction in the rate of growth, and will probably be blown off in a year or two. But, hey, once a community agitator always a community agitator. For someone who was handed a Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Obama sure likes picking fights.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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