Bob Woodward’s Hacktacular Sequester Fail Piece
In an opinion piece yesterday for, who else, the Washington Post, Bob Woodward managed to come off as manipulative, petty and totally off the mark.
Titled “Obama’s sequester deal-changer” he rambles on about just who was responsible for the sequester thingamajig anyway:
Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.
What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?
And then goes on to pat himself on the back for his remarkable reporting that shows that Obama’s team originally proposed the idea. To which the only reasonable response is “who cares anyway?” Congress passed it. Everyone was responsible for it. What our intrepid analytic reporter completely glosses over is why the idea of a sequester was proposed in the first place. To hear Woodward tell it, it was just some mean trick that Obama wanted to play on an unwitting American public. Here is his sole reference to the situation in the second to the last paragraph of a piece taking up two pages:
In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.
Gee. The preznut was insisting on an increase in the debt ceiling. Does anyone still remember why that was? Maaaaayybeee the Rethuglicans were holding the whole country hostage over raising the debt ceiling and threatening, quite literally, to destroy the credit of the U.S. and pretty much re-crash the economy. Yes, they had only been on the sidelines the first time the economy crashed recently - this time they would actually affirmatively do it. And Boehner’s caucus was totally out of control. He couldn’t get them to approve a bill that made all kinds of spending cuts BUT raised taxes slightly on people making more than $1,000,000 a year. So the sequester was proposed as a last minute, last gasp effort to get us past the latest Republican manufactured crisis.
And now, here we are, days away from the sequester (containing such awful cuts that it would never actually occur) actually coming to pass. So, to reference the title to Woodward’s piece, Obama at this stage wanting some revenue increases to balance out spending cuts is so totally not fair!
So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.
What can you say to that except bqhatevwr. You were good once Woodward, you’re a hack these days.