In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner describes the upcoming sequester as a policy “that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more.”York's real problem with Boehner is that he believes Boehner is doing a bad job of making the case for the sequester. In other words, York thinks Boehner is making a mistake by criticizing the sequester in such harsh terms. But that particular train has already left the station—Boehner has repeatedly said the sequester is the worst thing ever, but that he wants it to happen. York accurately describes that paradoxical position as "untenable." Moreover:
Which leads to the question: Why would Republicans support a measure that threatens national security and thousands of jobs?
The effect of Boehner’s argument is to make Obama seem reasonable in comparison. After all, the president certainly agrees with Boehner that the sequester cuts threaten national security and jobs. The difference is that Obama wants to avoid them.Again, in York's view, Boehner's primary mistake was condemning the sequester. He thinks Boehner should have framed the sequester as being modest but meaningful. But that's not what Boehner has done. Instead, Boehner is insisting on following through on the sequester at the same time that that he's saying he doesn't want the sequester to happen.
At this point, given his repeated trashing of the sequester, it's hard to see how he could suddenly start making the case for it. And if he doesn't go down that path, Boehner has two options: He can continue to holding his illogical position on the sequester or he can open the door to getting rid of it, either by agreeing to compromise with Democrats on revenue or simply by proposing to repeal it.
Getting rid of the sequester would be the best thing for the country, but if Boehner can't bring himself to do the right thing, he's going to remain trapped in a paradoxical position of his own creation.