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Speaking on Morning Joe, Carville offered this pithy assessment of the problem Republicans face regarding the sequester.


James Carville: "The sequester, many people don't know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel, so they think it's a Republican thing."
Byron York at the Washington Examiner gives, from a conservative's standpoint, a somewhat more nuanced opinion on the pickle Republicans find themselves in:
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.”

Which leads to the question: Why would Republicans support a measure that threatens national security and thousands of jobs?  Boehner and the GOP are determined to allow the $1.2 trillion sequester go into effect unless President Obama and Democrats agree to replacement cuts, of an equal amount, that target entitlement spending. If that doesn’t happen — and it seems entirely unlikely — the sequester goes into effect, with the GOP’s blessing.
...
Could the GOP message on the sequester be any more self-defeating?  Boehner could argue that the sequester cuts are necessary as a first — and somewhat modest — step toward controlling the deficits that threaten the economy.  Instead, he describes them as a threat to national security and jobs that he nevertheless supports.  It’s not an argument that is likely to persuade millions of Americans.

The GOP’s astonishingly bad message on sequester cuts

Originally posted to Scarce on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:28 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So.....It's not just me who gets a headache (16+ / 0-)

    listening to Boehner......I feel much better.

  •  no "nuance" needed, (15+ / 0-)

    Carville nailed it.  "Stupid and cruel", that's Republicans for ya . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:28:06 AM PST

    •  Carville is still very good at... (6+ / 0-)

      ...tactical verbal combat.

      It may not be nearly as appropriate (or comfortable for most of us to emulate) in organization or community building as Lakoff's recommendations for strategic framing, but one would  probably dread being on the receiving end of it between a given Labor Day and Election Day.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:49:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Pottery Barn Rule (6+ / 0-)

    They are breaking it, and they will own it.

    If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

    by MadRuth on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:28:47 AM PST

    •  I don't think Pottery Barn does that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      My other half knocked a bunch of glasses onto the floor, and was merely consoled by the staff who swept up the broken glass and moved on.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:49:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No they don't (0+ / 0-)

        nevertheless, Colin Powell made it a metaphor, and most people understand what it means.

        If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

        by MadRuth on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:02:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I still think it's amazing that the GOP (4+ / 0-)

    would ever have agreed to this... Obama dealt himself a much better hand in this discussion.  The GOP once again put an idea in front of reality and seemed to forget that the sequester hits their constituency hard... harder than Democratic constituencies.  Now, the Democratic party needs to hang this around the neck of every GOP congressman in VA, MS, other states in which GOP pork barrel politics depends on DOD contracting.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:27:05 AM PST

    •  I don't know. The sequester hits a lot of really (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, codairem, SlightKC, BusyinCA

      poor people really hard in nasty ways.   Even if it does finally cut back the serious overbloat in defense, the damage it does to social programs is immense.

      •  But in a way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, splashy

        the GOP has always derived political benefit from talking a tough line on spending while rigorously protecting their constituencies.  Finally, their constituencies suffer. Finally the really big lie at the heart of the GOP is exposed.

        We all know how little of the federal budget goes toward the social safety net. toward foreign aid, toward science and basic research.  When broad cuts hit key Republican constituencies, those constituencies are going to scream bloody murder and even more people are going to understand the need for more revenue, not just more spending cuts.  Poor people get hurt over the short term; over the longer term, key Republican constituencies are going to find out in a very bitter and immediate way that they like government more than they realized.  

        Most Americans favor more cuts to defense spending than the social safety net.  The sequester fight forces that conversation out in the open, and the GOP has a lot to lose.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:48:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  But it doesn't cut the bloat where needed... (0+ / 0-)

        it chops everything indiscriminately.  Supposedly the one thing exempted is military pay.  The rest of us -- not so much.

        I'm a DA civilian, working with one of the Army colleges.  It's impacting training schedules as well as what gets dropped from the curriculum because there won't be enough time, money, or Insructors to teach it all.

        We're looking at a one-day furlough every week for 22 weeks.  That's a 20% cut in pay... pay that's been frozen for the last 2 years to boot.   Many where I work can absorb the cut, tho it'll hurt; they're retirees and have their pensions, etc., to fall back on.  

        But don't discount the thousands of us who are "regular people" who are not making scads of money as GS11's and up.  There are a lot more GS3, 5, 7, and 9's who are going to be impacted by this.  And it's going to hurt us BAD.

        A few years ago, the job I have was converted from a contractor's position to a GS.  I lost 1/3 of my salary when that happened.  

        Now, I'm looking at losing 20% of that remaining salary.  Hubby just celebrated his 61st birthday, and hasn't been able to find a job in over 5 years; I just celebrated my 57th, and know no one would hire me at my age and physical infirmities.   We're barely able to make it paycheck-to-paycheck now... most times, there's a LOT more week than money.  I've put off 2 surgeries I badly need because we can't afford the copays.  

        And now I'm terrified that this "sequester" will cost us the house we've worked so hard to hold on to.   I rescue cats... and I've got 12 who are now older that I'm still caring for (and love with all my heart), in addition to my two dogs (both rescues).  There are already times when they eat and I don't. When they get meds and I forgo mine.  I can't lose our only shelter, too!

        I'm in no way alone in my fears or situation.  There are many, many of us in the same boat just where I work.  And, being in KS, there's no hope of help from Brownbackistan, either.

        I agree there should be no entitlement cuts; but this sequester is disaster capitalism that's been forced on us.  There's no need for it; and, from what I can see, no way for either party to back out and "save face."  And I guess saving "face" is more important to the PTB than all of us "little people" who'll be suffering the consequences of their idiocy.

        When do we stop being a political football?

    •  Oh wait, I see what you're saying. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, Calamity Jean, Dave925

      You mean the actual human beings who live in their districts and states when you say 'constituencies', not the defense contractor corporations, execs, and and shareholders.

      My bad, when I think of Republican 'constituencies', I actually don't think of the poor schmucks who live under them.

      •  We have to deal with reality (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, Dave925

        as it exists.  When the GOP insists upon sequestration and that increases the misery quotient across the board in the states most dependent upon federal dollars (yes, the red states), that will have a political effect.

        I am not in favor of sequestration.  I think it's a terrible and stupid idea.  My main point is that the GOP is set up to suffer more of a blow-back for this stupid idea than we are.  And it forces into the public square a long overdue debate about military spending.  People are ignorant about the budget until it bites them in the ass, and sequestration will bite a whole lot more people in the ass.  

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:53:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Down to the nitty gritty Carville... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, splashy, Dave925

    John, not really good to be know as the party of mean.

    Hope we can find a way to put the brakes on this.  And I for one am just worn out and infuriated by the endless manufactured crises.  

    We have enough real problems.

    sh

  •  I am very concerned about the NIH budget. (6+ / 0-)

    A lot of scientists depend on Federal funds to keep research program going. It has gotten really hard now that the payline for grants is in most cases down to around 9%, meaning that 91% of applications are not being funded. If it goes any further, then we are effectively saying that the era of peer-reviewed funding of research is over. Just when we are so close to solving hugely important health problems like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc, to see research funding collapsing in this way is pretty depressing.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:53:23 AM PST

  •  And Mary says, "that's nice, dear." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Dave925

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:24:34 AM PST

  •  stupid and mean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Rogneid, BusyinCA

    describe the rethuglicans to a T.  carville hits it right on the head.  until enough people in red states get their fill of this idiocy and vote them out, this will just continue.  i love how the boner keeps trying to pin this on obama when (lets go to the video) he is on record as saying he got 98% of what he wanted.  how about the other folks, do they deserve 98% of this dinosaur dung?

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