I saw a tweet from Speaker John Boehner today referring to the sequester as belonging to President Obama. Personally I like John Boehner, at least I like his personality as portrayed for the cameras. He seems like the type of guy I can sit down with over a drink, talk business, and learn a lot, especially about wearing nice suits.
On the other hand, I am not a personal fan of President Obama. He strikes me as one of those aloof, slightly nerdy brothers that I made a point to ignore while in college. You just couldn’t figure out where they were coming from or whether they were a part of the “community.”
Personal views, however, have no place in policy, and while I like John Boehner, I take an opposing view to his description of the pending doom of sequestration as one that is Mr. Obama’s idea.
Yes, Mr. Obama may have suggested that he would exercise some measure of sequestration under a budget act, allowing him to hold back a small amount of spending from that authorized by the Congress, but the legislation that gave us this $85 billion abyss was signed off by most Republican leaders and the President. The leadership from the Executive and Legislative branches are to blame should sequestration take effect.
What I also find interesting, however, is how the GOP is ready to flip flop on their call for Mr. Obama to “lead.” This has been the rallying cry of Boehner, House majority leader Eric Cantor, and House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan made this call for leadership loud and clear during his ill-fated run for vice-president last year.
Assuming that sequestration is the President’s idea, and the GOP decided to abdicate to Mr. Obama’s leadership and follow, what’s with all the finger pointing now? No one forced the GOP to follow. No one held a gun to the GOP’s head saying you must pass this sequester bill. Now the GOP with the very same leaders who decided to follow Mr. Obama (because that’s what you do when you are calling on someone to lead; you follow.) are basically saying that when March 1st rolls around, that great sucking sound you hear will be Mr. Obama sucking the air out of the economy.
Too bad Congress took a week off but still found time to throw barbs when they could have been in Washington re-writing the sequestration bill. Ooops. My bad. That would have called for some leadership and less finger pointing from the Republican Party.