A sadist is a person who loves the feeling of making others suffer. Enjoyment of others pain historically has been common in both the criminally inclined and members of the political elite. When it comes to politics there is also the added benefit of political gain if the pain is strategically applied.
President Obama may not be a Genghis Khan or Vlad the Impaler but he does have a tendency towards using political sadism all the same. To get his way in with the House of Representatives he came up with the idea of the Sequester. A supposed poison pill to be forced down government’s throat if future cuts could not be arrive at. As if on que the time for agreement came and there was none. For the President such a gift was a opportunity not to be missed.
Obama relished in telling the public of the impending doom in store for them if the Sequester went into effect. The warnings were both leverage to get more taxes and spending as well as prep for what he had planned. Indeed all was set to put the hurt on public at large in a ploy of political gamesmanship.
The cuts themselves were non-events. The poison held in the Sequester pill was weak and ineffectual. In fact the Sandy relief bill alone wiped out about 2/3rds of the supposed savings from the cut. For the President the amount being cut was not that important, What mattered was the fact that agencies under his control would be the ones implementing the cuts. With such power he could make each and every dollar of Sequester take a maximum toll. The Making it Hurt policy was born.
The President was relying on the low information voters to accept the Democratic Party’s mantra that cutting government spending was irresponsible. Hoping that a hurting public would cry no more and put budget cutting Republicans in their place. If their cries coerced congress into giving him the tax increases he wanted all the better. He figured all he had to do was twist the public’s arm until the Republicans in congress cried uncle. A strategy that would of been a stroke of pure genius except for one detail, it didn’t work.
The plan started going off the tracks for Barack when Washington Post Editor Bob Woodward let the public know the Sequester was the White House’s idea all along. The President and his team had been pointing the finger at congress, trying to make sure they would get the blame for his pain game. The President’s plans went further awry as the actual cuts started to take place.
The pain part of the President’s game was revealed by a Federal employee whose loyalty to the tax payer exceeded his fear of his boss. An internal email from Charles Brown of the Plant Health Inspection Service revealed that hurting Joe Taxpayer was the strategy all along. Charles had asked if he could arrange cuts to his department as to minimize their impact. The reply he got was instructions to show the public the dire consequences of cutting funding, IE: make the cuts hurt as much as possible. For the President it has been all down hill since.
When the White House and National Park tours were canceled the public saw them as the childish pranks they were. Larger items pulled from Obama’s hurt locker have only served to embarrass the President more. It seemed the more his agencies threatened to interrupt people’s lives the more the public blamed the President. Consequently when congress starting asking questions about the TSA threats to furlough its airport personnel the Agency blinked and said they magically found other ways to cut. Similarly the USDA threats to shut down parts of the food supply by furloughing meat inspectors was scraped.
The latest Sequester malady to come to naught is the FAA plan to furlough air traffic controllers. In what can only be described as a total rout by Republicans, the Senate and House are passing a bill to force the FAA to take there cuts elsewhere. Obama who had hoped for at least some new taxes out of the deal is left with either supporting and signing the bill or taking more pain blame.
It seems the maestro is human after all. In a grand miscalculation he is the one crying uncle. In a startling turn of events Obama has many even wishing for his predecessor. George Bush who left with approval ratings around 30% is now neck and neck with Obama the chosen one! The future for the Democrats and President Obama is not looking too great either. ObamaCare is, as one of its authors put it, about to become a Democratic “train wreck.” All in all 2014 is looking like a great year for Republicans.
If you like this Pass it on