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Yes, Republicans Too Are Responsible for the Sequester Regardless of What They’re Now Saying

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I really hate it when politicians lie to make themselves look good…or to divert attention from their own compliance on harmful or economically devastating policy.

On the sequester, yes, Obama’s Chief of Staff Jack Lew recommended it. But, let’s face facts, Congress – including the GOP – approved it before it was sent to Obama to become law. In the House, 174 Republicans votes yea for the sequester. The sequester could not have become law without Republicans willing compliance and votes in both the House and Senate. For them to now attempt to say they were not equally responsible for it is nothing short of a bald face lie of the worst kind.

As a party, the GOP states that it unequivocally believes in personal responsibility, i.e. taking responsibility for your actions, decisions, and behavoir. Consequently, the GOP needs to step up to the plate and acknowledge that they too are responsible for the sequester. Trying to blame Obama now is like saying “dog ate my homework.” Or even worse: like Pontius Pilate’s washing his hands of the entire affair as if he has no responsibility for crucifying Jesus.

From FactCheck.org:

But as Woodward wrote in his book, and as he subsequently explained to Politico, neither party wanted the automatic cuts to take effect or thought they would happen. The cuts were included as a mechanism to force members of the bipartisan committee to work out a deal to avoid them.

Politico, Oct. 23, 2012: “No one thought it would happen. The idea was to design something … that was so onerous that no one would ever let it happen. Of course, it did, because they couldn’t reach agreement,” [Woodward] said. “They all believed that the supercommittee was going to come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan, so there would be no sequestration. Of course, the supercommittee failed and so the trigger went off, which has all of these very Draconian cuts.”

The automatic cuts were supposed to take effect in January, but the president and Congress agreed to delay them until March 1 to give themselves more time to work out a deal. Now, as the new deadline for sequestration draws closer, many Republicans blame the president. And though it’s true that the idea of sequestration originated in the White House, there would be no possibility of automatic cuts had members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans — not gone along with the idea.

The Budget Control Act passed in the House with 269 votes in favor — 174 from Republicans and 95 from Democrats. And the bill cleared the Senate with 74 “yea” votes, of which 28 were cast by Republicans. In fact, one of those voting in favor, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Feb. 17 that “Republicans deserve blame; I’ll take some blame for it.”

And Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan who voted against the bill, has said that “it’s totally disingenuous” for Republicans who voted in favor of the bill to now blame the president for it. Amash told Buzzfeed: “The debt ceiling deal in 2011 was agreed to by Republicans and Democrats, and regardless of who came up with the sequester, they all voted for it. So, you can’t vote for something and, with a straight face, go blame the other guy for its existence in law.”

As adults, we are all responsible for our actions, including those 174 House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, who voted for the sequester. For him and others like him to claim no responsibility (e.g. throwing up his hands and saying he was not responsible) for the economically devastating budget cuts that will cost directly approximately 70,000 jobs – and potentially millions more in other unrelated industrial sectors as well as sending the US economy back into a recession – is nothing more than a Pilate-like con job Republicans hope to perpetrate on the American electorate. The American people deserve better, especially from a party that claims to believe in – and demand of others – personal responsibility!

If we weren’t in such a polarized political climate, driven by media organizations that require polarized partisanship to increase dramatically their media revenues, regardless of the consequences for the American public, most Americans would not accept the current GOP storyline.

Without the media’s huge profits as a result of political polarization, there would be a backlash…and the GOP would act more sensibly in favor of the American economy and people. But the GOP no longer feels it has to behave sensibly or even logically. As with every policy, the GOP counts on their particular popular media outlets to spin the news and back them up, regardless of how utterly idiotic they sound, behave, and vote…as well as to cause their base voters to agree with the story line that the dog did, indeed, ate their homework so they are not responsible.

I’m not buying that line! That kind of irresponsibility does not work for me. I’m of an older generation which was taught that excuses are not acceptable: if you do something you are responsible for the outcome. My dad wouldn’t let my brothers and me, as kids, get away with irresponsible excuses, so why should we allow our adult legislators?

When in the name that all that is right, holy, and ethical will Republican politicians be held to same standards we require of our children?

Written by Valerie Curl

February 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

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