By Major Garrett, Updated: February 7, 2013 —
Congressional Republicans work to prove they are tough enough to take the sequester.
You know things are upside-down when Republicans quote Bob Woodward more than Ayn Rand.
House and Senate Republicans might as well start their own QVC-style network to hawk Woodward’s book The Price of Politics. The GOP fetish over Woodward is both historically ironic (see: Nixon, Richard M.) and selective. Republicans gush over Woodward’s reporting that the sequester—$98 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in 2013—originated in the Obama White House during the debt-ceiling negotiations of August 2011. That’s really the only section of the book Republicans care about—and it is, I grant you, compelling reading.
It is also, as I have written here before, utterly and completely beside the point.
One reason why is obvious. The sequester arose out of a crisis over not raising the debt ceiling. This premeditated GOP maneuver sought a deficit-reduction lever against Obama with which Republicans extracted dollar-for-dollar spending cuts. Sequester, which Obama’s advisers first suggested, reduced discretionary spending and held harmless mandatory spending. All of this done at the point of a GOP-threatened government default.