To bolster his case against the Sequester, Obama trotted out his background chorus of LaHood, Napolitano and Duncan. All three predicted dire consequences in their respective fields of Aircraft, Homeland Security and Education. In fact, during the discourse, Napolitano seemed to enter that never-never land recently vacated by Hillary Clinton when she was taken by surprise at the fact that illegal immigrants were being liberated from prison. Just as Clinton didn’t know what was going on in the State Department regarding Benghazi, Napolitano seemed oblivious to what was happening in her post.
Rather than sit down with the Republicans to try and hammer out a compromise, Obama opted to do a series of campaign-like appearances with a traditional backdrop posed behind him.
Eventually, the Sequester occurred but it has caused very little impact up to this date. Even Obama himself tried to walk back from his early dire predictions. Secretary Duncan also joined him when he misspoke on the number of pink slips that have been sent out to teachers.
The most egregious action of the Obama administration to date was the announcement that the White House would be closed to public tours (due to the Sequester) starting on March 9. It was quickly noted by keen Washington observers that most of the tours are conducted by volunteers, who receive no compensation for their work. As a mild riposte, Congress is considering a Bill that would cancel funding for the President’s “golfing trips” such as the recent one to Florida that cost taxpayers some two million dollars.
Whatever discomforts the average American may feel in the future due to the Sequester reductions, they should be very minimal since the so-called “cuts” are only a fraction of the total expenditure for the coming year.
Since the Sequester uproar started, the President’s approval numbers have taken a drastic tumble. Whether or not this recent imbroglio will spur the President to work with Congress in order to achieve a realistic compromise is a moot point. Rather than sit in meetings with legislators, Obama has been frequently criticized for jumping on Air Force One and staging orchestrated rallies around the country.
Now a black cloud is appearing on the political horizon with the news that anyone contributing $500,000 to a shadow group is guaranteed four face-to-face meetings with the President.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.