That awkward moment when the GOP spent 4 years calling Obama a big spender and then try to blame him for the spending cuts in the Sequester.— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) February 25, 2013
Republican Bob Woodward in The Washington Post
Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.
What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?
. . . Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”
. . . So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.
On p 362 of Woodward's book, he reports Boehner told Dave Camp to offer $600b in revenue to replace the sequester twitter.com/pfeiffer44/sta…— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) February 23, 2013
Moving goal posts? On 11/2/11, 40 House R's signed letter saying they were open to revenue re: the supercommittee. simpson.house.gov/uploadedfiles/…— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) February 23, 2013
The White House pushback is a classic case of distortion and confusion. We unfortunately have seen this too often in recent presidential history. First, the White House spent months denying paternity for the sequester. To Jay Carney's credit, he acknowledged [Tuesday] it was their ‘idea.’ [Carney: ‘The sequester was something that was discussed, and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward because it was put forward by Republican Senator Gramm and Rudman back in the ‘80s as part of the Gramm-Rudman deal -- there is a history here to this.’] But they do not want to talk about that now. The rest of the White House statement reflects a confusion of chronology. I do not think it is willful. They are just mixed up, surprisingly so.
~ Bob Woodward in an email to Politico
Bob Woodward's piece blasting Obama is nonsense-on-stilts. businessinsider.com/bob-woodward-b…— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) February 23, 2013
The argument is silly.
You can't start a discussion about the sequester without starting with the broader context. The sequester was offered during the GOP's unprecedented threat to not raise the debt ceiling, potentially putting the U.S. into default.
If offering spending cuts two years down the road is the only way to avoid such a calamity then a U.S. President should offer that 100 times out of 100. But is it really Obama's "fault"? The sequester wouldn't even be a term anyone knows if it weren't for the debt ceiling nonsense.
~ Joe Wiesenthal on Business Insider
Does any other reporter who covered the debt limit battle buy into Woodward’s current argument? So surreal.— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 24, 2013
To argue that the White House is "moving the goal posts" when it now asks for revenue in a sequestration replacement, you have to toss out the fact that the White House always wanted revenue in the supercommittee's sequestration replacement. This isn't confusing unless reporters make it confusing.
~ David Weigel on Slate
Lest we forget that John Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted & he & 175 House Republicans signed on for sequestration. #tcot— Chico Delainky (@ChicoDelainky) February 23, 2013
In Bob Woodward's world, Princess Leia responsible for destruction of Alderaan, because she stood up to Darth Vader.— Malcolm Johnson (@admiralmpj) February 22, 2013
An interesting meta-media story is taking place.Bob Woodward has written an incredibly shoddy piece of journalism re: the sequester. (cont)— Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) February 24, 2013
I don’t agree with my colleague Bob Woodward, who says the Obama administration is “moving the goalposts” when they insist on a sequester replacement that includes revenues. I remember talking to both members of the Obama administration and the Republican leadership in 2011, and everyone was perfectly clear that Democrats were going to pursue tax increases in any sequester replacement, and Republicans were going to oppose tax increases in any sequester replacement. What no one knew was who would win.
. . . Here in DC, we can get a bit buried in Beltway minutia. The ongoing blame game over who concocted the sequester is an excellent example. But it’s worth remembering that the goalposts in American politics aren’t set in backroom deals between politicians. They’re set in elections. And in the 2012 election, the American people were very clear on where they wanted the goalposts moved to.
~ Ezra Klein on Washington Post
Woodward is an elitist putz. fb.me/1DRpXjSk9— @diversityutah (@diversityutah) February 24, 2013
. . . in this case Woodward is just dead wrong. Obama and Democrats have always insisted that a balanced mix of spending cuts and higher taxes replace sequestration. It’s true that John Boehner wouldn’t agree to include new taxes in the enforcement mechanism itself, and thus that the enforcement mechanism he and Obama settled upon — sequestration — is composed exclusively of spending cuts. But the entire purpose of an enforcement mechanism is to make sure that the enforcement mechanism is never triggered. The key question is what action it was designed to compel. And on that score, the Budget Control Act is unambiguous.
First: “Unless a joint committee bill achieving an amount greater than $1,200,000,000,000 in deficit reduction as provided in section 401(b)(3)(B)(i)(II) of the Budget Control Act of 2011 is enacted by January 15, 2012, the discretionary spending limits listed in section 251(c) shall be revised, and discretionary appropriations and direct spending shall be reduced.”
Key words: “deficit reduction.” Not “spending cuts.” If Republicans wanted to make sure sequestration would be replaced with spending cuts only, that would have been the place to make a stand. Some of them certainly tried. But that’s not what ultimately won the day.
~ Brian Beutler on Talking Points Memo
Hey Bob Woodward -- I think the President has a lot of leeway to "move the goalposts" if he wins reelection based upon moving them.— Hesiod Theogeny (@Hesiod2k11) February 25, 2013
GOP so sure sequester required only cuts they forgot to mention it before Woodward made it up— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 24, 2013
The only difference now between Bob Woodward & Rush Limbaugh is about 100 pounds. #RWliars— Steve Weinstein (@steveweinstein) February 23, 2013
The mindless Obama hate turned even Bob Woodward and David Brooks into a disgraceful Fox News pundits. #ObamaDerangementSyndrome— BWD (@theonlyadult) February 24, 2013
Bob Woodward has become a journalistic version of post 9/11 Dennis Miller.— Don Millard (@OTOOLEFAN) February 24, 2013
Looking forward to tonight's Oscar for "Best Sequestration Fingerpointing Performance." I understand Bob Woodward is presenting.— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) February 24, 2013
Dear @presssec Woodward clearly has never learned the lesson of when to stop digging. He & McCain are clearly in a race to the earth's core.— Bobfr (@Our4thEstate) February 24, 2013
What we learned this week: Due to Obama Derangement Syndrome, David Brooks and Bob Woodward became national laughingstocks.— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) February 24, 2013