PostScript: Robinson and the sequester

View of the Capitol

Anticipating the predicted snowfall (it’s a metaphor). (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

Just in time for the picturesque icy doom that is headed Washington’s way, the PostScript bunker finds itself with anticipatory cabin fever. Many, many commenters come out to discuss the sequestration, even on an equanimous column like Eugene Robinson’s today, about how the only real response one can have at this point is despair over our system of government. Yes, PostScript just looked up the adjective form of equanimity, and it is “equanimous.” Even-handed.

Though we, and Congress, have been talking about the sequestration for weeks, nobody is getting what they want, nor are we moving on to something else. So the government, just like us, is stuck in this room — sequestered, let’s say–with 9-foot-thick cement walls and only one set of speakers, still arguing, losing hope of resolution or even of changing the subject until one of us goes nuts and starts eating the others.

Robinson sums up the despair very well — the feeling that all this playing politics is not even part of anyone’s plan, it’s just the only thing people know how to do while we wait to see what will or won’t happen. But, interestingly, this fight we’ve been having and having still gets mucho comments. The commenters take the tennis ball Robinson’s been bouncing against the wall like Steve McQueen and try to make it into something, anything else, any fight that could at least end.

HGF78 looks at the sequester trouble as a diversionary tactic employed by both parties to … distract us from something else:

The word of the day is diversion. You can blame the word of the day on the other party.

drbilllemoine thinks the real struggle is about job creation, and we the people are losing that, too:

I’m disgusted by the continued lack of attention to jobs creation. Evidently business is complacent, having ‘right sized’ its workforce and continuation of production savings using cheap labor abroad. Also, profitability is at record highs for the big boys with continuing public subsidies, abdication of employee training costs, and modest consumer spending. Banks are maintaining their balance sheets by avoiding risk and refusing to lend. Wall Street in general is euphoric with markets near all-time highs reflecting profitability from the pain endured by labor. Fat cats, CEOs, despite a modest tax increase, continue at 250% of labor’s wages so they don’t care about sequester.

yellojkt says it’s not perpetual stalemate: The Republicans have won already:

Once again Obama got out-negotiated. If one wanted to completely paralyze the government from effectively discharging its duties, one could hardly come up with a better plan than arbitrary across-the-board cuts which affect every single program. Republicans howled to not be thrown into that briar patch and Obama fell for it.

The sequester is a slow-motion government shutdown, which is exactly what the conservative extremists wanted. Mutually Assured Destruction is a strategy that is ineffective against suicide bombers.

flyover22 says we could, in fact, stop talking about it because it’s over and it’s great:

I love the sequester for its the only thing in 12 years of overspending, wars off the books, huge new entitlements, stimulus money and printed money to friends, donors and cronies, kicking the can down the road, government created bubbles in housing mortgages via Fannie and Freddie, and poor fiscal management [that] is actual[ly] forcing hard actions and tough choices about government priorities. I don’t care that it was a political gimmick that went wrong. It is something that is generally hated by both parties, which means only one thing, it reduces politicians’ power. A first in my lifetime and long overdue.

westernstates has a cri de coeur. Is this whole struggle actually against governing?

Both sides agree that this whole thing is stupid. So, repeal the [sequester] law. Why is this hard?

SteveR1 answers, yes. Governing would make either of the two sides look vulnerable, so the object is to make the other guy try it so you can humiliate him:

Obama, “above politics” and “transparent”, wants the Republicans to stick their neck out first so that he can denigrate and vilify any budget proposal that they may have at some grandiose media event.

Geezer4 introduces the idea that it all might be a ploy to make us average citizens so fed up we just say, give us the fricking deficit, you nincompoops, WE’LL pay it just to spite you:

If all of us who are in Contempt of Congress were made to pay fines, there would be no deficit.

And Pope Benedict chimes in — did anyone really wonder what he would be doing with his free time? Of course he’s here — with an entirely new question, one that manages, amazingly, to bring up Hitler without making it clear which side in this case is being Hitler:

Has Barack Obama ever read Mein Kampf.

Okay! PostScript will now repair to her underground laboratory of mad science and will see you all tomorrow, sporting new anti-cannibalism armor.

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