Cutting The Democratic Safety Net

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Over recent days we’ve heard a growing chorus of squeals from Washington Republicans about how President Obama really, really, really needs to do something about the sequester. This is joined by lots of stories about Republicans trying to name the sequester the Obamaquester and saying it was all President Obama’s fault and his doing. But all of this amounts to protesting too much.The amount of bleating about stuff like this is always directly proportional to your confidence that you’re going to get stuck with the blame. And everything we’re seeing here says that Republicans think they’re going to get stuck with the blame.

But it’s not just them. Over the last few days, as it’s become increasingly clear that the sequester cuts probably really will happen, the big name pundits are coming forward and complaining that President Obama needs to step forward and ‘exercise leadership’ and solve the problem.

It’s all similar to what we saw in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Official Washington is accustomed to having a Democratic safety net — not cash transfers for those who fall through the cracks of the market economy — but that Democrats will come in and solve crises created by GOP government by crisis.

When the Democrats or the Democrats’ party leader — in this case, the President — won’t do that, everyone freaks out.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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