The silver lining of the sequester

Updated

It turns out that Snowquester, like its namesake, actual sequester was a bust…right?

Not so fast!!!

We mocked the sequester. The dumb policy with the even dumber name.

Come on, they couldn’t spend five minutes coming up with an awesome name like the Big Axe of 2013?

We mocked the politicians who were involved in coming up with the sequester. Did they actually think that after failing to find a long-term compromise in the debt ceiling 2011 showdown, the supercommittee that came out of the debt ceiling fiasco, the fiscal cliff, and debt ceiling showdown part deux, that the sequester would actually force a deal? In the words of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey: Really? Really?

Well, lo and behold, just when we’d written off the sequester as a new absurd low in a string of absurd  congressional lows, it looks like the sequester may be alive and kicking and dare I say it, working towards it’s intended purpose.

But, but, but, you protest, the sequester cuts already happened and the only thing we have to show for it are more budget crises on the horizon! Alright, calm down. Just let me explain.

The whole concept of the sequester as initially conceived was to create a forcing mechanism for a grand bargain. By the way, in addition to renaming the sequester, we really ought to rename the grand bargain too. Big f’in deal maybe?

I digress. I present you with three pieces of evidence which are either signs of progress or the coming apocalypse. You be the judge.

#1. The president invited 12 Senate Republicans to dinner.

#2 The Senate Republicans accepted!

#3 This one is most shocking, the Republicans actually said nice things about the dinner rather than bashing the president as campaigner in chief, leading from behind, not serious, etc, etc.

It’s like a sequester miracle! Look, I know it’s still early days but I think maybe just maybe, the sequester really did set up the conditions for some sort of a big f’in deal by making both sides uncomfortable.

Democrats are uncomfortable with the size of the cuts overall and the sense that as EJ Dionne put it, Republicans are just running out the clock with budget crises leaving no time to get to things like gun control, immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, and universal pre-K.

Republicans are uncomfortable with the size of the cuts to the defense department, particularly those Republicans in defense heavy districts, and are actually kind of ready to move beyond just being the party of no forcing budget crisis after crisis. Maybe they’re ready to become the party of no pre-K?

I know it’s a bit early to say and all that but it’s just possible that Washington has made a policy so dumb, even they can’t stand it.  Next thing you know, John Boehner will be praising the President as a “Hawaii born, patriotic, Christian American who loves capitalism and is a partner in fiscal discipline and the President will be praising Boehner as one of the greatest Speakers in history, channeling tea party nihilism into productive compromise.  And then I’ll be on Dancing With the Stars, Steve will have his own line of gray sweaters and Toure will run Jay-Z’s senate bid.  Still, a girl can dream, can’t she?

The silver lining of the sequester

Updated