Would anyone have been surprised if President Obama had shown up during the Academy Awards to talk about the sequester? He might have won a special Oscar for orchestrating the best script. A show biz-minded White House and compliant media have used the sequester to generate a perfect storm of blame, meant to strand the Republican Party in a pool of lousy public opinion right into 2014. That’s the intent, anyway.
With dramatic speeches, graphics and a special state-by-state report on “the devastating impact of the sequester” released Sunday, President Obama intends to put a face on those destined to be harmed by heartless and/or stubborn Republicans who stand in the way of compromise.
Or so the manufactured “victim” narrative goes, generating alarm, sympathy or confusion in an ill-informed public.
“Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off, and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Air-traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, causing delays across the country,” the president said during his weekly address.
He also cited delays in deploying an aircraft carrier, problems with medical research and the potential unhappy fate of 800,000 defense workers.
“That’s what this choice means. Are Republicans in Congress really willing to let these cuts fall on our kids’ schools and mental health care just to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners?” Mr. Obama asked.
Press coverage is getting maudlin. The Washington Post has already offered accounts about stressed federal workers who can’t sleep at night; such talk could be working. A Pew Research poll now indicates half of Americans blame the GOP for the cuts, compared with 31 percent who blame Mr. Obama.
“The GOP is losing the blame game,” the Post noted in the aftermath.
“Has President Obama outdone ‘Nightmare on Sequester Street’?” counters HotAir senior editor Ed Morrissey. “He’s been great at yelling ‘wolf.’ When it comes to action about what to do with the wolf - which may or may not be real - Obama has done nothing.”