Andrew Sullivan says Republicans will suffer politically if the sequestration cuts go into effect on March 1.
“I believe that is indeed Obama’s long game here. The precedent is the Gingrich government shutdown, which stopped his revolution in its tracks and gave Bill Clinton new political life. When cops are furloughed, when scientists complain about research cuts, when the military-industrial complex revs up its lobbying engines, I just don’t see how the sequester works politically for the GOP. It exists entirely because of their fixation on immediate austerity – despite the awful consequences that policy option has spawned in Europe.”
Stu Rothenberg: “Ultimately, the Republican Party’s problems go back to its base voters, who participate in primaries and nominating conventions. Many of them are so blinded by their anger toward President Barack Obama, the national news media and their own party leaders that they are willing to nominate the most conservative candidate in a primary, no matter how limited his or her appeal in a general election. And for party strategists, there is no easy solution to that problem.”
The Fix: “The Republican political establishment sees immigration reform as a political necessity. Much of the party’s base sees it as the end of the rule of law. And therein lies the problem for a party trying to pick itself up off the mat following an across-the-board defeat in 2012. [...] It’s not clear how Republicans can bridge the growing divide between how the establishment views immigration (a political problem that needs to be solved yesterday) and how some significant portion of the base views it (a foundational principle about not rewarding rule-breakers).”
James Carville told Morning Joe that Democrats have a big advantage in the debate over the coming automatic budget cuts because of the word used to describe them.
“The sequester has an advantage, and this is kind of cruel to Republicans, but it’s true. The sequester, not many people know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel. Therefore people think it’s a Republican thing.”
Byron York: “Could the GOP message on the sequester be any more self-defeating? Boehner could argue that the sequester cuts are necessary as a first — and somewhat modest — step toward controlling the deficits that threaten the economy. Instead, he describes them as a threat to national security and jobs that he nevertheless supports. It’s not an argument that is likely to persuade millions of Americans.”