I haven’t had much to say about sequestration, but I encountered something extraordinary in its gall last night. Writing in The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan tells of recent correspondence directing one inquiring official to make the pain of sequestration, not potential mitigation, a top priority:
In the internal email, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service official Charles Brown said he asked if he could try to spread out the sequester cuts in his region to minimize the impact, and he said he was told not to do anything that would lessen the dire impacts Congress had been warned of.
“We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be,” Mr. Brown, in the internal email, said his superiors told him.
Above all, make it hurt.
Yes, you are processing that correctly. The President of the United States, his supposedly legendary oratory on his latest cross-country swing having failed him, has apparently instructed those in his administration dealing with the practical, on-the-ground effects of this crisis to inflict pain, if at all possible. (And even if this is not explicit direction, he is obviously more than happy to allow the attitude to proliferate.)
In other words, he now seeks to actively punish the American people for their lack of vision.
In Barack Obama we have many things, but we do not have a leader. On this count, we have a tedious urchin who, cast out of the grown-up party and banished to his room, now registers his displeasure by banging on the ceiling and bellowing “ooh, they’re gonna be sorry!” to no one in particular.
Of course, The Washington Times is only a filthy right-wing rag, right? I mean, so far, the only outfits to pick up the column and run it are other journalistic Gomorrahs like (contort face into suitable grimace) FoxNews.com. Maybe this is the start, though. Maybe the media juggernaut that worked ceaselessly to reelect this jackass will finally rediscover its stones and start to produce some actual journalism.
(You know, the kind they just got finished excoriating Bob Woodward for.)