In the often times twisted blame game of the hyperpartisan, gridlocked politics we’ve all grown to bemoan and loath, the Republican Party has talked themselves into many a reality altering claim aimed at absolving themselves of any resposibility for this nations problems. From blaming President Obama and Democrats for the Great Recession to the debt ceiling debacle of 2011, the GOP are now attempting to lay the entire idea of the sequestration on the White House’s doorstep. While the public tended to dismiss this passing of the buck with little more than a missive chuckle, congressional Republicans and conservative pundits continued with the narrative in hopes an inundation of falsehoods will solidify them as the truth. But unlike other unfortunately effective misinformation campaigns like Democrats cutting Medicare and Death Panels, this one has fallen quite flat and now proof of this misdirected blame can be found in the GOP’s own archives.
The PowerPoint That Proves It’s Not Obama’s Sequester After All
The latest semantic spin is to call the looming $1.2 trillion in cuts, which could throw the whole economy back into recession, “Obama’s Sequester.” House Speaker John Boehner indulged this approach half a dozen times in a floor speech before he went on break, establishing its place in the talking-points firmament.
There are a couple problems with this tactic, as my colleague Michael Tomasky pointed out Tuesday. Congress passed sequestration before the president signed it, and the whole self-defeating exercise was carried out in response to Tea Party Republicans’ insistence that we play chicken with the debt ceiling, which ultimately cost America its AAA credit rating.
But here’s the thing. I happened to come across an old email that throws cold water on House Republicans’ attempts to call this “Obama’s Sequester.”
It’s a PowerPoint presentation that Boehner’s office developed with the Republican Policy Committee and sent out to the Capitol Hill GOP on July 31, 2011. Intended to explain the outline of the proposed debt deal, the presentation is titled: “Two Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.”