This entire week has seen a whole gambit of sequestration blame and doomsday scenarios (no more bacon!) from the White House administration. However, over the last few days, we've also seen the White House changing its tune on sequestration. As they struggle to rearrange the narrative, it got me to thinking about rearranging the letters in the word "Sequestration".
First, here are some of my favorites -- SEQUESTRATION becomes:
That about sums it up.
Now, on to the narration rearrangement. We had a few delightful stories earlier in the week where Obama and/or his Administration feverishly announced major sequestration impacts:
First, Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared on Face the Nation on Feb. 24, "There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can't come back this fall,". But now we know that is simply untrue. The Washington Post gave his statement Four Pinocchios after it was revealed that, when pressed, the Secretary could not come up with a single example of this happening until four days later -- Wed -- when he coughed up a school district in West Virginia. The Miami Herald's famous "Politifact" echoed the WaPo sentiments and labelled the remarks "Mostly False"
Next we have Obama himself speaking at a Washington Press Conference when he announced: "[A]ll the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol -- now that Congress has left, somebody is going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage -- they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That's real."
Except it wasn't that. Carlos Elias, the superintendent of the U.S. Capitol building and the Capitol Visitors Center, countered Obama's assertion in an email his employees shortly thereafter. He stated,
"The pay and benefits of EACH of our employees WILL NOT be impacted. There was a specific mention in the news today by a high ranking official that said 'The employees that clean and maintain the US Capitol will receive a cut in pay' (not specific quote but very close to it). This is NOT TRUE"
Now, fast forward a couple days. This morning, White House Economic Advisor Gene Sperling did the Meet the Press gig and assured the audience that really, truly, "nobody ever suggested that this ... was going to have all its impact in the first few days. It is a slow grind.”
At the same time, it is worthwhile to note that Sperling finally admitted Obama was the author of sequestration. During a long exchange, he said, "We put forth the design of" the sequestration.
Since Obama denounced sequestration was his earlier in the week, (I wrote about that here and here), this about-face should be seized upon by conservatives to remind others with Obama now taking ownership of these budgetary changes, he also takes ownership of any and all fallout from it.
But why the admission change now? Is it because the media has started to take off its blinders and report instances when our Administration has used hyperbole and spoke untruths? No, not quite. It's because Obama needs to retreat a bit to soften his image in order to get what he wants. On Meet the Press, "Sperling declined at least twice to directly answer questions about whether the worst-case-scenario rhetoric has hurt the president’s credibility on the issue".
Simply put, Obama still wants taxes. Obama's sequestration plan was revealed to add more than $1 trillion in new revenue. Sperling called the Republican's refusal to raise taxes an "absolutist position", "rejected several Republican-backed plans, and said no compromise would be reached unless the party agrees to tax increases".
His position is clear, and it will remain that way. Obama wants more taxes. He always will. As I wrote earlier in the week -- for Obama, it's never going to be enough..
So though the narrative rearranges but the goal stays the same, I wanted to leave you with a few more SEQUESTRATION anagrams:
"Near Quiet Sots"
"Senate Quits Or"
"No Satire Quest"
"Set Quit Reason"
"Are Quite Snots"
Can you rearrange the Sequestration better than the White House or I?