Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
GOPropaganda relies on the public having a short-term memory. It also relies on the media villagers having a short-term memory. The focus of news reporting on the current news cycle actually aids the media manipulation of GOPropaganda.
If you are paying attention you will hear Tea-Publicans in every speech, interview, and press release include an obligatory reference that "President Obama came up with the sequester" which, of course, is exactly the opposite of the truth, as anyone with a long-term memory will recall.
How the sequester came about has gone down the memory hole thanks to a public that has a short-term memory, and media villagers with a short-term memory who only report the current news cycle without going back and including their earlier reporting from last year as a point of reference and an explanation of the timeline of events.
Steve Benen does their job for them in The 2011 ransom note and the GOP's sequester:
Was the policy actually Obama's idea? No. The argument is not only wrong, it's dependent on the entire political world having a very short memory.
Since this has become such an important element of the larger fight, let's take a minute to set the record straight.
In 2011, for the first time in American history, the entirety of the congressional Republican caucus held the debt ceiling hostage. GOP leaders presented the White House with a non-negotiable ransom note: give Republicans over $2 trillion in debt reduction or GOP lawmakers would crash the economy on purpose.
Left with no choice, Obama agreed to negotiate, and accepted over $1 trillion in spending cuts, in exchange for literally no revenue at all. Republicans said this was insufficient, and demanded more than $1 trillion in additional savings -- and if the president refused, they'd crash the economy on purpose.
Ultimately, policymakers agreed they needed more time to negotiate additional debt-reduction measures, so they created a mechanism: a "super-committee" that would work on a bipartisan deal. That, of course, failed, when the panel's GOP members refused to compromise.
But policymakers, assuming the super-committee would probably not work out, had a back-up plan widely referred to as "the sequester." The idea was to force both sides to the negotiating table -- a sword of Damocles hanging over Washington's head that would be so severe, Democrats and Republicans would have a strong incentive to strike a deal to avoid the drastic consequences.
Both sides put some skin in the game: Democrats would be forced to swallow over $500 billion in deep domestic cuts, while Republicans would be forced to swallow over $500 billion in deep cuts to military spending during a war. (Originally, the White House asked that Republicans face a threat of automatic tax increases, but Republicans refused -- even hypothetical tax increases were deemed outrageous -- so they settled on deep Defense cuts instead.)
At the time, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the deal gave him "98 percent" of what he wanted. Did Boehner complain at the time about Obama forcing him to accept a sequester idea the Speaker found outrageous? He did not. Not even a little.
Republicans now want Americans to believe this was all Obama's fault. Let's consider the evidence:
1. Republicans created the debt-ceiling crisis.
2. Republicans wrote the ransom note and named their price.
3. Republicans endorsed, accepted, and voted for this plan, saying they'd accept the consequences. and
4. Republicans now refuse to compromise (again) to deal with the mess they created.
So we're supposed to believe this is Obama's fault? That's only true if you ignore literally every detail and pretend reality has no meaning.
Let's make this plain: the sequester is a key part of the ransom the GOP settled for during the debt-ceiling crisis they created. It's a little late to pass the buck now.
That said, if Republicans don't like the sequester, they have a terrific option available to them: they can cancel it and end this stupidity once and for all.
So in the coming days and weeks when Tea-Publicans are pushing this GOPropaganda talking point, media villagers have an obligation to call B.S. and to reference their earlier reporting from last year as a point of reference for an explanation of the timeline of events to remind the public with a short-term memory what really happened and who is responsible. Your failure to do so would make you complicit and an accomplice in GOPropaganda.
UPDATE: Glenn Kessler takes apart the latest talking point: The idea that Obama, not Republicans, is responsible for the looming sequester cuts because the White House suggested creating the sequester in the first place:
The sequester was clearly an idea advanced by the White House in order to avoid a second debt ceiling showdown in Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Thus, the sequester was structured to include only spending cuts — and to take effect after the election if the supercommittee was unable to reach a deal. But Republicans agreed to this plan and thus also are equally responsible for the looming across-the-board cuts, absent a bipartisan agreement to delay or change them.
Greg Sargent adds that the whole thing was only made necessary in the first place because Republicans took the step of using the debt ceiling — and the threat of widespread financial disaster — to get what they wanted.