Washington likes to think it calls the shots. It doesn’t.
I don’t agree with my colleague Bob Woodward, who says the Obama administration is “moving the goalposts” when they insist on a sequester replacement that includes revenues. I remember talking to both members of the Obama administration and the Republican leadership in 2011, and everyone was perfectly clear that Democrats were going to pursue tax increases in any sequester replacement, and Republicans were going to oppose tax increases in any sequester replacement. What no one knew was who would win. …Ezra Klein, WaPo
Bob Woodward’s addled op-ed in the Washington Post has been countered by his younger colleague, Ezra Klein — a political analyst who understands that Washington isn’t the center of the universe.
If Republicans won, then that would pretty much settle it: No tax increases. If President Obama won, then that, too, would pretty much settle it.
The American people voted for the guy who wants to cut the deficit by increasing taxes.
In fact, they went even further than that. They also voted for a Senate that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes. And then they voted for a House that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes, though due to the quirks of congressional districts, they didn’t get one. …Ezra Klein, WaPo
True. But “quirks” is too polite. “Corruption” is closer to the point. The corrupt won those districts but lost many more. Even the Democrats who won were surprised at the extent of the win. The top 10% on the economic ladder lost that election decisively, even spectacularly if one takes into account the money that top 10% invested in defeating Obama andDemocrats running for Congress. Woodward and friends were shocked. But the full reality of that win doesn’t seem to have sunk in even now.
Here in DC, we can get a bit buried in Beltway minutia. The ongoing blame game over who concocted the sequester is an excellent example. But it’s worth remembering that the goalposts in American politics aren’t set in backroom deals between politicians. They’re set in elections. And in the 2012 election, the American people were very clear on where they wanted the goalposts moved to. …Ezra Klein. WaPo
The difference between Klein and Woodward is clear. Bob Woodward has been living with windows and doors sealed off from the outside world since the early ’80′s. Klein breathes the air we all breathe.