Rep Cole Jabs Obama Over Sequester ‘Theatrics’

Owen Poindexter
Rep. Cole described Obama's approach to sequester negotiations as "theatrics" while making some sketchy claims about what's really going on.

Republicans have settled on a tag line for President Obama: "not serious." It's a favorite hashtag on twitter and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla) in the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC, talks about how Washington is "finally getting serious" on the sequester.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Republicans are being unreasonable on the sequester because it can be a good negotiating tactic, one that has worked well in the past for them, and their go-to with Obama.

Rep. Cole makes two claims over and over, one that is demonstrably false, and one that is true but ignores an obvious piece of context. The first: that President Obama has not produced a plan for the sequester. False. It's weird how this claim keeps getting repeated when the plan is out there, and takes thirty seconds to read. It's a real plan too. The sequester as it stands right now is not so much a plan as a bulldozer. Rep. Cole might think that Obama's sequester plan is bad, but it's completely indefensible to say it's non-existant.

Sketchy claim #2 by Rep. Cole is more accurate, but still conveniently ignores some basic facts: the House has passed budgets and the Senate has not. We could actually quibble with that some, but more to the point: the House has a Republican majority that can pass anything without Democratic help. Democrats in the Senate need 5 Republicans to break a filibuster (and filibusters are the tragic norm in the Senate right now), so not a lot happens in the Senate, because Republicans are extremely uncooperative. Perhaps the least serious thing Republicans do is block everything Democrats try to do and then blame Obama for not negotiating.

Create artificial hostage situation, make blustering claims about how the other side isn't negotiating, strike last minute deal (maybe), repeat: modern Republican politics.