Obama’s unstated but obvious strategy behind his sequestration ploy came right out of “The Community Organizer’s Playbook.” That is, he hoped that the sequester-driven cuts would prove so unpleasant for enough citizens that they would raise an outcry that pressured the Republican-led House of Representatives to cave into his demand to raise taxes (again) and reduce other projected spending cuts. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way.
The sequester is the kind of tactic for which community organizers have long been known: “rousing the rabble” to demand whatever the goal of the moment happens to be, regardless of who gets hurt or how much damage is incurred along the way.
In this case, Exhibit A was Obama’s plan to furlough air-traffic controllers, thereby snarling or shutting down traffic at hundreds of U.S. airports (including Cobb County’s McCollum Field in Kennesaw). Obama, who jets from fundraiser to fundraiser aboard Air Force 1, was not personally affected and probably could not have cared less about the delays his strategy was causing.
But instead of putting heat on the Republicans, the public blamed Obama and his Democrats. The House then passed the Reducing Flight Delays Act by a surprisingly one-sided vote of 361-41. A scant 29 Democrats voted against the measure. And over in the Senate, the outcome was so predictable that it was approved by unanimous consent.
Meanwhile, the Marietta Daily Journal reported on its front page Tuesday that the two national parks in Cobb County are trying their best to ride out the impact of Obama’s sequester.
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, is facing $166,000 in cuts and has reduced the number of seasonal workers, plans to close the park’s Powers Island store, cut the number of trash cans and mow less often, according to spokesman Rudy Evenson.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is seen its budget cut by $83,000 and is trying to make do by hiring two fewer summer employees, reducing the popular canon-firing demonstrations and mowing its meadows less frequently, according to Superintendent Nancy Walther.
Those cuts are not welcome, but not exactly earth-shattering, either. Most visitors to the park could probably care less whether the grass is a few inches higher than usual. And if it’s saving tax dollars to leave it longer, it should have been done long ago.
The point is that Obama’s attempt to ignite public indignation over comparatively miniscule cuts in federal spending is both misguided and, to date, ineffective. But it’s the kind of tactic he knows best. And it’s one more reminder that the current occupant is not a leader, just a politician — and an unskilled one at that.