Now of course in Washington Theater, everything is always the result of Republicans doing something nasty to the Democrats -- who are always, of course, being entirely reasonable and completely powerless.
This has been going on for decades now. The actors and the victors are always the diminishing handful of Republicans -- such as Dame Mitch McConnell, or everyone's least favorite Munster-cousin Paul Ryan. The hapless Dems just take it, whatever "it" may be at the moment, and then when they are not being hapless, they're totally feckless. When their fecklessness fails, they are simply craven.
It is now Iron Law. It was not ever thus, nor need it be thus, but it is thus, and for whatever reason, the plot cannot be changed. Republicans are the actors in our play. Dems react. If they aren't simply cowering in the corner.
The notion of cutting the federal budget during a now essentially permanent recession seems slightly, somewhat, just a teense counter intuitive, especially given that it is relatively obvious -- even to Republicans and the media who serve them -- that continuing reductions in government workforces are a major drag on economic recovery. Republicans make clear they understand this full well when they scream and fuss about all the military budget cuts and all the military contractors who will be forced to cut back their work-forces because of the Dreaded Sequester. They know full well that their rhetoric about the Government Never Creating A Job is bullshit, but they figure that the Dems are too feckless and craven to counter these lies effectively, and they're too hapless to point out the glaring hypocrisy of paying for endless military spending (on top of the bloated Imperial Domestic Security State) on the basis of "jobs, jobs, jobs!"
This performance on the Washington Stage is being brought to us by a unified company. It includes both parties in Congress and the White House, acting in concert to accomplish certain mutually agreeable ends. Those ends include the fleecing and screwage of the rest of us.
The concept that it is all the Republicans' fault -- or all the Democrats', or Nino Scalia's -- fault is kind of essential myth making and propaganda, intended to maintain division among the Lower Orders. That division is essential for continuing control of said Orders, and that control is necessary for the continued unmolested fleecing and screwage -- which is all Our Betters think the rest of us deserve anyway.
The Dreaded Sequester does little in the context of the overall budget -- because it is such a tiny percentage of overall spending. But because of its focus on bang for the buck, so to speak, the harm caused to ordinary people will be significant -- intentionally. The harm to the poorest among us will be especially harsh, and few will pay much attention because that's the way budget cuts have been implemented for many years now. But intentional harm to the collapsing middle class will be significant as well.
Obviously, Republicans don't have to worry about what happens to ordinary people in any case because they don't have "constituents" as the term is ordinarily understood. They have client who they serve -- as long as the price is right. Dems may have the same or different clients, but they lack "constituents" as well. The People matter not a whit to the Rulers.
It is so because even when the People become restive, they are still reluctant to do anything that Rulers believe they need pay any attention to. Nobody expects the Paris Commune, but it's well past time to demand something better out of the Washington image machine -- something beyond "it's Republicans all the way down!" (And oh how the "Left" loves to play that game!)
Interestingly, there is some nascent ferment on the Constitutional front, even going so far as to suggest replacing the antiquated, indeed fossilized and ignored, establishing document we have with something appropriate and new. The Voting Rights issue seems to be a trigger to the realization that the establishing document itself is deeply, terminally flawed (because there is no People's right to vote in the Constitution). Regardless of what you believe about the ideology of the Supreme Court majority, if they are going to rule based on what they believe the framers of the Constitution meant, and they will not allow any deviation, then perhaps -- just maybe -- it is time to abolish the whole rickety mess and start over.
Will wonders never cease.