So there was a media kerfuffle hyped by the wingnuts yesterday, which featured none other than Bob Woodward, who's been a dangerous Villager buffoon for a very long time. He claimed he was threatened by the White House over his ridiculous piece on the sequester.
Conservatives in the media have found themselves armed with political ammunition in their battle with President Barack Obama over the impending sequester from a surprising source — Bob Woodward. The journalism icon’s fact check on the sequester in The Washington Post over the weekend and the subsequent blowback has caused a major stir, with pundits and reporters pouncing on the item. In his piece, Woodward laid the blame on the White House for the sequester, pinpointing the administration as responsible for coming up with the plan for automatic spending cuts and calling out Obama for claiming it was created by Congress...read on
His piece was factually wrong, but then Woodward took the story in a crazier direction by saying that he was threatened via email by someone high up in the White House over that piece. Politico released the email in question and it revealed that Woodward over-hyped the "threat" because it wasn't a threat at all. He just wanted to keep the story alive.
From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.
But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.
It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)
I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is different. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013
Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today.
So Woodward tells Sperling that their earlier scuffle is no big deal in his email response and then goes on to tell journalists that he was being threatened in the same email. I have two words that describes Bob in this instance:
However, Digby actually read Sperling's response to Woodward and found some terribly disappointing information about how the White House feels about cutting entitlements.
I don't know that anyone's ever admitted that in public before or that the president was completely, shall we say, honest when he ran for his second term about that specific definition of "a balanced approach". I haven't heard anyone say publicly that the sequester "deal" as far as the White House was concerned was to cut "entitlements" in exchange for new revenues. I wonder how many members of congress were aware of this "deal" when they voted for the sequester? The public certainly wasn't.
I wish I could understand why it is so important to Barack Obama to cut these vital programs before he leaves office. It seems to be his obsession. But there you have it. It's not just in the DNA of the sequester, it seems to be in the DNA of this White House.
Wingnuts like Bill O'Reilly want America to believe that Obama only wants tax hikes to fix the sequester, but in reality that's not the truth at all. I still can't believe that it has only been the insanity of the tea partiers that has kept our safety nets safe from cuts in benefits that the president has offered so far.
Who would have thunk it?