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Which Party Really Owns the Sequester? Which Party Really Owns the Sequester?

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Which Party Really Owns the Sequester?

February 28, 2013

How much political pressure will your party face to lessen the impact of the sequester if it goes into effect?


A great deal: 35%
Some: 48%
Not very much: 17%

A great deal


“No one is going to be happy if this economy goes in the other direction.”

“This time they will say a pox on all your houses.… Everyone is simply tired of game-playing.”

“Three-hour waits at airports may just do it!”

“ ‘I told you so’ will not lessen the impact. The urgency to undo its impact will be shared and will become more acute with each passing day.”

“When they storm the castle, everyone inside gets burned.”

“We’ve spent too much time crying about the sky to let it fall entirely.”


“The public knows the sequester is the result of GOP intransigence.”

“The president has played this one right, trotting out the ‘Washington Monument strategy’ early and often.”

“Some at the beginning. As the effects become more evident (long lines, etc.), the pressure will build.”

“The most damaging thing is the fatigue from emergencies—deadens the senses to logic.”

“Most of the country will not feel the effect in any way.”

Not very much

“The GOP owns it. Now it stands for ‘Gut Our Programs.’ ”

“People prefer the sequester to either party’s plan.”

“Things could always be different this time, but from the perspective of a lot of voters, this is another in an ongoing series of cry-wolf stories.”

“If the overall situation isn’t resolved relatively quickly, a fickle general public will begin to take it out on both parties, including Obama.”


How much political pressure will your party face to lessen the impact of the sequester if it goes into effect?


A great deal: 20%
Some: 50%
Not very much: 30%

A great deal

“Pressure will be high on everyone. But it’s the president’s sequester. The House has passed spending cuts. Ultimately, [it’s] on Obama to get everyone to the table and get a deal.”

“I know we have many younger members, and a ton from a tea-party background. But is the memory of 1995 really so distant that people forget the hammering we took?”


“The administration is crying wolf about the domestic consequences of the sequester, but the impact on the military is very serious.”

“If there is a pothole in Pittsburgh or a traffic light out in Topeka, it will be blamed on the sequester.”

“The rhetorical tide may be turning a bit for the GOP. The administration may have overplayed the ‘fear’ card.”

“The only pressure will come from the other party. There will be pressure from the business community as well, but the world of politics has been ignoring that for months. We need pressure from the voters to change the game.”

“If Republicans can’t explain that $85 billion in reasonable cuts are possible in a $3.8 trillion budget, they should go home.”

“President Obama’s scare-a-thon is losing credibility. If the sequester causes real pain, regular voters will blame both sides.”

“It’s not how much but from where the pressure springs. As long as it is core D constituencies, all but a few Rs will disregard.”

Not very much

“As Paul Ryan said last year about entitlement reform, ‘We need this fight. We want this fight.’ ”

“Starting Friday, the president’s credibility will be in question.”

“The GOP base is rooting for it to go into effect. The fact is, no one outside of Washington is buying the sky-is-falling rhetoric coming out of D.C.”

“Our guys in solid House districts will feel no pressure at all.”


Is the tea-party movement beneficial to your party?


Yes: 91%
No: 5%
Neutral: 4%


“As a Democrat? Hell, yes.”

“They are contributing mightily to the negative image of the Republican Party.”

“Yes. The tea party is the reason Democrats kept control of the Senate in 2010 and 2012. Let’s bring ’em on in 2014.”

“Crazy opponents are always valuable.”

“The tea party is a joke these days, with little broad-based popular support. The more they talk, the more they help Democrats.”

“Provided we finally figure out how to play this, which we seem to be doing. Americans want solutions, they want progress, they want compromise, they dislike extremism.”

“Oh, God, am I grateful for the tea party!”

“The more crazies out there, the more Democrats get elected. Terrible for our system, but benefits the Democrats.”

“Until their internal struggle resolves itself one way or another, the tea party will be the face of the Republicans, valid or no.”

“Where do I contribute?”

“What a difference two years make. Is there a more unpopular major brand in politics right now?”

“By cleaving the Republican Party in half?!? You bet!”

“Democrats should start an ‘Adopt a Tea Partier’ program. Feed them, clothe them, comfort them, and give them a microphone.”


“We’ve won some Senate seats, but it has cost us the opportunity to govern effectively—which, after all, is sort of the point.”


“It isn’t as damaging as some like to think, and they hit real chords more often than people care to admit.”


Is the tea-party movement beneficial to your party?


Yes: 42%
No: 33%
Neutral: 25%


“It keeps us focused on fiscal issues and keeps members from caving.”

“Anything that brings enthusiasm from the right is a positive thing.”

“They stand for smaller government, the party’s one unifying message.”

“They are warm bodies with energy and purpose (even though sometimes a bit confused). We have a decided lack of those right now.”

“We need a galvanizing force to combat the 53 percent who love their freebies, and the tea party is the most rational collection within our base.”

“Real tea-party people are great. Their ‘leaders’ are money-hungry bloodsuckers who use the mainstream media to fleece well-meaning people.”


“Every crazy Republican makes every Republican look crazy.”

“Since 2010, the tea party has produced no more hope or change than Obama has since 2008. It did produce the dug-in, no-compromises, our-way-or-the-highway image of the party, and that has not been helpful.”

“How does a town benefit from the village idiot? He’s only cute for a while.”

“Circular firing squads are never a good thing.”


“Some troublesome aspects, but it eventually makes GOP stronger.”

“Its initial impact was energizing but it has morphed into a more negative force that drives primaries ever to the right and leaves us shut out of the middle, where elections are won.”

“The positive energy leading to the takeover of the House in 2010 is counterbalanced by the lousy Senate candidates they gave us in 2010 and 2012.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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