In Monday's New York Times, in a report which appeared online late Sunday, reporters Richard W. Stevenson and John Harwood devoted considerable space to the idea that President Obama's latest "outreach" effort is primarily an attempt to "salvage a big deficit-reduction deal," and not a political ploy to show voters in the 2014 congressional elections that he's really interested in achieving a compromise when no genuine desire exists.
Steven Hayes at the Weekly Standard believes it's the latter ("For Obama, It's All About 2014"), as should anyone, probably including the reporters just cited, who is on the mailing list of Obama's permanent campaign known as Organizing For Action. On Thursday, three days before the Times reporters tried to convince America that Obama is in deal-making mode, OFA, which self-evidently tailors its message to the White House's true desire went into over-the-top scaremongering mode in an email from proven prevaricator Stephanie Cutter (bolds are mine):
Thanks to Republican obstructionism in Congress, the nation was forced into the sequester last Friday -- a series of automatic and destructive budgets cuts that you and your neighbors are just beginning to feel.
In the face of these devastating cuts, House Speaker John Boehner went on TV and said, "I don't know whether it's going to hurt the economy or not ... I don't think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work."
Really? We're not talking about some abstract numbers on a piece of paper -- this is real.
The sequester will cut 10,000 teaching jobs, 70,000 spots for preschoolers in Head Start, $43 million for food programs for seniors, $35 million for local fire departments, and access to nutrition assistance for over half a million women and their families.
And the reason congressional Republicans let these cuts go into effect is because they simply wouldn't support closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires -- for things like yachts and corporate jets. I wish I were kidding.
More than 340,000 OFA supporters have added their names to support President Obama's balanced plan and call on congressional Republicans to take action to stop the sequester budget cuts right now.
The email, dated March 6, was sent a full five days after Obama admitted that the sequester was not the apocalypse, just "dumb and unnecessary." Since then, as Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted this afternoon, we have heard White House aides ridicule the entire notion of outreach as "a joke."
It demonstrates that Obama's strategy is to keep the low-information true believers on his email list stoked and to mislead everyone else into believing the "everyone's to blame" mantra. The New York Times reporters, having likely received Cutter's email, should have been aware of it in any event, and as such, chose to be enablers of the President's cynical strategy.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.