For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Voters have twice elected an African-American president, and Republicans have twice responded with obstinance -- by waging an intellectual civil war. Voter-suppression efforts were insufficient to deliver a Romney victory, but strategically gerrymandered districts guaranteed that Speaker John Boehner and his Republican-dominated House could continue to serve as the proverbial thorn in Obama's side.
The sequester measure -- first designed as a way to force both political parties to agree on a grand bargain of budget cuts and new revenues -- is now being used to stifle momentum gained from the president's re-election victory and effectively redirect the political discourse away from gun control and immigration reform and toward spending cuts and smaller government. As a result, billions in automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending took effect on March 1, after GOP members in Congress refused to negotiate on whateconomists are calling a "stupid" and "irresponsible" way to govern the world's largest economy. If unresolved, sequestration may cost upwards of 750,000 jobs and shave 1.25 percent off the nation's gross domestic product, making a double-dip recession all but certain.
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