Pinocchio’s nose was his lie detector, pants on fire is always an incendiary polygraph and now Americans have the perfect opportunity to tell which politicians are lying — the upcoming sequestration.
Political commentator Rachel Maddow pointed out recently on MSNBC that Americans are far less interested in sequestration than the infamous debt ceiling battle of 2011. Citing a Pew Research study, Maddow said that 50 percent of the American public were aware of the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, while only 27 percent of Americans are aware of the sequester crisis.
Americans care less about sequestration because they don’t understand how “sequester” relates to money. “Debt ceiling” makes sense, no need to run to the dictionary or a really smart friend to ask what it means.
Besides the potentially confusing terminology, Americans have less interest in sequestration because they know many of the politicians involved are not being fully forthcoming about the relevant facts (read: they are lying).
Scare tactics are an inherent element of deception, and Americans may becoming immune to the misrepresentative rhetoric of both parties. The Democrats claiming that air travel will grind to a halt, laying off of meat inspectors will result in potentially tainted meat in the marketplace and first responders will not be available to assist local communities. The Republicans have their own scare tactics — telling Americans that Democrats are trying to frighten them, and by claiming that the effects of the sequestration are being overblown by the Obama Administration and liberal media.
So America, here is your chance to find out which politicians are more honest than others — let sequestration happen. But before it does, insist that all politicians sign a pledge, promising to resign if their statements about the sequestration’s consequences are wrong. (Pledges seem to work, at least among House Republicans. Just ask Grover Norquist.)
The sequestration takes place over ten years time. If the projected devastating effects occur, President Obama can take the high road, maybe make an “I told you so speech,” and the Republicans in Congress will have to vote to change the sequester provisions with their tails between their legs.
On the other hand, if the Republicans are right that the budget cuts will have minimal noticeable impact, the elongated nose or blazing trousers of the Obama administration will then be obvious.
Former house speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said of Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Sequestration falls into the same category. Once it happens, America will know the true effects of the indiscriminate budget cuts and Congress can act at that time. If crossing fingers, wishing and hoping were good enough for Obamacare, it is good enough for sequestration.