Sure, its cowardly to work on behalf of people who can afford to fly while not seeming to give a shit about regular folks who are being damaged by the sequester. And believe me...I'm noticing how my own Senator Amy Klobuchar seems so intent on taking care of her corporate clients lately. You can bet she'll be hearing from me about her priorities.
But lets take a big picture look at what's happening here. Its not like they took money from some other program to cover costs for the FAA furloughs. They simply gave the agency more flexibility in implementing the cuts.
And notice how many Democratic Senators were willing to stand up and object to this...zero. Not even the lauded Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Why? Because to do so would be like giving airline travelers a big FU for no apparent reason other than to try to score political points against Republicans.
More importantly, the sequester is law for the next 5 months. The MUCH bigger question right now is the one about what is included in the next budget. Save your powder for that one folks. Its going to come right on the heels of the lunatic caucus wanting to blow things up over the debt ceiling. Pissing off a good portion of the electorate over intransigence on this one - not a good idea.
UPDATE: I've disagreed with Ezra Klein before, but I've never seen him be this sloppy.
In effect, what Democrats said Friday was that in any case where the political pain caused by sequestration becomes unbearable, they will agree to cancel that particular piece of the bill while leaving the rest of the law untouched.NO! The FAA cuts were not cancelled. The agency was given more flexibility in how to implement them. And then this:
If sequestration is permanent, however, they might as well make it a bit less painful.Who said anything about sequestration being permanent? They are not included in the Senate Democrat's proposed budget nor in President Obama's budget. None of this changes that. I suppose there are some who would suggest that agreeing to this alteration of the sequester makes their inclusion in future budgets more likely. I don't buy that argument.
Where Ezra could be considered to be right is that by agreeing to this bill, the Democrats have probably lost any battle they might have waged over the next 5 months to end the sequester. But I doubt there was much chance of that happening anyway.
No surprise that Steve Benen is able to recognize some limits to seeing this as a total "win" for Republicans.
Republicans "scrambled" just as quickly this week, fearing they might get blamed for the delays, too. It's precisely why they launched such an aggressive public-relations campaign, hoping to divert responsibility for the spending cuts they claim to love.