The Feds have released a list of Tennessee-specific ways we're about to get screwed over when the sequester goes into effect. The Tennessean reports that Rep. Jim Cooper says, "This is the latest, stupidest thing Congress has done." That's not even the funny part. This is the funny part:
Cooper, like other Middle Tennessee lawmakers, acknowledges that he voted in August 2011 for the bill that set up the sequester process. But like other members, he did so believing that the sequester would never come into play.
Really? Even as late as 2011, you thought there was some line in the sand of stupidity that Congress wouldn't cross? Oh, Jim Cooper, I wouldn't admit that in public.
But it gets better. Or stupider. Or both. They asked Scott DesJarlais how his constituents felt about the sequester cuts:
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper, agreed that people are not as concerned about the impact of the spending cuts as they are “the deficit spending that is hurting job growth and mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren.”
Marsha Blackburn also expects us to believe that her constituents are more concerned about deficit spending than they are about cuts. But folks, we're in the middle of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. A movie about Lincoln, for God's sake, is an Oscar darling. How thrilled, exactly, do you think Blackburn and DesJarlais' constituents are going to be when they load up in their cars to go check out the battlefields this summer and find them closed or understaffed or unmowed or unclean?
Let me make a bold prediction: A lot of people don't pay a lot of attention to politics, so they have no idea what's going on in Washington or what it means for their day-to-day lives. Even if they might generically be more concerned about "deficits" than they are about program cuts, they still expect the things they want open and maintained to be open and maintained. And a lot of people are going to be unhappy when they discover our national parks are a casualty — especially when the parks in question are places like Shiloh or Stones River.
People rightly expect those places be treated as hallowed ground. I expect Blackburn and DesJarlais will hear from their constituents quite loudly when they are not. Stupidest, indeed.