If House Republicans follow through on their plan to let the sequester defense cuts happen, they could immediately put 10 GOP held House seats in jeopardy.
House Republicans have lost every fight that they have picked with President Obama since 2011, but this fact isn’t stopping them from thinking that they can let the sequester cuts happen and the president will take the blame. This is the same rationale that House Republicans have using during every one of their self-created crisis, because they seem oblivious to the fact that Obama is at least 4-5 times more popular than they are. The end result is always the same. Obama beats them over the head with the bully pulpit, gets public opinion on his side, and at the very last second House Republicans cave.
News from today suggests that House Republicans remain so confident/detached from reality that some of them are willing to throw the country back into recession so that they can blame Obama.
However, Politico is reporting that Democrats are already targeting 10 Republican held congressional districts that are heavily dependent on the defense industry,
The DCCC is circulating a list of Republican members who represent districts where defense and domestic cuts could cause lasting damage and help turn the seats from red to blue, or at least force the GOP to spend money it didn’t plan on spending. A top target is two-term Rep. Scott Rigell, whose Hampton Roads, Va., district is home to the world’s largest naval base and a defense contracting community so big it’s known as “Pentagon South.”
Other high-profile defense advocates whom Democrats see as beatable because of sequestration are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (Calif.) and Rep. Bill Young, a 22-term Floridian who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee in charge of the Pentagon’s purse strings. They also are eyeing members with military bases or defense contractors in their backyards, including Reps. Andy Barr (Ky.), Dan Benishek (Mich.), John Fleming (La.), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Steve Southerland (Fla.) and David Valadao (Calif.). Even if the targeted GOP members work to stop the cuts and cast votes to stop them from going into effect, Democrats say the Republicans’ electoral prospects could still be dragged down if enough conservatives win on forcing sequestration to happen anyway.
The sequester cuts are the last weapon that House Republicans have left. Unfortunately for them, it is also a suicide bomb. If the sequester cuts occur a million jobs will be lost, the economy will plunge into another deep recession, and the House majority will be in danger.
Politically aware Republicans can see the danger, but it doesn’t really matter what they want. If the irrational ideologues in the House fulfill their economy destroying destiny, the rational members of the caucus will likely be swept away too. Democrats are already sensing that 2014 feels a lot more like 2006 than 2010, and House Republican self destruction has become so predictable that Democrats now plan for it.
If the sequester cuts happen, a 10 seats loss might be a huge underestimate. John Boehner will probably be able to turn another potential disaster for his party into their latest cave, but if he doesn’t, Democrats are preparing to ride what could be a wave election back to the House majority.