>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Everyone in Washington who studies the Pentagon budget quickly finds gobs and gobs of wasteful spending. Not some people. Not dirty hippies. Every. Single. Defense. Analyst. If I was so inclined, I could spend my days doing nothing but attending conferences on the latest defense jeremiad or policy paper about how to cut it. I already spend too much of my time reading this stuff on defense-community email listservs.
For the Obama administration to excerpt defense spending from its kinda-sorta-spending-freeze is a position that makes no sense from a policy perspective. None at all. From a political perspective, it only begins to make sense because a brain-dead media would amplify the braying ignorance blasted from a GOP congressional megaphone about Defense Spending Cuts OMG. And even then it doesn’t make sense. A holdover Republican Defense Secretary is now the biggest advocate of an even slightly sensible defense budget in the Obama administration.
Rightwing bloggers slamming spending (non)freeze, left hates it-- that convergence bodes poorly for ultimate public perception
As a policy/PR stunt, the spending freeze seems geared entirely around satisfaction of the Washington Post editorial page. In terms of political strategy, this seems odd.