In the run-up to last November’s elections, Republicans repeatedly warned that sequestration of defense funds would hurt America’s military. But that was then. Here’s where House Republicans are now, quoting Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana’s Fourth District: “We would rather take some cuts in areas that we are not comfortable with than have no cuts at all.” This is not the way politics is usually played in Washington. Fleming has two huge bases in his district — Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base — so it’s inevitable that across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon budget will hurt many of the voters who supported him. The fact that Fleming is only the second Republican to represent his district since Reconstruction should give him pause. But House Republicans in general seem to be paying little attention to the fact that by supporting defense sequestration, they will be visiting great hardship on their own electoral base. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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