By Garth Kant
In a campaign that appears to come from former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s playbook of “never allowing a crisis to go to waste,” President Obama’s “Organizing for America” is using the president’s dire warnings of the consequences of the sequester to raise money.
A new fundraising email asks for donations in the face of massive layoffs, a greater risk of terrorism and the loss of police, firefighters and food for seniors, women and families.
“On the chopping block are 10,000 teaching jobs, more than 70,000 kids’ spots in Head Start, $35 million for local fire departments, $43 million to make sure seniors don’t go hungry, and access to nutrition assistance for 600,000 women and their families. That’s just a few of the things we’ll lose,” the email says.
It ends with a pitch for money.
“Let’s finish what we started. Chip in $25 or more to Organizing for Action, the grassroots movement that will get the job done.”
The administration predicts dire consequences if sequestration goes into effect Friday.
“If congressional Republicans don’t act by tomorrow, we’re going to be hit by a series of devastating, automatic budget cuts called the sequester.”
Obama has insisted the looming sequester boils down to deciding whether to “close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid” or “this Navy shipyard or some other one.”
The president also threatens “hundreds of thousands of jobs, are currently in jeopardy because of politics in Washington.”
Attorney General Eric Holder has upped the ante, warning the country will be in greater danger of crime and terrorist attacks.
He told ABC News: “If you don’t have prosecutors and agents doing what we expect them to do, and we won’t if this thing actually takes place, we are going to be a nation that is going to be less safe. And that is simple fact.”
The email from Organizing for America has the solution. Raise taxes. Target the rich, again. It blames Republican lawmakers for not giving in to the president’s demand for a tax increase.
“So far, congressional Republicans are refusing to compromise – all because they don’t want to close tax loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, vacation homes, and corporate jets.”
Taxes are the sticking point because, at first, Obama didn’t include a tax increase in the sequestration deal made with Republicans.
Then he reversed himself, as documented by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who said that when the president “asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts.”
The White House didn’t like that.
Woodward says a senior Obama administration official sent him an email in which he said “very clearly, you will regret doing this.”
CNN reports, according to a Democrat aware of the situation, the official was Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.
Now, a former Clinton administration official says the White House threatened him, too.
Lanny Davis, a longtime close adviser to President Bill Clinton, said in a radio interview he received similar threats for newspaper columns he had written about Obama in the Washington Times.
Davis says his editor, John Solomon, “received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn’t like some of my columns, even though I’m a supporter of Obama.”
“I couldn’t imagine why this call was made,” Davis said.
He said the Obama aide told Solomon “that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials.”