Yes, it is about time that Washington (and I lump together the White House, the House, the Senate, The GOP and the Democrats) realizes that pointing fingers to each other is totally irrelevant.
The world watches this absurd show of impotence with incredulity. So, the most important country in the world and a model of democracy (or at least we believe so) are unable to have a serious dialogue on a measure that they accepted over a year ago and knew they had to fix?
What is wrong with Washington? Everything. And particularly the ineptitude of the comments made by the main actors of this Commedia dell'Arte that increasingly looks like Italian politics.
The intention was clearly emanating from the GOP. They wanted to make sure that we would reduce spending prior to the fateful date of March 1, 2013. This is why I welcome the non-decision of the sequester as "the best thing that could have happened."
Paying for your bad deeds
There is something immensely moral in paying for one's deeds. Somewhere, our politicians consider that they enjoy an immunity of accountability.
This time, their absurd decision and political bargain of the end of 2011 comes back to haunt them. All of a sudden, the deadline becomes theirs and they cannot handle it.
Could we hope that this might be a reality show? Imagine that Congress does actually have to do something because their initial decision was wrong?
The GOP trapped in its own sins
The fact that the Republicans are now facing the fact that the largest part of the sequester will affect their friends and supports of the defense industry is amazing.
Of course, they thought that it would ever happen. They were certain that they would be able to blackmail the White House and the Democrats into some compromise in favor of the defense budget. I shed some tears listening to the Secretary of Defense about the vulnerability of our Armed forces as a result of a reduction of its budget. It was so scripted and predictable.
At last some balanced budget cuts
The best part of the situation is that the United States are now forced to decrease their deficit, even prior to the much more important budget discussions. It does not show great statesmanship to be compelled to do it by one's own deeds, but at the end, it is a reduction of expenses of some sort, and in itself it is positive.
Of course, it would have been so much better if it had come from a bipartisan effort to do the right thing. But this, today, is a luxury. The second best is for the right thing to happen despite the lack of bipartisanship. I will take the second best anytime rather than the current stalemate.
Can we draw some lessons?
The blockage of the U.S. democracy is dangerous. It could lead to some buffoons like Berlusconi or Grillo in Italy to get elected. It could lead to a dangerous disenchantment of the American people for what is happening in Washington.
Will the absurdity of last Friday's show be strong enough to get our Excellencies take the bull by the horn? We used to do it...
In the meantime, the world is wondering what is happening to American leadership. And it is not good. Is there a statesman on the plane?