The "arbitrary and dumb" budget cuts brought about by the sequester is a shameful exercise of government mismanagement most especially and precariously in these difficult economic times.
No matter the obdurate positions of Republicans and Democrats alike, the resulting indiscriminate across the board reduction in government spending without thought to national priorities is an exercise in shameful government mismanagement.
That being said, ultimately the blame needs be tempered with the wisdom of Harry S. Truman's adage "The buck stops here."
The office of the presidency imparts responsibility and leadership, and no matter how difficult it is, the president's responsibility is to lead in the best interests of the nation as a whole. What we have witnessed is the abdication of that leadership by a president, given his myriad invocations and political focus, who has turned himself from President of the United States to the President of the Middle Class.
Certainly the Middle Class has vast importance to the nation and is the bedrock of much of its economic cohesion. Yet its concerns, its needs, its nurturing, no matter how very significant, do not trump national priorities as a whole.
For President Obama to wrap himself in the mantle of middle class priorities is important and well, but not to the detriment of great swaths of the nation's interest as has materialized by the across the board and indiscriminate sequester of government funding of national programs from education to defense and on, as the president himself has pointed out.
The president is meant to lead and the responsibility of the collapse of the sequester negotiations rests squarely with him no matter how difficult the issue. Harry Truman would have understood that clearly.