Deficit Hawkery and DC Journalism
Here is Dave Weigel's conclusion after writing about the Republican Party's recent losing streak vs. Barack Obama on grand bargains, fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, and now the sequester:
They still aren't in a good position to win the argument! I don't think this is [Eric] Cantor's fault, really. The idea that you can be a deficit hawk while ruling out any tax increase, ever, is politically and mathematically untenable.
Mathematically untenable? Yes. Politically untenable? I'm not so sure. But don't forget about journalistic tenability! That's no problem at all. DC reporters and columnists are endlessly willing to pretend that someone whose only real-world devotion is to cutting social welfare spending is a "deficit hawk." That's one of the single biggest reasons that this position remains politically tenable even though it's mathematically absurd.