As the federal budget cuts known as the sequester begin to take effect, scholars and politicians are trying to gauge which party is going to get the blame.
“There’s no doubt that the Republicans in Congress will get more of the blame,” says Indiana University political science professor Margie Hershey, who says the sequester is an extension of a political split in the country which is not likely to be rectified soon.
But as government slows and workers are furloughed between now and April first, both parties in Washington will scurry to avoid losing political capital.
“There just are not a whole lot of intense, mouth-breathing moderates out there,” Hershey says. “They keep waiting for batches of people to come out and say ‘Yes! This is what we need – compromise!’ Compromise is just sort of a contradiction in terms.”
Nelson Shaffer, a Monroe County Republican precinct committeeman, says he believes his party should be lauded for being loathe to compromise.
“People in power seem to consider that we are en endless group of sheep to be shorn whenever they wish,” Shaffer says. “I believe that conservatives are trying to stand up, sheepish as they may be, and say ‘Enough. Let me have some wool for my family.’”
A federal accounting of how the sequester will affect Indiana indicates the state would lose as much as $30 million in direct federal funding if the cuts take full effect.