I don’t know whether, as a matter of politics, the Republicans had to surrender the sequester, which, though far from perfect, has been the only mechanism capable of restraining Barack Obama’s profligate spending. Let’s remember that the president freely agreed to it and that Republicans didn’t need to do anything to keep it. The sequester was in place as “the law of the land.”
If the president shut down the government to get rid of it, I believe he would have (rightly) gotten the blame. Now what leverage do Republicans have to force some budget restraint on the Democrats? None that I can see.
The Republican leaders are always telling us that they can’t fight for this issue or that. Instead, they keep ceding ground, saying the time to fight is not yet. But let me ask you, if the Republicans aren’t willing to stand for anything, why should people vote for them?