Defense Isn’t Untouchable Anymore?

Josh Green unpacks the politics of the sequester’s defense cuts:

Anti-tax activists steamrolled the defense crowd. Why? The answer probably lies in the composition of the Republican caucus, especially in the House: Nearly half its members—48 percent—were elected in 2010 or after. These Republicans are genetically different from those who held power in the 1980s and ’90s.

They came of age during a period of two failed wars in the Middle East and exploding budget deficits. “This is a group that got elected to rein in spending, not to protect Cold War-era defense,” says David Wasserman, House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

But individual Republicans are starting to complain about sequester cuts that impact their districts.