Patty Murray. Jon Kyl. Max Baucus. Rob Portman. John Kerry. Pat Toomey.
These six senators from both parties, along with six members of the House of Representatives, are the people to blame for the sequestration cuts scheduled to hit the federal budget beginning Friday. And yet in the energetic round of finger-pointing that has consumed Washington in recent days, their names have hardly been mentioned.
They are the former members of the so-called "supercommittee" -- the bipartisan crew that, back in 2011, was given four months to propose $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. It was their failure to come together that created the current mess. Today, Republicans are focused on pinning sequestration on President Obama, who came up with the idea, while Obama has pointed the finger at Congress, which voted for it on an overwhelming, bipartisan basis. But that's silly. Nobody who "agreed" to sequestration actually wanted it to happen. In classic Washington fashion, they thought they could assign the hard work to somebody else and get them to do it. They were wrong.