The Blue Angels flight acrobats grounded. Fewer Navy patrols in the Middle East. A thousand fewer Secret Service agents and investigators. Widespread furloughs.
In painstaking and relentless detail, the Obama administration is leaking out stark plans for government cutbacks if the automatic spending cuts known as the budget sequester takes effect March 1, hoping to pressure Republicans to reach a compromise by showing the consequences in their home districts.
It's a giant game of political chicken, and the administration makes no apologies.
"We want every lawmaker to understand that these sequester cuts have an impact, on our security, on the economy and on jobs in their districts where people are going to vote again in 2014," said one senior administration official familiar with the administration's strategy. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
The administration has particularly focused on national security programs, hoping to hit Republicans with the consequences of letting the sequester go through.
Over the last three weeks, Pentagon officials have held several news conferences and gone on TV to describe cuts they argue will leave the military a "hollow fighting force." And each branch of the military submitted its own stark plans. The Navy's plan to cut Middle East and anti-ballistic missile patrols, furlough civilian workers for a month and delay ship repairs back at home bases created quite a stir.
The Homeland Security Department got into the act too, leaking a memo to employees and budget plans that could shrink the Secret Service by 1,000 agents, investigators and employees.
Even President Barack Obama joined the chorus with some toughly worded references in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
"These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They'd devastate priorities like education, energy and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That's why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as 'the sequester,' are a really bad idea," Obama declared.
GOP leaders are holding their ground. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he did not see a scenario in which Congress could reach an agreement to stop the cuts by March 1.
But among the rank and file, there are some signs that the relentless campaign is hitting home, especially with lawmakers whose districts host military bases.
Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., R-Calif., whose San Diego district is home to major naval operations, said he is deeply concerned about the impact of the sequester cuts on the military's capabilities.
“Our defense is going to be tied to our economy, so as our economy keeps stagnated, it’s going to be hard for us to have the military we need,” Hunter told the Washington Guardian’s partner, TellDC.com in an interview earlier this week.
“If sequester goes through, we’re going to have fewer ships than we had than during World War I. We’re going to have fewer planes than we had since the Air Force broke out from the Army Air Corps in the mid-1940s. It’s going to take a dramatic toll on the US military and it’s going to stop of us from being in the places we need to be."
“So sequester is a big deal, but if you tie it in with the fiscal cliff and the economic crisis we’re still in in this country, it looks even worse,” Hunter added.
Likewise, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky -- two of the GOP's rising stars -- showed the sort of divide the debate is taking inside the Republican Party during separate speeches on the night of the State of the Union.
Rubio, whose state hosts numerous military installations, called the sequester cuts on the military "devastating" and urged his colleagues to replace them with "responsible spending reforms."
Paul, on the other hand, argued the sequester should be left to stand and that Congress should enact even deeper cuts to avoid a downgrade of its credit rating.
In the end, all politics are local. Whether there are enough local concerns about sequester to impact the national debate, however, remains to be seen.