Save for a brief few months in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Democratic Senate leaders in succession, first Tom Daschle (until voters in his state tossed him out), then Harry Reid, used the parliamentary tactics at their disposal to block numerous initiatives from then then-Republican president, including reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that might have forestalled — or at least mitigated — the financial crisis of 2008.
At no point in his Administration did George W. Bush face a Senate where his party had enough votes to block a Democratic filibuster nor were there enough Republicans to block one by picking up just one or two Democratic votes. Now, his successor whose party has a much stronger Senate caucus (in term of numbers) than he ever did gets all upset when Republican Senators do almost exactly the same thing his caucus did when he was in the Senate:
President Barack Obama is taking aim at Senate Republicans, accusing them of playing politics with measures that would extend benefits to the unemployed and increase lending to small businesses.
Striking a deeply partisan tone in his weekly Saturday radio and online address, Obama said the GOP leadership has chosen to “filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress” by blocking votes on agenda items the president says would breath life into the economic recovery.
Note, this isn’t a campaign speech, but an official presidential address.
And there’s something else to note. Back in the dark days of the Bush Administration, such MSM outlets as the New York Times defended Democratic use of the filibuster. It was clear back then that first Daschle, then Reid, were trying to obstruct the president’s agenda. Indeed, they all but said as much. And now Republicans are merely trying to block an item on the president’s wish list because of concerns about the lack of funds to pay for it. Meanwhile, Democrats reject Republican attempts to use already allocated “stimulus” funds to pay for these benefits.
Wonder if the media will take the president to task for playing the politics of division.
Why must this new kind of politician always attack the opposition in bitter partisan terms??