Thursday, November 10, 2016

No! Obama Did Not Control Congress His First Two Years!

Posted June 1, 2012 12:05 am - Updated June 1, 2012 01:39 am
No! Obama Did Not Control Congress His First Two Years!


Let’s take a trip back to 2008.

And let’s brush up on some basics. First, did you forget that the President needed 60 votes to pass legislation? The healthcare bill is a good example of that. There were NOT 60 Democrats in the Senate. Remember that? So there had to be reconciliation.

What about the Stimulus? Again, there was NOT 60 Democratic votes to pass it. Reconciliation did not work. It was blocked by the Republicans, and Obama traded job-creating for tax cuts. Remember those tax cuts he let go on? Yep, traded for job creation - which it did accomplish as much as the baby stimulus that he was able to get would allow.

Is it all coming back to you now? How about this: It was Obama’s inaugural dinner. Senator Kennedy suffered a seizure. It’s kind of hard to work when you’ve had a seizure. He went back to Massachusetts.

Old news is so much fun to go back and read about. Here’s one I had forgotten, too. Al Franken had not yet been seated because the previous senator had challenged the election. Mein Gott, that went on forever with no way for him to vote in the Senate.

With Kennedy in Massachusetts and Franken in purgatory, awaiting his chance in the hell that is Congress, that left just 58 votes in the Senate. Memory Refresher: It took 60 votes to pass a bill in the Senate. The Republicans were already playing dirty politics and would not work across the aisle with the Democrats.

By the way, that was 56 Democrats and 2 Democratically-minded Independents. Not 58 Democrats.

Then, in April 2009 – good news. Republican Arlen Spector switched to Democrat. That gave the Democrats 60 seats with which to discourage a Republican filibuster (their most prized procedure at the time). But… oh no… we forgot, Al Franken was still in Purgatory out there in election recount turmoil. So… back to 59 votes.

We can pause here to lovingly remember the filibuster I just mentioned. Republicans made history during that time by using it more than any time ever before. Reminder (because this can get confusing): It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. The Democrats only had 59 at this point… technically. One of those votes was the very ill, Senator Kennedy. He did cast one vote during that time.

Then, Senator Byrd was admitted to the hospital.

Then Al Franken was sworn in but Byrd was still in the hospital and Kennedy was too sick to ever vote again.

Senator Byrd finally returned, but Kennedy did not.

It wasn’t until August- 2009 that Senator Kirk was appointed to Kennedy’s seat, and finally they had the 60 votes.

That filibuster-proof 60 votes lasted exactly 4 months – Not 2 years. Not 1 year. Not 6 months.

Just 4 months – from August 2009 to February 2010 - when Scott Brown was sworn in.

But here’s a fact that nobody can deny:

Republicans had the presidency, the House, and the Senate from 2001 – 2007.

For six years, Republicans had total and complete and undeniably absolute control over everything.

And how did that work out in the final analysis?

It doesn’t bear repeating. You know the answer to that as well as I do. Six years to screw up the whole country – nay, the entire damned world!

And you whine because Obama could not fix it all in four months?

Alright, I expect you to whine. But from this point on there is no excuse for lying. Not now that you know the truth.

tags: obstructionism, control of congress

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