Credit this one to my good friend and mentor Hugh Hewitt, who caught this one after Barack Obama met with Democrats in Congress, following his televised meeting with House Republicans. After singing the sweet song of bipartisanship with the GOP, Obama proceeded to pander to the bruised feelings of Senate Democrats, assuring that it was the mean Republicans who had managed to bottle up his grand plans for reform:
Today President Obama told Senate Democrats that they had faced “enormous procedural obstacles that are unprecedented..”
“You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and 1960s combined. That’s 20 years of obstruction jammed into just one.”
Not exactly. A filibuster is the successful blocking of legislation in the Senate by forcing a failed cloture vote. How many failed cloture votes occurred in 2009? Hugh had to get his abacus to count them all up:
This is astonishing. A filibuster is the successful use of 41 or more votes to prevent the closing of debate. There wasn’t a single filibuster in 2009. Not one.
The president will say anything to advance a narrative that makes him a victim of obstruction. It is clear that 2010 will be spent pivoting from his 2009 mantra of Bush’s fault to his campaign year blasts at the “do nothing Republicans.”
Even if there had been a cascade of crashed cloture calls in 2009, let’s not forget that the Republicans only had 40 votes in 2009. By definition, any actual filibuster would have had to include at least one Democratic vote. And the one that did take place in 2010 was on NLRB nominee Craig Becker’s confirmation … that had at least two Democrats voting to support the Republican filibuster.
Heck, technically that represents … bipartisanship!
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!