Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on February 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

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 obamaisms@edmorrissey.com 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!


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I do not think Obama truly understands the history of Democrats and the filibuster, or else he wouldn’t have tried to throw that bone to them. It’s one they’ve chewed on frequently, and for quite the wrong purposes.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2010 at 10:07 AM

In post-modern Obamaland, history is whatever he wants (and needs) it to be.

ProfessorMiao on February 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

How many “mistakes” does this man have to make to blow a hole in the smartest man in the world theory?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Most narcissists also happen to be pathological liars, too. & they believe their own lies.

Badger40 on February 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Just wait til this dolt gets his honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UofM this spring…he will be absolutely unbearable.

ZeeMI on February 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Please don’t tell me the Constitution law lecturer not understanding said Constitution?

Sir Napsalot on February 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

This doesn’t even rise to the level of obnubilation. It’s just stupidity and hubris.

Akzed on February 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Horrifying, isn’t it? At least Carter wasn’t regarded as The Messiah by vast swathes of the population.

Buy Danish on February 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM

C’mon Danish, they’re only half vast swathes of population.

Oldnuke on February 12, 2010 at 10:41 AM

It’s obvious that Obama has little idea what goes on in Congress. Reid and Pelosi are running the show, and Obama is too weak and/or too disinterested to stop or redirect them.

Consequently, Reid and Pelosi don’t feel the need to keep Obama informed.

And it’s increasingly obvious that other world leaders feel much the same way.

landlines on February 12, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Just wait til this dolt gets his honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UofM this spring…he will be absolutely unbearable.

ZeeMI on February 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Oh I can’t wait, I can hear him now:

That’s Dr. Obama to you. I didn’t spend one day at the UofM to be called Mr. Obama.

jarodea on February 12, 2010 at 10:55 AM

So once again we are faced with a choice: Either Barry is the most ignorant fool ever to sit in the Oval Office, or a stone-cold, calculating liar. I’m going with the latter, which is so egregious it makes it difficult to call this merely “amateurish”.

Buy Danish on February 12, 2010 at 8:18 AM

They’re not mutually exclusive.
Think of him as an idiot savant whose skill is lying.

justltl on February 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM

This is the biggest one yet. The man is insane.

noblejones on February 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Most narcissists also happen to be pathological liars, too. & they believe their own lies.

Badger40 on February 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

And the saddest part to all of this is….there are actually some out there, that guzzle down that kool aid daily, that will come here, and use these lies, to debate their side, or try and win the argument.

capejasmine on February 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I’m confused. Is it true that “There wasn’t a single filibuster in 2009″?

This table of cloture motions for the 111th Congress at the Senate website shows 60-plus motions filed in 2009. Most were filed by… Harry Reid.

I think I’m just misunderstanding; if so, gentle correction is welcome.

I note this interesting definition of ‘filibuster’ by the NY Times in this Dec 2009 article:

After a long day of acid, partisan debate, Senate Democrats held ranks early Monday in a dead-of-night procedural vote that proved they had locked in the decisive margin needed to pass a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

The roll was called shortly after 1 a.m., with Washington still snowbound after a weekend blizzard, and the Senate voted on party lines to cut off a Republican filibuster of a package of changes to the health care bill by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada.

Exit question: How, exactly, does a proposed amendment become a ‘filibuster’?

Paul_in_NJ on February 12, 2010 at 11:23 AM

And speaking of Obama speeches, PJTV has the ObamaPrompter for everyone!

Christian Conservative on February 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Let’s all remember when Billy Boy Clinton talked about all those black churches that were burned down by white racists all over Arkansas when he was a child….except for one little detail….there isn’t a single historical record of a single black church being burned down the entire time little billy was a child.

This is exactly the same thing, and for exactly the same reason….he knew he’d get away with it (and he did, no matter how few people know the truth)….Obama will get away with it too.

He didn’t say this to make democrats in congress feel better, his target audience was, yet again, the press. They will now go out and dutifully report what obstructionists those nasty old republicans are and people who aren’t paying attention will buy it yet again.

We’re not going to stop this, we don’t have the tools required for the job. And even if we did, we don’t have the will to use them.

runawayyyy on February 12, 2010 at 11:29 AM

This is the biggest one yet. The man is insane.

noblejones on February 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM

This one reminds me of a pathetic and astonishing statement Obama made during the campaign. It was little noted, even on the internet, but it could have defeated him if it was covered half as much as it should have been. As an answer to critics who cited his lack of any real accomplishments, he stated that “his committee” had passed sanctions against Iran. Trouble was, he wasn’t on the Banking Committee, let alone its chair.

http://wonkette.com/401372/barack-obama-secretly-runs-senate-banking-committee

It’s not just the lies, but the complete abandon of his lies when it’s obvious that they would come to light (on the internet if not the complicit MSM). Scary stuff — and insanity might not be an overstatement.

Sowell Disciple on February 12, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Obamy isn’t bounded by reality.

He makes his own reality.

notagool on February 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Our president is an idiot savant. He’s a genius at campaigning, reading speeches from teleprompters, and parroting his advisers. Period.

PoodleSkirt on February 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Photoshop: BaRainman

Madman Lance on February 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Obama is not a genius. Any person could have done what he did campaigning with the fluffing the media did. Add in that he had four times the money a really bad republican candidate had and it demonstrates how poorly he actually did by winning by such a small margin.

jukin on February 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Facts? He don’t need no stinkin’ facts. They just get in the way of a good story.
Besides, with Ax and Rahmbo feeding him all his answers, it’s a wonder that he ever tells the truth.

n0doz on February 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

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.”

What would Obama know about the 1950′s and 1960′s? He was only 8 years old when the 1960′s ended, and as he continually reminds everyone, history began on August 4, 1961 in an unknown hospital in Hawaii.

Maybe someone should remind the President of the United States of AmeriKKKa that it was Democrats who filibustered the Civil Rights Act during the 1960′s, and the current rule on filibusters was written by Senator Robert Byrd, former Kleagle of the KKK.

The Democrats were also the first party to filibuster a Presidential judicial appointment, of a wise Latino named Miguel Estrada.

The Senate Democrats did face procedural obstacles. They didn’t agree with each other!

Steve Z on February 12, 2010 at 12:53 PM

…it’s a wonder that he ever tells the truth.

n0doz on February 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Let’s start a short list of the truths he has told. The trolls can join in. I’ll start:

1) He did once say that, for anybody making less than $250,000 per year, they would not see their taxes go up one single dime. That was truthful. They are actually going to go up multiple thousands of dollars.

2) …

Yoop on February 12, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Without even looking up the 2009 total, his statement just doesn’t pass the smell test. Remember that the 1950′s and early 1960′s was the high point of the Dixie Democrat’s fight against the Civil Rights movement. Are you telling me Republicans killed move bills in 2009 then the Democrats did during a period of a decade and a half of contstant bickering of a very contentious issue? No way.

Fred 2 on February 12, 2010 at 1:49 PM

“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.”

As I remember my 1950’s and 1960’s history, it was the Democrats who filibustered, and who generally did so to bottle up civil rights bills promulgated by the Republicans.

And those voting to filibuster said civil rights bills in the 1950’s included that Democratic lion John F. Kennedy. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was filibustered by — you got it — the Democrats.

I do not think Obama truly understands the history of Democrats and the filibuster, or else he wouldn’t have tried to throw that bone to them. It’s one they’ve chewed on frequently, and for quite the wrong purposes.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2010 at 10:07 AM

That is such a great point. The facts of history show that the Democratic Party did much to harm civil rights and equal opportunity for blacks. The narrative of history is quite different; proclaiming them to be champions of freedom for the black man. It’s called lying. And it’s what all leftists do as naturally as they breathe. Barri excels at lying. That’s why he stood before cameras for countless speeches and before the two houses of Congress and the entire Ameican people twice in the past year and LIED sequentially about health care. Joe Wilson should never have apologized. And the GOP should never meet with the liar in front of cameras at a meeting arranged by the liar.
But, they will, and the narrative will be set against them and they will turn the tide back in the favor of barri.

They make me ashamed to have them represent me. If thats what they want to call it.

tigerlily on February 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM

I think he believes his own lies.

OmahaConservative on February 12, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Most narcissists also happen to be pathological liars, too. & they believe their own lies.

Badger40 on February 12, 2010

I don’t think he believes his own lies, not like Billy Jeff did. I think he knows he’s lying but doesn’t care because, up to now, he wasn’t held to account for them by anyone except the VRWC which includes blogs like this one. The Obama-fellating media, with very few exceptions, keeps on fellating.

Extrafishy on February 12, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I’m confused. Is it true that “There wasn’t a single filibuster in 2009″?
This table of cloture motions for the 111th Congress at the Senate website shows 60-plus motions filed in 2009. Most were filed by… Harry Reid.
Paul_in_NJ on February 12, 2010

Paul, Go a few steeps into that list you posted.
Look at the results.

I Involed or passed
F Failed
N no action
W Waiting

Then click on the “action taken” means it was voted on.
Look at the results.

When you see vote results like

On the Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on H.R. 3548

YEAs 97

NAYs 2

Not Voting 1

On the Motion (Motion to invoke cloture on the Baucus Amdt. No. 2712 to H.R. 3548.

YEAs 85

NAYs 2

Not Voting 13

On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Committee Substitute to H.R. 2847

YEAs 58

NAYs 36

Not Voting 6

Obviously these were not controversial “things” and the ones Reid lost on, he lost due to Dems not supporting him.

DSchoen on February 12, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Highhopes has been 100% correct all along.

Filthy liar indeed.

hillbillyjim on February 12, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Let’s start a short list of the truths he has told. The trolls can join in. I’ll start:

Yoop on February 12, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The “Promise” we should “REALLY” fear is his “Promise” to save or create 3 million jobs!

Meaning if at the end of his first term 3 million people are still employed (or 99.4% unemployment), he will have kept his word!

DSchoen on February 12, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Media 101 – too bad Messrs Hewitt and Morrissey have to teach the elitist snobs/fools how it’s done.

Oh, well, at least they’re getting out of Obama’s pants, one by one.

Schadenfreude on February 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Obummer may be an amateur at POTUS, but he’s a pro at lying.

infidel4life on February 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM

…but [Obama] is a pro at lying.

infidel4life on February 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM

With respect, I disagree. Clinton was a professional liar. He was good at it. Obama, in comparison, is clumsy and amateurish as he tells one obviously phony lie after another.

jwolf on February 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM

jwolf on February 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Touché. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of amount of time spent at it. President for little more than a year, but obviously lying has been a lifelong habit of his.

infidel4life on February 12, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Back after a day of work – thanks for the shout out for all us brilliant conservative ladies UltimateBob!

On topic, when he gets away with lying for so long, and is surrounded by liars (people telling him how great he is, how he’s the One, etc.), yes, he does start to believe the lies.

CarolinaGirl6 on February 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM

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