Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on June 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Not too many people noticed this math flub in the middle of Barack Obama’s harangue against Republicans in regards to the “doc fix” on Saturday, but HA commenter Techie picked up on it right away. Obama blamed Republicans for not doing anything about the series of reimbursement cuts to Medicare providers, and offered this odd accusation (emphasis mine):

Since 2003, Congress has acted to prevent these pay cuts from going into effect. These votes were largely bipartisan, and they succeeded when Democrats ran Congress and when Republicans ran Congress – which was most of the time.

Really? Well, Republicans controlled Congress from 2003-6 in this time frame, while Democrats controlled it from 2007-2010. That actually adds up to four years each. Neither party has controlled it “most of the time” during that eight-year period. It’s been an even split, which someone who has spent the last six years in Washington should already know. After all, Democrats have controlled Congress “most of the time” that Obama has been in DC.

Don’t worry, though, Mr. President. Most of us would also like to forget how long Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House.

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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Come on Ed, you should know by now that he can say anything at all and get a free ride from the press. No questions asked!

Johnnyreb on June 15, 2010 at 8:09 AM

The little thug yesterday couldn’t help himself when he said Louisiana would rise above this problem “just like, er, ah, before.” A not-so-subtle jab at Katrina and Buuuuush.

Even in his best, scripted moment, he screams “I’m an amateur.”

As to the math error in who controlled congress most often? I’ll cut him some slack. My dog pees on the carpet because he’s a dog. Obama tells little white lies because he’s a musl… I mean because he’s Obama.

jeff_from_mpls on June 15, 2010 at 8:11 AM

1 + 1 = !!ELEVENTY1!! — Harvard math

GnuBreed on June 15, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Well, that depends on what the definition of the word “most” is….

Obama is outplaying Clinton in sophistry. Astounding.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 8:14 AM

He is such a child.

myrenovations on June 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

He can say anything he wants. He’s speaking to people that voted for Alvin Green because he was the most environmentally sounding person.

Caper29 on June 15, 2010 at 8:20 AM

I’m glad you’re here to report on this Obama stuff Ed; I can’t stomach listening to the man. When I hear his voice, I know the bullshit is flying out of his mouth, so I simply turn the dial so I don’t have to listen to the potus trashing this most treasured office.

Keemo on June 15, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Maybe it just seems like “most of the time” to Øbummer when Republicans controlled Congress since it seems like forever since Teh Won has been in the office of president, accelerating our slide toward mediocrity.

ExpressoBold on June 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

I have some math for you. I’d like to know the number of Americans who have had ulcers detected since November 2008. And I’d like to know the number of previously detected ulcers that have become significantly worse since November 2008.

Rarely does a day go by that I don’t wonder, “Why h*ll is he doing that?”

BuckeyeSam on June 15, 2010 at 8:25 AM

At least he’s acknowledging that the Dems have run Congress for part of that time. Usually he’s blaming so much on the GOP that you’d think they were still running the show.

Doughboy on June 15, 2010 at 8:25 AM

He rewrites history everyday.

ladyingray on June 15, 2010 at 8:26 AM

IT’S NOT MY FAULT!!!!! NOT MY PARTY’S FAULT EITHER!!!

- Barry’s mantra

rockbend on June 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM

define ‘control’

The democrats did a pretty good job of obstructing and undermining everything Bush tried to do for the eight years that Bush and the republicans ‘controlled’ congress.

The democrats did a pretty good job of obstructing and undermining everything that Reagan tried to do for the eight years that Reagan and the republicans ‘controlled’ congress.

And the democrats did a terrible job of ramming their agenda through congress despite an overwhelming majority in both the Senate and House because the minority republican party was the ‘party of no’.

Damn lies get to be tiresome after 60 years.

Skandia Recluse on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

math is ass kick’n hard.

ted c on June 15, 2010 at 8:36 AM

I know, this video isn’t fair…he’s only trying to promote himself tourism:
After Calling the Oil Spill 9/11 Obama arrives in the Gulf for a Day of Fun in the Sun You Tube

No Niks on June 15, 2010 at 8:36 AM

…but that was based on 50 states, not the 60 that are actually in existence.
If those extra 10 states were Republican controlled, then he was correct.
Since they are “stealth” states, only Obama knows, and we have to assume that he would never mislead HIS people…after all he is the “One”.

right2bright on June 15, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Sorry, try again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDyb2rOAEwg Obama having fun in the sun in the Gulf.

No Niks on June 15, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Calm down eveybody, the man who can make water rise can also see into the future and he is also including 2011 and later when the Republicans regain power.

cmptrnerd on June 15, 2010 at 8:42 AM

No matter where dear leader is or which group he’s speaking to, the words always sound the same. He repeats talking points better than Beckle, never saying anything specific about what action is going to be taken.

Kissmygrits on June 15, 2010 at 8:44 AM

So, let me be perfectly clear—-gulf coast seafood is safe to eat…….Barack Obama

And ObamaCare is deficit neutral too.

Rovin on June 15, 2010 at 8:47 AM

No he can’t!

Beagle on June 15, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Am I missing something, or wasn’t it the dumbest President in history that cut reimbursement rates, just to fraudulently score TooncesCare as “costing” under a certain amount.

MNHawk on June 15, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Don’t worry, though, Mr. President. Most of us would also like to forget how long Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House.

Why, just because she’s largely responsible for the financial ruin of our nation?

scalleywag on June 15, 2010 at 8:49 AM

To give Obama a bit of a break here, and be a bit padantic, since 2010 is only about half done, wouldn’t the span of 2003-2010 (present), technically have been controlled by Republicans more of the time than not (but just barely, and hardly worth mention)?

I agree with the sentiment that Obama really had no right to use the rhetoric as he did, because it implies something that’s not true (for all intents and purposes, Ed’s right, it’s been an even split; not one dominated by Republican rule as Obama suggests), but technically, he was correct, so it seems silly to call him on a “math error,” when hard math is the one thing that seems to justify his statement.

It would be like if I split a candy bar with Obama and cut it right down the middle, but one lone peanut refused to crack, and so I ate the portion with the extra half-a-nut, it would be whiny and childish (and thus a pretty typical response) for Obama to complain that I got the big half, but technically, he would be correct.

BlueCollarAstronaut on June 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM

I’d like to know when he is actually going to start acting like a President and claim some responsibility for things rather than blaming others.

I won’t hold my breath.

Beaglemom on June 15, 2010 at 8:53 AM

BlueCollarAstronaut on June 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM

You’re a math major, aren’t you?

ExpressoBold on June 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM

It’s not that Obama can’t do math — although I’m sure he can’t. It’s that Obama doesn’t do math — that’s what his staff is for. Of course, none of them can do math either.

gh on June 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM

These votes were largely bipartisan, and they succeeded when Democrats ran Congress and when Republicans ran Congress – which was most of the time.

Obama

Grammatically, note well the convolution of context there. The “most of the time” applies to when Democrats ran Congress AND when Republicans ran Congress.

So the inaccuracy is that MOST of the time was actually ALL of the time, because there were no years with no majority no minority.

maverick muse on June 15, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Again, the so-called Ivy League education never produced high quality in graduates Hillary and Obama. Wasted money. The Ivy League quality itself is proven fraudulent, no better than any good school.

maverick muse on June 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Most of us would also like to forget how long Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House.

The 70-year old House Madam has been Speaker (in her own mind) since her first election. It’s those last few years and what she accomplished that really bother me.

SeniorD on June 15, 2010 at 9:39 AM

but HA commenter Techie picked up on it right away.

-3000% !!!!

Shy Guy on June 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

To give Obama a bit of a break here, and be a bit padantic, since 2010 is only about half done, wouldn’t the span of 2003-2010 (present), technically have been controlled by Republicans more of the time than not (but just barely, and hardly worth mention)?

Got to agree with you. I mean he’s still full of excrement but techically he’s correct. (Although he does leave out the fact when the Pubs controlled things they had a small majority and had to work with the Dems. Come to think of it arn’t the 2007 majorities the Dems enjoyed bigger than anything the Pubs had? I know the majorities since 2009 have been so big the Dems can do whatever they want without Pub help.)

Dave_d on June 15, 2010 at 10:04 AM

You’re a math major, aren’t you?

ExpressoBold on June 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I did minor in math. How did you know? :)

I probably do let my nerdiness get the better of me sometimes, and what I mentioned above was a minor quibble; I do think Obama was misrepresenting the situation with his implied tone, and I agree that this seems like another example (in a very long line) of him shirking as much responsibility and shifting as much blame as he possibly could.

BlueCollarAstronaut on June 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM

So I should now call Barry’s efforts most-assed?

The GOP did have control slightly longer, but yes they had a smaller majority, plus they still had Specter (not to mention Snowe, Collins…)

reaganaut on June 15, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Math, geography, history, economics, and the Constitution are all very, very hard for our new young president. Now Alinsky’s rules he knows backwards and forwards.

jukin on June 15, 2010 at 10:35 AM

” . . . when Democrats ran Congress and when Republicans ran Congress . . . “

Obama’s got plausible deniability on this one! It was most of the time that “Democrats ran Congress and Republicans ran Congress”. In fact 100% of the time!

Sowell Disciple on June 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Beck, on the radio, is all over how George Soros benefits with Brazilian oil drilling, if Obama stops the drilling in the U.S. Spread the news.

Schadenfreude on June 15, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Also, recall this.

Schadenfreude on June 15, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Obamao has made a statement, that while it intentionally misrepresents what really happened, is technically correct.

This should be noted, because aside from, “I won.” it may be the most truthful statement we get from this president.

Slowburn on June 15, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Really? Well, Republicans controlled Congress from 2003-6 in this time frame, while Democrats controlled it from 2007-2010. That actually adds up to four years each.

For got ta mention Congress after the 2000 election was split with Rep in control of the house and Dem in control of the Senate.

This was the time period that gave us
The Bush tax cuts.
Both wars
And the PATRIOT Act.

It should also be noted as the first midterms are coming up this Nov., and Dems are preparing for a shellacking, most likely loosing one or both houses, Bush actually won back the Senate in the 02 election, bucking the “historic norm”.

Sen. James Jeffords defected from the Republican Party in May 2001 handed control of the Senate to the Democrats.

DSchoen on June 20, 2010 at 2:48 PM

but technically, he would be correct.
BlueCollarAstronaut on June 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Missed it by that much.

You left the human side of the equation out.
Obama was elected to the Senate in the 04 election.
Obama started his campaign for president in 04 as well (no, I don’t know when he will stop campaigning for president).

Considering Obama rarely showed up for his “Senator job” due to his “campaigning for president” as far as he’s concerned the Rep have always been in control.

This is still true today! for the exact same reason!
Only today Obama rarely showed up for his “President job ” due to his “campaigning for president”.

Perhaps there’s a pattern here?

DSchoen on June 20, 2010 at 3:07 PM