Video: Presidential leadership failure, then and now

posted at 11:15 am on July 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Americans for Prosperity will spend $1 million to put this 30-second spot on television that contrasts the debt-limit philosophies of Barack Obama and, er … Barack Obama. When Obama was safely ensconced as a backbencher in the US Senate, raising the debt ceiling in 2006 (to $8.95 trillion) was “a sign of leadership failure.” Five years later, Obama’s colleagues passed $4.5 trillion in new debt ceiling limits while controlling Congress, and now Obama wants another $2.7 trillion. Why that amount? The ad explains:

In fact, Obama’s not the only Democrat with an interesting record on debt-ceiling votes and positions. Byron York gives us a look at Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and others who now accuse Republicans of playing partisan games, and find that they seem to be suffering from a case of projection (via Instapundit):

A look at Reid’s record, however, shows that in the last decade his own voting on the issue of the debt ceiling is not only partisan but perfectly partisan. According to “The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases,” a January 2010 report by the Congressional Research Service, the Senate has passed ten increases to the debt limit since 2000. Reid never voted to increase the debt ceiling when Republicans were in control of the Senate, and he always voted to increase the debt ceiling when Democrats were in control.

Other Democrats have also accused Republicans of partisanship in the debt fight. “It’s time for bipartisan leadership, not partisan gamesmanship,” said the number-two Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin, after Republicans pulled out of budget talks with President Obama. And Obama himself described the debt debate as a “partisan three-ring circus” — leaving no doubt that it is Republicans who are practicing partisanship.

At look at Durbin’s record shows that he, too, has voted along absolutely partisan lines. In the last decade, Durbin never voted to increase the debt ceiling when Republicans were in control and always voted to increase the debt ceiling when Democrats were in control. As for Obama, there were four votes to raise the debt ceiling when he was in the Senate. He missed two of them, voted no once when Republicans were in charge, and voted yes once when Democrats were in charge.

Aw, come on. These Democrats were only doing what it took to “get them through the next election,” which is the Democratic definition of leadership.

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That WHITE woman is racist!

SouthernGent on July 30, 2011 at 11:20 AM

In a sane world these facts would matter, but, alas, they will not. They will be lost, if even presented, in the noise.

WashJeff on July 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Why hasn’t this “known” information been hammered away at for the last few weeks?…

Gohawgs on July 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

From that quote by Senator Obama to be now President Obama and being openly endorsed by the Communist Party. How time changes things.

GOOGLE: Communist Party endorses Obama

volsense on July 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Obama, Reid and Durbin are hypocrites and partisan hacks?

Somebody call Joe Scarborough!

novaculus on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I think its valid question to ask, and as citizens, we are entitled to the answer.

“Mr. President, why was a debt increase 5 years ago a failure of leadership, and today it indicates good leadership?”

“Which of the philosophy’s you’ve pronounced concerning higher debt limits is incorrect?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

“Mr. President, why was a debt increase 5 years ago a failure of leadership, and today it indicates good leadership?”

“Which of the philosophy’s you’ve pronounced concerning higher debt limits is incorrect?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Answering those questions would be above my paygrade.

WashJeff on July 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Pitchforks, people.

BallisticBob on July 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Great ad.

artist on July 30, 2011 at 11:26 AM

The voters who care about these facts already know about them and the voters who do not know, just don’t care.

This is what we are up against.

tru2tx on July 30, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Heh. I caught that article at Instapundit earlier, and posted it on the Reid/sweetner thread.

Democrats. They only do what is expedient for themselves.

theotherone on July 30, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I think its valid question to ask, and as citizens, we are entitled to the answer.

“Mr. President, why was a debt increase 5 years ago a failure of leadership, and today it indicates good leadership?”

“Which of the philosophy’s you’ve pronounced concerning higher debt limits is incorrect?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

“Uh, uh, uh…Boosh…twitter…” ad nauseum.

GrannyDee on July 30, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Why hasn’t this “known” information been hammered away at for the last few weeks?…

Gohawgs on July 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Probably because republicans vote along partisan lines also.

IrishEi on July 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I think its valid question to ask, and as citizens, we are entitled to the answer.

“Mr. President, why was a debt increase 5 years ago a failure of leadership, and today it indicates good leadership?”

“Which of the philosophy’s you’ve pronounced concerning higher debt limits is incorrect?”

BobMbx on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

So is he lying to the banks? Or is he lying to the American People?

Which is it, Obama?

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM

To put further emphasis on the one “yea” vote for Obama — it was TARP. Late October 2008, right before the election, when everything has swung his way. He was about to be elected president, everybody knew it, and he stood to gain significantly by controlling the purse-strings of the very legislation.

BKeyser on July 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM

The debt limit is always along partisan lines. The difference this time is that they want to raise it by so much more than usual for purely political self-interest and everybody knows it.

Republicans can’t play the hypocrisy card any more then democrats should be able to except on this one point.

Mord on July 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Probably because republicans vote along partisan lines also.

IrishEi on July 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

More likely, our “thought leaders” don’t want to be seen as mean ol bullies instead of the spineless cavers they really are…

Gohawgs on July 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Its about d*mned time!

If the media weren’t covering for him, this would be widely known.

cozmo on July 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I guess the saying is correct, you would be surprised at how much can be accomplished if no one was going to be credited for the success of an action.

There is barely a hairs width difference between Harry Reid’s bill and Boehner’s first bill and there is barely a hairs breadth difference between both bills and the moon high needed changes that would improve the United States of America. Democrats will vote for Harry’s but not Boehner’s. Republicans are the exact opposite.

astonerii on July 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Worse than Jimmy Carter… I thought I’d NEVER say that…

Khun Joe on July 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM

From that Free Republic thread:

He WAS bluffing. ALL IN!

2ipa on July 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

We all know by now that this is all political gamesmanship, party vs. party, etc.

What isn’t addressed by demorats in any discussion is that we can raise the debt ceiling to $1quintillion dollars and nothing would change in DC. Until and unless we get the spending in check the debt limit is meaningless. Yeah, I know, it gets lip service. But it doesn’t get addressed. Repubs don’t exactly have a great track record on this lately either. The serious side of the ledger sheet will never be the debt limit.

Robert17 on July 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

All of them are absolutely disgusting.

ultracon on July 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Good ad. Good work, AFP.

petefrt on July 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

This poor sick Republic is incapable of governing itself or managing its financial and fiscal affairs. It should be put in receivership but of course there’s no way to accomplish that. So . . . we’ll just let it flop around until it finally succumbs to it own incompetence and stupidity. Sad but true.

rplat on July 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’

petefrt on July 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

This poor sick Republic is incapable of governing itself or managing its financial and fiscal affairs. It should be put in receivership but of course there’s no way to accomplish that. So . . . we’ll just let it flop around until it finally succumbs to it own incompetence and stupidity. Sad but true.

rplat on July 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Washington cannot govern itself. It has become a den of thieves and corruption; a den of vipers who confiscate the earnings of the workers.

““But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Why that amount?

Because back then he wasn’t the Cash for Clunkers and Shovel Ready Pimp.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Thinking about the Freshmen who have willingly entered this den of thieves makes me think of a comparison:

The SEIU (gubmint) vs. the people. Think Wisconsin riots and the Minnesota shut down. Both were defeated.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

And this D claims futility in “politics”, go figure.

Earlier Friday, House Rules Committee member Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) asked Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) not to take it up under suspension.

“My concern is that the Republican leadership will think somehow it is appropriate to bring the Reid bill up under a suspension of the rules, just to vote it down just to make a political point,” McGovern said. “I would just urge the chairman and the leadership here … enough of that.”

Also, Ed, Obama was out campaigning, and didn’t even call in during the 2007-08 debt debates/votes.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Obama and Leadership are not related.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

When the history of the debt limit fight is written, the failure of presidential leadership will constitute a major chapter.

Once again, President Obama has proven himself lacking in the most fundamental attribute necessary to the office he occupies: leadership. His idea of leading his party and the American people in a crisis is to give a speech, as he did earlier this week in prime time. But when it comes to fashioning a concrete plan or rallying support of his own troops, he’s missing in action.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Leadership?

“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.”

“Four score and seven years…”

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth.”

“It’s time to eat your peas”

reaganaut on July 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

McGovern said. “I would just urge the chairman and the leadership here … enough of that.”
Also, Ed, Obama was out campaigning, and didn’t even call in during the 2007-08 debt debates/votes.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

LOL

McGovern.

/Not

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Obama and Leadership are not related.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Oxymoron

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

And if Obama’s cynicism weren’t bad enough on the class-warfare front, he blames all the nation’s problems on his predecessor. Perhaps the most disingenuous line in the president’s speech was blaming his predecessor entirely for creating the debt crisis.

“For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we take in,” Obama said. “In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.”

At least one of those wars — in Afghanistan — was hardly a war of choice. Would Obama have had George W. Bush ignore the worst attack on America in the nation’s history? And wasn’t it candidate Obama who campaigned on refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan and, later, President Obama who sent two additional combat brigades to fight there?

As for that “expensive prescription drug program,” it has ended up costing about a third less than originally estimated, a rarity for an entitlement program, largely because market forces worked to drive prices for prescriptions down. But even if it cost as much as Obama implies — is he brave enough to suggest slashing or eliminating it?

Leadership isn’t a partisan attribute. Plenty of Democrats have shown leadership, and some Republicans have lacked it. But I can recall few if any presidents who simply abrogated their duty to lead as President Obama has.

As much as I might have disagreed with Bill Clinton on a number of issues, he was actively engaged in promoting free trade and welfare reform, even when his fellow Democrats balked. President Obama will go down as one of the weakest leaders we’ve had at a time our country needed leadership most.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Never to use this as a logical statement. In Logic 101 it is analyzed as one of the most illogical things ever said. There is no “country” as there is no blue sky. The people are it, especially in the U.S. form of government…or the illusion of it still exists.

Alas, Wash. DC is the sty it is because of the people.

Ask what we can do to change it.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I know so many people who voted for him in 2008 so they “could make history”, in other words, they voted for him because he was black as if that were a qualification. They voted for him because of how he gave speeches, not because of what he was saying in those speeches because I for one listened to what he said and even then I knew he was a disaster in the making. But calling that out was a “distraction” at best, racist to some at worst. And now we’re paying for it.

Yakko77 on July 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Excuse the hi-jacking of this thread. This is URGENT

Attention: Since the Congress is in session and Reid will try to get this passed in the Senate as ASAP and get it to the House ASAP, we need to start emailing/calling/faxing NOW.

This is the site I use as it has everything you need.

http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm

bluefox on July 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

bluefox on July 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Who profits from the US going further in debt?

Banks, Wall Street, Foreign creditors, politicians in DC, who else?

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Who profits from the US going further in debt?

Banks, Wall Street, Foreign creditors, politicians in DC, who else?

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

One-world everything, incl. misery, multiculturalism, redistribution of global wealth, decline of U.S., socialism, socialists, potentates, leeches, looters, moochers, welfare pimps and queens, who else?

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

How can these wretches in DC enslave our children and Grandchildren?

Oh……because 53% of Americans that voted in 2008 believed Obama had a stash, didn’t hear or care that he was a Marxist/Socialist, and ran against ANOTHER LAME RINO from the GOP.

How do we prevent this?

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

And I was thinking about this…..

Supposedly the polls show that voters want a do-over and Obama and his failures gone. What better way to give them a chance to replace him with ANOTHER HISTORIC figure? Redux the 2008 election with the best-for-America part of the party tickets.

WOTUS v. the DOTUS.

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Reid and Durbin et al., demand “bipartisanship” only when they are behind a losing issue. Otherwise, it is strictly partisan.

coldwarrior on July 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

I know so many people who voted for him in 2008 so they “could make history”, in other words, they voted for him because he was black as if that were a qualification. They voted for him because of how he gave speeches, not because of what he was saying in those speeches because I for one listened to what he said and even then I knew he was a disaster in the making. But calling that out was a “distraction” at best, racist to some at worst. And now we’re paying for it.

Yakko77 on July 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

They fool themselves that it was about history, it wasn’t. It was about themselves, so they could pat themselves on the back and tell themselves that they were not racists. They wanted that vote for little Bammie to be a badge of moral superiority that they could wear proudly.

This is AA at it’s finest, and like any implementation of AA, it ensures the promotion of those otherwise incompetent and stupid.

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Great ad! Hope they show it in Philly.

The GOP should absolutely hang that quote about getting through the election around Obama’s neck for the next 16 months. It is very reminiscent of a clip of Arlen Specter admitting that he switched parties in order to improve his chance of reelection. Joe Sestak ran an ad that looped that clip over and over again, and it killed Specter. People really hate politicians who admit that what they are doing is just for their own reelection.

rockmom on July 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Who profits from the US going further in debt?
Banks, Wall Street, Foreign creditors, politicians in DC, who else?
PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Pretty much everyone but the Middle Class.
We just aren’t smart enough; with enough political leverage to earn huge short term profits from kicking the can down the road.
We also care about the long term survival of the nation. That is a huge flaw in our characters. The looters and moochers only think about today.

LegendHasIt on July 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM

LegendHasIt on July 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM

What some of them don’t realize is that if our numbers decline, so does all else. But that’s the aim of the looters, to keep the ignorant in the plantations, to vote for their puppet masters.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Oh……because 53% of Americans that voted in 2008 believed Obama had a stash, didn’t hear or care that he was a Marxist/Socialist, and ran against ANOTHER LAME RINO from the GOP.

How do we prevent this?

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Pappy, we need to introduce the doctrine of forgiveness. So many Americans were duped.

The obama agenda is indeed sinister. But to repeatedly heap scorn on those who made a mistake in 2008 is not, in my opinion the right thing to do.

I believe that we should welcome all of those folks that fell for the biggest sham in history back into the fold of America at large. They don’t want to be socialists. We know that. It’s hard enough to make a mistake and admit it. It is worse to make a mistake and be unforgiven for it.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Pappy, we need to introduce the doctrine of forgiveness. So many Americans were duped.

The obama agenda is indeed sinister. But to repeatedly heap scorn on those who made a mistake in 2008 is not, in my opinion the right thing to do.

I believe that we should welcome all of those folks that fell for the biggest sham in history back into the fold of America at large. They don’t want to be socialists. We know that. It’s hard enough to make a mistake and admit it. It is worse to make a mistake and be unforgiven for it.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

I like this. I’d love to see some sort of campaign (bumper stickers, ads, etc.) that says: Obama voters: We forgive you. Now get it right next time!

It has the right tone, the right snark, the right message. Ha!

Rational Thought on July 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

by the way…..

…….”WOTUS“–Warrior of the United States

WOTUS v DOTUS 2012
The Epic for the future of a Nation, people and world.

(yall have a great afternoon).

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

The Epic BATTLE for the future of a Nation, people and world.

:-)

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

True Beauty.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:38 PM

The Epic BATTLE for the future of a Nation, people and world.

:-)

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

You better stay strong.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM

like this. I’d love to see some sort of campaign (bumper stickers, ads, etc.) that says: Obama voters: We forgive you. Now get it right next time!

It has the right tone, the right snark, the right message. Ha!

Rational Thought on July 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

My 1:38pm

It is time to stop the blame. It is time to come together.

At least now, we see what divides us. Unions v. American’s workers. It is not that difficult to call out.

It is not that difficult to admit that, yes, we have a problem. But there has never been a problem that Americans cannot solve.

Now is the time to choose.

This is what it is about. I will not choose Socialism. Under any circumstance.

This battle has clearly drawn lines:

Do you want/invite/welcome Socialism

Or not.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I believe that we should welcome all of those folks that fell for the biggest sham in history back into the fold of America at large. They don’t want to be socialists. We know that. It’s hard enough to make a mistake and admit it. It is worse to make a mistake and be unforgiven for it.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

-
I said it before… and I stand by it now…
-
Those who fell for the vague hope and change slogans… and especially the “fundamentally change America” concept… get no forgiveness from me unless and until they put their shoulder to the wheel and push the socialists and their agenda out of office and off the national stage.
-
They helped create this looming sinkhole of fascistic economic terrorism… so I’ll point the finger of blame where it belongs… Thank you very much.
-
Of course they should be welcomed back… but only if they admit their stupidity and work to repair the damage…
-

RalphyBoy on July 30, 2011 at 2:28 PM

If Obama can drive the country into default he can blame the default for all the country’s problems instead of his disastrous policies and inept leadership. This charlatan is slicker than a greased eel and he must be closely watched.

rplat on July 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Why hasn’t this “known” information been hammered away at for the last few weeks?…

Gohawgs on July 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Thanks for finally getting around to this, Ed. I have been screaming about this for weeks and wondering why we’re letting the liberal/Democrat press/propaganda get away with burying these inconvenient facts.

Jaibones on July 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM