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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