Flashback: Sen. Obama ‘assaults constitutional structure’ with 2006 debt ceiling vote
posted at 11:15 am on September 16, 2013 by Guy Benson
President Obama is adamant:
On the eve of another fiscal showdown with congressional Republicans, President Obama is outright refusing to negotiate over an increase to the nation’s debt limit, saying doing so would alter “the constitutional structure of this government entirely.” “What I haven’t been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on This Week. “If we continue to set a precedent in which a president … is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills, the other party can simply sit there and say, ‘Well, we’re not going to put — pay the bills unless you give us … what we want,’ that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely,” Obama said…Obama says he is drawing a line in the sand.
Meh. Blowing through Obama ‘red lines’ isn’t typically that big of a deal if you’re a foreign butcher. This president usually gets more animated about defeating his domestic political adversaries, so don’t worry too much about the Hitler comparisons, Bashar; the administration has likened Republicans to terrorists and segregationists, so you only rank slightly above Mitch McConnell on the rhetorical hierarchy of evil. In any case, Obama’s definition of preserving the “constitutional structure” tends to vary, and by pure coincidence, his conclusions often align with his immediate political interests. (See, for example, his actions on healthcare, welfare, immigration, and Libya). Here’s how Senator Obama justified his righteous opposition to raising the debt ceiling when President Bush was in office:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
That was $8 trillion ago. Obama’s decision wasn’t just throw-away symbolism, either. Democrats fell just three votes shy of defeating a debt ceiling increase to “make a point” about Bush’s (comparatively modest) spending and borrowing. Now, 2006 Barack Obama’s actions are being lambasted by 2013 Barack Obama as reckless threats to the republic. Other Democrats voting “no” back then: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer. But that was different, you see, because Bush.
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