Jon Stewart: Say, didn't Bush get bills passed with fewer Senate votes?

Stewart does a masterful job in wringing laughs out of liberal disaster through this entire clip, so watch the whole thing and enjoy. The most incisive point comes at about the seven-minute mark, when Stewart questions why the Obama agenda dies when Democrats go from 60 to 59 votes in the Senate. Stewart notes that the man castigated by the Left as a chimp and an idiot, Barack Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush somehow managed to get his agenda through Congress with fewer votes:

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And the reason it will die … [pauses for effect] … Let’s continue … The reason it will die is because if Coakley loses, Democrats will only then have an eighteen-vote majority in the Senate. Which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate, when he did whatever the f*** he wanted to do! [Applause] In fact, the Democrats have a greater majority than the Republicans have had since 1923! But for Democrats, apparently a majority of 100 is … sixty.

So why do Democrats need 60 votes? Democrats will claim it’s because the Republicans are more obstructionist than Democrats were under Bush, but that’s not the case. Democrats were happy to be obstructionist on their core issues, especially on judicial appointments. They didn’t need to be obstructionist on most other issues, because Bush was a lot more centrist than they liked to paint him. Bush went out of his way to court Democrats like Ted Kennedy on education and others on spending and government expansion, because Democrats like those policies.

Democrats had the same option, which was to work with Republicans and craft more centrist approaches to issues like health-care reform and carbon emissions. Instead, they chose a radical agenda, which has not only pushed Republicans into obstructionism but has alienated voters to such an extent that Massachusetts looks ready to elect its first Republican Senator in almost 40 years. That’s not the fault of Republicans — it’s the fault of overreaching Democrats.