The Senate also failed in 2010 and 2012 to pass a single appropriations bill. According to an analysis by Senate Republicans, that hadn’t happened before in the 150-year history of the current spending process. This year the Senate even failed to enact a national defense authorization bill, which almost never happens.

The House passed a bill to avert the tax cliff looming in January, but the Senate failed to act on that too. Last week Mr. Reid’s chief Senate lieutenant, Chuck Schumer of New York, warned that Democrats will stop any attempt at bipartisan tax reform next year, calling the idea “obsolete.” He’s essentially promising pre-emptive gridlock in 2013 no matter who wins.

Voters can be forgiven for not knowing all this because the media mostly ignore Senate obstructionism these days. Instead, they dutifully follow Mr. Obama’s lead when he says of Congress that “I think the American people will run them out of town because they are frustrated and they know we need to do something big and bold.” He means Republicans.