“I came in expressing a strong spirit of bipartisanship,” President Barack Obama said, “and what was clear was that even in the midst of crisis, there were those who made decisions based on a quick political calculus rather than on what the country needed.”

At the start of 2010, his second year in office, Obama was remembering what he called “the classic example” of Republican intransigence from his first year: He went to share ideas with House Republicans about the stimulus bill, only to find out that their leader, John Boehner, had already issued a statement opposing it.

During the Obama years, Democrats cited incidents like this one to cast Republicans in a bad light. Obama and several other Democrats also complained bitterly that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had announced at the start of his first term that his top priority was preventing a second one. Democrats said they tried again and again to meet Republicans halfway on health care, too, and were rebuffed.