Talking Point Smash : “Obama had full control of Congress of two years, and look what happened”

This is one of those things I hear a lot in various forms.  Essentially this is “blaming” Obama for not fixing the Great Recession in 4 years despite having “complete” control of Congress for two full years.

The reality of the history is a bit different.

On July 7th, 2009, Al Franken was sworn in as a Senator for Minnesota.  This was after a protracted legal battle regarding the vote count.  Franken was the 60th vote that the Democrats needs to overcome the unprecedented number of “filibusters” by Republicans in the Senate.

On August 26h, 2009, Ted Kennedy finally succumbed to brain cancer and unsheathed from the mortal coil.   His seat was taken by Scott Brown, a Republican of sorts currently facing off against Elizabeth Warren to hold the seat.  The loss of Kennedy’s vote removed the Democrats ability to overcome the Republican filibuster.

The point here isn’t to focus so much of legislative minutia, but to smash a talking point.   The President has faced, on the numbers alone, unprecedented opposition in trying to get *anything* done over the past 3 years and 46 weeks.   For 6 weeks, the one’s noted earlier, he had the full support of Congress.  Outside of that, it’s been a battle every step of the way.

To be clear…


2 thoughts on “Talking Point Smash : “Obama had full control of Congress of two years, and look what happened”

  1. At the end of 2010, Obama signed a two year extension of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. Why didn’t he veto it instead? He campaigned against it, but then he went and signed it instead of vetoing it. To me, that says we have a wimpy president. It’s the President’s job to veto things.

  2. “The bill, which was largely worked out earlier this month between the White House and Congressional Republicans, extends the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans for two years, extends unemployment benefits for 13 months and includes a one-year Social Security tax cut, among other measures.”

    Because the Republicans were holding the unemployment and SS tax cuts hostage. Both of these were measured as the best stimulus money can “buy” and Obama (and the Republicans knew it). I personally think he should have called their bluff, let the whole thing expire, and start from scratch. However….we are then starting from scratch with a Tea Party House and a split Senate.

    “It’s the President’s job to veto things.”

    I think he had to make the call on whether it was best to take a partial victory and go on to the next battle, or try and have a pitched policy fight in the debts of a huge recession. While he might have own that battle, the resulting damage to the economy probably would have cost the war. IMHO, I think the Republicans would have caved…but the Tea Party made a good argument it was too stupid to do even that much.

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