The responsibility for the most partisan atmosphere in Washington history goes to President Barack Obama, according to Sen. John McCain. “[Obama] said there would be a change in the climate in Washington,” McCain told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “There’s been a change. It’s more partisan. It’s more bitterly divided than it’s been.”
A few Republicans have participated in crafting major legislation during Obama’s first year in office. Three Republican Senators voted for the stimulus bill and Gang of Six Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe voted for the health care bill coming out the Senate finance committee.
But for the most part, Republicans have voted together to block Democrats’ attempts to pass legislation more often than any Congress in history. On December 18, Republicans broke the modern-day record for the most filibusters in history, according to Campaign for America’s Future.
Calling the US Senate 2009’s Worst Person of the Year, Bob Burnett points out obstructionism means “critical issues such as job creation, reform of the financial system, and deficit reduction will not be addressed until next year.”
As recently as September, the American public still credited Obama for his efforts at bipartisan lawmaking. Gallup reported, “Sixty percent say Obama has made a sincere effort to work with Republicans, down from prior measurements but still the majority view.”
Two weeks ago, President Obama insisted that creating new American jobs will require bipartisan effort. “I’m confident we can put our economic troubles behind us,” he said. “But it’s going to require some work and cooperation and a seriousness of purpose here in Washington.”
McCain’s statement that Obama has failed to “sit down and bring the CSPAN cameras in” is also interesting considering McCain’s criticism of Al Franken for cutting off Joe Leiberman on the Senate floor. He said it was the “first time I’ve seen a member denied a minute or two to finish his remarks.” As Rachel Maddow recently reported, footage of McCain doing the same thing disappeared from the CSPAN archives.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Dec. 20, 2009.