The president who once promised that if elected, he would serve as a unifying force in America has become the most divisive president in history. Pitting factions against each other and engaging in the politics of personal destruction, President Obama appears little concerned with the truth, but relies on repeated manipulations and deceits to weave a preferable narrative.
Apparently, even the mainstream media is running short on gullibility as The Washington Post recently took Obama to task for his outlandish accusations against Republicans and afforded the president’s comments its dreaded “Four Pinocchios” rating.
On May 7th, 2014, Obama addressed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles and claimed that Senate Republicans, since 2007, had filibustered “500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class.”
“Here’s what’s more disconcerting. Their [Republicans'] willingness to say no to everything — the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them.”
The Washington Post quickly dismissed this claim, stating, “Regular readers knows that The Fact Checker has objected to the way that Senate Democrats tally these figures, but the president’s claim makes little sense no matter how you do the numbers.”
Since 2007, the Senate has encountered 527 cloture motions, which is a call to end debate. Filibusters are deliberate extensions of debate that are designed to delay a vote on a matter before the Senate.
Cloture motions are for ending debate and filibusters are for extending them. Many of these cloture motions were dropped or never voted on.
In short: President Obama defies all conceivable logic by claiming that Senate Republicans have filibustered 500 times. With facts against him, it seems Obama simply pulled a number out of thin air.
The article declared,
“Indeed, when you go through the numbers, there have just been 133 successful filibusters — meaning a final vote could not take place — since 2007.
But, even if you accept the way Senate Democrats like to frame the issue, the president is still wrong. He referred to ‘legislation’ — and most of these cloture motions concerned judicial and executive branch nominations. In the 113th Congress, for instance, 83 of the 136 cloture motions so far have concerned nominations, not legislation.”
Finally, after substantive analysis and a thorough explanation of the many ways in which the president’s claim cannot possibly be considered true, regardless of any creative stretching of definitions, The Washington Post offered it’s “Four Pinocchios” and concluded,
“On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous.
We realize that Senate rules are complex and difficult to understand, but the president did serve in the Senate and should be familiar with its terms and procedures. Looking at the numbers, he might have been able to make a case that Republicans have blocked about 50 bills that he had wanted passed, such as an increase in the minimum wage. But instead, he inflated the numbers to such an extent that he even included votes in which he, as senator, supported a filibuster.”
Politicians fudge the truth; it’s sad, but true. Though we could forgive hyperbole to make a point, this president’s answer to any inconvenient facts has continually been to deny reality, make up his own “facts,” and hope the public buys it after they hear it enough times.
It’s ruthless, dishonest (even by political standards) and the mark of a very, very poor leader who cannot lead with legitimate conviction, but must rely on fabricated narratives and lies to support his failing agenda.