Is WaPo's Milbank the White House's 'Yes man?' 

Washington Post columnnist Dana Milbank writes this morning (No yes men in the Senate) that Obama's State of the Union has failed to change Washington. It is the fault of obstinate Senate Republicans, who rejected President Obama's bipartisan counsel in the State of the Union Address and instead voted en bloc yesterday against everything the Democrats proposed.

The Senate took a vote on extending the federal debt ceiling -- without which the United States would go into default. All 40 Republicans voted no. The Senate took a vote on requiring Congress not to pass legislation that it can't pay for. All 40 Republicans voted no. The Senate took a final vote on passing the overall plan. Thirty-nine Republicans voted no. The 40th, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), skipped the vote.

The state of the union is . . . unchanged.

And of the bipartisan Bernanke confirmation vote:

"[B]y the current standard, getting 22 GOP votes for anything...amounts to a bipartisan triumph."

Funny, but I remember 39 Republicans voting for something yesterday that was politically significant. At 11:15 a.m. -- plenty of time for deadline -- they voted for a bipartisan measure reflecting the spending freeze that President Obama proposed in his State of the Union. Many Democrats voted for it too, including both senators from Virginia. It got 56 votes in all. Unlike the second vote Milbank listed above -- the exception-riddled "Pay-as-you-go" rules -- this would have been a serious constraint on spending.

Why didn't it pass?  Because 43 liberal Democrats voted against it, killing the measure with a filibuster. You wouldn't know that from reading Milbank's column -- or the Washington Post, for that matter. There's no mention of the Senate's rejection of Obama's plan in the print edition (unless it made the Style section, which I left at home). Their writeup on Senate budgetary action even mentions the president's promise of a spending freeze but says nothing about Senate action rejecting it.

Some people seem so eager to parrot the administration's "Party-of-No" rhetoric that they choose their Senate votes carefully. "No yes men" indeed.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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