Obama flip flops on his own record 

In his speech at a Denver fundraiser yesterday, President Obama repeated what has become a key talking point for Democrats -- that the Senate "doesn't get anything done" and the reason for that is that some Republicans, who "don't believe in government," are happy to block the administration's initiatives because blocking government initiatives is "consistent with their philosophy." Here's what the president said:

Look, something you got to understand -- for those who don't believe in government, those who don't believe that we have obligations to each other, it's a lot easier task. If you can gum up the works, if you make things broken, if the Senate doesn't get anything done, well, that's consistent with their philosophy. It's a whole lot easier to say no to everything. It's a whole lot easier to blame somebody else. That politics that feeds on peoples' insecurities, especially during tough political times -- that's the easiest kind of politics. There's a long, storied history of that kind of politics.

It's a charge you'll no doubt hear more in the coming campaign. But it's a striking flip-flop from Obama's earlier statements in which he praised Congress' ability to get things done. As a matter of fact, at a DNC fundraiser in California last October, Obama said his administration and Congress had accomplished so much that, "If we stopped today, this legislative session would have been one of the most productive in a generation." And if you go to the White House website, you'll find the president touting the very things that the administration and Congress have gotten done -- bills passed by the House and Senate and signed by the president. Obama often cites the stimulus bill, the equal pay act, the extension of children's health insurance coverage, but there are more. On the White House list:

S. 2949 -Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act; signed on January 27, 2010

2009 Tax Breaks for Haiti Donations; signed on January 22, 2010

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009; signed on October 30, 2009

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010; signed on October 28, 2009

Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act; signed on October 22, 2009

Cash For Clunkers Extension; signed on August 06, 2009

Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; signed on June 22, 2009

Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009; signed on May 22, 2009

Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act; signed on May 22, 2009

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act; signed on May 20, 2009

Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act; signed on May 20, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act; signed on April 21, 2009

Omnibus Public Lands Management Act; signed on March 30, 2009

Small Business Act Temporary Extension; signed on March 20, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; signed on February 17, 2009

DTV Delay Act; signed on February 11, 2009

Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act; signed on February 04, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; signed on January 29, 2009

The fact is, when you hear the president and Democrats in Congress complain about not being able to get anything done, or about Washington being broken, they're talking about one thing: their inability to pass a national health care reform bill. Congress can do, and is doing, lots of things -- just not sprawling, omnibus "comprehensive" bills that are unpopular with the American people. (The same can be said for cap-and-trade legislation, now dead in the Senate.) If you put aside enormous bills that would re-order the American economy in ways the public does not want, Congress can do things just fine.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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