…at least, not nearly to the same degree.
Michael Tomasky over at The Daily Beast decided to, you know, actually check whether the oft-repeated (because it sounds both ‘sage’ and ‘balanced’, yet requires no research) claim that “both sides do it” was true with respect to partisan obstructionism and refusal to support the signature initiatives of a President from the opposite party. Here’s what he found (unsurprisingly):
I’ve settled on four signal legislative achievements of each president and studied the roll call votes in each house on those eight measures to see what the numbers tell us.
The four Bush bills I chose: the first tax cut; No Child Left Behind; the Iraq War vote; and the 2003 Medicare prescription-drug bill. The four Obama bills: the stimulus; the health-care vote; the Dodd-Frank financial reform; and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. Other people might have selected others, but these just seemed to me commonsense answers to the question, “What were each president’s top legislative accomplishments?” As a country we spent a heck of a lot of time on these eight issues, so my findings must tell us something. And here’s what they tell us: levels of partisanship are not even remotely close.
Here’s how it all adds up:
Average Democratic Senate support for Bush: 45.5 percent.
Average Democratic House support for Bush: 36.8 percent.
Average combined Democratic support for Bush: 41.1 percent.
Average Republican Senate support for Obama: 8.8 percent.
Average Republican House support for Obama: 2.7 percent.
Average combined Republican support for Obama: 5.75 percent.
Well now. You see, both sides do do it. It just so happens that one side opposes the major proposals of the president from the other party seven times more intensely than the other side does it.
Exactly. What many of us have been saying for literally nearly a decade. Perhaps someone should ping Sam Waterston and the rest of those idiots over at Third Way. This might be some new information for them.