submitted 1 month ago by BackpackCat to c/nostupidquestions

I've been wondering for a bit why during the time the Democrats controlled the legislature, executive, and judicial branches during Obama's first term in 2008 more wasn't accomplished. Shouldn't that have been the opportunity to make Row V Way law and fix the electoral college? I understand the recession was going on but outside of Obamacare getting passed which didnt go far enough it seems like they didn't really do much with all that power. Are there other important accomplishments from this time that didn't get the news they deserved? It seems like the voters have done their job in the past to elect people to fix things and yet we are still here begging people to vote to fix issues like abortion rights.

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[-] Boozilla 139 points 1 month ago

Routine abuse of the filibuster rules by Republicans was a big part of it. Not the only reason, but a fairly major one as I recall.

And while I am a Democrat and I vote that way, I very readily admit the Democrats often bring a book to a gun fight when it comes to politics. They have good intentions but then they get steamrollered on things like SCOTUS appointments....

[-] Twinklebreeze 43 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Democrats have been playing by the rules and norms for far too long. Norms only matter if both teams follow them. Same thing with the rules. If Republicans will change the rules so that they win Democrats have to follow suit or make it illegal. When one side plays dirty, the other can either play dirty or lose. Moral high ground gains us nothing.

[-] givesomefucks 24 points 1 month ago

The main difference is:

Republicans do stuff then Democrats challenge it thru the courts.

Dems challenge their own stuff first, and if they think it's right after a year or two, they start talking about if they should do it. And Republicans will still challenge it thru the courts.

You can argue over which path is morally the right one.

But no one has a legitimate argument that says republicans aren't more effective.

They're skipping steps that take us years to complete.

I mean, Biden talked about all types of shit he would do when elected. And his first day he said he'd start looking into if he was allowed to do any of it.

trump ain't waiting to ask anyone if he can do something. He's just going to do shit, and we're going to have to try and fight a bunch of battles at once, all the while his policies are in effect.

It's not that they're fighting dirty and we're fighting clean.

It's that when the gun goes off to start the race, we start stretching so we won't cramp up.

Doesn't matter how slow Republicans are if we give them a 10 minute head start on a 100m sprint.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 1 month ago

This is it. Trump didn't give a flying shit at all if anything he did was legal, he just went for it, and it worked.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

-Karl Rove

They know this is how it works and they abuse it freely and are open about what they're doing. Democrats are fucking pussies in the face of it.

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[-] [email protected] 7 points 1 month ago

"Things are kinda shitty so we should make them all the way shitty" isn't the argument you think it is.

[-] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Democrats had the ability to change procedural rules and prevent filibustering - they chose not to.

Unfortunately, the lack of progress when Dems controlled all three branches is because conservative democrats didn't want that progress. While Democrats controlled all three branches liberals did not.

We need to understand that there's a strong conservative presence in the DNC or else we'll be blindsided by this issue again. The lack of progress was on Democrats - we can't shift the blame to Republicans (though they're definitely more shitty).

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[-] TheJack 14 points 1 month ago

Though if I recall correctly, filibuster rule can be removed with 51% majority but obviously Democrats are too nice to remove that.

[-] [email protected] 24 points 1 month ago

Less nice, more realizing that would remove their ability to stop the Republicans when the political winds inevitability shift the other way

[-] [email protected] 19 points 1 month ago

Right, which is why I've been saying that the Democrats should restore the filibuster. What they have now is not a filibuster, in practice, it's more akin to an administrative hold. One Senator indicates an intent to filibuster via email, and they move on to other business.

Make 'em do it. Pick a popular issue, and lean into it. Make the Republicans actually stand up there at the podium and talk for hours. Get them on camera on the news every night as obstructionists, blocking the will of the people. Yes, it will waste Senate session time; that's a perfect opportunity for all of the Democrats to roast them non-stop to reporters. It'll be painful for a while, but at least has a chance of breaking the log jam. (And if the GQP doesn't take the bait, hey, popular thing gets passed!)

[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Filibustering is dumb and it shouldn't exist - if we want the ability for a narrow minority to block law making we should just increase the threshold to pass laws - we shouldn't allow a weird procedural rule to block discussion of a law whether through talking a long time or just doing so by email.

[-] TropicalDingdong 11 points 1 month ago

Oh did Democrats stop the Republicans when the winds shifted?

Oh no they didn't. They went along with them.

[-] bostonbananarama 15 points 1 month ago

Oh did Democrats stop the Republicans when the winds shifted?

Oh no they didn't. They went along with them.

What the hell are you talking about? Your comment is entirely divorced from reality. There were 175 cloture votes to break a filibuster on nominees during the Obama administration and 314 during Trump. Nearly doubled in half the time.

When Schumer was minority leader, he vigorously used the filibuster to do just that. Under his leadership, Democrats used the filibuster to block funding for construction of Trump’s border wall in 2019. They used it not once, but twice to impede passage of the Cares Act — forcing Republicans to agree to changes including a $600 weekly federal unemployment supplement. They used it in September and October to stop Republicans from passing further coronavirus relief before the November election. They used it to halt Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) police reform legislation so Republicans could not claim credit for forging a bipartisan response to the concerns of racial justice protesters. They used it to block legislation to force “sanctuary cities” to cooperate with federal officials, and to stop a prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion, bans on abortions once the unborn child is capable of feeling pain, and protections for the lives of babies born alive after botched abortions. - Washington Post

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[-] daltotron 4 points 1 month ago

Couldn't the republicans just do the same thing and remove it when they get a 51% majority

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[-] ChonkyOwlbear 11 points 1 month ago

While I disagree with it, there is a valid argument that getting rid of the filibuster would become an absolute disaster once Republicans gain the majority.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 1 month ago

Honestly, it’s not that they bring a book to a gunfight.

It’s that they keep bringing a book to a gunfight, and expect a different result every time.

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[-] ghostdoggtv 7 points 1 month ago

The current state of US politics is a direct consequence of Mitch McConnell's campaign of obstruction and spin. When we go to civil war in November and your fellow Americans are bleeding out in the streets because we wouldn't get on board with support for Zionist genocide, think of him.

[-] GamingChairModel 106 points 1 month ago

I disagree with your premise. The 111th Congress got a lot done. Here's a list of major legislation.

  • Lily Ledbetter Act made it easier to recover for employment discrimination, and explicitly overruled a Supreme Court case making it harder to recover back pay.
  • The ARRA was a huge relief bill for the financial crisis, one of the largest bills of all time.
  • The Credit CARD Act changed a bunch of consumer protection for credit card borrowers.
  • Dodd Frank was groundbreaking, the biggest financial reform bill since probably the Great Depression, and created the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, probably one of the most important pro-consumer agencies in the federal government today.
  • School lunch reforms (why the right now hates Michelle Obama)
  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP or SCHIP): healthcare coverage, independent of Obamacare, for all children under 18.
  • Obamacare itself, which also includes comprehensive student loan reform too.

That's a big accomplishment list for 2 years, plus some smaller accomplishments like some tobacco reform, some other reforms relating to different agencies and programs.

Plus that doesn't include the administrative regulations and decisions the administrative agencies passed (things like Net Neutrality), even though those generally only last as long as the next president would want to keep them (see, again, Net Neutrality).

[-] [email protected] 22 points 1 month ago

Not to mention he got that all done with a majority that was actually "guaranteed" to be able to do stuff for all of a few weeks, during which his senate majority actively sabotaged Obamacare from being a public option healthcare act, because fuckin Manchincrats just have to be the singularly most determined to be killjoy assholes on the face of the entire fucking planet

[-] thallamabond 8 points 1 month ago

Joe Lieberman was his name, while he did not act alone, I'll always remember he took the public option from us.

Also he founded No Labels, the "Unity" party that does not have a platform, but does have billionaire donors

[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Not to mention this was the first 2 years, the years an administration is typically least effective.

If Biden gets years 4-6 with a democrat majority in the house and senate it will be a big deal.

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[-] CosmicCleric 36 points 1 month ago

but outside of Obamacare getting passed which didnt go far enough

You're way underestimating and underemphasizing Obamacare, and the impact it took to get it into law.

Obamacare was a huge get for the Democrats, and while it wasn't Medicare for all that we all wanted, especially with the Republicans fighting tooth and nail to deny him, that was a huge win.

It took a lot of effort in time to get Obamacare, which took all the oxygen out of the room for doing other things.

~Anti~ ~Commercial-AI~ ~license~ ~(CC~ ~BY-NC-SA~ ~4.0)~

[-] catalog3115 31 points 1 month ago

adding license to comments is nice touch but i don't think scrapper is gonna care

[-] Twinklebreeze 9 points 1 month ago

Yeah. Seems like a waste of effort to me. If they're scraping movies and books illegally then you aren't gonna stop em with a link at the bottom of a comment.

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[-] [email protected] 7 points 1 month ago

Still going to poison the results and be embarrassing when the LLM starts putting creative commons licensing in its output.

[-] catalog3115 5 points 1 month ago

😂 but I think 🤔 they have some cleaning process, I don't know exactly what is called but they remove all anomalies like this 😔. 👍 If this works

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[-] K1nsey6 7 points 1 month ago

Between the time that Obama was sworn in and the ACA getting passed Congress had passed 161 other substantial bills. The major one that was shelved being the freedom of choice act which had already been written and waiting in a vote since 2003.

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[-] cygon 7 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

I think that is really the core of it.

I remember that it took months of discussions, compromises and buttering up specific opposition members to get it passed, and that it was a trimmed-down version of the original Medicare plans.

I wish I could remember where, but when answering a question very similar to the OP's - perhaps in an interview? - Obama explained that he would have very much liked to tackle two big things: health care and climate, but that his party's resources were stretched too thin to do both at the same time and that he knew they would loose control of the house in the midtems (2011), so he picked one thing.

Table listing who held the house and the senate during the Obama presidency from 2009 to 2017

[-] [email protected] 35 points 1 month ago

because those are conservative democrats who thought there was still a sensible republican party "to work with"

most of Obamas "accomplishments" were republican sourced ideas.

the democrats haven't acted progressively in many decades. Obama was a lame duck from day 1

[-] [email protected] 26 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

So, I don't think there's a good single answer to this question.

Obama isn't and wasn't as progressive as he was (and sometimes is, mostly by Republicans) framed. The democrats only had a filibuster-proof majority for a few months, and even then, Joe Lieberman gummed up the works big time on getting the ACA through. Somebody mentioned that they wasted a lot of time trying to get bipartisan support for the ACA, and it's true. They spent months negotiating against themselves with the republicans, whose answer was always "no", and by the time they were done, the ACA was a shell of what it could have been. After the ACA, which I must add is basically comprised of all the non-insane (read: mostly pointless) reforms the Republicans were proposing as well as some more rational reforms, the right-wing hype machine started red-lining (as in tachometers, not the racist housing policy, though I guess that could also work since they really didn't want that black man living in that house) and you'd have thought we had an actual communist overthrow of the government on our hands. The democrats absolutely bungled the PR (the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh) and pissed off everyone outside the party and made everyone inside the party facepalm. After the supermajority disappeared, the republicans started cynically abusing the filibuster and turned the rest of Obama's presidency into anything from a lame duck to just one (republican caused) crisis after another.

Tl;Dr a lot of the democrats aren't progressives, and we had a lot more of the old cold war blue dog crowd that Biden is from than we do now, mixed with absolutely bunglefucking both the political strategy and PR around the ACA and not being able to get past the filibuster once the supermajority disappeared.

P.S. it's worth noting that, at the time, Roe was considered settled law. From what I recall, nobody was too anxious about the SCOTUS citing 400 year old witch hunters and overturning pretty well settled and accepted case law. The republicans were generally seeking to overturn Roe via the federal legislature/executive at the time.

[-] K1nsey6 12 points 1 month ago

Roe was never considered settled law, which is why there has been numerous bills written to codify it into law. The longest standing one has been Barbara Boxers Freedom of choice act written in 2003 which kept getting shelved by Pelosi every year it was introduced, including 2009 when Obama promised he would sign it his first day in office

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[-] someguy3 18 points 1 month ago

Too many people think the world can turn on a dime. It can't. Things take time.

[-] Cryophilia 21 points 1 month ago

Longer than four months anyway, which is how long dems had full control

[-] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

This falsehood has been a right-wing talking point all the way back since 2013.

When Obama had "Total Control" of Congress

Lies are easy to get away with if they are repeated often enough and given voice by many different people. Repeat a lie often enough and that lie often becomes conventional wisdom. Repeating a lie doesn't change the lie into the truth, it changes the people hearing the repeated lie. They begin to accept the lie as truth. One huge example: 'Iraq has WMD.'


The truth....then....is this: Democrats had "total control" of the House of Representatives from 2009-2011, 2 full years. Democrats, and therefore, Obama, had "total control" of the Senate from September 24, 2009 until February 4, 2010. A grand total of 4 months.

Did President Obama have "total control" of Congress? Yes, for 4 entire months. And it was during that very small time window that Obamacare was passed in the Senate with 60 all-Democratic votes.

Did President Obama have "total control' of Congress during his first two years as president? Absolutely not and any assertions to the contrary.....as you can plainly see in the above chronology....is a lie.

This is the archive of the original chronology link.

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago

Also a very important point here was how much more non-political the supreme court was then. No one would ever consider Roe vs Wade could be overturned or even want it. There were generally agreed upon rules that the supreme courts and courts in general were populated with the most qualified people. Judge appointments were scrapped by gentleman agreements if the Senator from the state where the judge was from didn't support the nomination. Same if any of the non-partisan law associations said the person wasn't qualified enough. So most judges were well qualified and if they were more conservative or liberal wasn't as big of a consideration. There were plenty of "conservative" judges appointed judges nominated by democratic and vice versa. This all change with Mitch McConnell blocking Merrick Garland appointment to the supreme court who was suggested as the more moderate alternative. This lead to the hyper partisanship of the supreme court we see now with the trump appointees. This is why trust in the organization has eroded so fast. Since it all happened so fast and judges are acting much more politically instead of following law and precedent

[-] draneceusrex 15 points 1 month ago

Looks at the current SCOTUS roster, notices both Alito was appointed to the court in 2006, and Thomas was appointed in 1995 (after a huge sexual harassment fiasco no one seems to ever bring up any more). Finds their records are even worse than the Trump appointments.

Nope, sorry doesn't line up...

The gross politics of the GOP started with Nixon, and was driven to overtime after they lost power when Clinton took office by Rush Limbaugh, Murdock, and the like. That was the real turning point. Where we are is a progression to the GOP going more and more radical, but the seeds were always there. Honestly, I think Roe stood for so long because they weren't stupid enough to actually appeal it back then.

[-] slickgoat 6 points 1 month ago

To me, making political appointments for the judiciary always made this a possibility. It happened in the old days, and it might happen again. And it did.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago

Because Democrats aren’t progressives, and maintaining the status quo is good for them. They get easy paychecks from lobby groups, and don’t have to fight too hard for anything. And if something bad happens, like Roe v. Wade, they can use it as fodder to get reelected. It’s not really in their best interests to work on making things better, at least from a personal financial standpoint.

[-] jordanlund 10 points 1 month ago

Because "control" doesn't mean much in the Senate unless you have 60 votes to break a filibuster.

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago

American politicians mostly argue over issues as a way to earn votes. It's like the story of the young priest.

Every week he listens to the old priest talk about the church's roof and how badly it needs repairs and has been for years. He asks the congregation to give generously as the quotes to repair it have been quite high. The young priest decides to call around and eventually finds a religious contractor who agrees to repair the roof at a steep discount! The young priest walks into church one morning to see the old priest outside in shock that the roof has been fixed. The young priest proudly explains how he was finally able to fix the bad roof that had been a pain for years. The old priest says "You idiot! Now how will I get people to donate!?"

[-] mydude 8 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Regarding roe, this pretty much explains it:

The first thing I'll do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BdrOrwmk78Y

Im pro choice https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nmzdkAbu8dY

Not my highest priority https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiDZejZFjg

parody... No https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1z4uhxpOnN0

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

Cult members sure dislike it when their team's truth is put out in open.

[-] Illuminostro 7 points 1 month ago
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[-] TheJack 6 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Like it or not, the United States are of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.

Now I totally disagree with Republicans on almost everything especially since 2014 but one thing I like about them is, how to pass the actual laws, and how to put justices in supreme court.

No matter how wrong are they, or who paid (directly or indirectly) to pass the laws... when they have majority, they just steamrolls.

Democrats on the other hand are just talks.

Edit: Though, on a larger scale, I think Democracy is a failed experiment. But that's entirely a different debate.

Look at just one example:

In Europe, Apple was told accept outside payments. Apple made mockery of the wish of the people they are making money from... and made it more expensive to use outside payment system.

Now take a guess, if it was China asked Apple to implement something serious... do you think Apple would be able to make mockery of Chinese government and still survive in China?

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this post was submitted on 16 May 2024
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