Posted by: minnow | March 1, 2016

Obstruction and Devision

In a recent conversation, a FB friend called President Obama divisive and an obstructionist.  I had challenged a comment she made on my post about the republican response to the SCOTUS vacancy and she justified her original comment with the accusation about the president.  Rather than continue to argue, I let it go.  Interestingly, the meme that is the subject of this article showed up in my feed the next day and this meme showed up the day after that.  So, I decided to do a little digging.

I found a Gallup poll from President Obama’s fifth year in office. The poll indicated a 71% approval rate gap between the Republicans who approve of his job performance by only 11% and the Democrats who approve of it by 82%. This was down slightly from his election year gap of 76%. According to information put out by PEW research found here,  President Obama’s lowest approval ratings when averaging both Republican and Democrats together is better than the previous eight presidents. At the same time, his highest approval rating is lower than all eleven presidents for whom statistics are available, indicating the division between parties definitely exists.

One of the biggest complaints heard from Republicans is that President Obama forced the Affordable Care Act down their throats.  In truth, Obamacare, as it has been affectionately renamed, went through several months of hearings and revisions and was eventually passed by both the House and Senate before it was signed by the President. Obamacare was even brought before the Supreme Court. Thus, no slipping the law in through the backdoor while no one was looking was at play.  In fact, since Republicans took over the house in 2011, 40 separate votes to repeal or defund Obamacare have been attempted and have failed.  In other words, their attempts to repeal Obamacare have not even gotten as far as the President’s desk to be vetoed.  The evidence needed to legitimately call the President’s behavior over Obamacare divisive or obstructionist simply does not exist.  The shoe actually belongs on the Republican’s foot.

It is safe to say, perception and opinion are not necessarily accurate measures of whether or not President Obama’s behavior can be describes as divisive or obstructionist. So how, in addition to the above example, should we measure this behavior?  Well, if Obama used his veto power to stop legislation that could be seen as obstructive.  And, if he used his executive power to do an end run around Congress that might also be seen as divisive.  So what are the statistics regarding these two measures.  With regard to Executive Orders, President Obama’s numbers through February 20, 2016 are lower, yes lower, than G. W. Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman, and FDR. (I quite looking after that).  And, his first term numbers are lower than Bush Sr., Ford, and JFK. Obviously, he can’t be considered the most divisive president in the modern age because of his use of executive order. So, let’s turn to his record of vetoes.  Since Obama took office he has used the veto a total of 9 times.  That’s not nine since the new year, that’s nine total vetoes. Bush has 12, Clinton had 37. Bush Sr. had 44, and the Republican’s beloved Ronald Reagan had 78.  Clearly, Obama is not playing the obstructionist game.  But there are a few people who are.  And, they are doing so at the expense of the American people.

Let’s look at how Republicans are behaving.  Several Republican senators, including two who are currently running for president, have promised to shut down any SCOTUS nominee President Obama makes. This is their attitude even before they see who the President nominates That’s divisive.  From expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program to  Wall Street Reform, to the Small Business Jobs Act Republicans in congress have withheld their support from everything the president endorses.  That’s divisive. Even the Disclosure Act–which was designed to rein in the flood of secret campaign contributions was blocked from ever coming to a vote in the Senate. That’s divisive.  The words of Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, spoken during Obama’s first term in office revel the GOP’s true agenda and it’s not to work with the President or even let the American public have its say.  After all, President Obama was reelected by over 5 million votes. “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny Barack Obama a second term.” The GOP’s unprecedented bias and unreasonable distain for all things Obama deserve a response from the American people.  Clearly it is time to vote the obstructionists OUT!

Get registered and VOTE in November!




  1. Why would any American vote out those who are doing anything they can to block our domestic enemies’ agenda?

  2. You’ll have to explain yourself a little more. Who do you consider a domestic enemy and why?

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