It was another day of Obama-bashing in the Capitol. “I’m profoundly disappointed,” one lawmaker said at a news conference last week. “A disappointment to say the least,” said another. “Wrong decision,” said a third. “His proposal failed.” “It is unjustifiable.” “Quite simply unconscionable.”
What stood out at this particular gripe session, however, was that the speakers were all Democrats.
As they stood in a House television studio and spoke into the cameras, these liberal members were complaining about the slow pace of President Obama’s Afghanistan pullout. But they could just as well have been talking about a score of other White House actions that have enraged them:
• Extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
• Keeping the Guantanamo Bay prison open.
• Declining to support a larger economic stimulus, or a second one.
• Surrendering on the health care public option.
• Foot-dragging on climate change.
• Resisting calls to support gay marriage.
• Surging troops into Afghanistan and removing them too slowly.
• Offering up too many budget cuts in negotiations.
On Friday, House Democrats delivered a symbolic but unusually public rebuke of the president. Seventy voted against authorizing the military action in Libya, and 36 of them voted to cut off funding for the operation.
“America can no longer be asked to be the one that does everything, everywhere, every time,” Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., shouted on the House floor. Before the vote, House Democratic leaders made no effort to keep rank-and-file Democrats from opposing Obama on Libya.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi defended House Republicans’ motives on the Libya resolutions: “I don’t think they’re playing politics. I think they are expressing what they believe.”