Barack Obama Is A Hypocrite and It Doesn't Matter

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 7 2012 2:25 PM

Barack Obama Is A Hypocrite and It Doesn't Matter

Republicans liked this Jake Tapper question so much that they immediately clipped it and sent it around.

The question:

Just a second ago, you referred to, when talking about the debt ceiling, taking it off the table needs to be part of the deal.  You referred to the economy being held hostage by an ideological view.  You're aware that when he was a senator, President Obama voted against raising it.
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Indeed, the president is revealed as a cynic, just as he was revealed as a cynic every time Republicans brought up his old debt limit votes and quotes, throughout 2011. Carney's response: "What happened in 2011 was the threat of default." And not to throw my body between the press and the White House, but... that's a perfectly good explanation. Before 2011, the "nay" vote on the debt limit was pure theater. Members of the out-of-power party voted against the debt limit hike because they knew it would pass anyway. Often, the hike was attached to a bill that people actually wanted to vote for.

What Republicans did in 2011 was unique -- demanding concessions in exchange for a debt limit increase. Barack Obama never did this. John Boehner is still doing it. As much as I respect the reality-bending powers of Republican flacks, this one's unbendable.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.