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Very little, Obama didn't have the advantage of a friendly congress.

Obama had both houses of Congress for his first two years. He could have passed any law he wanted (indeed, that's how Obamacare got passed).

Which wasn't even the bill he wanted (Obamacare). They lacked a super majority (two thirds) in the Senate, so lots of compromises still had to happen.

Fortunately, the Republican's also lack a super majority in the Senate this time around.

"They lacked a super majority (two thirds) in the Senate, so lots of compromises still had to happen."

Sorry, that is simply not true. Obamacare was passed without a single amendment (or even a full debate), and without a single Republican vote.

That doesn't at all mean no compromises were made. It would be oversimplifying and naive to assume that the only compromises made in political dealings manifested as amendments.

Does getting Lieberman's vote by leaving out a public option count as a compromise?


No one seriously believes that Lieberman was ever anything but a Democrat, so no.

I'll have to re-read stuff on the ACA's passing through Congress.

But my statement about the supermajority is true. The Democrats (with Independents) had at most 60 members of the Senate (2009-2010), Republicans had from 39-42 (vacancies and other things going on).

Democrats did not have sufficient control of the Senate to guarantee they could get whatever they wanted.

See above. They could have used the nuclear option on day one (as they eventually did do).

Perhaps they were trying to stick to Obama's primary campaign promise of seeking bipartisan cooperation.

Their motivation doesn't enter into it. The argument is about whether they had the power. They clearly did, and they clearly did exercise that power at a later time.

I recall one of the Republicans predicting that at some future time the Democrats were going to regret having used the nuclear option. That time is probably about right now.

I'm afraid there's no way to put that big cloud back into that shiny metal ball.

A super-majority is 3/5th or 60 senators in the US Senate, not 2/3rds. From July 2009 to January 2010, Democrats (+ Independents Sanders and Lieberman) had such a super-majority in the Senate.

Democrats in the Senate used this super-majority to pass the ACA (Obamacare) in December 2009. Technically, they used the super-majority to end the filibuster and then voted on the bill.

"Fortunately, the Republican's also lack a super majority in the Senate this time around."

Unfortunately, the Democrats have already gone nuclear repeatedly.

What makes you think the Republicans won't do the same?

Edit: typo.

Can you clarify what you mean by "gone nuclear"? I'll admit, that's not ringing a bell in my mind when it comes to Congress, but it's also late here and I'm tired.

EDIT: Ah, rules changes on filibuster and such. There's no guarantee. The Republicans do only have 51 members, though, with 48 for the Democrats and (per CNN's results) 1 seat still being tallied (?).

They could change the filibuster rules and make it easier on themselves, but it's a much narrower margin than in 2009.

EDIT 2: Regarding the empty seat, that's LA. If people vote in the runoff (not still being tallied) by the same party lines, it'll likely go to the remaining Republican candidate. So it'll be 52/48. Rule changes will need Democrats on board with them, this is unlikely.

Changing the rules requires only a simple majority.

There's a reason it was called the "nuclear option".

Misread the necessary numbers on the rules change. Still a narrower margin, but doesn't require Democrats to help out.

If they change it to only require simple majority then I guarantee it will never change back. Partisanship is dead. The thugs won't appoint a supreme court justice, the thugs won't appoint any other judicial appointments. This will never be forgotten and there will never be compromise again. It's obstructionism on both sides from here on out.

You mean "Bipartisanship is dead," right?

It is a myth that Democrats had full control of the House/Senate for 2 years to pass any bill he wanted:


I'm trying to figure out if the person who wrote that doesn't understand how Congress works, or is simply being deceptive.

The only "myth" there is pretending that it requires a filibuster-proof majority to pass any legislation.

The truth of that "myth" was well established during Obama's tenure.



They could have done that on day one.

Why the downvote? The Dems clearly had the power to use the nuclear option (and in fact they did use it later in Obama's term, so this isn't just theoretical).

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