[Ed. – Obama has accomplishments?]
We have a tendency in Washington to attribute whatever gets done in politics to whoever occupies the White House at that moment.
It’s among our very worst habits.
Take the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare. The bill was written in the Senate and modified in the House. It passed because Harry Reid managed something that seemed almost unthinkable: he held every single Senate Democrat — 60 of them, at least at the crucial moment — together to vote for a sprawling, unpopular bill that raised taxes, cut Medicare spending, and insured tens of millions of Americans.
Many political commentators speak with awe at the job Mitch McConnell did in 2009 and 2010 uniting the Senate’s 40 (and, later, 41) Republicans in opposition to President Obama’s agenda. And it was an impressive show of party unity. But it was easier than the job Reid had: uniting 60 (and, after Scott Brown’s election, 59) senators in favor of difficult, often unpopular bills with distinct tradeoffs. And yet for all the GOP’s vaunted party discipline, Senate Democrats actually voted more in lockstep than Senate Republicans.
Reid, who announced his retirement on Friday, deserves credit for much of the legislative legacy that will be attributed to Obama.