(CNN) - It’s hard not to be a bit cynical in watching politics unfold in Washington.
As you know, the Republicans are all lined up resisting any effort to simply pass an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling with a straight up-or-down vote. They insist on large-scale spending cuts.
The Democrats and President Obama would certainly prefer what’s called a clean bill.
What a difference a few years and a new president can make.
Check out The New York Times of March 16, 2006. The story notes that the Senate voted to increase the nation’s debt ceiling by a 52-to-48 vote. All of the Democrats, including then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Harry Reid, voted against raising the debt ceiling. With the exception of three Republicans, all the Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl, voted in favor of what President George W. Bush was seeking.
Here was the first sentence in the Times report:
“The Senate voted narrowly today to raise the national debt limit to nearly $9 trillion, averting what would have been the first default ever on United States Treasury notes and giving Democrats an opportunity to portray Republicans as reckless with the people’s money.”
Here’s a quote in the article from Harry Reid: “Any objective analysis of our country’s fiscal history would have to conclude that this administration and this rubberstamping Republican Congress are the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of the country. In fact, no other president or Congress even comes close.”
Republican Senator Charles Grassley said the vote in favor of the legislation was necessary to preserve “the full faith and credit of the federal government.”
Now you can better understand why long-time Washington observers can become a bit cynical.