Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan attacked President Obama for “having a problem with the levers of power” after the Senate failed to pass background checks for gun sales despite the legislation receiving majority support -- the final vote was 54-46, with 41 Republicans voting against the measure. Previously Noonan has dismissed concerns about historic Republican obstruction in Congress with a sarcastic “boo hoo.”
Appearing on Meet The Press, Noonan responded to the Senate's inability to pass background checks by referring to “a problem” when “90% of the American people” supported it but President Obama “can't make anything move.”
Noonan neglected to mention that the measure required 60 votes in response to a Republican-led filibuster, so even though the vote was 54 to 46 in favor, the legislation failed.
In response, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explained how obstructionism, in the form of the 60-vote threshold required by filibusters, is preventing the Senate from acting on popular measures.
Strangely, Noonan responded that “something's not working there” and asked if Majority Leader Harry Reid was supporting the President.
In fact, Reid supported the amendment, but voted against it in a procedural move so that the legislation could possibly come up for a vote in the future. That appears to have confused Noonan.
In a September 2012 appearance on Face The Nation, Noonan derisively dismissed concerns about Republican obstruction.
After Mother Jones' David Corn cited research from Congressional experts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein which found that Republicans shoulder the blame for the vast majority of current Congressional inaction, Noonan responded, “oh my goodness, boo hoo.”
Similarly, Noonan has previously played down other efforts by Republicans to nullify President Obama's agenda through filibustering judicial nominees and the promotion of voter ID laws in several states.