Liberals are angry President Barack Obama won a second term, and yet, they didn't get the liberal agenda items they wanted passed in 2013, including gun control and amnesty for illegal aliens. The complaint at the end of the year is that this was the "least productive Congress" in 66 years, with production always being measured by the amount of legislation passed.
But the media complaint here isn't about just any legislation; it's about a liberal wish list. Washington Post reporter Paul Kane laments the "shrunken ambitions" of congressional Democrats in a front-page story: "Back in 2009, during the heady days of hope and change, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced 90 pieces of legislation. In 2013, amid gridlock and dysfunction, he sponsored just 35 bills. None of them became law."
Kane laments Congress as "an institution whose historically low approval rating has been at or below 20 percent for three years." So the problem on Capitol Hill began in 2011 -- the minute Republicans took over the House majority.
The Post reporter does not explain that journalists just started seizing on an overall approval rating for Congress -- an electorally irrelevant number compared to each representative's popularity in the home state or district -- as a way of bolstering Obama by comparison. They didn't seize on any measure of the popularity of Congress during former President George W. Bush's second term because they wanted him to look like a complete loser.
This "least productive Congress" rap suggests that the passage of any legislation is the equivalent of progress. Get a load of how Kane offers a brief balance to his own thesis: "For instance, amid all the outcry over congressional dysfunction in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Congress still managed to pass a bounty of landmark laws, including the Affordable Care Act and two tax-and-budget bills that brought a combined $2.8 trillion in deficit savings."
Note to America: Reporters still insist Obamacare is a "landmark" achievement, regardless of how millions of Americans, now without health care, feel they've been kicked in the teeth by a president who repeatedly lied to them. Reporters simply ignore the very real deficit numbers Obama has rung up -- over $5.1 trillion in his first term -- and pretend it's a tremendous achievement that Congress passed by its own tricky accounting some imaginary "$2.8 trillion in deficit savings."