As the president and Congress prepare to do battle over the federal debt limit, Thomas G. Donlan of Barron’s reminds us of an interesting commentary from the not-too-distant past.

As one junior Democratic senator said in 2006, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

Barack Obama disowned those sentiments six years later, labeling them “just an example of a new senator making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country.” Now, of course, the president would not think of taking a stance that is based solely on politics, rather than the good of the country. (Remember to breathe as you laugh; you don’t want to cause yourself any permanent damage.)