But, more specifically to your point... Has it been as obstructing in the past? Shrug. There are a lot of reason why things are different now then in the past. Including the size of the current financial mess, the fact that both parties are more partisan due to gerrymandering, etc...
However, democrats have complained and voted against debt celing increases when republicans are in powe - they just didn't have the necessry votes, but they tried. Just as the current republicans are complaining and planning on voting against debt ceiling increases while Obama is in power. So, this is hardly anything new. It's just one party trying to ignore the past and talk a good game, often with assistance from the media.
Obama 2006 vs. Obama January 2011 vs. Obama April 2011 on the Debt Ceiling - ABC News“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” he said. “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. … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” He did. It passed narrowly – by a vote of 52-48.
Back in 2006, I recall the media was really concerned about the spending and were on teh side of bringing the costs or, probably more liekly increasing taxes. NOw, not so much.>> Now it's all republicans fault for not just going along.