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We Have a President, Not a King

In, “White House Officials Upset That Republicans Playing Politics Interfered With Their Attempt To Play Politics,” Doug has written almost exactly what I was about to over a manufactured kerfuffle.

In it, he points to a strange MEDIAite column  by Tommy Christopher (“Speaker John Boehner Should Resign For His Unprecedented Insult To The President“) that someone emailed me last night and is making the rounds on the blogs.

Let’s give Republicans every benefit of the doubt. Let’s say the White House made their request in the most arrogant, uppity fashion imaginable, and said, “Hey, BONER, you wingers have been bitching up a storm about hearing our plan, so we wanna do this your first day back, so you pricks don’t have a sliver of daylight to claim the President is dragging his feet, or something. Yeah, we know you have a debate that night, but you can push that back a few ticks, mmkay? Haven’t you mouth-breathers heard of the DVR?”

You might not like that request, but it was made in private, in the customary manner, and was completely in bounds. If you want a friend, get a dog, but governing politics is a ruff business.

The time to raise an objection to the date was when the White House first contacted Boehner’s office, the following hour-and-a-half, or even in the fifteen minutes between when they received the letter, and when it was made public. Waiting several hours to send a refusal letter was a calculated decision, designed to disrespect and embarrass the President. Let’s grant that his hypothetical heads-up was the worst provocation imaginable. It was made in private, and the Speaker’s public response was an unprecedented insult to the office of the President of the United States.

As for people like Ed Schultz, who accuse the President of “caving” to Boehner, this is like accusing Newton’s apple of “caving in” to gravity. The President can’t address a joint session of Congress without a concurrent resolution, which Boehner well knew. Rather than handle this the way Speakers always have, like a man, face to face, he made a conscious decision to put Barack Obama in his place by making a public refusal.

This isn’t the first unprecedented Republican insult to the presidency under Barack Obama (but it is, by far, the worst), and it isn’t even the first time John Boehner has tried to make the President “heel” with his datebook. It ought to be the last. Every American who has an appropriate respect for the office of the presidency should demand that John Boehner resign, and every legislator should amplify that demand. The problems facing this country are too great to be left in the hands of someone with such contempt for its highest office.

As someone who’s voted for every Republican president since 1984 and can count on two fingers the number of Democrats he’s voted for at any level, I’ve been frustrated with some of the partisan shenanigans played by Boehner and company. But this isn’t one of them. He countered heavyhanded political grandstanding with a deft maneuver of his own. It’s a ruff business and the White House lost one.

Despite the mythology that has been built up over the years, the president is not in charge of the Congress and the Speaker of the House owes him no deference whatsoever aside from the courtesy of calling him “Mr. President.” Boehner answers only to the constituents of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District and, as Speaker, to the House Republican Caucus.

Nor is the Speaker in any way obligated to jump through hoops to accommodate the president’s political schedule. An address to a Joint Session of Congress is a rare event, usually reserved for the annual State of the Union address and the occasional breaking emergency. Given a week’s notice and an obviously-politically-motivated ploy to hold the speech precisely when the Republican debate was long scheduled–not to mention only a few hours after Congress returns from a scheduled recess– it’s hardly unreasonable to insist  the president push off a day.

Frankly, given that the incredible likelihood that there will be nothing new here, with the president using the Congress as a background prop for what amounts to a political stump speech, Boehner would have been well within his rights to decline the request altogether. The television networks have quite often made that decision in recent years.

Christopher is not alone in his outsized notion of the deference owed to the president. Presumably, this stems from the fact that the American president, virtually alone among national leaders, serves as both the effective head of government and nominal head of state.

In the former role, he is a mere politician but one with the enormous power that comes with being in charge of the Executive branch of government. While arguably secondary in domestic politics to the Legislative branch in policymaking, the Executive controls the day-to-day operations of the federal government.

In the latter role, which is unspecified by the Constitution but wielded by every occupant going back to George Washington, the president is the ceremonial leader of the country. He hosts state dinners, cuts ribbons, gives important speeches, and issues statements when something significant happens, someone important dies, or someone sells a lot of Girl Scout cookies. When he’s filling this role, he represents the country as a whole and Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and the like are expected to let him have the limelight.

Because presidents sometimes wear both hats at the same time, it can be awkward. The classic example of this was Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In 1998, he gave a State of the Union address just days after the incredibly embarrassing allegations broke. The following year, he gave the address just days after being impeached by the House and just days before the Senate was to hear the case. Yet, both times, Members were expected to defer to the ceremonial leader of the country. More recently, we’ve had mini-brouhahas when Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” and Justice Samuel Alito mouthed “Not true” during separate Obama speeches to Joint Sessions.

Presidents can’t have it both ways. If they demand the deference owed to a head of state at these things, then they can’t be partisan heads of government while doing it.

Yes, that’s difficult in the current environment. While I think Ezra Klein takes it a bit far in implying that Boehner would rather not create new jobs if Obama gets credit, there’s no doubt that the atmosphere is toxic. But it’s not like the president doesn’t have direct access to the public airwaves. If he wants to give a policy speech slamming Republican obstructionism without the risk of boos and eye rolls, he can give it from the Oval Office, the Briefing Room, or damned where near anywhere except the Capitol.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    When James Carville thinks the White House made a misstep here, thinking that the president is the injured party is a stretch. Remember: coequal branches. As a citizen of the U. S. Mr. Boehner is the president’s equal, as all of us are. As Speaker of the House, Speaker Boehner is the president’s organizational equal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  2. Derrick says:

    It’s funny how all of the rules have changed for this particular President. Do you want to heckle at a SOTU? Sure. Can he give a speech to congress about jobs when unemployment is rising? Hell no. Can we call him a Muslim Socialist who hates America? Of course we can.

    The next conservative who even insuates that Democrats were worse to Bush, should walk into a brick wall 5x as punishment.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 13

  3. PogueMahone says:

    Article II, sec 3

    “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. James Joyner says:

    @PogueMahone: He’s already given the SOTU this year. And he’s being allowed to address a Joint Session. Nothing in the Constitution says he’s got the right to do this whenever he wants and command Congress’ attendance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Boyd says:

    @Derrick: You might have a better argument if you used examples of things that actually happened.

    Okay, I’ll grant you the heckle. But the President wasn’t denied the opportunity to address Congress. He just wasn’t allowed to dictate all the terms of that address to a co-equal branch of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. pajarosucio says:

    I don’t think it’s an issue of fealty to the president. There seems to be a fairly strong perception that House Republicans are determined to do anything, no matter how petty, to disparage Obama and this is simply one more instance. That may or may not be a true reflection of reality, though, I believe that it is in general, but this case is quite awkward. What was the WH doing scheduling the speech on the night of the Republican debate? Perhaps Obama was trying to step on the Republicans’ thunder, or, perhaps the intention behind it was innocuous – maybe this kind of thing is common or Obama was trying to miss scheduling on top of the NFL opener. But the whole ordeal seems to epitomize the pettiness and partisan warfare of both sides in Washington, not a reflection of the symbolic power of the presidency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. JKB says:

    @PogueMahone:

    Convene means the President can cause one or both houses to assemble. It doesn’t mean he can take over the podium in the chambers. It doesn’t mean he can address the houses directly in their chambers. It simply means that the President can call the Congress to meet do conduct some extraordinary business that can’t wait until their normal assemblage.

    And as a practical matter, it means that convening happens post haste as the delay until next week implies the circumstances are not extraordinary in this sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. EddieInCA says:

    James –

    With all due respect, you’re missing the point.

    In that article, it states clearly that the White House asked Boehner if it was okay to do the speech on the 7th. He supposedly said okay. Then they wrote him a formal letter with the request. Again, no issues. It’s not until the White House went public, after Bohener had raised NO OBJECTIONS, that Boehner then said “No.”.

    How does one negotiate with people whose word isn’t worth a damn?

    From the article:

    At about 10 or 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, White House chief of staff Bill Daley called House Speaker John Boehner and asked that a joint session of Congress be assembled the following Wednesday night. The White House viewed Boehner as a political opponent, but not an enemy and the call was cordial, even pro forma considering such a request had never before been refused.

    And, according to the White House source, Boehner said “okay” to Daley’s request for the Wednesday evening date. (Asked for comment, Boehner’s press secretary, Brendan Buck, said he had nothing to add to his statement of Wednesday that read in part: “No one in the speaker’s office – not the speaker, not any staff – signed off on the date the White House announced today.”)

    Then things quickly unraveled. It turned out not everyone was as sanguine as Boehner with the notion that a Democratic president was going to step on a Republican debate.

    At 11:55 a.m. Wednesday, the White House tweeted the news about the joint session. “And then Rush Limbaugh beat Boehner up,” the source said.

    The conservative talk show personality was in his familiar state of high dudgeon. “This is a pure campaign speech and to give it the imprimatur of a speech before a joint session of Congress, there’s no way, he doesn’t deserve that,” Limbaugh said. “Boehner’s got to say no. Now, whether he will, I have no clue.”

    A number of Republicans in the House and a few in the Senate did have a clue and they told Boehner that while they would allow the joint session – it was hard not to for both historic and political reasons – the timing had to be on their terms, which meant it could not conflict with the
    Republican debate.

    At which point Boehner’s office announced that Boehner had never agreed to the Wednesday date, that Congress did not get back into session until 6:30 p.m. on that day, that various votes had to be taken, that security had to be arranged and Obama should push his speech back a day to Thursday.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/62505.html#ixzz1WoKqMYER

    The White House didn’t try to “roll” the House. It asked, and was given no refusal, for the date. According to the President’s Chief of Staff, Boehner even said “Okay”. Then, a refusal after the White House went public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  9. Boyd says:

    @EddieInCA: So we have conflicting stories with the White House saying, “Hey, we cleared it with Boehner!” and the Speaker’s office responding with “Nobody ever cleared nuthin’!” And the result is a story written entirely from the White House’s viewpoint. I mean, look at it: every point it makes is from the position that the White House asked and the Speaker said yes. There’s absolutely no consideration of “Hey, maybe the Speaker’s press secretary is telling the truth!”

    And that bleeds over into your conclusion that White House is blameless here, when it’s completely a “he said, she said” scenario. Which is why I view your conclusion as invalid. Not that I know it didn’t happen that way, just that there’s an equal likelihood that it happened the way the Speaker’s office says it did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  10. EddieInCA says:

    @Boyd:

    Boyd –

    Perhaps you missed this piece from Tommy Christopher’s article:

    Both parties agree that the White House consulted Boehner’s office prior to making the request, and no objections were raised. According to Jay Carney, this was done about an hour-and-a-half before the request was made public, and Boehner’s office has not refuted this. They also admit to having received the letter fifteen minutes before it was released to the public, and again, they raised no objections.

    What say you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  11. Jeremy R says:

    @Boyd: There seems to be no dispute that Boehner raised no objections in the phonecall with Bill Daley, that he waited until hours later, after the President rolled out the speech announcement, to publicly swat it down. Boehner’s office is also not disputing that the reasons he cited in his letter were total BS (there were no important votes scheduled, he has total control of that schedule anyway and congress has never gone out of session as the GOP hasn’t allowed it to (for months) in order to block recess appointments).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. Jeremy R says:

    As to the story, I just have trouble not seeing this sort of thing as aberrant behavior:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62448.html

    Sen. Jim DeMint vowed Wednesday to try to block President Barack Obama from addressing a joint session of Congress on the same day as a Republican presidential debate next week.

    A lone determined senator can tie the chamber in knots for days, and the House and Senate must both pass a concurrent resolution to allow for the president to speak to a joint session.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-walsh-to-skip-obama-jobs-speech-20110901,0,6203960.story

    House Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois is thumbing his nose at President Obama’s speech on jobs before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8 — by skipping it.

    Talking about avoiding Obama’s address, Walsh said in his statement: “I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects.”

    He added: “The president needs to stop the speeches, get out of his office and away from all the White House academics and start talking to real people out there. They’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, not White House paper-pushers and bureaucrats.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  13. Boyd says:

    @EddieInCA and @Jeremy R: Good points. It sure seems like, in that light, that the Speaker set up a political trap in response to a political affront.

    As to labeling it as aberrant behavior, it sure seems to be truly partisan to regard the Republicans’ actions as aberrant and not the Democrats’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  14. Jay Tea says:

    @EddieInCA: Here’s a scenario that seems, to me, to address your inconsistencies.

    Both parties agree that the White House consulted Boehner’s office prior to making the request, and no objections were raised.

    The White House says “how about next Wednesday?”

    Boehner’s office, surprised, says “um… I guess… let us get back to you.” and starts scrambling for what to say. Someone thinks of the GOP debate, someone else realizes it’s within a couple of hours of coming back into session, they start wondering how they’ll handle it.

    90 minutes later, the White House announces it.

    91 minutes later, Boehner’s office goes “WTF? We said we’d get back to them!” Someone then comes up with the “logistics” point — not their first objection, but a valid and politically neutral one. Someone else suggests the next day as a compromise. Someone realizes it’s NFL opening night… and smiles all around. A blatantly political move is countered, and Obama’s planned political scheme falls apart.

    No lying needed, no ill will (apart from the standard political maneuvering), no grand conspiracies.

    Just a theory, but a fairly simple one that fits what we know as of now.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  15. Jay Tea says:

    @Boyd: That’s because the Democrats are expected to play cheap political games for cheap political gain, while the Republicans are supposed to be too stupid to keep up. They’re just supposed to scowl and say “curses, foiled again! The people have prevailed once more, dammit!”

    Dude, you gotta keep up with your stereotypes.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  16. Jay Tea says:

    Seriously: there’s a reason why the Speaker is third in line for the presidency. The Speaker is the Master of the House, a position unequalled in the Senate (where the vice-president officially presides). He is the leader of one half of a co-equal branch of the government, in many ways equal to the president. He is in no way subordinate to the president, and the House (the physical chamber) is utterly independent of the president’s power. (Remember the near-Constitutional crisis when the FBI searched the offices of then-Representative William Jefferson? The key element there was the Separation of Powers — the FBI is part of the Executive Branch, and the House is of the Legislative.)

    The president has no right to enter the House without the consent — and, by tradition, at the invitation — of the Speaker. It is his (or, sometimes, her) House, and the president is there as a guest. If the host wishes to decline or reschedule, that is entirely his right.

    Boehner handled this masterfully and diplomatically. And Obama demonstrated, once again, that he really is a SCOAMF whose rather transparent and inept scheme rightfully fell apart on him.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  17. EddieInCA says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Except, as usual, your facts are off.

    It was six hours, not 91 minutes.

    Six hours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  18. Jeremy R says:

    @Boyd: The WH was expected to deliver their jobs address once Congress returned from vacation and was back in session. They wanted the most desirable venue, a Joint Session of Congress. As Congress was only going to be in session Wed & Thurs that meant either bumping up against the MSNBC GOP debate or, if they wanted a primetime slot, trying to get the networks to let them interrupt the NFL opener. They also felt any delay in the speech would be panned as a lack of seriousness and alacrity in responding to the economic crisis.

    Assuming those facts, I think a lot of the pundit class’ political assumptions are actually wrong. The day that made most sense for the WH was obviously Wed, but the WH likely actually saw the MSNBC debate as a political negative consequence of requesting that date (since it would likely be interpreted as a crassly partisan move & the entire GOP field would have had a boost in viewership as folks tuned in curious as to how they were going to respond to the President — they then could have each hammered him directly with generic, prepared talking-points).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Jay Tea says:

    @EddieInCA: OK, where the hell did I get the 90 minutes thing? Lemme look back up thread…

    Got it — we’re cross-talking here, not quite disagreeing, just not quite understanding each other.

    By your timeline, the call from the White House was 10:00 or 10:30. Then the announcement went out at 11:55, That’s a gap of 85 to 115 minutes, and I said “90.” Round both time stamps to 10:30 and noon, and it’s 90 minutes — close enough for government work.

    My “91 minutes” was meant as “one minute after the announcement,” when Boehner’s office realized just what a jam they were in. It obviously took more than a minute to figure out just what had happened and how to best handle it.

    I still think it hangs together in concept.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  20. Boyd says:

    @Jeremy R: I believe this is where your argument stumbles:

    Assuming those facts

    But on the positive side, you appear to be pretty adept at that whole post hoc rationalization thing. :-)

    This whole imbroglio is just another episode of political gamesmanship. It turns out that the Obama administration failed at it miserably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  21. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Yes, it is wonderful how all your theories make perfect sense as long as you’re able to make up all the facts involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  22. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: The facts I used, WR, were the ones Eddie cited. Shut your piehole while grownups talk.

    Now back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  23. Wayne says:

    It is amazing how liberals are so concern with insulting the President when he is a Democrat. When the President is a Republican it is all fair game and is a Patriotic act to do so. Also they have no problem with a Democrat President insulting the Supreme Court, Congress or American citizens.

    An age old rule, if you want to be treated with respect then you need to treat others with respect.

    Of course if I were to use the liberals’ tactics, I would be saying things like “stop whining”, “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”, “the President need to put on his big boys panties if he wants to set at the adult table”, etc. If you don’t believe that is the language liberals use, go back and look at about any post where people complained about how Palin was treated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  24. AA says:

    “We have a President, not a King

    More like a court jester.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  25. Wayne says:

    One more thing, I’m not sure why the President is making a big deal about the scheduling unless they actually want it to distract from the substance. If they kept with the original line that it was no big deal, the controversy would died down in a couple days. Now it will likely have legs and overshadow his speech. Maybe they can’t help themselves about complaining about almost everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Here are the “facts” you used:

    “Boehner’s office, surprised, says “um… I guess… let us get back to you.” and starts scrambling for what to say. Someone thinks of the GOP debate, someone else realizes it’s within a couple of hours of coming back into session, they start wondering how they’ll handle it.

    90 minutes later, the White House announces it.

    91 minutes later, Boehner’s office goes “WTF? We said we’d get back to them!” Someone then comes up with the “logistics” point — not their first objection, but a valid and politically neutral one. Someone else suggests the next day as a compromise. Someone realizes it’s NFL opening night… and smiles all around. A blatantly political move is countered, and Obama’s planned political scheme falls apart. ”

    .Your “facts” consist of conversations you could not possibly have overheard, realizations you weren’t around to witness, and inner thoughts of people you’ve never met.

    If these are what you consider “facts,” then I guess I finally understand your political philosophy — “the world is whatever I say it is, so there.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  27. EddieInCA says:

    Wayne –

    Again… When has any congress, EVER, rejected the request of the President to speak before a joint session of congress or said “Sorry, that date doesn’t work for us, try another date.”?

    When?

    Never.

    So your point is… what?

    I’d love for you to back up your assertion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  28. Boyd says:

    @EddieInCA: So when has any President, EVER, requested to address a Joint Session of Congress at the same time as a long-scheduled debate by presidential candidates from the opposition party?

    When?

    Never.

    So your point is…what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  29. jan says:

    @Wayne:

    If they kept with the original line that it was no big deal, the controversy would died down in a couple days,

    Very good point, Wayne.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. WR says:

    @Boyd: And more to the point, when has the President ever dared to be an uppity black man before? Never.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  31. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: Apparently you missed the part where I labeled that all a THEORY, you brainless prat. Couched in feigned dialogue for entertainment value.

    I’d ask if that was the best you got, but I already know the answer… yes, it is.

    Back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  32. Boyd says:

    @WR: Nice non sequitur to go along with your race card there, WR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  33. DRH says:

    @Derrick: Um, one guy offered an outburst of two words. *That* is what has you in a tizzy? Oh, and an “emergency” because of unemployment? Newsflash : the jobs situation has bin abysmal for Obama’s entire term. How is his speach “urgent”? Even Obama’s people are saying that he’s at best going to offer a partial plan next week.

    Yawn

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. DRH says:

    @PogueMahone: Obama’s speeches stopped being “extraordinary Occasions” quite soem time ago….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: It’s not my fault if you lay out your little fantasies as a “theory” and then later claim they’re based on “fact.” For God’s sake, you keep insisting you’re not 17 years old — learn how the language works and try to use it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  36. WR says:

    @Boyd: Not a non sequitur at all. It’s no surprise that the Tea Party-driven Republicans can’t stand to show Obama the tiniest bit of respect, that they do their best to humiliate him at every turn. The only surprise is that they’ve so far mostly managed to keep themselves from calling him “boy.”

    Republicans already find it a personal insult when a Democrat is in the White House — look how they treated Clinton when he took “their” office. And now there’s a black Democrat there, and they’d rather trash the entire institution of the presidency than afford him the tiniest crumb of respect.

    Maybe you’re not an ignorant racist creep like the Republicans in Congress. Good for you. But the fact that you’re not a racist doesn’t mean they’re not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  37. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: Go get a dictionary, you moron. When someone takes facts and adds speculations to them that are consistent, it’s called a “theory.” Which I labeled as such.

    I guess your explanation is that Boehner’s office conned the White House by saying “yes” and then said “no,” and even conned them into backing their saying they’d first “confirmed it” with Boehner’s office, then walked it back to say “consulted with?” Man, Boehner’s GOOD. He not only lied to Obama, he got Obama’s people to help cover up the lie!

    Dude, go and think about the last time you actually had something productive to add to any conversation. In the meantime… back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. Jay Tea says:

    @Boyd: You gotta remember, WR is exceptionally limited. Race card, non sequiturs, and aggressive cluelessness. That’s his entire “arsenal.”

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Moderate Mom says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Tip O’Neil refused to allow Reagan to address Congress in 1986. Granted, he didn’t request a joint session, but it was political gamesmanship. It is not unprecedented.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/02/remember-when-tip-oneill-rejected-reagans-request-to-address-the-house/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: My “theory” is that you make up whatever crap you think will support your team, you have no concept of how to construct a logical argument, and you think you’re some kind of wit. Your speculation is juvenile, your facts non-existent. And when you’re called on it, you whine like a baby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  41. Fudd says:

    The WH was expected to deliver their jobs address once Congress returned from vacation and was back in session.

    Obama could deliver a speech to the nation pretty much anytime he wanted. For example, before he went on vacation to Martha’s Vineyards.

    They wanted the most desirable venue, a Joint Session of Congress.

    Congress is under no obligation to serve as a prop for Obama’s re-election campaign.

    They also felt any delay in the speech would be panned as a lack of seriousness and alacrity in responding to the economic crisis.

    How long has Obama been on the job now? How many times has he claimed he was going to “pivot” to focus on jobs?

    This was an obvious attempt by Team Obama to upstage the GOP debate. This preening faux outrage by Obama’s sycophants is pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: You know something? I don’t think you’ve embarrassed yourself enough here. I think you can dig yourself even deeper into the Pit Of Idiocy. And I’m gonna lend you a shovel.

    On second thought, I’m going to give you a shovel. I won’t want it back.

    So, what’s your idea of what happened? Come on, enlighten us all. The only way you could be so certain that my possibility is impossible is if you know THE TRUTH. So share.

    J.

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  43. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: See, Jay, here’s the thing: I don’t pretend to know what went on behind closed doors between people I’ve never met. I don’t fantasize conversations in which my team is the victim of the big meanies on the other side. I don’t try to make myself look important by pretending to be an insider with special knowledge that anyone with eyes could see I couldn’t have.

    Apparently you think this makes me look stupid. Which is yet another reason you seem to live in Bizarro-world.

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  44. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: Let’s see. You have no idea what happened behind the scenes, but you’re dead-set that my own speculation — entirely consistent with the known facts — is completely wrong.

    RIIIIIIIIIGHT.

    Folks, this is what happens when you let partisanship and passion overwhelm what little brains WR had to begin with. Take it as a cautionary tale.

    Back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

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  45. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Let me try this again, since you seem to be even slower than usual today: LIKE YOU, I have no idea what went on behind the scenes between people I’ve never met. UNLIKE YOU, I don’t pretend to have magical insight into the thinking of the various parties, and I don’t manufacture theories to make my side look good and the other side look bad.

    And somehow this refusal to make stuff up about things neither of us has any knowledge of simply to make my team look good is a symptom of partisanship and passion overwhelming brains.

    My God, do you ever actually read what you type? Because this may actually be the stupidest thing ever posted on the Internet — and that includes Jan’s glowing praise of people who want to save the country be reinstating Jim Crow.

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  46. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: OK, now I understand our disagreement, and it’s my fault.

    I had no idea that you were actually dumber than I thought humanly possible.

    Your whole “argument” is based on the notion that at some point I said “this is what REALLY happened.” You simply are too stupid to grasp such concepts as “speculation” or “theory” or “conjecture,” and that’s my fault for not realizing or remembering that you are, indeed, that stupid.

    For that, my profoundest apologies. I will try to remember that you have barely three neurons to rub together, and can’t handle such abstract concepts as “hypothetical.”

    J.

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