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I agree that the two top Republicans are likely posturing politically, which is a shame (QUITE PLAYING POLITICS!!! ). I disagree that the POTUS holds some sort of higher position in the government than any member of Congress, let alone the citizens of the United States. My view is elected members of government answer to the people, not the other way around.
The government should be afraid of its people, not the other way around.
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Meh. Mrs. P is right in terms of protocol and wrong in terms of word-choice.
The word "hierarchy" implies that power devolves in a sort of unitary way from the head of state, which is clearly not the case in the U.S. The word to my eye is an ill-advised choice, given the obvious argument available to anyone aware of the non-dictatorial character of the U.S. government. It was purposefully formed to concentrate more power in the hands of the Executive branch than elsewhere, and the "imperial presidency" has become even more of a tradition in recent years, with the POTUS for all intents and purposes becomming the sole arbiter of military action -- rather than Congress, as intended.
As a matter of protocol, however, "sir" or "Mr. President" is the way any senator or rep is supposed to address the POTUS. The senate and house leadership stand when the Pres enters the room. When the leadership enters a room in which the Pres is seated, he does not rise, as a matter of protocol. He is indeed the chief executive of the nation; they are by comparison average Joes.
He is the head of state. They are not.
So whether it's a mask of arrogance covering for fear, or a show of arrogance as a test of boundaries, it's what one calls a chutzpah to reschedule the President.
Seems to me that any actual action that threatens the right wing that they'll have to actually make the budget cuts they campaigned for is a minefield for these guys. They have two choices: get what they said they want, and be considered the gutters of our social safety net, military, and capacity to govern - or not get what they want, so they can get reelected, and be unmasked as hypocrites.
I think they're looking for a way to make it about their bitterness against Obama, which they believe will poll well indefinitely. Bad news guys - if you track the Gallup dailys, it looks like the underemployment + unemployment number is down a percentage point the last few weeks. Another few months of that and they're screwed.
Yeah, it is way better to figure out how to divide the nation and get on their soap-boxes than cope with their internally inconsistent mantra of lowering already historically low taxes and balancing the budget.