Overheard on CNN.com: Proper protocol or bullying?
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner
September 1st, 2011
06:50 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Proper protocol or bullying?

Exchange of the Day:

" 'Obama accepts GOP request to push back speech to Congress'; Translation: 'President Obama obeys Boehner' "–Voltairine

"Translation: Yet again the president compromises, something the GOP has no idea how to do."–AGoodwin

Obama accepts GOP request to push back speech to Congress

Boehner disses presidency, and Obama takes it

President Obama intended to address Congress on September 7 on the urgency of creating jobs and growing the economy. House Speaker John Boehner recommended moving the address to September 8, and the president agreed. Arguments abound over whether the scheduling and rescheduling of the speech was simple logistics or a power play on one or both sides. CNN.com reader comments were similarly divided. Some wondered what all the fuss was about.

chapkom asked, "How in the nine hells is a reasonable request to accommodate security procedures 'a political showdown'? Seriously. Boehner made a request and Obama said 'OK.' How is that a showdown? The media need to grow up."

Others were upset with what they saw as Boehner's disrespectful attitude. egb1 said, "Grow up, Boehner. I hope the electorate lets officials know what they think of these stupid pissing matches by voting the officials out of office. The stalemate over the debt ceiling seriously damaged our country's precarious financial health, and now this kind of nonsense over even the most trivial issue - pushing the president's speech back a day just to show that you can."

lexgreen said, "Well, that didn't take long. A nice foreshadowing of the next coming political implosion this fall. I have to question the value of addressing a House of Representatives that has rendered itself nearly invisible as a functioning branch of government. A truly irrelevant bunch that will be unable to fashion any meaningful legislation."

Billwsu said, "He is the president of the United States. He doesn't, and shouldn't, have to get permission to address the nation. Would Eisenhower do this? Roosevelt? Kennedy? Hell no." AnotherSN said, "Way to be the bigger man, Barack. You know, I really do like the man. Both as a human and a president."

But others wanted to see President Obama fight back. LightSpeed1 said, "Good God, man. Is their ANYTHING you won't cave to? Even something as trivial as the timing of a speech? Come on now."

westvil1 said, "Personally, I'm getting tired of Obama and his lack of a backbone." Guest said, "That's the sad truth. Obama has not been a good president but the Republicans are not living in the 21st century. There's no good choice on either side of the aisle."

XsamiX said, "I was a huge, huge Obama supporter; worked his campaign like a full-time job. But like all of America I have watched him become a Milquetoast."

SamNM said, "GOP bully politics continues. Unfortunately, it's working perfectly for them because nobody, including Obama, will stand up to them. In America, nice guys finish last!"

How Obama could be the leader in the room

But Senior Political Analyst David Gergen commended the White House for its quick action, saying that when a president speaks before Congress, he does so as their guest: It was proper for President Obama to accede to Boehner's request, Gergen says. The more important issue, he writes, is whether we will actually now see action on jobs. He suggests the president come forward with a detailed plan that he strongly favors and then let the Republicans come to the White House in 10 days with their own.

mycroft16 said, "This was a really well written and pretty honest article." blckdrgn said, "Unfortunately, no matter what Obama suggests, Republican's will resist it every step of the way and will offer no solutions of their own."

MikeinChicago said, "What we don't need is another generic speech from President Obama, or more Republicans expounding their theories about capitalism. We need action to stimulate demand: Tax reductions, public works, whatever. Action to build and create things, which creates wealth."

nomas24 said, "Earth to Obama: You don't create jobs; businesses do." EastCoastCat replied, "Businesses aren't, though. They are raking in record profits and paying record bonuses. They are trampling on workers because ... well, there are no other jobs. If you leave it to businesses, then you condemn America to its continued slide into a Third World country."

robesan asked, "If we need so many jobs, why did we send 9 million of them overseas in the last 10 years? Guess what people? The jobs are not coming back. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans or anything but corporate greed. We are a corporate state. Get used to it - right until we hit the bottom - and hit the bottom we will."

Another foot found in Canadian waters

Canadian floating feet mystery deepens

Give CNN.com readers a foot and they take a mile. Canadian authorities have found the 11th severed human foot in four years in British Columbia waterways. The foot was in a running shoe. Foul play is not suspected. billybob22 said, "I got sick of all the politicizing. Time to have a good laugh. Of course, I wouldn't want to step on anyone's feet. Perhaps whoever it belonged to just got off on the wrong foot." StevePrizzel said, "Probably just rolled down in from the foot hills. ..."

Joejava said, "The game is afoot, my dear Watson!" personalpod said, "Someone is going to pay an arm and a leg for this crime, I can tell you." whitespatula said, "And the perpetrators have a leg up over local authorities." Joejava said, "If evidence warrants, Vancouver police will go toe to toe with this criminal."

Factors59 said, "Yeah, but who's footing the bill for this ongoing investigation?" mightyfudge said, "Canadian officials will probably just toe the line on this one. Those lousy heels. ..." DGilmore said, "Seems they can only take one step at a time."

tevePrizzel said, "There may be more? Send out the foot patrol." JeramieH3 said, "I appreciate the work the investigators are doing. Let's all give them a hand."

Blammie said, "They find a severed foot and say 'foul play is not suspected'?" gremlinus replied, "People fall off boats. Fall over cliffs. Accidents happen to people. Six in four years is not a lot, especially considering the location. If it were six in six months I might be a little more suspicious.

gremlinus said, "It could happen postmortem something like this: Fish (or other marine creature): 'Oooooh look! food!' nibble, nibble, nibble. Bite." Albie621 said, "This is actually a relatively common occurrence. What happened to the deceased can only be speculated on, but they might have just drowned. Over time the body begins to decompose and sea life eats it. Once the foot breaks free it floats to the surface because shoes float. I've seen this explanation on some mystery-solving show on either Discovery or History Channel."

Fatbat said, "They've identified four feet from three persons already and concluded that they weren't murdered. The other feet could have come from as far away as Japan or Hawaii carried to the West Coast by the ocean's currents."

personalpod said, "I get cold feet just thinking about this."

Joejava added, "As an added footnote to this story ..." personalpod said, "This week only, half off pedicures in and around False Creek area. ... and if several non-matched white and gray socks show up, size 10, I have a Kenmore dryer that may be the key to teleportation."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Jason D

    I hate these fools who talk about obama caving, the right will drive this country over a cliff if they dont get their way, they had us over the edge with tax benefits the first time and then the second time, they vote no on everything and come up with nothing for two years...they even asked that the president should do this or that then voted on mass against their own ideas...including the very people who thought them up....the right are nothing now..a vote that has no give is not a vote, you may as well put a poster on the wall of congress saying "we vote no"

    September 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. The Obama administration has resisted efforts by the International Criminal Court to include 'aggression' as a crime, mainly because it could impact US military operations abroad.

    In fact the idea of treating war as a crime is, in a very real way old-fashioned. In 1928, our government made war a crime when the Senate ratified by a vote of 85 to 1 the Kellogg-Briand Pact which condemned and renounced all war.
    An anonymous US military official was quoted in the New York Times yesterday explaining, as some of us have been screaming for nearly a decade, that the military occupation is itself causing violence and instability. The Secretary of War, Robert Gates, yesterday at West Point said that we shouldn't launch any more wars like the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, in an interview just published, Gates argues for further prolonging the war in Afghanistan - an action every bit as criminal and immoral as initiating the war in the first place.

    Seriously, for how many years can you believe victory is right around the corner?

    Now, 10 years later, ending a war because of its illegality is not an issue at all, except for quaint radicals. And ending it because the American people want it ended is just inappropriate. In wartime, leaders should not be swayed by public opinion when they are busy bombing a new democracy into place. Ending the war because it costs money or fuels terrorism or damages the earth or kills human beings doesn't make any sense.
    Most human societies have not known war and many have known it and dropped it. The current issue of Yes magazine has an article about a group of baboons that engaged in constant violence for years and then developed a culture of peace. Now I'm not claiming we're all geniuses, but if baboons can do it we might want to try. War is not in our genes. It's not necessitated by the small-scale violence that responds to it. It's not needed to defend anything. It is worse than anything it can be used to remedy. And if the young people in this room live to be as old as the elderly in this room it will be because the thought of war as an acceptable human behavior has been made both radical and quaint.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      By posting the above, you proved that it's the U.S. that owns the U.N. We need in the worst way a new balance of power because without it conditions in both the world and here at home will only deteriorate!!!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George Patton

    Here's the twosome that should bring this country too it's knees!

    September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      I totally agree. Both Obama and Boehner have got to go! Especially Barack Obama who has compromised every moral principl he ever had since assuming the Presidency! A man without principles is nothing at all!!!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • physics-lite

      @ George Patton Quote;
      Here's the twosome that should bring this country too it's knees!
      September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
      It is these two needs to work together and get the country OFF it knees
      And make the USA strong again.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Centrist

    Republicans pretend that lowering taxes on the wealthy will make them better stewards for the working class. Democrats pretend they are for the working middle class and the poor, yet they refuse to raise taxes on companies that outsource. Their actions and inactions tell us more than their words ever will. Both the poor and the wealthy are chipping away at the middle class and they expect us to choose who will be pounding the nails into our cross.

    September 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MalibuChick

    Perhaps it was a drama created by the media for the sake of a story and really no big deal.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • WKMMW

      Probably. They have a penchant for doing that.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. john kesrouan

    O'Bama tries to impose HIS date on Congress and CNN has his back??? Gimme a break!!! the guy follows no etiquette or protocol. Gee Mr. Boehner, here's the date I want to speak to your forum, you have 15 minutes to object.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • txnan6

      Only 2 days were available because Bohner/Reps were only there 2 days, then gone on vacation again. And they had been yelling for Obama to present his plan. Bohner actually had enough time for Rush L to do a show and insist "Bohner must say no to Obama". And Bohner should have already had security arranged since he knew Congress would be there for 2 days.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lightfoot

    Stuff it, you stupid, name-stealing troll! You can't spell, you politics are totally skewed, and you repeated rhetoric is downright embarrassing! Just. Shut. Up.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GreedOverPeople Must Fail

    Come On, Folks! OPEN YOUR EYES!! What PRESIDENT Obama did was Correct on Many levels. He WANTS to get Congress (& gov't) WORKING FOR the People. First day back from undeserved vacation, he requested address to both houses. Boehner Naturally Rejected due to major PLAYERS are going to be debating to run against President, RATHER THAN WORKING to solve America's financial woes. ANOTHER BLOW for GOPers & GAIN for Obama. GOP is NOT & will Never Be "For The People". Obama has CLASSY way of fighting & Exposing Fraud & Corruption. One of his new task forces uncovered $12(?) BILLION/day wasted or fraudulently obtained for current wars. He's calling the UN on their wages & COLA's. Lybia, he's held UN to their name...UNITED, THUS America did not 'lead'. (We've led for years; don't you believe it's about time others have learned to lead via our examples & teaching??) People, the GOP is leading us to being a third world country & keeping 94% of ALL Americans as SLAVES. GOP doesn't believe in Global Warming. The search for gas/oil on Our Lands are causing earthquakes from coast to coast. CNN, why haven't you reported all the quakes in AR? Most folks stupidly (greed!) sold mineral rights & we've had untold quakes w/in last year. More are coming here & east coast due to all the fracking. Back to Obama, he is the only President who has Truly wanted PEACE, DEMOCRACY, & EQUAL RIGHTS for all. As far as the debt, what everyone Forgets is that we did Not have drafts (think Vietnam) & our poor kids Chose to join services for enlistment bonuses & to get an education after trying to rid this world of tyrants and defending poor folks born into Sharia Law. BONUSES helped create debt. Economic Recovery ~ GOP is going to fight the whole way. Unfortunately, Obama will have to make unsavory compromises until next elections when we can Kick GOPers out of house!! People, GOP is (are!) trying to show that Democracy Does Not Work & IMPOSING their own form of Sharia in America. I beg you to Open Your Eyes! Freedom of Choice, basic FREEDOMS ~ STOLEN!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MalibuChick

      I hope you realize how nuts you sound.

      September 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    The tea party................ Fu*k em. Thats about as good as I have to say about them.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Centrist

      @s kel: I oppose all beverage parties. No tea, coffee, or Kool Aide.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    Come on right wing statments, bring it, I disrespect anything you have to say anyway.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    Obama OK'd a request by the GOP! It seems innocuous enough, but as we know this is a "hostile" congress! Whatever the President says or does, they disagree! It seems like he's bending over backwards to acquiesse, but I think he simply does what he would have, had they not been hostile! He ignores their shenanigans & goes on with biz as usual! He will not sink to their infantile, tantrum throwing level & will not be distracted, but continues to focus on the issues at hand! To those who say Obama doesn't create jobs, businesses do: actually there is alot a government can do to promote job creation! It's just too bad the GOP fights him every step of the way, while alternately berating him for "his" non-action or blaring that jobs, jobs, jobs must be the focus! The hypocracy is astounding!!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the prophet

    People we are better off without any Government, we just need an administration in place to run things, we save lots of money and have healthcare and great retirement plans lest over through the government. As of one the Federal Government is the biggest US employer do you know what this means? To me is socialism about you?

    September 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    President Obama did the right thing to follow protocol he didn't cave in, it looks that way but it is not.

    Patience is a virtue I would not discount this President he is letting the GOP hang themselves he is the adult in the house. There is only so much pressure you can take don't worry he will unleash on them when the time is right.
    President Obama is smart, and does not like to lose I believe he is going to give a much needed and dynamic jobs speech and it is going to be up to the GOP and others to fall in line. In fact, they did him a favor by letting the GOP debate come first.

    The American people are smart ask; do they want to go back to the Bush era or do they want to let this President finish what he has started. We didn;t get into this mess overnight and it will take time to get out of it. People are hurting from Irene and all the infrastructure is damaged now let us see if they will pass his transportation/infrastructure bill.
    The GOP worst nightmare is going to be Governor Christie because he needs Fema Moneybadly.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GreedOverPeople Must Fail

    ABSOLUTELY, fernace!! GOP is nothing but a bunch of hypocrites & majority are racist biggots also. General America doesn't realize this because America has been made so stupid from our failing educational system. All of you who love Perry, lol ::shaking head::, read about his educational system, how many teachers fired, etc. OPEN your eyes, America!!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    @Fake Cesar above: Eat dirt. Go OBAMA!

    September 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
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