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. NW1000

    Obama is a clueless incompetent boob.
    Draft Hillary now.

    September 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    How many saw the tape of Limbaugh challenging Boehner to make the President change the date of his speech and "put him in his place". It is a sad day in america when the likes of Limbaugh can control the GOP and try to control the country through his radio show. They will do anything to make this President fail but this garbage is going to backfire.

    September 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamnotfooled

      Boehner caved to Limbaugh. Boehner caves to Cantor too. He is the weak one who does not lead. If he did we could probably get some good bills passed. Coward who has no clue and is destroying this country.

      September 2, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
    • txnan6

      Saw it. Bohner had plenty of time and didn't respond until the "Big Boss" called him out on it. Hmmmmmmm. Congress is only coming back for 2 days before they leave on vaca again (look at Bohner's schedule he set last Jan.) He should have had "security" set up anyway, if that is part of his job.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • enodot

      DEE, IAMNOTFOOLED and TXNAN6- well said. The bigger person will prevail.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. npm9013

    We have serious problems, and Congress should welcome the chance to get back to work on them. Instead, we see a President who either forgot that he is an invited guest when speaking to Congress, not their master, and a Speaker of the House who has no respect for the presidency, and even less for the current President. I'm fed up with both, but never have I seen playground bullying taken to such heights in public life. The GOP behavior shames us. And I am no longer willing to believe that race has nothing to do with their behavior. Either that or they are genuinely stupid.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Boomer in Mo

      I believe you are right about the racism issue. Many politicians and a lot of news commentators, including those on ABC, CBS and NBC, who are always labeled as biased towards Democrats refer to "Obama" most of the time but it's President Bush, President Carter. Unconscious racism is how I see it and I think that is worse than conscious racism.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim in Kansas

      it's cute how when someone has nothing of intelligence to say they start in with the real idiotic things like race. Grow up learn a little and be an adult. This had to do with Obama being way out of line, his lil mouth Piece Jay Carney trying to pick a fight in public and they were in the wrong. They had no choice since they didn't follow protocol but to change their date. It was nice of Boehner to give him such a quick date which is the 8th since that was still fudging the rules quite a bit.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Unfortunately this is what our law makers have been reduced to- hamming, posturing, bickering among themselves, self serving, devoid of dignity of their station and generally indifferent to the needs of those they were elected to serve – Americans.
    Their disrespect for the office of the President of the United States of America was amply demonstrated when they put on a show which would have made any vibrant nation embarrassed. The world laughed.
    The day they invited the head of a foreign govt, our supposed 'ally', to address the Congress and prostrated themselves before that person 29 times just to spite the President of the US of A.
    I'm sure most of you who are Americans wouldn't have noticed or cared That is what I meant by a 'vibrant' nation.
    God help us when our destiny is in the hands of this lot.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. krehator

    This stupid petty krap is the focus in government?

    We need to fire EVERYONE. Dems, Repubs, and TP's!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jude

    obama is a present day david dealing with a huge bush mess of a goliath that is filthy, mean and a hero in teabaggistan where brawn and might is highly regarded and civility and compassion is deemed as a weakness. obama does represent the maternal aspect of humanity while the gop has always been the male element...unfortunately a very mean, bully and ignorant male energy needing to be schooled, again.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marilyn

    @ nmp ~ I agree with you whole-heartedly! This "Leadership", from both parties, though primarily GOP, SHAMES EVERY AMERICAN. It's heartbreaking to see Obama 'play politics'. He's such a genuine & classy man. RACE is a Definite Factor with the GOP & their backers, & tax breaks they're so vehemetly holding onto. I'm ashamed to admit knowing some of these southerners/GOPers and the Plantations & SLAVES they (generational family) owned and gave their names. The south & GOP is still very racist. It's unconscionable how they act in public & what they say behind closed doors. Also, KKK still alive & well. I, a white southerner who has lived all over America, Want Obama 2012 & to get GreedyOverPeople totally out of both houses. I do not want a christian form of sharia here in the states. Surprised when recently read of Fl congressman trying to get "cohabitating = misdemeanor" off books. FREEDOM we must keep in America! Tea Partiers/gop are Trying to take our God Given Freedom of Choice away. Don't let them, my fellow Americans. Don't let them!!

    September 2, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • txnan6

      Yeah, that Fl law sure proves the "government is too big". Oops , that's a Rep. backed government intrusion. Kinda like the Perry ones in Tx. -wanted law to require ALL 11 yr. old girls to have a vaccination that just happened to be produced by a company owned by one of his big backers. Then there is also the sonogram thing. Both examples of government intrusion when it promotes the Rep. agenda. Hypocrites.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marilyn

    BULLYING! That is the Only Way that GOPers know how to "lead/negotiate". They are Lacking in Proper Social Skills & "Respect/LOVE" is foreign to them!! Though THEY Claim to be "Christians". Jesus would not know 99% of "Christians" Today. I do hope they are seeing/hearing My words. Strange how the GreedOverPeopleToiletPapers aren't attacking tonight.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gray

    I think the media blows these things way out of proportion. If something is a non-story they'll turn it into one.

    So called 'journalists' whizzing all over themselves over 'dategate' need to get their heads out of their backsides.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. WOT

    President Obama, you are whiter than any white man in congress! When are you going to tell all of them to go to HADES! I am Man, Black,Black and tired of you being the BOTTEM(take it for what it is)! If you want my VOTE!

    September 2, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Iamnotfooled

      Remember if you don't show up to vote it will count as a republican vote --because they will. Staying home will not help. Only voting will.

      September 2, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. George Patton

    What I don't understand here is the very stupidity that some here have by praising this Barack Obama. After all, if Barack Obama ever had any moral principles to begin with, he compromised them upon assuming the Presidency. The very fact that we're still in Afghanistan and Iraq proves it beynd any reasonable doubt! By the way, the prison at Gitmo is still open!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      George, it must be understood that both Barack Obama and John Boehner work for the MIC(military-industrial-complex) in Washington and not for us! That also goes for the vast majority of those in Congress too! If anyone believes that this country is still a democracy, they are sadly mistaken!!!

      September 2, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. equus6

    the president normally coordinates with congress for a date to address the joint congress out of courtesy, this President simply announced his intention and hasn't shown courtesy since he began, with his “we won, I know so much more than you even though I have no experience, sit down and shut up” approach, and then acts hurt and whines when the other sides says, oh really?!. I love the left, they scream that our economy is all the fault of the greed big business, therefore admitting big business holds the balance for our prosperity, like it or not. Then they cheer a President who keeps slapping big business around and keeps them guessing…morans…

    September 2, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • txnan6

      Please give 1 or 2 examples of Obama slapping aroung big business. It is the Republicans who took us to the cliff's edge on the debt limit fiasco(never done before). They refuse to require corporations to pay some taxes (several got tax money refunds) (top 15 corporations keep most of their money overseas and their CEOs made more than the corp. paid in income taxes). They are not using the cash they have (Richard Fisher, Dallas Federal Reserve) to invest in the US even though they had record profits in 2010-11. It's not all one or the other. We can reduce spending and increase revenue, as soon as the Republicans agree that some revenue increase is possible.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. equus6

    big business and the economy are like a mule, you can't "break" a mule, you have to train a mule, try and break him and you get no where and maybe kicked for your effort, except we the American people are being kicked, because a man who has zero experience with mules is in charge of dealing with the mule...

    September 2, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. shirl

    You must be a troll. No one can be this stupid.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. 2cents4free

    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."

    September 2, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
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