There are times when the unreality of a situation is such that you just gape in disbelief. Such is my reaction upon perusing the reaction of the institutional left (and I include Big Media in that description) to Obama’s reversal of his former decision to urinate all over the GOP debate next Wednesday.
To listen to the stuck pigs of Big Media, the issue is not whether there is precedent for a President to lift his leg and piss all over the opposition. No, sir: the issue is whether there is precedent for Congress to refuse a President’s wishes regarding the timing of a joint session. They all simply swallow, with a deliberate and premeditated attitude of extreme naivete, the administration’s protests that it was just a coincidence that the speech was planned at the same time as a GOP debate. Sheer happenstance! And so, Boehner’s entirely reasonable request for a day’s delay is UNPRECEDENTED!!!
The situation struck some Capitol veterans as almost unprecedented in modern times.
. . . .
“It is unprecedented to reject the date that a president wants to address a joint session of the Congress,” said a senior Democratic aide familiar with arranging such events in the Capitol. “Yes, consultation always occurs, but the president always gets the date he wants.”
“Can’t think of a precedent offhand, but it is predictable,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor at Princeton University who has written extensively on American politics. “The GOP has a consistent strategy: block, obstruct and make life difficult for the president. Whatever he wants, as Groucho Marx said, they are against it.”
Congressional historians said Mr. Boehner’s move was unprecedented.
“The Senate Historical Office knows of no instance in which Congress refused the president permission to speak before a joint session of Congress,” Betty K. Koed, associate historian with the Senate, said in an e-mail. “Permission to speak in a joint session is given by resolution of the House and Senate, and arrangements are made through the leadership offices of each chamber.”
Nobody thinks to ask whether there is precedent for a President pre-empting an opposition party’s presidential debate. It’s all about the questions you ask. And the Journolist apparently issued the order that the behavior to focus on was Boehner’s, not Obama’s.
Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher has worked himself into such a silly lather, he is actually calling for Boehner’s resignation. I couldn’t make up something that ridiculous if I tried:
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.
Incidentally, I told Christopher on Twitter that I was going to be writing a post about how silly his post was — and that I would include his reaction . . . provided he got it to me within 15 minutes. He said something, but missed the deadline. The time to get it to me was within the 15 minutes I allotted him. Sorry, Mr. Angry Journalist Person! Let’s hear more from him now:
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.
It’s so unprecedented, in fact, that (according to some other chucklehead) it might be explained by the fact that Obama is black!
The interesting question is: What is it about this president that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the Office of the President? Why do Republicans think this president is unpresidential and should dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008 or it could be, let’s face it, the color of his skin.
So if someone breaks into my home, and I shoot them, I guess that the issue is whether it is UNPRECEDENTED for me to shoot a houseguest. And if that person happens to be black — then obviously I’m a racist.
This is evidently how these leftists think. It’s truly incredible.
What I find funniest about the whole thing is the idea that THE PRESIDENT MUST GET HIS WAY AND EVERYTHING MUST BOW TO HIS WILL AND TO HELL WITH TRIVIA LIKE A DEBATE . . . but the White House is now pledging that the speech won’t interfere with a damn football game. Guess they’re able to schedule around that!
See, because they don’t want to piss off football fans. But they’re perfectly happy to piss off Republicans.
UPDATE: Edited one sentence to make it extra clear that it was not Tommy Christopher who said this was about the color of Obama’s skin.