President Obama is not a King; Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Many have focused on the unprecedented nature of Boehner’s response to Obama’s “request” to speak before a joint session of Congress. But an unprecedented request deserves an unprecedented response.
The White House insists they didn’t intentionally schedule the president’s address at the same time as the Republican debate at the Reagan library. That’s hogwash. If the speech wasn’t important enough to take some time off from his extravagant vacation in the Hamptons, then there’s no reason why it couldn’t have waited for another day, or even another week.
Instead, the President thought he could just announce that he’d be giving a speech, and Congress would make all the necessary preparations for his latest teleprompter recital. I have no doubt he expected Boehner to cave, and even I was afraid he might. Fortunately, Boehner had the fortitude necessary to remind Obama that Congress doesn’t work for him. When addressing Congress, he is their guest, not their host. Obama’s political positioning has backfired completely, and now if he wants a prime-time appearance, he’ll be going head to head with the NFL opener. I know what I’ll be watching.