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If the speaker won't talk, text him? [Most commented]

July 29, 2011 |  8:26 pm

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.

When the president of the United States calls you in the middle of an economic crisis, there's no excuse for not answering the phone, Michael Kinsley wrote in an Op-Ed Friday. But that's exactly what the speaker of the House did Thursday evening, or didn't do, as he wasn't available to speak with the president until Friday night, Kinsley said.


Early Friday afternoon, July 22, Obama called Boehner for a second time. This time the president of the United States was told by some aide of this ... this ... this congressmanthat Boehner would call him back at 5:30 p.m. Can you imagine? What exactly could be so important that Boehner couldn't squeeze in a chat with the president? […]

Actually, as the call-back witching hour approached, according to the Post, "Boehner was chatting with reporters in the Capitol, joking with one guy about his tan and puffing on a cigarette." In other words, while the president no doubt was nervously pacing the floor at the White House, waiting for 5:30, probably dying for a cigarette, Boehner was smoking and yukking it up with a bunch of journalists.

Most readers on our discussion board would have let Obama's call go to voice mail too.

Don't pick up

You do when the president is clueless and has no idea what he is talking about.

--think123

They have nothing to talk about, and Boehner has work to do

Obama is an empty suit. Although he is president, he is not presidential. It is Obama's choice to have Boehner and the Republicans (and Democrats) come up with a plan that will generate the least amount of vomit. All the while, Obama can remain in blissful ignorance, while plotting his 2012 campaign. So what does he and Boehner have to talk about? Golf scores? Boehner has work to do.

--edwardskizer

It's not Obama's choice not to have a proposal, in response to edwardskizer

Not Obama's choice, but that of the founding fathers! The constitution says, all bills about spending are the responsibility of the House. The president can try to weigh in with proposals, of course, but what shall he do if that jerk Boehner won't listen?

--Gray62

Why should he answer?

Why should he?  Obama only cares about himself.  Boehner's actually trying to get something done.  Obama's in the way and only adding to the problem.  He's been a lame duck since day one.  Read the WSJ editorials today.  A LIBERAL writer who backed his election now writes that no one, not even his own party, likes him. 

--Anonymous.

It doesn't matter if you disagree with him, he's still the president

Let me put this out first: I am a liberal.

Perhaps I am in the minority when I say that had the previous president given -me- a phone call, I'd have taken it. It would not matter that I not only disagreed with his policies, but was actually horrified by some of them. At the end of the day, that man was the president, and I was not. I would have been glad to shake his hand.

There is absolutely nothing to be gained by disrespect. Nothing!

There is everything to be gained by polite two-way discourse. The kind where both sides listen carefully and say what they really mean, but without hurling insults. The kind of discourse where lists are drawn up - "Have to have this, important, not as important, disposable."

The world is trying to figure out whether it should be cringing and ducking under the table or laughing at us for our paralysis. What is so wrong with compromise?

--RukaDemaris

Obama's not God, and they have work to do

This may be news to Mr. Kinsley and other liberals, but Obama's the President, not God.  He works for one branch of the government and Boehner works for another, with neither being beholden to the other. 

That said, they should all stop their petty bickering and get on with a solution. 

--TimBowman

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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Erwin Chemerinsky: The Constitution, Obama, and raising the debt ceiling

--Samantha Schaefer

Photo: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner attend a meeting about the debt limit at the White House. Credit: Yuri Gripas / Reuters

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