ABSTRACT

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise demanded that she apologize “to the president and the country” for her “disgraceful” behavior that was “unbecoming of a speaker.” Democrats countered that the real outrage was the president’s handshake snub and the speech that was a “manifesto of untruths.”The relatively dignified atmosphere in the House chamber on these occasions is worlds apart from the raucous confrontations in the British House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions. The president of the United States is treated with more dignity and deference than a British prime minister not because American legislators have better manners than their British counterparts, but rather because of the different roles played by the two countries’ heads of government. The prime minister leads the government by virtue of their party’s majority in the legislature; the only British citizens who may vote directly for the prime minister are those who hail from the prime minister’s local constituency.