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I did not pay much attention in civics classes when I was in school. That has now come back to bite me it seems. What I observe must be wrong. Let me see if I understand this.
At the top we have a few two and three star generals and then we have the five star generals. These folks pass their wishes down the the generals in the field who then pass it down to officers in the field (sort of Senators and Congress.
I think there are a few five star generals. The Speaker of the House is one. The Senate Majority Leader is probably another. These guys seem to be the head of a party in a manner of speaking. The head of one party can make his wishes known to his proverbial army and just like a general in the field his troops will follow, even if it means follow to the death.