Constitutional Law

Will Congress Stop King Barack the First?

Obama isn't the first president to ram through a nominee that the Senate refused to confirm, but he is the first to do it when the Senate is actually in session.

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Editor's Note: This column is reprinted with permission of the Washington Examiner. Click here to read it at that site.

"I refuse to take 'no' for an answer!" President Obama blared last week at a campaign rally at a high-school gym in Ohio.

Every day that the Senate refused to confirm Richard Cordray, his nominee for the new "consumer watchdog" agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, was another "when millions of Americans were left unprotected."

So Obama, in a flagrantly unconstitutional gambit, invoked the Recess Appointments Clause to install Cordray, Senate confirmation be damned.

Article II, section 2 of the Constitution provides an exception to the general rule of Senate confirmation, giving the president the power "to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate," by granting temporary commissions.

Obama isn't the first president to invoke that exception where it doesn't apply, ramming through nominees that the Senate refuses to confirm. But he is the first to do it when the Senate is actually in session.

Of course, the administration says that's not so: "the Senate is functionally in recess," according to Obama's White House Counsel. The "decider" will decide whether the Senate's in session, thank you very much.

The "pro forma" sessions where a lone senator "gavels in," adopted by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007 to stymie President George W. Bush's abuse of the recess appointments power, are "a procedural trick," the White House insists. (Who knew "President Autopen" was such a stickler for formalities?)

But, as law professor Michael Rappaport notes, the Framers "believed it was dangerous for one person to have complete control over appointments." The Recess Appointments Clause was, "Federalist 67" explains, merely an "auxiliary method" adopted because "it would have been improper to oblige this body to be continually in session."

That stopgap measure met the needs of an era of horseback travel, part-time Congresses, and recesses lasting between six and nine months. It wasn't supposed to let the president do regular end-runs around the requirement of Senate confirmation.

If Obama's gambit succeeds, however, it threatens to become the exception that swallows the rule.

Living in Washington, you learn to stomach great gouts of hypocrisy; in this case, though, there's enough to make you gag. It's a little much to hear advocates of unrestrained executive power like Bush administration vets John Yoo and David Addington decry the Cordray recess appointment.

"It's flabbergasting and, to be honest, a little chilling," said Addington, who in 2004 mused that "We're one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious [FISA] court" restricting the president's surveillance powers.

But the worst hypocrisy here is Obama's. "I've studied the Constitution as a student, I've taught it as a teacher," he piously intoned in 2009: "I know that we must never, ever, turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience's sake."

Yet Bush never fought a war without congressional authorization—as Obama did in Libya. Nor did Bush ever publicly claim the power to assassinate American citizens via drone strike, far from any battlefield. (The memo explaining Obama's legal rationale for that move is classified—he could tell you, but then he'd have to kill you.)

And deeming the Senate "functionally" in recess was a bridge too far even for Bush. When Bush's attorneys urged him to do it in 2008, he declined. The Cordray appointment is just the latest instance where 44 has gone even further than 43 in the abuse of executive power.

Employing the royal "We" in an interview last month, Obama declared: "Where Congress is not willing to act, we're going to go ahead and do it ourselves." How long will Congress let him get away with it?

Examiner Columnist Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

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  1. It’s good to be king.

  2. I have no comment. Just checking in.

  3. “How long will Congress let him get away with it?”

    Indefinitely. What the republicans decry today they applaud tomorrow so long as there is an “R” after they President’s name.

    1. Yeah, precisely, I can’t get to worked up about it because I know the same people wailing about it now would be fine with it if it suited their purposes.

  4. Fuck you, that’s why.

    1. I WON.

  5. they would begin the process to impeach.

    But why do that when “your guy” can exploit the prescedent in a few years!

    1. exactly

    2. *precedent*

      1. It’s a portmanteau!

        1. And a pun! Punmanteau!

      2. If Congress had balls they’d be king.

  6. They say that Richard Corday owns one half of this whole town…

    1. With political connections, to spread the wealth around!

      1. Barack Obama went home last and put a bullet through the Constitution.

        1. But Iiiiiiiii, I work at his campaign office, and I curse the evil Bush and I curse my povery…

          1. And I wish that I could be,
            Oh, I wish that I could be,
            Oh, I wish that I could be
            Appointed some sort of Czar or something.

            1. Them > Paul Simon

              1. But how do “Them” compare to the author of the piece, Edwin Arlington Robinson?

                Bonus Trivia: E. A. Robinson was a personal friend of Teddy Roosevelt.

  7. And unsurprisingly, the media couldn’t give a shit.

      1. More like the Weekly Standard gave a shit. Unsurprising there, considering Obama’s party.

        1. NPR reported on it too and generally said that it was unlikely to hold up in court and that the appointments weren’t expected to have much of an effect because anything the agencies do from here on out would end up being shot down along with the appointment.

          Sorry I don’t have a link, but it was on Morning Edition the morning the day after the appointments were made.

      2. In that picture, Cordray looks like he enjoys eating the skin of his enemies.

        1. I actually met Cordray when he first ran for office, he was out by himself canvassing the neighborhood for votes. I was cutting my parents grass and he stopped to talk. Don’t really remember the conversation, just that he looked like a little kid. Didn’t really have that typical politician salesman type personality either. Pretty low key. Actually seemed like a nice guy, though I would never vote for him.

  8. If Congress would do its job and give the Our Leader anything he wanted, this wouldn’t be necessary.

    1. Hear, hear.

      1. What, no Christ-fag? I am disappoint.

  9. Cartoon comparing Michelle O’Bummer to Marie Antoinette is racist.
    It must be.
    Why else would anyone criticize a black woman.
    Racism. Straight up.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..acist.html

    1. The only thing wrong with that picture is the ridiculous Hulk bicep. Maybe they just saw her without the wig on.

      1. This is what she looked like before she shaved.

        1. The article discusses another parody portrait comparing Obama to Louis the Fourteenth. The article, however, confuses Louis XIV with Louis the *Sixteenth.*

          #14 was the guy who fought a lot of wars, expelled the French Puritans (don’t seem many of them in France nowadsys), had a mistress like a respetable king, and died in his bed.

          #16 was the guy who stayed faithful to Marie Antoinette, tried in his bumbling way to reform the economy, and ended up shorter by a head. He also helped the U.S. become independent.

          What do you expect with a reporter named Longbottom?

          1. Yes. The 14th was rather badass, the 16th was a general failure.

          2. What? I put up with that nerdy little watch building lout for years bitching about his Austrian wife and I now I don’t even count?

            1. Madame de Pompadour was the mistress of Louis XV who was the grandfather of Louis XVI.

            2. No, honey, you weren’t chopped at all, unlike Marie Antoinette.

        2. Why did she shave?

      2. The only thing wrong with that picture is the ridiculous Hulk bicep.

        I chuckled more at the “Hulk bicep” than anything else. That’s what happens when every Michelle Obama puff piece in 2009 drooled over her “buff” and/or “toned” arms.

        1. She’s a left handed chicken chocker.

    2. Racist? Racist?!?!? Do they even know the meaning of the word? I’m sorry, but the race card is not a wildcard you can use in any hand. There has to be at least a nanogram of focus on race for there to be even the whiff of racism.

  10. To paraphrase, we need to be a country of laws, not of assholes. This is petty Latin American dictator crap.

    1. Sorry, sir, but it’s assholes all the way down.

  11. gaveling a session “closed” WHILE a dem senator took the opportunity to intro legislation puts paid to this nonsense so obama called the bluff.

    1. What?

  12. They’re going to redo Carrie?
    Really?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..acter.html

    1. Re-re-do. They already did a remake that was supposed to serve as a pilot for a Carrie TV show where she walked the Earth, using her telepathic powers to fight bullying and evil-doers.

      1. Oh yeah.

        1. Are you calling me a liar?

          1. No, I think he said you are the hemmorhoidal sphincter of a pyorrheic rhinoceros.

            Quite a different thing than alleging that you are an utterer of falsehoods. Quite a different thing, indeed.

            1. Do not insult The Chair Leg of Truth, for he is wise and terrible.

            2. Not only that, he’s also a liar!

    2. Remaking a Brian De Palma classic. Brilliant. Maybe next they can remake Scarface.

        1. For fuck’s sake.

          1. I like re-makes for the same reason I like Tebow: the amount of tears shed over it gives me lots of Schadenfreude.

        2. Sometimes I think Scarface is “good” the way Showgirls is good.

        3. Meh, I don’t care. Scarface is very overrated anyhow.

      1. I never cared much for Carrie. More of a fan of Blow Out and Raising Cain. Blown Out being one of my favorite films ever. Don’t know why. Maybe just the morbid use of Nancy Allen’s scream.

        1. Blow Out is a fine, underrated film. A remake of Blow Up, of course.

        2. I had a crush on PJ Soles after Halloween. Probably because her charactor was kinda slutty more than anything. Of course, Carrie predates that but she was hot in R&R High School too.

      2. That Scarface is a remake…

      3. Remaking a Brian De Palma classic.

        You could also say “remaking an Oliver Stone classic.” But it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  13. Here’s what the Constitution sez. As if that matters.

    “The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.”

    Pretty much all recess appointment have been unconstitutional becuase the requirement is that the vacancy happens during the recess.

    1. White slave owners. ‘Nuff said.

      1. That document is hundreds of years old. What should it matter now? 😉

        1. Maybe even centuries.

    2. Any lawyer will tell you that the actual English words that are written in that thing mean very little. They’ll usually tell you this by belittling you for claiming to understand what the Constitution says based on a working knowledge of the English language.

  14. The “constitutional scholar” once again shits on the Constitution.

    The Congress wasn’t filled with pusillanimous cravens and power-hungry sociopaths who vainly hope that one day it will be their turn, they would have drawn up the articles of impeachment the day after Imperator Barack I Obama pulled this stunt.

    So to count up some of the new powers of the Imperial Presidency, Imperator Barack I Obama may launch air campaigns without notifying the Congress, assassinate American citizens with secret evidence, and may appoint anyone he wants to any appointed position he wants in the Executive branch, at anytime it pleases him to do so.

    Time to go a-drinkin’.

    1. assisnate or jail in an offshore prison American citizens with secret evidence.

      1. In fact time to update my list,

        The history of the present [government] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

        He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance

        For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

        For transporting us [and others] beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

        Assassinate or jail in an offshore prison for indefinite detention American citizens with secret evidence.

        Taking our land and giving it to private interests

        Forcing us into commerce against our wishes

        Preventing the people from using the illumination or toilet of their choosing in their own home.

        Prevents the recording of public actions of public officials

        Declares secret without oversight, information of import to the citizenry

        Restricts or bans the growing of plants for food and medicine.

        Subjects travelers on private transport to unreasonable, invasive and humiliating searches.

        Taxes the citizens of the States, and then requires the States to pass Laws as condition for the return of the funds

        Illegitimately imposes upon personal arms the police power of the state

        Incurs debt that the citizenry is unable to repay

        Debauches the currency on a daily basis

        Orders U.S. Military Forces into offensive actions without the approval of Congress.

        Institutes so many regulations and laws that it is impossible for a mortal to live a day without violating at least one if not a multiple of them.

        Uses the unlawful ownership of the airways to restrict speech.

        Takes the property of those not convicted but merely suspected of a crime.

        Does not protect the U.S. Constitution but at every turn tries to circumvent it.

        1. I WON.

        2. FUCK YOU, that’s why

        3. Newsletter subscription please.

  15. The fact is, the President firmly believes he has the constitutional authority to act as he did. And they can make a lot of process arguments about it. We feel very strongly that the Constitution and the legal case is strongly on our side.

    But more importantly, this isn’t about process, this isn’t about whether or not Congress is in session. And if I could digress for a minute, I think all of you should run up to Capitol Hill, check out the House and Senate and see if you can find a single member of Congress, and then tell me on this working day for most Americans whether or not Congress is in session.

    1. But more importantly, this isn’t about process, this isn’t about whether or not Congress is in session.

      Thanks for clearing that up. Stunning argument.

    2. are you suggesting that politicians don’t work for a living?

      shocker!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e7o4nXRAf4

    3. That could apply to most every “working” day for congress.

    4. Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
      -Article I, Section 5, Clause 2

      He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

      Article II, Section 2, Clause 2

      If the Senate, by its own rules, says it is in session, then it doesn’t matter if there is only one Congressman or 535. The President does not determine, of his own accord, that the Congress is not in session.

      1. The President does not determine, of his own accord, that the Congress is not in session.

        Indeed. The Founders were very familiar with the use and abuse of Parliament in England, where a Parliament that wasn’t acting the way the king thought it should, could be and was dismissed by the king.

      2. Waiting for Obama to dissolve Congress.

    5. I would call Carney a sniveling douche bag but that would be an insult to sniveling douche bags everywhere. He just gives me the willies. Every Press Secretary seems to be worse than the last.

      1. “He just gives me the willies.”
        I pay handsomely for willies.

    6. By this reasoning Obama could have made these appointments during a congressional lunch break or over night or on the weekend. In fact, he could have made the appointment while Congress was in session, because it isn’t about the process, it’s about Congress not doing its job…

    7. If the Senate was in “recess,” then the payroll tax extension is not the law since it was passed during the “recess.”

    8. If I was Jay Carney, I wouldn’t be drawing attention to the number of workdays that any member of our ruling class isn’t actually in the office.

  16. I’ve said it before… Republican obstructionism will force Obama to take on more authority. Kinda the oppose of the intended outcome isn’t it? Obama decided to challenge the notion of a pro forma session. Agree or disagree that Republicans should get away unchallenged with endless obstruction via exploiting rule minutiae, they’re not exactly promoting democratic accountability and functioning governance here.

    1. Maybe if you didn’t dress like such a skank, I wouldn’t have to do this.

    2. Reid [held] pro forma sessions in 2007 to block Bush nominees.

      “I had to keep the Senate in pro-forma session to block the Bradbury appointment. That necessarily meant no recess appointments could be made,” he said on the Senate floor in 2008.

      1. I understand that. Republicans have gotten a lot of mileage from the fact that every abuse they engage in will be cancelled out by someone positing a false equivalence with Democrats.

        1. How is it false equivalence?

          Tony, if you were an intellectually honest liberal, even you would care about the rule of law. The Constitution is very clear on this point and the President is in violation. The end. I don’t care if “Republicans did it first” or blah blah fuckity blah – in this instance, this is the wrong thing to do.

          1. Yeah, well, I’m not.

          2. an intellectually honest liberal

            I don’t believe there is such a thing.

            1. Well, you’ve stated you’d like to see all liberals euthanized so we know where you stand.

              1. I think it’s pretty clear that liberals adversely affect interstate commerce…

                1. Adversity is irrelevant. Affect is. no need to overstate your case.

            2. an intellectually honest liberal =
              pusillanimous cravens

          3. How is it false equivalence?

            It’s ‘false equivalence’ because Tony doesn’t understand what words mean.

          4. “The Constitution is very clear on this point and the President is in violation.”

            It certainly is not. It just says the Prez can make appointments when they are in recess, then later it says each house can make its own rules. It’s not obvious from that that whenever a house says it is in recess it is.

            But maybe this is obvious like it was obvious to you that all the GOP opposition to the payroll tax cut was in that it was tied to a tax raise.

            Or something.

            1. Which part of “make their own rules” is so hard to understand. What constitutes a session is a function of what the rule says it is.

              This is why no one takes you seriously MNG. Everyone knows that had Bush tried this you would be up in arms. When Obama does it you are obfuscating.

              We get it. Nothing Obama does is ever as bad as the Republicans or cannot in some way be excused.

              1. So again, limitless deference? The Senate could all go to Hawaii for three years and declare the Senate “in session” the entire time, blocking any new appointments the entire time?

                1. Why didn’t we think of that?

                  1. Yes, I remember everyone here praising the Wisc. Dems for their clever use or rule minutiae…

                2. “So again, limitless deference? The Senate could all go to Hawaii for three years and declare the Senate “in session” the entire time, blocking any new appointments the entire time?”

                  Again. Yes. And 33 incumbents would probably lose their seats during that time.

                  Why do you have a problem with Congress being able to define when it is in recess, but you don’t have a problem with Congress being able to force you to buy certain products or restrictyou from doing certain activities? Do you have your priorities straight?

                  1. Do you have your priorities straight?

                    HOMOPHOBIST!

                3. MNG|1.10.12 @ 3:48PM|#
                  …”The Senate could all go to Hawaii for three years and declare the Senate “in session” the entire time, blocking any new appointments the entire time?”
                  Yes.

              2. “Everyone knows that had Bush tried this you would be up in arms.”

                Have I ever criticized any Presidents appointment power? Or is this one of your “everybody knows” things like “everybody knows the ATF put GPS trackers in the guns”, “everybody knows the ESA has no exceptions” etc?

                lol

                1. Bush never did this. But you certainly spent enough time worrying about executive power under Bush. And you stopped when your guy got in.

                  Again, this is why no one takes you seriously. If you would ever come out and admit when Obama is wrong, people might start. But you never do that. There is always a “yeah but” or an excuse.

            2. MNG, where does the Constitution say the President can determine when the Congress is in session, and when it isn’t?

              If the President has the authority to declare that Congress is no longer in session, you don’t see any potential for abuse there? A President, say, dismissing Congress in order to prevent it from passing legislation he doesn’t like?

              1. No, because fuck you. HE WON.

            3. Rules only apply when I think they should.

        2. The fact that Democrats control the Senate means nothing. LALALALALALA!

    3. It will be interesting to see Tony’s reaction to the next republican president that will “challenge the notion of a pro forma session” and pulls the same crap.

    4. Agree or disagree that Republicans should get away unchallenged with endless obstruction via exploiting rule minutiae, they’re not exactly promoting democratic accountability and functioning governance here

      “Rule minutiae” is all we have. You cannot just fucking wish your way into getting what you want – we call that “fascism”

      I bet I wouldn’t hear you whining about rule “minutiae” (which, really just means the fucking rules) if the Democrats used pro-forma sessions or filibusters to block some kind of DOMA-esque legislation.

      You want the rules to apply in select instances, which makes them not rules

      1. “I bet I wouldn’t hear you whining about rule “minutiae” (which, really just means the fucking rules) if the Democrats used pro-forma sessions or filibusters to block some kind of DOMA-esque legislation.”

        Yeah, I remember all the praise for rule minutiae around here when, for example, the Dems used the Slaughter rule to ram Obamacare through…

        Wait, what?

      2. Calm down. I think we can agree that we’re all against fascism here. I’m just making the point that neither side is blameless here and Obama’s action is a direct response to cynical manipulation and disregard of the spirit of the rules by Republicans. (Yes it’s all fucked up. Mostly because Republicans fucked it up.)

        I just tire of the constant excusing of Republican actions by supposed nonpartisans (including many libertarians and, unrelatedly, TV talking heads) making a false equivalency argument. Bush did Iraq but Obama did Libya so see it’s all a party duopoly clusterfuck!! As if they were the same. Democrats and Republicans filibustered so both parties are in collusion to fuck us all over!

        Thinking both sides are always equally to blame has the funny effect of excusing the side that is worse, no matter how much worse they are.

        1. “As if they were the same.”

          The problem is that so many commenters here are abolutists, deontologists, and extremists. Those are not necessarily bad things but it does make people a little uncaring about matters of degree…

          1. I used to be like that. At one point I couldn’t see a moral distinction between one unjust death and a million unjust deaths. Then I graduated into 9th grade. Not to suggest there aren’t serious philosophers who aren’t utilitarians.

            1. “Then I graduated into 9th grade.”

              It’s surely a growing up thing. But it has the additional benefit of marking up the world into a few simple categories: pure, like-minded white hatted heroes and evil, black hatted villains.

            2. But you’re ok with our deaths?

              1. OK? Hardly. I find the unborn to be delicious!

              2. Since at least 80% of potential pregnancies fail, it makes little sense to cry about the moral horror of “unborn” deaths.

                1. Yes, and since everyone dies, it makes little sense to cry about the moral horror of death camps.

                2. 80% of potential pregnancies fail? I’ll grant that there are tons of conflicting studies about the miscarriage rate, but I’ve never seen an estimate higher than 50%. Where are the numbers coming (hehe) from?

                  I guess it works if you include contraceptives. In which case I’m happy to report that 100% of my potential pregnancies have failed.

            3. Wait until you get out of 10th grade. You’ll be amazed at how different the world is then.

              1. Oh fuck you, Tony. No one has claimed that Libya is equivalent to Iraq. How about Bush did Iraq but Obama continued doing Iraq. Or intensified other Bush-era policies which Team Blue decried but is now remarkably silent on. Guantanamo, anyone? Unilateral assassinations?

                Stop defending Obama. He is as bad or worse than Bush.

                1. Fuck you. Tell that to all the dead and maimed from Bush’s POINTLESS WAR BASED ON LIES. No, Obama does not immediately get equal credit for that just because he presided over it for a time. He was actually against that war. And he stopped the OFFICIAL POLICY OF USING TORTURE IN INTERROGATIONS. Yeah Obama hasn’t turned US foreign policy into a pacifist wet dream but to say he’s as bad or worse than Bush means you’re a Bush apologist and that means fuck you.

                  1. I love the smell of dead Libyans in the morning.

                  2. So you’re defending the Democrats, who were fooled by the idiot, Bush, into ok’ing the Iraq War.

                    1. ^^^this^^^
                      and i laughed: HA, HA, at “pointless war”

          2. Gotta watch out for those deontologists. They’re just a bunch of crazy people. Kant, anyone?

    5. Republican obstructionism will force Obama to take on more authority.

      Jesus, even the fucking Nazis let the Reichstag pass the Enabling Act. Obama just decrees it into existence.

      1. Republican obstructionism The Constitutional separation of powers will force be disregarded by Obama in order to take on more authority.

        1. L’etat, c’est moi

  17. Off topic, but David Sirota at Salon pulls a “greenwald” and explains why voting for Ron Paul is arguably more progressive than voting for Obama.

    And the comment thread is remarkably sane. I feel dizzy.

      1. If anyone can’t find their way to the top story at Salon, they aren’t bright enought to be reading H&R 😉

      2. By the way, you passed the test.

        1. rjbSalon
          Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 12:0034 am

          So the best outcome would be for Ron Paul to get the Republican Nomination and then force Obama to campaign the Left!

          The comments (with the exception of ones like the above) are actually rational, however I hold little hope that they would be making the same comments if it was the general election and Ron Paul was running against Barack Obama.

          1. That would be the best outcome because Obama would lose handily and we’d have a libertarian president.

          2. I got into a pissing match with someone last Friday that eventually called me a traitor and then a nazi in back to back messages (which is why I almost never read the comments as Salon).

            So today’s thread was completely unexpected.

    1. The comments on that Greenwald piece are great, I’ve been slowly going through them through the day.

      Natalie Rosen
      Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Glenn is an amazing logical writer of impeccable talent. I marvel at his use of words. I cannot argue against any of his points and my dismay at Obama signing this latest civil liberties annihilation act DISMAYS me. I keep asking why. Then I ask could I vote for ANY Republican. It is late and I cannot read the entire article which I will tomorrow including some of his sited opinion as well.

      Still, there is something in my motor cerebral cortex which could NEVER especially for president mark an X next to a Republican. My hand cannot do it … won’t do it. There are other things as odious as some of this presidents actions which modify my anger. Beyond that truth be told I have NO idea why Obama has betrayed his liberal philosophical base he so strongly advocated as Senator. Bush NEVER advocated for that and did not in his presidency so we were not surprised. Then WHY oh WHY IS Obama, who has advocated liberal policy in the senate, doing this? Is is purely a calculation that he will pick up this amorphous center? Does he know something we do not know? Does he truly think that any means necessary is what he needs to do to implement national security? I just cannot answer these questions and I do not know what devastating actions by future presidents they will engender. So my hand will NEVER vote Republican probably under any circumstance.

      http://www.salon.com/2011/12/3…..nt-2655181

      1. It’s like leftists have never been taught basic social principles like “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” What a shame.

  18. will H&R peeps stop fantasizing about women and stop talking about football? This is purely a difference in taste.

  19. The reason that repubs are not going to challenge Obama on this is not because they want the same power in the future, though that may be true, it is because they do not want to do anything controversial that will garner them bad press and maybe cost them their House majority.

  20. “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings”

    Does that mean that Congress could all just go home for a year but declare they are still “in session?” I’m all for deference to each body in making their own rules but limitless deference doesn’t make much sense either.

    1. Yes. They could do that. That’s what your quoted sentence means. If you have a problem with it you can always vote the bums out.

      1. “If you have a problem with it you can always vote the bums out.”

        Yeah, every six years. WTF? Courts have to figure out the outer paramters of terms more complex like “recess” all the time, it wouldn’t hurt for them to do so here.

        But either way none of this should matter. When a Prez makes a “recess” appointment the Senate should have to, in a timely matter upon its return, do the advise and consent vote. If the recess appointee did not survive it, they should have to go.

        1. What if the Senate never left?

          Face it, Mange, the Constitution is no more than a speedbump for southpaws.

        2. We aren’t discussing what “should” be the law. We are discussing what “is” the law. But we all know Democrats have trouble with the definition of “is”…

          1. That joke is so stale you could make stuffing out of it.

            Of course we all know Republicans have trouble telling the difference between WMD and not-WMD. Haha Bill Clinton’s penis.

            1. There wasn’t any WMD! We can do what we want!!!

              I was going to suggest that puerile non-sequiturs don’t befit you, Tony, but then I remembered whom I was addressing.

            2. Of course we all know Republicans have trouble telling the difference between WMD and not-WMD.

              We also know that our current Vice-President and Secretary of State have that trouble too…

              1. See what I mean? There is ALWAYS some pathetic attempt to equate the parties whenever I criticize Republicans. What skin do you have in the game?

                Is there any dispute that the Iraq war was largely a Republican endeavor? That kind of absurdity could only be sold in post-9/11 jingoistic insanity, and some Democrats went along, to their discredit.

                1. Tony|1.10.12 @ 7:01PM|#
                  “See what I mean? There is ALWAYS some pathetic attempt to equate the parties whenever I criticize Republicans. What skin do you have in the game?”

                  Shithead, the ‘skin in the game’ is a real distaste for your dishonesty, shithead.

    2. The purpose of recess appointments was to allow appointments when the Senate was not able to confirm them. In this case the Senate is making clear that they do not want to confirm this appointment, and Obama is simply usurping a power he does not have.

    3. MNG|1.10.12 @ 3:24PM|#
      “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings”
      Does that mean that Congress could all just go home for a year but declare they are still “in session?”

      Yes.

  21. This all seems like such a silly, recurring type of argument. I think the spirit, and maybe the text, would require that when the Senate is next in session they should have to do the advise and consent thing on any recess appointments. Of course this is exactly what the Repubs in this instance want to avoid (they don’t want a vote on it).

    1. Show us where you were angry about the Dems refusing to give Bush appointees an up or down vote? If you can’t do that, you are just a hack who doesn’t think the rules apply to your side.

      1. Why, I’m so glad you asked, John! I’ll have you know that… that… I, uh… shit.

  22. Maybe the Senate shouldn’t require a supermajority vote for every single thing.

    1. ITS REPUDLICANS FAULT IT DOSE!!!111

    2. It’s easier to take away than to give back. Imagine where we would be if a super majority was not needed.

      1. A democracy?

        1. $100 if you can find ‘democracy’ in the Constitution of The United States

          1. The Constiwhat? If you people are so desperate that you’re going to resort to making up words, I’m going to just leave.

          2. So you’re against democracy?

            Show me where it says “capitalism” in the constitution.

            1. Show me where it says “democracy” in the Constitution.

            2. Tony|1.10.12 @ 6:57PM|#
              So you’re against democracy?
              Show me where it says “capitalism” in the constitution.”

              Shithead, “democracy” is a method of forming a government. If it was desired in the government, it would have been included in the founding document of that government.
              Shithead, “capitalism” is what citizens do. There is no need to include it in a government document, shithead.
              Is that clear, shithead?

              1. Well, a constitution presupposes democracy (not direct democracy mind you). It’s way more fundamental than an economic system, and there is no tradition whatsoever of loony laissez-faire bullshit, whereas the principle of people choosing their own government was the entire fucking point from day 1.

                1. No. It doesn’t.

    3. Maybe the Democratic controlled Senate shouldn’t have adopted rules at the beginning this session that require a supermajority vote for every single thing.

      Take it up with Harry Reid, dude. Every two years, the Senate reconvenes, and the first thing it does is adopt rules for the new session. Those rules are where you find the filibuster/supermajority.

      Nothing prevents a Senate from jettisoning the filibuster when it convenes after an election.

    4. From Tony-parlance to English.

      Maybe the Senate shouldn’t require a supermajority vote for every single thing.

      Translation: I want a dictator who is as dreamy and leg-tingling as Obama.

    5. Maybe they should require an 80% majority to do anything.

      1. Even to repeal freedom killing regulations?

  23. We need Charlotte Corday, not Richard Cordry.

  24. “Will Congress Stop King Barack the First?”
    Not a chance.

  25. My understanding, is that Obama had only submitted the appointments 2 days before he made this unconstitutional petty tyrant power grab.

    (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  26. Dear Leader also has the authority, thanks to Congressional Re-puke-ans and Demo-craps, to indefinitely detain American citizens he thinks present a danger to national security (NDAA)–whatever that means. In Dear Leader’s defense, however, he did say he “doesn’t intend” to use this new power.

  27. Why do we still have recess appointments in modern times, anyway?

  28. The president who drove and applauded the use of every dirty-pool procedural trick in the book to pass the (allegedly) Affordable (alleged) Care Act is in no moral position to complain about the other party also playing dirty pool.

    What goes around comes around.

    Pot, Kettle. Kettle, pot.

    Uhm … Mr. President? Uh … I think that … ay … this petard is … well … er … yours. Sir.

  29. “Pot, Kettle. Kettle, pot.”

    Yes, I get it; “Pot calling the Kettle Black!” I find it amusing that some of you knuckling dragging racist are so hung up on Obama’s Brown skin that you can’t see him in the context of a long line of Wall Street Stooges (Clinton, BUSH1&2) who live to serve the Military Industrial Complex is only a facade for the real “powers that be”.

  30. It would be nice if Gene Healy could write an objective article without relying on emotive terms like “King Barack” or “rammed through”,

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