January 4, 2012

Obamic "Gaffe 'n' Graft" Machine Working Overtime - Instant Update!

Hatched by Dafydd

Big Lizards hereby inaugurates (if I may use that word) a new political-rhetoric award called the Daley, after former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. We shall award it whenever a politician makes a gaffe, in the Kinsleyan mode of inadvertently blurting out the truth, by inexpertly managing his syntax.

Daley was mayor for 21 years; he made his eponymic gaffe (well, now it's an eponym) during the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in the Windy City. His oral manglement has become legendary:

Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all -- the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder.

Obama has made so many similar gaffes -- e.g., his wonderfully bizarre eruption of "Don't call my bluff!" -- that he deserves not only to be today's recipient but simultaneously the second recipient emeritus as well. (The first is of course, and always, Vice President "Slow" Joe Biden, who is awarded his own emeritus status retroactive to sometime during the Spanish-American War, when he first entered the Senate.)

Obama's Daley occurred not so very long ago; in fact, it will occur later today, in prepared remarks that he hasn't even given yet. Here we go:

"I refuse to take 'No' for an answer. I’ve said before that I will continue to look for every opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward. But when Congress refuses to act in a way that hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them," he will say, according to prepared remarks.

Well! Who can argue with that?

The underlying context is equally disreputable. The Constitution allows the POTUS to temporarily appoint cabinet and sub-cabinet members without senatorial confirmation, but only when the Senate is in recess. Such "recess appointments" serve for one year. But by longstanding tradition, the Senate is only in "recess" when it has shut down for an extended period of time -- a minimum of three days without formally gaveling in a session.

But today, President B.O. appointed Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the newly invented Consumer Financial Protection Bureau only one day after the Senate held a regular, if pro forma, session; and Republicans argue this is an illegal appointment to seize power from Congress.

Even Obama himself agrees... or he did, way back in 2010, when his own Deputy Soliciter General argued in favor of the "three-day" rule to the U.S. Supreme Court, and during George W. Bush's presidency, when Obama was in the Senate and fully supported the rule:

The Constitution gives the president the power to make appointments when the Senate is not in session and able to confirm them. Traditionally that has been understood to mean when the Senate has adjourned for a recess longer than 10 days, and a Clinton administration legal opinion said a recess must be at least three days.

Mr. Obama’s own top constitutional lawyers affirmed that view in 2010 in another case involving recess appointments. Asked what the standard was for making recess appointments, then-Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices the administration agreed with the three-day rule....

The three-day rule was also the precedent Mr. Obama and his fellow Senate Democrats followed in 2007 and 2008 when they were trying to block then-President George W. Bush from making recess appointments.

“I am keeping the Senate in pro forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on Nov. 16, 2007, as he announced his strategy of having the Senate convene twice a week for pro forma sessions.

Now that the shoe is on the other hand, Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 75%) has changed his mind; he fully supports the president being allowed to make a "recess" appointment the very day after a session. All previous opinions of Reid's are inoperative.

I reckon means that future presidents can make them throughout the year, every Saturday and Sunday. No longer need they trouble the Senate to confirm or reject executive appointments. What a relief!

This one is likely headed to court, giving the president ample opportunity to win the Daley award several more times on this selfsame issue.

Instant update: Before even publishing this post, we have an update. It's a scoop!

Just hours after appointing Corday to head the CFPB, and still only one day after the last Senate session, the Obamunist in Chief made three more "recess" appointments, this time to the National Labor Relations Board:

President Barack Obama is bypassing GOP opposition to make three more recess appointments -- this time to the National Labor Relations Board.

The move came hours after Obama used a similar tactic to install former Ohio Atty. Gen. Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Both moves infuriated GOP leaders, who threatened legal action and warned that Obama was setting a dangerous precedent by ignoring the will of Congress.

What fun! We must be nearing the Rupture, when the One shall rule entirely by decree, to officially inaugurate (if I may use that term yet again) the Obamic Millennium.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 4, 2012, at the time of 1:35 PM


The following hissed in response by: Roy Lofquist


It seems to me that the appropriate response is for the Republican controlled House to refuse to appropriate any funds for executive agencies save for perhaps Defense and other exceptions as seem appropriate. It was assumed by the founders that each branch would defend their prerogatives vigorously. It is neither prudent nor wise to look to the judiciary to intervene in this instance.


The above hissed in response by: Roy Lofquist [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2012 2:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

I've read that the law creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires that its head be approved by the Senate.

And since Obama doesn't consider himself bound by the law and traditions of the US, the only real enforcement would be his impeachment. Which the Democrats in the Senate will forestall.

Instapundent is right, no one who cares about keeping the presidency from becoming imperial rule by fiat should ever vote for a Democrat for president. Only Republican presidents can be held to standards.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2012 7:11 AM

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