A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, there used to be a dude who wasn’t Obama in the White House. His name was George W. Bush. The Left hated him. In fact, “hated” is an understatement. They loathed him so much that it caused a transformation which was otherworldly.
The hate was so strong that Democrats and liberals everywhere suddenly cared about deficits and budgets and the Constitution. Many of you might be too young to remember this brief transfiguration, but it was amazing to witness. They actually complained about too much spending… can you imagine? You would have hardly recognized them.
During this time they also did a pretty good job of acting like they cared about the Constitution and stuff. If you took their word for it, you would swear that Bush had essentially created a dictatorship in the US. How? The main beef they had was that he wouldn’t allow advisors to testify under oath in front of Congress. You see, Karl Rove was an advisor and they hated him more than Bush. So they wanted to bring him in front of Congress to see if they could somehow get him to say something that could land him in jail or something. Cut them some slack, they were desperate. But out of this fight over Executive privilege – which has long standing precedent – came other fights about Executive power.
A biggie was this idea of Presidential signing statements. Oh, man… they really got pissed off over those things. Despite the fact that they’d been used since the early 1800′s, the Left suddenly became totally anti-signing statement. When Obama was running for President, they brought it up and he promised – on tape – that he wouldn’t used them. He even gave some reasons on why the practice was unconstitutional. Watch:
Guess who has been using signing statements since taking office? According to the Leftists who hated Bush and thought he was a dictator, the answer is Obama, the Dictator. I have yet to see any criticism of Obama breaking this promise coming from the Left. I’m sure it will happen any day now.
Recently, Obama has taken to enacting “change” via the regulatory agencies instead of going through Congress because “We Can’t Wait,” which was initially a slogan for his “jobs bill” which Harry Reid killed, has now become a tool for Obama to rally his base. No jobs have been created by these measures, in case you were wondering.
Now Obama is bucking long-standing precedent and has “recess appointed” someone when the Senate isn’t technically in recess. It’s a convoluted issue but I’ll try to explain quickly. You’ll remember from Civics 101 that the Senate has to approve certain Presidential appointments. Cabinet, agency heads, judges/justices, etc. The Senate also has the authority to block these appointments. One way to get around these roadblocks was for the President to wait until the Senate was in recess to do it. When the Senate really wants to block an appointment, they will avoid going on recess. It’s tough to do – Senators really like their vacations… and fundraising – so they came up with a thing called a pro-forma session where they conduct business every few days in order to remain “in session.” The length of the recess, according to the Clinton era Justice Department, has to be longer than three days or the Senate is technically in session.
Obama the Dictator has had enough. Despite the fact that his own deputy solicitor general argued last year in front of the Supreme Court that a recess is only a recess when it is longer than three days, Obama is appointing Richard Cordray to head the new “consumer protection” agency the Dodd-Frank law created in 2010.
President Obama is under strong pressure from liberals to use his recess-appointment power during the congressional break, but doing so would break 20 years of precedent, putting him in a tough position.
That’s right. The very liberals who called Bush a dictator are pushing Obama to circumvent precedent… and Congress.
A Congressional Research Service report released this month found the shortest recess in the last 20 years during which the president made a recess appointment was 10 days.
Precedent, schmecedent. Democrats don’t care about precedents. Unless it is Roe v Wade. Or the filibuster when they’re in the minority, etc. etc.
But fear not! As soon as a Republican is back in the White House, this will change. They’ll be back to caring about deficits. They’ll be back to whining about unchecked Executive power. And you can bet cold hard cash that any Republican who tries to do a recess appointment during a pro-forma session will be called an evil dictator.
It is said that nothing is guaranteed in life but death and taxes. I’d argue that liberal hypocrisy is the third thing.