Thursday, December 30, 2010


Jennifer Rubin has recently moved from Commentary Magazine to the Washington Post, but she really is still a terrible hack.  Her latest outrage is that President Obama dared -- dared mind you! -- to make recess appointments.

On Wednesday, Obama shed any pretense of bipartisanship in making six recess appointments. As were his previous recess appointments, this batch included two individuals whose records are so controversial that they could not obtain confirmation even with 59 Democratic senators. Also included was Stephen Ford, nominated as ambassador to Syria and stymied as a forceful rebuttal to Obama's failed Syrian engagement policy. Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute voiced objection to bypassing the Senate, arguing that: "there were credible reasons why the Senate refused to confirm the several nominees Obama has just now given recess appointments, reasons that warranted full and proper Senate confirmation hearings." He contends that "the striking feature here is that once again, as in the lame duck session, this Congress and the president managed to put off these important matters until after the November elections, which will result in this case in officers serving without the benefit of the legitimacy that comes from Senate confirmation." A senior adviser to a key Republican senator was more succinct: "It is an outrage."

Everything's an outrage that Obama tries to do, you see.   Rubin goes on and on about how these "controversial" nominees were rushed into power by Strongman Obama, our new dictator.  When he made his first recess appointments back in March, Rubin called it "Obama's Thugocracy".  I like how the Cato Institute is the final arbiter of a controversial recess appointment, too.  Obama surely must have been the only President to ever take this horribly fascist step of mak...wait, what?

Both Republican and Democratic presidents have made recess appointments, which circumvents the Senate's authority to confirm nominees, when they could not overcome delays in the Senate. President George W. Bush made more than 170 such appointments in his two-term presidency. President Bill Clinton made nearly 140.

Oh wait.  Surely GOP heroes Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. never would have don....oh, hmm.

The first President Bush made 77 recess appointments over one term, and President Reagan made 243 over two terms.

Obama however is a "thug' when he does it.  Rubin must really dislike, oh, every single President in the history of the country, because they've all made recess appointments.  And surely none of Reagan's or either Bush's recess appointments were ever possibly controversial or anything like thatIt's in the Constitution (which of course wingers so desperately care about).  Right there, Article II, Section 2. 

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.

But only Obama is a "thug" when he does it (bonus connotation points for that, by the way.)  It doesn't make Obama a thug at all of course...but it does make Jennifer Rubin a partisan hack. Presidents of both parties have used recess appointments since George Washington, because all 44 of them eventually realized that getting the Senate to do a damn thing other than occasionally remove their collective, collegial heads from their asses is near impossible anyway.

This is borderline "it's a holiday, I'll phone this in" crap even by Rubin's dismal standards. If Obama is guilty of ruining bipartisanship by making "controversial" recess appointments, so is basically every other President of the United States.  Rubin's a pretty good fit at the WaPo's Department of Talking Points.

More on this from Steve Benen.

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