Recess Over-Reach? Please!

On Fake Conservative Angst Over Recess Appointments


On cue, conservatives are aghast…aghast I tell you!…that President Obama has used his Constitutional authority to make recess appointments. Of course, Republicans are not upset that Obama has circumvented the appointment of a candidate that is mutually agreeable to both parties. That really would be questionable. They are, rather, upset that Obama has actually grown a backbone and has demonstrated his willingness to stand up to Republicans. It’s taken a few years, but it’s a welcome sign. After all, conservatives have made it perfectly clear that they no nomination from this president would be suitable for positions on the National Labor Relations Board or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Conservatives believe that no such bodies should exist.

Of course, the so-called liberal media doesn’t bother to express outrage over the fact that conservatives continued “pro forma” meetings of the Senate every three days in order to block such recess appointments. By “pro forma” they mean that they met for a few minutes every three days (one such meeting lasted only about 1 minute). What was the conservative justification for such a tactic? It must have been the United States Constitution; after all, Republicans are the self-appointed guardians of the Constitution—well, at least those parts of the Constitution that they like. In fact, the Constitution does not prescribe any such time standards for recess appointments.

Well, if not the Constitution, then what? Actually, their tactic was based on a legal brief from the Clinton Justice Department. Yes, let me say that again. It was based on a legal brief from the Clinton Justice Department. William Jefferson Clinton. Yep, that Clinton.

Regardless, when it comes to recess appointments, Obama remains a lightweight.

Here’s a graph from Think Progress controlling for years in office.

When it comes to recess appointments, Ronald Reagan was the champ. Go Gipper!

Don’t expect that to be a Republican Talking point.

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