Thursday, January 12, 2012

Obama "Obligated" to Ignore the Law

The American president committed yet another Obamian move and appointed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by utilizing the method of recess appointments. The appointment for the top position in the new bureau was followed by three other appointments.

The only problem was that the Senate was not in recess.

Senate Republicans, arguing that the Bureau should be accountable to Congress, had been filibustering to hold off a vote on the appointment. This of course is not only an acceptable tool for the Senate but one that was extensively employed by Democrats when G.W. Bush was in the White House. Obama and his Democrats, though, have no tolerance for any annoying things such as laws or senatorial procedures when it stops them from doing what they want.

Due to being in a big hurry to complete his appointment for an agency that never existed before, Obama defended his scofflaw move with the following:

"When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them," Obama said "I have an obligation to act on behalf of the American people."

.....So acting out of bounds of the law is no problem if Obama is acting in the best interests of the American people. OK, that makes a lot of sense. Not only can he do this but he is obligated to do so.

Note also the following quote from the same article about Obama's record on such things:

"Republicans have also noted that as a senator Obama was outspoken in his criticism of President Bush to circumvent Congress by using a recess appointment to install John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations in 2007. Obama argued that the recess appointment lessened Bolton's stature.
But White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today that Bolton was a controversial appointee whom Obama opposed on his merits."
OK now I think I get it - If the candidate's abilities or stature are not in question, then it is OK to just circumvent the law. In other words, when the Democrats and their Juan Peron-like leader have an guy that they want to appoint, they can just pretty much do what they want and say "Well, you see,  filibustering is fine when we think that the candidate should not be in the position for which he is nominated, but its not OK to do so it when we want him in and don't have time to wait."

That has been the Modus Operandi for the bulk of the Obama administration's time in the White House. Everything is "We need it now" "The American people cannot wait". Law and procedures that have provided effective government and helped to prevent bulldozing of the opposition and railroading of laws, appointments, etc. are just guidelines that be ignored when it is convenient to do so.

The Senate had not gone through he procedures for an adjournment resolution and had been meeting pro forma every three days. There have of course been many who claimed that this did not really count and effectively created the conditions of a recess. However, a law professor from the Liberal bastion of Yale had serious questions and reservations about the Obamian move:
"Such a decision normally requires constitutional backing from the Justice Department, Ackerman argued, but Obama made the decision based on an unpublished constitutional defense written by White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmier. Ackerman said he did not necessarily think Obama's decision to go ahead with the appointments was unconstitutional — he just wants to understand exactly what logic was governing Obama's thinking, and accordingly is demanding that Ruemmier publish her opinion.
“It is hardly enough for him to inform the Senate that Ms. Ruemmler has given the go-ahead," Ackerman wrote. “At the very least, he should provide his counsel's legal opinion explaining why he has the constitutional authority to second-guess the Senate on whether it is in recess.' "

This administration seems to have no limits when it comes to pushing its authority further and further out.

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