There’s Somthin’ Happening Here

The White House goes on offense — the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the righties shrieking about unprecedented usurpation of presidential authority. If you have a dim memory of Junior Bush making recess appointments — yes, he made 171, according to Wikipedia. And presidents have been making recess appointments since there have been, well, presidents.

The catch is that this Congress — or the Republicans in Congress, anyway — attempted to block recess appointments by refusing to recess. That is, they’ve used “pro forma” sessions to keep Congress officially in session despite the fact that nearly all of the senators and representatives actually had gone home.

This move by congressional Republicans is, in fact, a radical usurpation of power, as Ezra Klein explains. Specifically, Congress is attempting to “nullify” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as the National Labor Relations Board by blocking the appointments of personnel critical for those agencies to function. Without the appointments, no CFPB and no NLRB. Republicans don’t have the votes to actually dismantle those bureaus, so instead they are attempting to cancel them through other maneuvers.

So it’s actually congressional Republicans who are trampling all over constitutional separation of powers and overreaching their legal authority. But since the victim complexes of wingnuts know no bounds, in their tiny little minds it is the president who is overreaching and trampling on their gawd-given write to use the constitution as toilet paper.

Even better, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is threatening to sue to keep the nullification scheme going. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a tool of big corporations dedicated to turning the U.S. into a cheap source of labor and resources.

But the bottom line here is that Republicans are actually doing is blocking financial regulatory reform, which the public appears to want. So they can shriek about how awful it all is until they turn purple; politically, this is a fight they will lose. Even Sen. Scott Brown, fighting a challenge from Elizabeth Warren, who created the CFPB, is telling his fellow Senate Republicans to back down.

Also too, Greg Sargent:

Today Romney denounced the Cordray appointment as “Chicago style politics at its worst.” The Obama campaign responds:

“Mitt Romney today stood with predatory lenders and Republicans in Congress over the middle class. He doubled down on his promise to eliminate the Wall Street watchdog and allow Wall Street to write its own rules again, leaving consumers vulnerable to hidden fees, financial traps and excessive risk taking that will hit their pocketbooks. Governor Romney has made clear he has not learned the lessons of the economic crisis, instead, he’s giving the most irresponsible financial actors a bright green light to pursue profit at any cost to communities across America.”

Jonathan Chait writes,

Republicans rejected his first choice to run the agency, Elizabeth Warren. Obama then proffered Cordray, who has enjoyed bipartisan support. But Republicans simply turned around and said they like Cordray but planned to hold him hostage anyway.

By early autumn, it had dawned on Obama and his advisers that their deep enmeshment with a dysfunctional drama on Capitol Hill merely made them look ineffectual. So, recognizing that Congress is simply treating every negotiation as a zero-sum contest undertaken with the goal of defeating him, Obama has abandoned any hope of negotiation or legislative progress.

Instead he is dramatizing his opposition to Congress, making it clear that Republicans are standing in the way of his economic program. Part of the agenda entails talking up bills he knows Congress won’t pass, like new infrastructure spending.

They should have realized that snakes Republicans don’t bargain in good faith any more a whole lot sooner. Like, sometime during the spring of 2009, if not sooner. But this is another indication why progressives who oppose Obama’s re-election are idiots.

10 thoughts on “There’s Somthin’ Happening Here

  1. So we can officially add Chicago (“-style politics”) to Massachusetts (“-liberals”) and San Francisco (“-values”) to the list of places that, since Republicans never ever divide Americans against each other, aren’t really in America.

    Ther percentage of America that the GOP hates grows every day. It passed 50% a long time ago.

  2. If the Republicans could get away with it, the only agencies left would be:
    1. Any one related to the Military.
    2. The CIA for foreign spying.
    3. The FBI/NSA for spying on what you and I say or do, and what we do in our bedrooms, and with whom.
    4. The Chamber of Commerce would become a government agency.
    5. And some board of Theocrats to guarantee religious compliance.
    6. Detention facilities and prisons.
    7. Serf Registry agency.

    And any agency that helped individuals, young or old, sick or healthy, male or female, but especially those that didn’t help white heterosexual people exclusively, would be eliminated.

    I’m glad it looks like Obama wiped the crust from his eyes after all of that dreaming about bipartisanship!
    About f’in time!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now – KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Well, yes. In the fight over the payroll tax cut, what the Republicans were actually doing was fighting to raise taxes on the middle class rather than the wealthiest Americans. And now they’re fighting to allow big banks to keep ripping off their customers. I imagine Obama is happy to let them make as much noise about this as they want.

  4. [Deleted. If you’re going to comment here, read my post first and address what I wrote, not what you assume I wrote. Do not ignore the observations I make because they don’t fit your pre-programmed talking points. And my observation is that it is Congress, not the White House, exceeding its authority. If you want to comment here again, please read the comment policy first. — maha]

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I hope that A Conservative Teacher doesn’t teach our youth at any level.

    If, you f’in moron, you read ANYTHING but your favorite rightie blogs, you might learn something or two.
    Oh look, ACT gave us – A LINK!
    And what, pray tell, ‘Moran,’ does your link PROVE!
    Sweet Jesus, and for the love of F*CKING GOD, WHAT THE F*CK does that have to do with anything, except that it’s the ‘activity scheduled for the floor?

    Speak, boy, SPEAK!!!


    But why should you care about learning anything?
    After all, why the f*ck should you?

    You’re A f’in Conservative TEACHER!

    Please, please, lose this website, and Steve M’s. You’ve already been 86’d from LG&M, for cause.
    Please avoid Liberal blogs – you need to keep your hands free for the rightie circle-jerks you belong on.
    Besides, the other ‘morans’ miss you – without you, as their Conservative Teacher, they can’t spell I-Q, without someone like you spotting them the “I.”

    • Sorry I deleted ACT’s comment after you remarked upon it, c u n d gulag. I really hate people who post comments here without reading my post first, though.

      (For those of you who missed it, ACT provided a lecture that Congress was in session, so the President couldn’t make a recess appointment. Obviously, either ACT didn’t read my post, or ACT has the reading comprehension level of pond scum.)

  6. Pingback: Obama’s Recess Appointments | Left-Handed Nib

  7. I know 2 year olds who can play nice and fair with other people unlike the Republicans who cheat at every thing and try to stack the deck against the 99 percent. Unfortunately, the Republicans no longer care about playing nice and fair because the President is OMG black. The Republicans of today make Richard Nixon look like a choir boy.

  8. Alexander Hamilton wrote “It will be the office of the President to nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint. There will, of course, be no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose — they can only ratify or reject the choice he may have made.”

    This needs to cut both ways. In recent times, Democrats have obstructed the appointments of republican presidents and that’s BS, too. Everything I can find in the Constitution and the discussions of the Federalist Papers and debates in the ratification show that NOBODY wanted or expected that the Senate would use their limited role to prevent the Executive branch from functioning. The proper role of the Senate in the nomination process is to debate and vote QUICKLY.

    As far as I can tell, the whole idea of a recess appointment allows the President to act quickly if the Senate is not in town to act quickly – because it was NEVER the desire of the founders that any part of government should flounder for weeks, let alone years because the Senate can indefinitely block key appointments. This is wrong no matter which party holds the Executive Office.

    I would be perfectly happy if Obama points out that the tactic of holding up confirmation has been refined over the years by BOTH democrats and republicans and it needs to end NOW! If there is a challenge by republicans in court, the president should request that the USSC hear the case at the earliest date and issue a clear decision which will bind the Senate in the future to rules which 1) reflect the original intent of the Constitution and b) provide that the Executive branch will have the authority to get vacancies filled so that the POTUS can do his job!

    ALL Americans should understand, agree and demand that the president (of whatever party) should not be bound hand and foot by a minority in the Senate. Secret holds and the fillibuster are a cowardly way to impede government. If the President makes a nomination, debate, votepublicly, and be done with it.

  9. So we can officially add Chicago (“-style politics”) to Massachusetts (“-liberals”) and San Francisco (“-values”) to the list of places that, since Republicans never ever divide Americans against each other, aren’t really in America.

    This is an excellent observation. Republicans openly sneer at places in America they don’t like and get away with it. I can’t imagine a Democratic politician bluntly trashing Mississippi, Texas, Kansas or any of a number of loony right-wing locales.

    Of course, the downside for Republicans is they will never be competitive in California, Massachusetts or Illinois, all significant electoral vote states. They can have Idaho and Alabama.

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