Jack and Carol discuss everything political with Steve Balich of the Homer Lockport Tea Party and candidate for the Will County Board District 7. As well as discussing the upcoming elections from local to national and everything in between.
By: Jeffrey Klein, Political Buzz Examiner
Today, Republican Senators received a 23 page legal opinion from the ‘Eric Holder Justice Department’, which [as expected] concluded that President Obama did have the U.S. Constitution, or at least its’ lack of a clear definition for “Recess” in it, on his side, when he made the four highly controversial “recess appointments” over the holidays, according to a FOXNews article today.
Obviously outraged, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley of Iowa, was the first to publicly weigh in by releasing a statement to the media.
“The Justice Department opinion is unconvincing. Its conclusion is at odds with the text of the Constitution, and the administration’s own previous statements. It fundamentally alters the careful separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches that the framers crafted in the Constitution. It relies on no Supreme Court decision and many conclusions are unsupported in law or the Constitution. It recognizes that the courts might well disagree. And, it flies in the face of more than 90 years of historical practice.
Taken together with a laundry list of other assertions of the power to act without Congress, this is clearly an escalation in a pattern of contempt for the elected representatives of the American people.”
Grassley was joined by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group focused on constitutional law, who labeled the opinion a “smokescreen.”
“This memo changes nothing: President Obama acted in a unconstitutional manner in making these appointments — ignoring the rule of law and nearly a century of precedent.”
However, six Republican Senators have been drafting legislation that may very well treat President Barack Obama to a dose of his own Constitutional law ‘medicine,’ before the end of next month.
Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota is leading a team of key Senators, which include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Richard Lugar (R-IN), David Vitter (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), who are working on the measure to assume control of the permit approval process of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline project, according to a Reuters article today.
Last November, President Obama put off having to make the permit decision for the pipeline until 2013, well past the upcoming November elections, with most not buying the “environmental concerns”, unless it includes his desire to assuage his environmental extremist voter base.
But, a hard-fought Republican provision in the very contentious bill granting the two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday–passed during the above mentioned ‘do nothing pro forma sessions’ of the Senate mentioned above–President Obama is forced either approve the permit, which would immediately create 20,000 high paying construction jobs, or give a formal statement as to why it is not in the interest of the country to permit it…by February 21, 2012.
Should President Obama prohibit his State Department from approving the permit, the measure would then provide a legal segue for the Senate to take up and vote on the question, as is unequivocally provided for in the U.S. Constitution–regardless of the decades of convention that has allowed the State Department to handle such matters.
Ryan Bernstein, an energy adviser to Hoeven, cited the powers given to Congress in the Constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations. “We believe that express authority in the Constitution gives Congress the ability to approve and move forward on such a project.”
The State Department, which has long held authority to oversee permits for cross-border pipelines, did not have immediate comment on the Republican plan on Wednesday.
Sounding like an application of the ‘what comes around goes around’ doctrine?
The Keystone pipeline has become a political thorn in Barack Obama’s side, in what promises to be a very difficult (if not final) election cycle for him, as it has two of his most important voting blocks in opposition to each other.
On the one hand, labor unions are frothing at the prospect of the 20,000 high-paying, union due generating, construction jobs it will create almost immediately.
And on the other hand, there are the environmental extremists, who are using what ever excuse will stick, to stop the production and use of fracking shale oil, no matter where it comes from.
And the remarks from Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont confirm this tactic … “Short-cutting U.S. review of an inherently dirty tar sands project is bad enough. Smothering the review process altogether would compound the folly and divert us from better, cleaner, renewable energy solutions.”
Some Democratic senators have said they support the pipeline, which may likely have enough votes to pass, during the very difficult reelection year ahead for them as well.
This could prove to be a real problem for President Barack Obama–however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was reported as saying that he would consult with the White House before making any pronouncements.
Except for the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the concept of “checks and balances” seems to have gone out on sick leave during the Obama administration.
Perhaps this GOP Con Law medicine will help to make it better.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Jeffrey Klein
By: Arlen Williams
Even those who believe themselves devoted patriots (including devout Christians) may foolishly be enticed by the powers that be, into violating Americans’ sacred and essential Popular and national Sovereignties. It has been happening for a long time, now.
People who believe in a Sovereign nation called the United States of America are being duped into not only violating the mandates of our Constitution, but even worse, to nullify our own Declaration of Independence from the control of foreign power.
This is the tragedy for all, of those who foolishly follow the stratagems of those seeking hegemony over us via “global governance” and it’s ploy, “sustainable development,” a.k.a., “millennium goals,” a.k.a., “green growth,” as outlined in the United Nations’ Agenda 21. It is being executed by ICLEI, regional councils, Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13575, and in many other ways governmental, paragovernmental, in corporations, finance, the news and entertainment media, and in eduction.
However, some seem not so fooled.
In alphabetical order, these are positions of the remaining Republican candidates for United States President, regarding this globalist warfare upon America and all the nations of the world.
Newt Gingrich, his opposition to Agenda 21:
Video, “Newt on Agenda 21,” uploaded July 26, 2011
Video, “Newt on Agenda21.mov,” uploaded September 16, 2011
- “Not Everyone’s Buying Gingrich’s Anti-Agenda 21 Cred,”
Ashley Lopez, The Florida Independent, December 29, 2011
Jon Huntsman, a proponent of sustainable development, uses the peer pressure ploy of a propagandist, pardon the alliteration, against those seeking valid science about the climate, instead of the party line of the globalist powers that be:
Video, “Huntsman Spars with Fox & Friends Hosts over Global Warming,”
August 29, 2011
An article from the ecofascist left, supporting Jon Huntsman over other Republican candidates:
- “For Solving Big Problems: Jon Huntsman Cites Republican Traditions In Science & Logic,”
by John Laumer, TreeHugger.com, August 20, 2011
Ron Paul, his opposition to Agenda 21, within the limits of a libertarian’s revised interpretation of federalism (also, on the United Nations as a whole, plus the IMF and the Federal Reserve):
Video, “Ron Paul Answers Agenda 21 Question,” uploaded August 10, 2011
Rick Perry, his cooperation with Agenda 21 related transnationalist/globalist moves and liaisons:
- “Rick Perry Tied to Agenda 21, Globalist Policies;”
“Selling Texas to foreign creditors while jabbing Obama for same, “
Terri Hall, August 18, 2011
Perry’s comments in opposition to drastic policy based upon man-made global warming theory, in this propagandized Associated Press (AP) video:
“Video Essay: Perry vs. Global Warming in NH,” August 18, 2011
Mitt Romney, his favoring of and participation in Agenda 21…
…and one may page search “Romney” in this expansive collection of evidence:
- “Romney, Pawlenty, Agenda 21: Road to Serfdom,”
by Tony Newbill, July 7, 2011
Romney, during the 2008 campaign, stating that government should at times take the lead in reducing “green house gas emissions”:
uploaded December 27, 2007
Rick Santorum, answers generally, when asked specifically about Agenda 21:
Bill McNally: [A question about Agenda 21] Question to describe Agenda 21, what it means for America’s sovereignty, and how Santorum, as President, would enforce it.
Santorum: There are a lot of things that the U.N. promulgates through its various committees and agencies. The United Nations should serve some (emphasis his) on security issues, but a lot of the policies from the United Nations would be problematic for America. “We will not give legitimacy to UN organisations that promulgate a laundry list of ideas…. [including abortion] I’m not going to, as President, have our country participate in things that are antithetical to our values.” They are trying to impose international law on the sovereignty of the United States. Cited the Rights of the Child as a means of undermining parental authority. [This blogger will note that the Rights of the Child inexplicably does not include the right to be born without someone stabbing you in the head with a fork.]
- From blog, Haemet, “Live-Blogging Rick Santorum’s Town Hall in Windham, NH,”
January 5, 2012
Directly related, here is an assessment of each candidate’s’ stance on the question…
- Will you abolish the Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA)?
in AsMarion.com, republished from Tea Party Voter Guide, New Hampshire Edition
For further information on the candidates regarding the American Sovereignties and threats to them, including Agenda 21, see…
…and the tags below.
Caveat: all analysis on human behavior must be dynamic, not static; let us keep asking questions. Here is one suggestion for ongoing activism:
by “GringoBob” at RegularFolksUnited.com, September 13, 2011
The many awake, aware, and alert United States Citizens,
who are pressing our candidates on issues of Popular and national Sovereignty,
including that done through the Tea Party movement
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
In an interview last month with Accuracy in Media, historian Craig Shirley described how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II marked a transition for this country, and in doing so, he offered insights that are very relevant today.
“This is a story about a country that goes from being a country of the past to becoming a country of the future, and all the things that spring out of it, big and small,” said Shirley. “The big, obviously, is that we become a permanent internationalist country. We never again retreat to isolationism, as we did after the Spanish-American War, and as we did after World War I. After we defeat Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, we then rebuild them and make them into allies under the Marshall Plan and Douglas MacArthur. We establish military bases around the world—that was unthinkable five years before, that we would have military bases all around the world. We had military bases in the Philippines, and several other locations, but those were the exceptions, not the rule.”
As the U.S. withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan, and absorbs the significance of President Obama’s new plans for America’s foreign policy and the use of our military, Shirley’s newest book, December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World, serves as an important reminder as to how and why America became a superpower during the 20th century.
Craig Shirley is also the bestselling author of Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started It All, which details Reagan’s pivotal 1976 presidential campaign, and Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America, which looks at the 1980 campaign. Mr. Shirley is the president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. He has been professionally involved in politics and government for more than 40 years, having worked in government and campaigns at the congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential levels. He is currently working on several more books about Reagan, and a political biography of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—entitled Citizen Newt. You can learn more about Craig Shirley and his books by visiting his website, craigshirley.com.
We discussed the current political scene and started with his views on the notion, put forth by several liberal commentators, that President Reagan couldn’t win the Republican Party nomination this year because he would be considered too moderate.
Below, in italics, are excerpts from the interview, starting with his comments on Reagan.
You can listen to the complete interview (about 45 minutes) or read the transcript here.
SHIRLEY: I’ve heard that, and that’s utterly ridiculous. The people who say that about Ronald Reagan [that he couldn’t get the Republican nomination this year because he was too moderate] don’t know about Ronald Reagan. He was a conservative. Some of his positions had evolved over the years—he started out, in the ’30s and ’40s, as what he called not a “bleeding heart liberal,” but, as he said, “a hemophiliac liberal.” He was a rip-roaring supporter of the New Deal and Franklin Roosevelt, and in 1948 he campaigned for Harry Truman as part of “Hollywood for Truman.” In 1950 he campaigned for Helen Gahagan Douglas against Richard Nixon for the Senate out there. His long political climb had started, and he didn’t really arrive at a conservative philosophy that was based on the individual—and, more importantly, based on the spiritual individual—until the late ’70s, and by then, his philosophy was fully formed as far as individual freedom, rights, privacy, a hatred of totalitarianism—especially as embraced by Soviet Communism—and an oppressive welfare state here in this country. I’m hard pressed to think, when they say—I think it’s just a dumb throwaway line, Roger, to be quite honest. To say that Ronald Reagan wasn’t conservative enough for the Republican Party, it’s ridiculous. When they say that, they don’t offer up any evidence. I’ve spent a lifetime studying Ronald Reagan, working for Ronald Reagan, writing books for Ronald Reagan…I don’t think there’s anybody who has been as steeped in Reagan history as I have. Those people who make those statements, they’re just making foolish statements.
The balance of it is, yes, he raised taxes, but he also cut taxes, and he also cut taxes much more massively, and more widespread—and reformed the tax code, which was far more consequential, and brought down capital gains, the inheritance taxes, and other things like that—than he ever raised. Even the one time he did work with Tip O’Neill, in 1982, to raise taxes, the deal was, there was supposed to be $3 in federal cuts for every $1 in taxes raised. Well, Reagan kept his side of the bargain, the Democrats didn’t. Tip O’Neill didn’t. Federal spending increased. He vowed, in his diaries, and said repeatedly afterwards, that he got snookered and he would never fall for it again—and he never did. He never embarked on any type of deal after that with the Democrats on Capitol Hill, as far as balancing cuts for a tax increase.
In ’91, Bush 41 got snookered by them, too, on the 1991 tax increase. There were supposed to be corresponding spending cuts. There weren’t corresponding spending cuts. So there’s a pretty good track record of Democrats being duplicitous on this issue. The Republicans have simply wised up. Now, they have not explained it well, so it makes them seem like they’re being obstructionists, but if they did a better job explaining their position to the American people, they would look like they’re creating solutions and leaving the American people alone instead of simply stopping spending cuts.
[Reagan] wrote in his diaries, too, that the amnesty bill wasn’t an amnesty bill per se, because amnesty means the abdication of any punishment for a crime committed. There were heavy penalties and citizenship classes and all sorts of things for those people who were here illegally—and we’re talking about a much smaller group of people in 1986 than we’re talking about today. That’s number one. Number two is, the laws were never implemented, and he wrote that in his memoirs. Number three, a lot of these illegals were people, Cubans and Nicaraguans, who had escaped Communist oppression and were here, for all intents and purposes, as political refugees, and not simply here for the economic opportunities. They were escaping the murderous tyrannies of Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro, and there’s nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned!
What Reagan wanted to do was to move power away from Washington, back to the states and individuals in the fashion as envisioned by the Founders, the fashion envisioned by Paine and Jefferson and others who believed in individuality over the State.
That’s what Jimmy Carter did in 1980. He had no record to stand on: The economy was a mess, kind of like what we’re going through now; foreign policy was a mess, kind of like what we’re going through now. Carter had no record to run on, so his only option was to destroy Ronald Reagan, and he ran a campaign of invective, of cruel and mean things, and really angered Reagan. He was quite furious about it, because he knew these things about him were untrue. The President of the United States, in 1980, went out and told the American people that if Reagan was elected President, he would divide America—black from white, North from South, Christian from Jew. Now if that isn’t a vile thing to say about your opponent, I don’t know what is. But whoever the Republican nominee is, they can expect that and much more from Barack Obama.
The upcoming election
I think we all should be concerned [about the integrity of the upcoming election]. I think this idea of early voting is just a recipe for corruption. But this is what collectivism has become: Collectivism has always bordered—embraced—corruption. We need to settle this argument once and for all about whether or not [Obama] is a socialist. It really doesn’t matter—he is on the left of the political spectrum.
Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” What we need is for everybody who’s worried about the integrity of voting, the integrity of the ballot box, and ensuring that the election isn’t stolen, is to put as much sunlight as possible on the process, and embarrass—if nothing else—those who attempt to thwart, steal, or deny the individual franchise of everyone of legal voting status in this country—and, if necessary, bring it before a magistrate or a judge to enforce fair voting in this country.
Conservatism is about freedom, whereas liberalism is about government and power and gaining power—whether you gain it legitimately or not, that is the object of American liberalism.
His new book, December, 1941
There have been many, many fine books about Pearl Harbor, about World War II, about the War in the Pacific, the home front, the War in the Atlantic—but there’s never been a day-by-day accounting of what happened in this country, and the enormous upheaval that occurred in this country after December 7th. Franklin Roosevelt is a player in this drama. Douglas MacArthur is a player in this drama. Dwight Eisenhower is a minor figure in this drama. Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio are minor players in this drama. There are many noteworthy people from government, from the military, from sports, from Hollywood, and from the media—radio broadcasters, mostly—who are minor or major players in this drama, but the central player in the drama of December, 1941 is the United States of America.
On December 6th, 1941, which was a Saturday, the country, at the time, had almost 2,000 newspapers—now it has less than 500—and at that time there were actually more afternoon newspapers than there were morning newspapers, because news occurred during the day, then it was reported on, written about, at one, two, three o’clock, in time for the afternoon paper. The early “Bulldog Edition” might come out around three, four, five o’clock, and then they’d add stars for later editions, one, two, three, four stars, which would tell you how late that paper had been issued.
We knew that the Japanese had become increasingly militaristic. They’d resigned from the League of Nations. They’d signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and with Italy. They had invaded Manchuria. They’d invaded Indochina. They were increasing their military capability, and they had designs on expanding their empire throughout Asia and the western Pacific. We had inklings that they might have military designs against the United States—or against Great Britain—but there was no concrete evidence, because there was a failure of imagination on our part. Nobody thought that on the morning of December 7th that the Japanese would sail a massive armada across thousands of miles of ocean—it featured six aircraft carriers and hundreds of escort ships—stop in the middle of that ocean to refuel, then get up steam again, travel as much distance again to arrive at the doorstep of Oahu, and launch 350 planes on a bright, clear day to obliterate the American navy and the American air force at the time, killing 2,402 military men and maiming and injuring another 1,289. Simultaneously, they’re also launching attacks against Guam, Midway, Wake Island, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Malay Peninsula. It is an astonishing act of aggression that was beyond the ken of anybody’s imagination. But it also was an astonishing act of naval execution. It stands as one of the most impressive acts of military success in the annals of naval history.
There were editorial writers on both sides. You had Colonel Robert McCormick, who was President of the very powerful Chicago Tribune newspaper chain—there was the Washington Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, and other Tribune papers around the country—who was a rabid isolationist, a rabid Roosevelt-hater, and who used his editorial policy in his newspapers and his columns to repeatedly bash Roosevelt. But then you had other newspapers that were fawning at the feet of Franklin Roosevelt. It was an era of yellow journalism, but we’ve always had partisan journalism in this country. But after December 7th, what I will say is that there was a lot of growing up in the newspaper industry. Most of the reporting I’ve detected was very responsible. They tried to hold back on rumors.
Lessons for today?
I think we know now, after September 11th—that two giant oceans do not make us secure, that we need to take other steps. That is the role of the national government. The role of the national government is to preserve the security, peace, and freedom of the American people. We need somebody in the White House who understands that. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s Barack Obama.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].
Cross-posted with permission from: A Girl and Her Gun
Introduction by NoisyRoom:
This article makes no attempt to tie China, adoption, etc. together with the 2nd amendment. It was written to the people that helped her recover from a very frightening encounter – the gun community. The writer is expressing her thoughts in this post concerning her feelings towards those that helped her as well as to the gun community at large. We feel it is an incredible post and wanted to share it with all of our readers. Here is her story…
In 2005, my husband and I started the process to adopt a little girl from China. It was a brand new scary process that we knew nothing about. All we knew was that we wanted a child.
When I am passionate about something, I want to know everything I can about it. So, I did a lot of reading about China and adoption.
One of the people I read about was a woman named Gladys Aylward. She was a poor woman from London who wanted to go to China in the 1930’s to be a missionary, but she had no skills, no education and she didn’t speak the language, so no formal organization would allow her to go.
She was angry and frustrated, but she didn’t give up. She spent a year working and saving, so she could make the trek on her own.
As she spent time in China, it become more and more her home. More and more a place she belonged and eventually, a place, she never wanted to leave.
Things got very ugly in China when the Japanese invaded and her family wanted her to leave, but she refused.
No matter how dangerous it got, she would not walk away from the people she had grown to love.
She said, “Greater Love Has No One Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For A Friend”- John15:13.
She said, “These are my people”.
Unlike Gladys, I didn’t want to be in this community.
I came here purely out of a desperate need.
A need to save my life.
What I found here is rare.
The gun community is a generous community. It is unlike any other I have been associated with.
I did, for a while, belong to the adoption community for a few years and though I am still crazy passionate about children and orphans…
Those are not my people.
I did, for a while, belong to the church-going Christian community and though I am still crazy passionate about God…
Those are not my people.
Generally a group, any group, has an agenda. Stated or not. Conscious or not. No matter how well meaning, they almost always want something.
That something is usually steeped in power and control.
Politicians, religions, schools, the anti-gun crowd, you name it. They want to bring you for what you can give them, which is often nothing more than a feeling of power and self worth for the leaders of the group.
They want to take something from you in order to gain something for themselves.
Not this group.
In the past 10 months, I have gained so much more than the ability to line my front site on the target.
This group has welcomed me when I had absolutely nothing to offer them.
I was empty.
I was broken.
I need things I was too weak to even know I needed.
I came here desperate and searching.
Day by day this community, these gun people, bult me up.
They never once pretended to be anything other than exactly who they are.
They didn’t try to wrap themselves up in a pretty little package to draw me in.
They didn’t use smoke and mirrors and they never, not once, lied to me.
They told me things I didn’t want to hear. They showed me things I didn’t want to see. They made me face things I didn’t want to face.
All while holding my hand and guiding me and nurturing me and givng me a safe place to grow.
They wanted me to grow.
They wanted me to be stronger.
They wanted me to be able to depend on myself.
They gave me everything they had, so I wouldn’t need them any more.
They gave me tools and guidance, so that I could soar and each and every time I took a step forward, they have been there to say, good for you. Job well done.
They did this, not because of me.
Not because I am something special.
They did it because they are special.
They are rare and they are so very, very special.
It is who they are.
Dig deep. Dig into the core of their being.
This is who they are.
You, you who hate guns, you gave me nothing.
All that was offered me was a life of fear, of resentment, of bitterness, of dependance…
The gun community has offered me hope and strength and courage.
They have taught me to have belief in myself.
They have asked nothing of me in return and, yet, I would give them my life.
Funny thing is, they would never ask me to.
This is where I belong.
These are my people.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Chad Kent
Since the moment President Obama announced his appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Senate was in recess when these appointments were made. The whole spectacle has been really interesting – but it’s basically irrelevant in this situation.
A better question to be asking at this point is – doesn’t it seem odd that the Founders would require the President to get his appointments confirmed by the Senate… and then let him just do whatever he wants through recess appointments? Why would they do something that seems so illogical.
The short answer: they didn’t.
If a vacancy in the executive branch opens up while the Senate is in recess, then the president has the power to appoint someone to serve temporarily. But unless a vacancy actually occurs while the Senate is out of session, the president has absolutely no power of recess appointment.
Don’t believe it? The Constitution is pretty clear on the topic:
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.
Article 2, Section 2
That clause couldn’t any more straightforward. But in case there is still any doubt, Alexander Hamilton explained the purpose of this clause in Federalist #67 as well:
The ordinary power of appointment is confined to the President and Senate JOINTLY, and can therefore only be exercised during the session of the Senate; but as it would have been improper to oblige this body to be continually in session for the appointment of officers and as vacancies might happen IN THEIR RECESS, which it might be necessary for the public service to fill without delay, the succeeding clause is evidently intended to authorize the President, SINGLY, to make temporary appointments “during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.” (emphasis in original)
The fact that the three appointments the president made to the NLRB are unconstitutional is not up for debate. But Obama did make a weak attempt to argue that his appointment of Richard Corday to the CFPB is different because it’s a new agency and it can’t function without a director.
Unfortunately for the president, he’s dead wrong on that point as well:
“It has been held by that venerable body [the Senate], that if new offices are created by Congress, the president cannot, after the adjournment of the senate, make appointments to fill them. The vacancies do not happen during the recess of the senate.” (emphasis in original text)
William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 1825
By “vacancies” they understood to be meant vacancies occurring from death, resignation, promotion, or removal. The word “happen” had relation to some causality, not provided for by law. If the senate are in session, when offices are created by law, which as of yet have not been filled, and nominations are not then made to them by the president, he cannot appoint to such offices during the recess of the senate, because the vacancies did not happen during the recess of the senate.
Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 1833
So the purpose of recess appointments was in no way intended to give the president a way to get around Senate decisions that he doesn’t like (shocker!) – it was to ensure that the government can continue to function if something unexpected happens in the executive branch while the Senate is out of town. Now that makes a lot more sense!
Considering that President Obama is supposed to be a Constitutional scholar, you’d think he’d already know something basic like that. I guess an education from Columbia and Harvard isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
If it was, he should already know that the system for confirming appointments wasn’t created by accident. It has an essential purpose – to limit the power of the president. More specifically, it was designed to limit the power of presidents who say things like this:
“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama said in Shaker Heights, drawing applause from his audience. “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”
This kind of mindset is exactly why the system of checks and balances in the Constitution is so critical to protecting our freedom. He is determined to appoint political cronies to certain executive agencies regardless of their qualifications (or lack thereof). We can only imagine what he’d be doing if he wasn’t being restricted by that darned Constitution thingy.
When the Founders required Senate approval for those nominations, they were trying to force the president to nominate high quality candidates and to prevent him from using appointments as political favors, among other things. So, for example, if the president started passing out appointments to reward political donors the Senate has the power to stop him from doing that.
But if the president has the power to just install anyone he wants during a recess every time the Senate rejects his nominee, the whole system of checks and balances falls apart. At a time when the president has actually come out and announced that it is his intention to ignore the separation of powers and grab as much power as possible, the system of checks and balances is more important than ever… and our liberty is in serious danger.
This is where the hyper-partisan crowd starts screaming, “But, but, but Bush did the same thing when he made John Bolton a recess appointment!!” Yep. And it was unconstitutional when Bush did it too. The fact that Bush violated the Constitution isn’t an appropriate reason for Obama to double down on the illegality.
If we accepted the logic of the folks who argue that these appointments are acceptable because there’s a precedent, that would mean that Obama would be justified in rounding up all the Japanese people in the country and putting them in internment camps… just because FDR did it once. Obviously, that would be absurd.
As a nation we need to be asking ourselves if the Constitution actually means something or if we’d rather be governed entirely by precedents that are usually set by politicians who are trying to enlarge their own power.
The Constitution was carefully designed to protect your freedom – while relying solely on precedent provides no limit on the amount of power the government can have over your life. We ought to be careful in choosing which one we want to govern us because once we go down the road to tyranny there’s no turning back.