… when you’re The Won:
Pushing the limits of his recess appointment powers, President Obama on Wednesday bypassed the Senate to install three members of the National Labor Relations Board and a director for the controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – moves Republicans said amounted to unconstitutional power grabs.
Mr. Obama said the appointments, which he previewed during a campaign-style speech in Ohio, were necessary because Senate Republicans have blocked him at every turn. But in making the move, he rejected three precedents, including two in which he played a part, that would have blocked the appointments.
“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.”
Mr. Obama tapped former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the consumer protection agency and named three others – two Democrats and one Republican – to the labor board. Those nominations had all been stymied by congressional Republicans, who said Mr. Obama was accruing too much power to himself through those two agencies.
The president acted just a day after the Senate held a session, albeit a pro forma one without any business transacted.
Senators from both parties – including Democrats in 2007 and 2008, when Mr. Obama was in the Senate – have said it takes a recess of at least three days before the president can use his appointment powers.
Mr. Obama’s move threatens to ignite an all-out legislative war with Congress, and Republicans reacted with strikingly sharp language.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the move “arrogantly circumvented the American people.”
“Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress‘ role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch,” he said.
William Jacobson is suggesting this is much more than a mere power grab:
Obama’s campaign theme is to run against Congress. What better way to run against Congress than to create a confrontation with Congress?
Republicans in Congress have no choice but to retaliate against this power grab, and that is just what Obama wants. He wants a crisis he can take advantage of, perhaps over the FICA holiday which runs out in February (how smart were the Tea Party congressman for opposing a short term extension?).
Obama was elected by crisis, he seeks to create crisis at every turn, and he never lets a good crisis go to waste.
I say give him the crisis, but do it carefully so that this time we are the ones who get to take advantage. We have a President who is arrogant, dismissive, and out of control, the nation knows it. It has to stop, and it sets the issue up nicely for November 2012.
The question is do we still have a country that truly sees Obama as arrogant, dismissive and out of control.
I have my doubts. I hope I’m wrong.