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Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
Another case of Obama's hypocrisy. When he was a Senator he was for a 3 day waiting period for recess appointments. Now that he's President, he completely ignores his earlier stance. His own Justice Department has indeed also confirmed this point of view.

quote:

President Obama used his recess appointment powers Wednesday to name a head for the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to the National Labor Relations Board — moves Republican lawmakers said amounted to an unconstitutional power grab.

The president acted just a day after the Senate held a session — breaking with at least three different precedents that said the Senate must be in recess for at least three days for the president to exercise his appointment power. Mr. Obama himself was part of two of those precedents, both during his time in the Senate and again in 2010 when one of his administration’s top constitutional lawyers made the argument for the three-day waiting period to the Supreme Court.

...
GOP House Speaker John A. Boehner called the move “an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department.”

WT
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Of course he didn't wait for the Senate to be in recess for three days since they aren't in "recess" now--and apparently haven't been in "recess" for the last few weeks, just to prevent him from doing this.

quote:
In strikingly sharp language, Republicans said the Senate considers itself still in session for the express purpose of blocking recess appointments, and the move threatened to become a declaration of war against Congress.
So they pretend to be in session (while everyone has gone home for the holidays) and then are shocked--shocked!--that Obama goes ahead and treats them like they are in recess. Horrible! [Roll Eyes]

Congress is supposed to Advise and Consent, not Stonewall. It's about time he called their bluff. [Mad]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Yeah, the Republicans did this to themselves.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
I tend to agree that the Senate's pseudo recesses shouldn't count and I think that Obama's action is probably Constitutional.

However, that doesn't change the fact that Obama is a blatant hypocrite. He supported the policy when he was in the Senate and it was used to block any recess appointments by Bush after November 2007.


quote:
In early 2007, shortly after Democrats took control of the Senate, President George W. Bush made several recess appointments. But in November 2007, Senate Democrats did not formally recess before going home for Thanksgiving. Instead, they stayed in “pro forma” session, sending a member into the chamber every three days to bang the gavel.

Senate Democrats repeated the move during breaks for the rest of Mr. Bush’s presidency, and Mr. Bush did not try to make any further recess appointments.

Is Obama's recess appointment Constitutional? Probably.

Is Obama's recess appointment the right thing? Yes.

Is he a hypocrite for supporting the blocking of Bush's recess appointments while he was in the Senate, but changing tactics now that he is President? Yes.

At the very least he could apologize for his previous support of the tactic.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Is he a hypocrite for supporting the blocking of Bush's recess appointments while he was in the Senate, but changing tactics now that he is President? Yes.
Not necessarily. It's possible that he generally respects Congress' right to block appointments, but in this particular case -- as it represents their attempt to completely stonewall an important oversight group demanded by the American people, and one that was a cornerstone of his campaign -- is frustrated enough to run around it.

It's also worth noting that Congress hasn't actually been in session for days. He may feel that simply sending some lackey to bang a gavel in order to continue stonewalling executive appointments does not actually count as being in session, and that they've really been in recess for well over a week.

[ January 04, 2012, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
The Senate has effectively been in recess since Dec 23. The does challenge the practice of using proforma sessions as a constitutional runaround, and really has been a long time coming. It's a shame he didn't address any of the other highly understaffed positions (especially judicial nominations), but at least he hit positions that address some of the worst problems that we're facing today.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
The Democratic Senate of 2006 used the identical tactic against Bush for 2 years. Obama was a Senator and supported those tactics.

He's a hypocrite.

"but in this particular case... is frustrated enough to run around it."

Absolutely. In this particular case, he's the President.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
At the very least he could apologize for his previous support of the tactic.
I'll agree that it wouldn't hurt to explain why he changed his mind on the subject, but the fact is that most people don't care, and most of those that do understand the situation well enough to know what likely changed his mind.

To be hypocritical, though, the action and the contrasting belief would have had to occur at the same time, not at very different times.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To be hypocritical, though, the action and the contrasting belief would have had to occur at the same time, not at very different times.

So as soon as he became President he gets a free pass on everything he said and did as Senator, because it's a 'very different time'? Horse hockey.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Trust me JWatts, nobody is more disappointed in Obama acting like a Republican then I am. I feel for the conservatives in 06 who said they didn't really like Bush, but Kerry was by far the greater evil.

If the Democrats were really using the fake sessions during the holiday recess to stand off Bush's appointments, then they were in the wrong. Forgive me for not completely taking them to task yet. I want to make sure its not another filibuster comparison. You know, how Republicans filibustering EVERYTHING was okay because the Dems also made use of it, if a hell of a lot less.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To be hypocritical, though, the action and the contrasting belief would have had to occur at the same time, not at very different times.

So as soon as he became President he gets a free pass on everything he said and did as Senator, because it's a 'very different time'? Horse hockey.
So long as they don't just flip their position based on convenience, everyone, with the benefit of experience, should be expected to change their minds in accordance with that experience and not pilloried for past ignorance.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
Pilloried no. We demand seppuku. At least summimasen.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To be hypocritical, though, the action and the contrasting belief would have had to occur at the same time, not at very different times.

So as soon as he became President he gets a free pass on everything he said and did as Senator, because it's a 'very different time'? Horse hockey.
So long as they don't just flip their position based on convenience, everyone, with the benefit of experience, should be expected to change their minds in accordance with that experience and not pilloried for past ignorance.
Indeed. One of the worst legacies of Rovian politics is the meme that "flip-flopping" is somehow a weakness or detriment. To be able to change one's position based on new evidence is a rare indicator of intellectual honesty and effective reasoning. Its insane that we consider this a weakness.

That said, thats not what is going on here. Obama just got tired of waiting. I can give him a pass considering the unprecedented degree of obstructionism he's facing, coupled with the fact that his opponents are nakedly shilling for corporate interests, but its still not a principled change of positions. If anything, the executive is far too powerful; the principled approach would be to structurally weaken the power of the presidency (not that caving to current GOP tactics would accomplish that.)
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
If the Democrats were really using the fake sessions during the holiday recess to stand off Bush's appointments, then they were in the wrong.

As I said above, I agree. I don't fault what Obama did, I fault him for being a two faced hypocrite who did a 180 degree turn when he went from Senator to President.

As to the bovine scatalogy argument that he's changed his mind due to knew insight, I point the reader to the fact that his very own Justice Department came out two years ago in favor of NOT performing recess appointments within 10 days of adjournment.

The whole administration is run with the attitude the End justifies the Means.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
So long as they don't just flip their position based on convenience, everyone, with the benefit of experience, should be expected to change their minds in accordance with that experience and not pilloried for past ignorance.

Sure, just like he changed his position on the Guantanamo Bay detention center, targeted killings of Americans, extraordinary rendition, keeping troops in Iraq till 2011, etc.

Obama must have been a complete neophyte before he became President to have so many reversals of opinion.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
If so, I wonder where they learned it? It's not becoming to whine when Obama finally starts playing with the same rules the GOP has been using to emasculate him for 3 years. Like a lot of people I wish he had grown a pair a lot sooner, but better late than never.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
(1) Hypocrisy is a lesser moral issue than the unprecedented level of obstructionism committed by the Republican Party since 2009
(2) Hypocrisy is morally justified in this case. Obama is responding to tactics that are seeking to undermine the law of the land with respect to the Consumer Board - the Republicans have been disingenuously opposing nominees in order to impede a governmental organization that they dislike (since some of its powers require a Director for implementation). I don't have any problem with Obama taking legal actions to fight this intransigence, and in fact, I find his actions morally preferable to inaction.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
As I said above, I agree. I don't fault what Obama did, I fault him for being a two faced hypocrite who did a 180 degree turn when he went from Senator to President.

Except, per your quote above, he was still supporting the use of pro forma session as recently as 2010. So it didn't happen as soon as he becomes president.

quote:
changed his position on the Guantanamo Bay detention center
He failed to achieve his objective there because Congress sandbagged him; that's not changing position.

quote:
targeted killings of Americans
Was there a previous position to compare to here?

quote:
extraordinary rendition
He's put policies in place regarding oversight for rendition that at least limit extreme rendition, so even if he's fallen short, he hasn't reversed himself.

quote:
keeping troops in Iraq till 2011
The troops are out. He certainly didn't fight to keep them in Iraq, which is the bare minimum that he'd have needed to do to qualify as reversing himself here rather than simply being able to meet a given timeline.

In any case, the measure for hypocrisy would stand at whether his future stances are determined by who has power rather than evidence as to the best position to take.

quote:
t to have so many reversals of opinion
A small handful of changes is hardly a significant quantity.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
Yes, I know the End Justifies the Means. Got it. Check.
 
Posted by Chael (Member # 2436) on :
 
From the LA Times:

quote:

The procedural snarl comes on top of a bitterly waged substantive fight over the consumer bureau. Several Republicans have spoken highly of Cordray, but 44 GOP senators said last year they would block any nominee to the agency until changes were made to reduce its powers. That fight was part of an overall effort by Republicans to roll back parts of the 2010 financial reform law of which the consumer agency was a centerpiece.

Cordray's nomination got 53 votes last month, a majority, but short of the 60 needed to end a filibuster. Just one Republican, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, voted with Democrats in his favor. Brown announced support of Cordray's appointment Wednesday. He is seeking reelection and is likely to be running against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, the liberal favorite who was largely credited with creating the new consumer bureau.

The impasse had stalled the bureau's ability to issue rules governing finance companies, payday lenders and mortgage brokers. The agency formally opened in July and took over existing government authority to regulate banks. But the law said it could not regulate other consumer finance industries until an agency director was in place.


The article has more information on the 'why's of it all than the original one posted. Ah, power struggles.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
JWatts, for comparison I read the following statistics about the number of recess appointments made by recent Presidents. What do you think of this comparison?

Name: total/per year
Obama: 29/9
Bush: 171/21
Clinton: 139/17
Bush I: 77/19
Reagan: 243/30

It looks like every Republican made more recess appointments per year than any Democrat. Whose ends justify whose means?

We can next look at filibustered appointments, bench vacancies and some other comparative statistics, if you like.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
Scientific evidence found that proves Republicans fart during coitus much more often then Democrats! Tonight on Action News at 5!
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
Yes, Al. And due tell me how many recess appointments that Bush had after the Democrats took the Senate in 2007 and started ensuring that the Senate was always in session?

Oh, yeah that would be zero.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
Scientific evidence found that proves Republicans fart during coitus much more often then Democrats! Tonight on Action News at 5!

[Big Grin] It's never good to take yourself too seriously. [Razz]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
So, you're saying that Bush made all those recess appointments before the Democrats took the Senate? The man was on a roll!

But you realize you're ducking the question. Obama has made *FEWER* recess appointments no matter how you count them than any President since Reagan. Shouldn't you be praising him for his self-constraint?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
That's what gets me. Obama's made fewer recess appointments than any president in twenty years -- at the same time he's had a larger percentage of his attempted appointments blocked than any president in history -- and JWatts is accusing him of being hypocritical about his stated dislike of recess appointments.

Look, I'll accuse Obama of hypocrisy -- and cowardice -- on a number of issues, but this is one in which his stated position seems perfectly in keeping with his actual behavior.

[ January 04, 2012, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Yes, Al. And due tell me how many recess appointments that Bush had after the Democrats took the Senate in 2007 and started ensuring that the Senate was always in session?

Oh, yeah that would be zero.

And that would be irrelevant, because during that time the Republicans held to the Gang of 14 deal and helped break filibusters over nominees, so the important positions were filled without the need to make as many recess appointments.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Speaking of being wrong

quote:
the End Justifies the Means
is a 16th century mis-translation of what Machiavelli actually wrote
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
JWatts wrote
quote:
Obama was a Senator and supported those tactics.
I am not saying you are wrong, but do you have a source? If 3 Senators sat in a room keeping a pro forma session, what did Obama do to "support" that? Silence is not support, and as far as I know, silence is all there is. Please show me otherwise, or you have no case.

As far as the 2010 issue, his administration supported a 10 day delay. The REAL session ended 12/23. You do the math.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
It really amuses me that the majority of the posters keep arguing that Obama has to use this tactic to overcome Republican obstructionism. What you are not mentioning is that the Senate is currently run by Democrats. They control the adjournment process.

quote:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). They’ve tried. (And Republicans may try again with legal challenges.)

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) earns the blame — or credit — for trying to block recess appointments. Starting in Nov. 2007 through the end of Bush’s presidency, he ordered the Senate to meet in pro-forma sessions, or short meetings, over the holidays and traditional summer and spring recesses. No official business was conducted during the brief sessions and the move prevented Bush from making any recess appointments through the end of his presidency.

(Continuing the practice during the Obama years, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) even had to gavel in a 22-second pro-forma session across the street from the U.S. Capitol last summer on the day of the Washington earthquake.)

WTs

Obama's recess appointments aren't being blocked by the GOP they are being blocked by Harry Reid.

Here is the Senates schedule :
12/23/2011 - called to order by the Honorable Mark Warner (D)
12/27/2011 - called to order by the Honorable Harry Reid (D)
12/30/2011 - called to order by the Honorable JACK REED (D)
01/03/2012 - called to order by the Honorable Mark R. Warner (D)

Do you notice a pattern?

So to allow President Obama to make recess appointments the Democrats in the Senate would have to agree to it. Apparently they don't trust the President's decisions. There is no love lost between the Senatorial Democrats and the White House.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
As far as the 2010 issue, his administration supported a 10 day delay. The REAL session ended 12/23. You do the math.

As I stated before (twice now), I don't agree with this practice of Pro Forma Senatorial sessions. I think Obama was right to bypass them. What I object to is that Obama supported this policy when he was a Senator and Bush was President. It's the politics of convenience.

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Speaking of being wrong

quote:
the End Justifies the Means
is a 16th century mis-translation of what Machiavelli actually wrote
I wasn't quoting Machiavelli, I was quoting Trostsky. [DOH]
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
quote:
So to allow President Obama to make recess appointments the Democrats in the Senate would have to agree to it. Apparently they don't trust the President's decisions. There is no love lost between the Senatorial Democrats and the White House.
JWatts, that's an almost shockingly disingenuos claim. If Democrats want to block Obama's appointments, why are they happy about the recess appointments, while Republicans are outraged?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
JWatts, that's an almost shockingly disingenuos claim. If Democrats want to block Obama's appointments, why are they happy about the recess appointments, while Republicans are outraged?

Let's rephrase that:
Why are Democratic Senators gaveling the Senate into session every 3 days?
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Congress is supposed to Advise and Consent, not Stonewall. It's about time he called their bluff. [Mad]

Obama has assumed the power to decide for Congress when it is and is not in recess. It's 100% unconstitutional for the President to determine the status of the Senate. If you want the executive branch to have this power, you're essentially advocating the dissolution of the Senate or at the least making it irrelevant. Don't like what they're doing? Just declare them as in recess and do whatever you want. Brilliant.

You think this a a good expansion of power for the executive branch to have? Will you be supportive of it when the next president, perhaps a Republican or a conservative, has this power and simply declares the Senate out of session to make its appointments to the Supreme Court or other positions?

This is unconstitutional no matter how you slice it and one of the biggest power grabs in US history. If it stands, then the balance of power between legislative and executive branches is effectively eliminated.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
I wasn't quoting Machiavelli, I was quoting Trostsky. [DOH]

You sure it wasn't Ovid? [Big Grin]

I'm not sure what 16th century mistranslation you are referring to, Greg. Is it your position that Machiavelli did not espouse a utilitarian ethical stance in "The Prince".
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
It really amuses me that the majority of the posters keep arguing that Obama has to use this tactic to overcome Republican obstructionism. What you are not mentioning is that the Senate is currently run by Democrats. They control the adjournment process.

The framework must be maintained. Truth is irrelevant.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
AI Wessex answered this on a previous thread (Poll for economy fix).

quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"With the exception of Mr. Becker, the White House said most of the 15 nominees being installed by Mr. Obama have bipartisan support."

Isn't it a little odd that Obama had to make recess appointments for positions where the candidates had bi-partisan support? Shouldn't those appointments have made it through the normal confirmation process?

Here's one analysis for why they would not have:
quote:
Obama entered the White House believing that he could break the 20-year cycle of partisan appointment obstruction. Instead, nominee abuse and confirmation obstruction substantially worsened. For 30 months, even the most qualified nominees were slow-walked, held hostage and filibustered. Obstruction reached absurdity in May, when pre-emptive filibusters were lodged against "any" potential director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A separate battle front opened with congressional attempts to block Obama's recess appointments. In fall 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to schedule pro forma sessions to block Obama's recess appointments. (In exchange, Republicans agreed to lift filibusters on 54 nominees.) Reid first used sham sessions in 2007, to bluff President George W. Bush. Just as Bush did, Obama disregarded outside advice to call the Senate's procedural bluff.

Unfortunately, Obama's choice not to push back against the sham sessions may have been perceived as capitulation by opponents. Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) repeatedly boasts that 77 GOP freshmen successfully made a written demand that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) "hit the kill switch" to prevent the Senate from recessing. The newest members of the lower chamber acted to, as Landry put it, "halt the exploitation of the recess appointment process."

Fulfilling their threat that the pro forma sessions are "just the beginning" of a prolonged assault against Obama's appointments, Tea Party freshmen forced the House to pass (patently unconstitutional) legislation to cancel salary payments of certain Obama recess appointees. The House freshmen vow to keep Congress in session for the remainder of 2011, and throughout 2012, because, as Landry put it, "the Senate's advice and consent is being circumvented by a hostile Administration." They brazenly manipulate both chambers' schedules to "provide the Senate the ability to perform their constitutional duties."

As of September 2010:
quote:
A determined Republican stall campaign in the Senate has sidetracked so many of the men and women nominated by President Barack Obama for judgeships that he has put fewer people on the bench than any president since Richard Nixon at a similar point in his first term 40 years ago.

The delaying tactics have proved so successful, despite the Democrats' substantial Senate majority, that fewer than half of Obama's nominees have been confirmed and 102 out of 854 judgeships are vacant.

Forty-seven of those vacancies have been labeled emergencies by the judiciary because of heavy caseloads.

Overall (July 2011):
quote:
As of this week, 62% of Obama's circuit and district court nominees have been confirmed, according to statistics compiled by the American Constitution Society. At the conclusion of their presidencies, George W. Bush's confirmation success was 70%; Clinton's was and 84%.
Obstructionism, what obstructionism?


 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Obama has assumed the power to decide for Congress when it is and is not in recess. It's 100% unconstitutional for the President to determine the status of the Senate.
Except, of course, for the fact the declaring Congress to be in recess is an explicitly granted Constitutional power of the President.

[ January 05, 2012, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
JWatts, that's an almost shockingly disingenuos claim. If Democrats want to block Obama's appointments, why are they happy about the recess appointments, while Republicans are outraged?

Let's rephrase that:
Why are Democratic Senators gaveling the Senate into session every 3 days?

Because the House won't vote to let them recess. Procedurally, each house needs the permission of the other to fully recess, and the president has the explicit power to fully recess them if they can't properly handle it themselves.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
Additionally- even a basic daily motion to adjourn in the Senate in the senate requires either unanimous consent, or a floor vote, which makes it subject to a filibuster. The chair has no direct authority to call any kind of recess, so any one Senator that wishes to block a recess is capable of doing so for a period of at least a few days to run through the filibuster process, and even longer if 60 Senators don't agree to let the motion make it to a vote.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
JWatts,

I hate to be repetitive, but you ignored my point.

You claim that Obama supported pro-forma sessions in the past. I asked for a source. You answered the second part of my post, so you obviously read it, but ignored the first part. The part that asked for a source.

If you choose to ignore that request for a source, I (and many other readers) will choose to believe you made it up. If you provide solid evidence, I will immediately concede the point, and apologize for any perceived offense by my asking for sources.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Obama has assumed the power to decide for Congress when it is and is not in recess. It's 100% unconstitutional for the President to determine the status of the Senate.
Except, of course, for the fact the declaring Congress to be in recess is an explicitly granted Constitutional power of the President.
What section provides the president this power?
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Look it up, G2.

That's what I did.

And that's what you always tell us to do. [Big Grin]

[ January 05, 2012, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
Article 2, Section 3:
quote:
Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

If the Senate is holding pro forma sessions because the house won't let it recess or because it can't manage to get a motion to adjourn to the floor, the President is very explicitly empowered to break the jam and send them home for as long as he likes.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Because the House won't vote to let them recess. Procedurally, each house needs the permission of the other to fully recess, and the president has the explicit power to fully recess them if they can't properly handle it themselves.

No this wrong. Neither House can adjourn during a Session for more than 3 days. The period we are referring to is between Sessions.

Certainly the Republicans in the House can keep the Senate from adjourning for more than 3 days over Memorial day weekend (Only in Congress is a holiday weekend longer that 3 days). But the House has no control over the adjournment of the actual Session.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
And, of course, it only applies to a disagreement regarding when to Adjourn. Since the Senate agreed to the Pro Forma sessions, there is no actual disagreement.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
The period we are referring to is between Sessions.
They can't be between sessions until the Session is formally adjourned by a vote of both houses. Without that vote, the Senate is legally required to go no more than 3 days without holding a session, so their choices are to force attendance at full sessions or agree to hold pro forma session instead so that most of them can stay home.

And even there, precedent exists when Teddy Roosevelt made recess appointments in the gap between when one session had to end to allow the next one to start.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Look it up, G2.

That's what I did.

And that's what you always tell us to do. [Big Grin]

I did, I could not find it and which is why I asked - and got exactly the response I expected:

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Article 2, Section 3:
quote:
Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

If the Senate is holding pro forma sessions because the house won't let it recess or because it can't manage to get a motion to adjourn to the floor, the President is very explicitly empowered to break the jam and send them home for as long as he likes.
Now, if you will just point out where in that section the president is granted the power to designate Congress in recess?

You are taking the position that recess and adjournment are the same thing. They are not. FYI, from the dictionary:
quote:
In legislatures, adjournment officially marks the end of a regular session.
and
quote:
A recess in legislative practice is an interval of time between sessions of the same continuous body, as opposed to the period between the final adjournment of one legislative body and the convening of another at the next regular session.
See, very different ain't it?

If you're still not sure:
quote:
Recess n. a break in a trial or other court proceedings or a legislative session until a date and time certain. Recess is not to be confused with "adjournment" which winds up the proceedings.
You've done what the definition of recess explicitly says should not be done - confused recess with adjournment.

So the president does indeed have the power to adjourn Congress. He does not have the power to declare it "in recess" - as in, trying to make recess appointments. It is unconstitutional for the President to declare Congress in recess.

Quick poll, how many times in US History has the president found it necessary to use the power to adjourn Congress? Anybody know? Civil War, WW1, WW2, The Depression, all those massive historical events, how many times did a President exercise this power?

[ January 05, 2012, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
So the president does indeed have the power to adjourn Congress. He does not have the power to declare it "in recess" - as in, trying to make recess appointments. It is unconstitutional for the President to declare Congress in recess.
Irrelevant, as precedent for use recess appointment power allows it to apply in to both intersession and intrasession appointments..
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
JWatts,

I hate to be repetitive, but you ignored my point.

You claim that Obama supported pro-forma sessions in the past. I asked for a source. You answered the second part of my post, so you obviously read it, but ignored the first part. The part that asked for a source.

Velcro,

It's clear that this pro-forma session policy was:
a) Used by the Democratic led Senate to block recess appointments by Bush.
b) That Harry Reid explicitly used the policy for that reason.
c) That Barack Obama was a Democrat and a Senator at the time.

There's an implicit assumption that Barack Obama supported the tactics of his colleague and leader of the Senate.

There are only two viable positions on this, either you supported the policy or you didn't. It's hardly a stretch to claim that Senator Obama supported the policies of his own party in the Senate of which he was an active Senator.

Now if you can find any comment that Senator Barack Obama made saying he was against the Democratic Senate position of the time, I will concede the point.


quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
If you choose to ignore that request for a source, I (and many other readers) will choose to believe you made it up.

[Roll Eyes] Why do you resort to whining every time I fail to address every comment you direct towards me? It's like you expect me to be waiting with baited breath to read your pearls of wisdom and respond immediately. I respond to comments from multiple people all the time, I also end up ignoring the majority of the comments directed towards me. You don't read Al, Pry, GregD, TomD, Rall or a multitude of others whining. I have a limited amount of time. You aren't special. Grow up.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
JWatts, I really do want you to explain why you chide Obama when he clearly has the lowest rate of recess appointments of any President in 30 years. Bush's rate was 3x higher if you leave out his last 2 years in office. Since you're the one who brought it up, I do think you're on the hook to answer. It's not like I don't know how to whine, too.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
JWatts, I really do want you to explain why you chide Obama when he clearly has the lowest rate of recess appointments of any President in 30 years.

Because a President only uses a recess appointment if he can't get his appointments through Congress directly, or he's trying to hasten the process. Obama made many appointment in his first year in office. Indeed, Obama didn't even feel the need to make any recess appointments until March 2010.

Comparing recess appointments doesn't tell us how many total appointments were made, it just gives us a relative feeling for how well the President could get his picks through Congress. The fact that Obama didn't make any recess appointments for his first 14 months in office indicates he wasn't encountering an excessive amount of opposition.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
They can't be between sessions until the Session is formally adjourned by a vote of both houses.

No, that's incorrect. Sessions are (roughly) within the calendar year. The 112th Congress (current) consists of two Sessions.

quote:

112th United States Congress
Duration: January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013

Sessions
1st: January 5, 2011 – December 30, 2011
2nd: January 3, 2012 – present

Wiki

It does not require an agreement between the two Houses to adjourn at the end of a session for the rest of the year.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
I think it is fairly obvious that JWatts chides the President because JWatts believes that the President did not advocate such action when he was a senator, but does advocate such action now as the President, which would appear to be fairly convienient.

The fact that the President has conducted less of the action in question then past Presidents is irrelevant to his reasons for finding fault in this particular case. His actual point of view of the correctness of the action, or who is conducting the action, is not part of his case. His only case is that he believes the President convieniently changed his mind.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
So the president does indeed have the power to adjourn Congress. He does not have the power to declare it "in recess" - as in, trying to make recess appointments. It is unconstitutional for the President to declare Congress in recess.
Irrelevant, as precedent for use recess appointment power allows it to apply in to both intersession and intrasession appointments..
This is very relevant, you can't simply move the goal posts and say it no longer matters when you once hinged your whole position on it. Recess and adjournment are not the same, there is no power in the constitution for the president to place Congress in recess.

Precedent is actually contradicting what is happening. You're now just making it up as you go along. You're taking the position that the advice and consent clause is merely at the president's pleasure, it's not. You're saying that President could announce his next SCOTUS appointment, and then two weeks later when the Senate breaks for the weekend just declare them in recess and appoint him to the Court. The president can't just declare Congress in recess any time he feels like it.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
I think it is fairly obvious that JWatts chides the President because JWatts believes that the President did not advocate such action when he was a senator, but does advocate such action now as the President, which would appear to be fairly convienient.

I am unaware of anyone, ever, advocating the president have the power to place Congress in recess (except Pyrtolin). The power to do so simply does not exist under the Constitution.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
I am unaware of anyone, ever, advocating the president have the power to place Congress in recess (except Pyrtolin). The power to do so simply does not exist under the Constitution.

That would be unrelated to the inital argument made by JWatts:

quote:
Another case of Obama's hypocrisy. When he was a Senator he was for a 3 day waiting period for recess appointments. Now that he's President, he completely ignores his earlier stance. His own Justice Department has indeed also confirmed this point of view.


 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
Comparing recess appointments doesn't tell us how many total appointments were made, it just gives us a relative feeling for how well the President could get his picks through Congress. The fact that Obama didn't make any recess appointments for his first 14 months in office indicates he wasn't encountering an excessive amount of opposition.
That is not a given - there are other reasonable alternatives, some of which are not consistent with your position.

I will be honest and say that I have no knowledge of recess appointments whatsoever, but another alternative is that Obama did not use them for 14 months because he felt it would be 'wrong' to do so. Maybe something occured to change his mind after 14 months.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:

I will be honest and say that I have no knowledge of recess appointments whatsoever, but another alternative is that Obama did not use them for 14 months because he felt it would be 'wrong' to do so. Maybe something occured to change his mind after 14 months.

To understand recess appointments, you first need to understand that the president can't make a recess appointment unless Congress is actually in recess. Congress is not in recess.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Comparing recess appointments doesn't tell us how many total appointments were made, it just gives us a relative feeling for how well the President could get his picks through Congress. The fact that Obama didn't make any recess appointments for his first 14 months in office indicates he wasn't encountering an excessive amount of opposition.

Appointments made vs. appointments that came to the floor for a vote would be an indication of how much obstruction he was meeting. The number of recess appointments used to get around that obstruction would just be an indication of which tactics he chose to use to try to resolve the obstruction.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
It does not require an agreement between the two Houses to adjourn at the end of a session for the rest of the year.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_in_congressional_recess_and_adjournment

quote:
There are four types of adjournment:

(1) adjournments to end the day, which are accomplished through a motion to adjourn.
(2) adjournments of a stated period of three days or less, which are achieved by adoption of a motion to adjourn;
(3) adjournments of more than three days, which require the consent of the other chamber are accomplished by adoption of a concurrent resolution in both bodies; and
(4) adjournments "sine die", which end each session of a Congress, require the consent of both chambers, and which are realized by adoption of a concurrent resolution by both.

To officially end the session, both houses much pass a concurrent resolution. The nominal dates scheduled on the calendar aren't the actual procedural results- sessions can run over their schedules (and, in the senate specifically, a legislative day can run for many real days depending on whether a vote is held to end it)
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To officially end the session, both houses much pass a concurrent resolution. The nominal dates scheduled on the calendar aren't the actual procedural results- sessions can run over their schedules (and, in the senate specifically, a legislative day can run for many real days depending on whether a vote is held to end it)

Ok, good enough for me. I concede the point.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
A thoughtful article on the subject.

In Which A Whig Thinks About Recess Appointments
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:

I will be honest and say that I have no knowledge of recess appointments whatsoever, but another alternative is that Obama did not use them for 14 months because he felt it would be 'wrong' to do so. Maybe something occured to change his mind after 14 months.

To understand recess appointments, you first need to understand that the president can't make a recess appointment unless Congress is actually in recess. Congress is not in recess.
BY that mixing of definitions, the president can only make recess appointments when the Senate breaks for lunch or committee meetings. The precedent for the application of the recess appointment power has nothing to do with the specific definition of recess that you're trying to apply, but with what are, in fact, procedural adjournments.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
A thoughtful article on the subject.

In Which A Whig Thinks About Recess Appointments

That's definitely a good look at the issue, and the conclusion is about right- if anything, this should be taken by Congress (the Senate in particular) as a procedural wake-up call to get its house in order to fix its rules so that it doesn't actively serve as a justification for tilting the scales toward the Executive just to maintain reasonable balance and functionality
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:

I will be honest and say that I have no knowledge of recess appointments whatsoever, but another alternative is that Obama did not use them for 14 months because he felt it would be 'wrong' to do so. Maybe something occured to change his mind after 14 months.

To understand recess appointments, you first need to understand that the president can't make a recess appointment unless Congress is actually in recess. Congress is not in recess.
BY that mixing of definitions, the president can only make recess appointments when the Senate breaks for lunch or committee meetings.
Actually, the president can make recess appointments whenever Congress is in recess. The only one mixing definitions is you.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The precedent for the application of the recess appointment power has nothing to do with the specific definition of recess that you're trying to apply, but with what are, in fact, procedural adjournments.

I'll refer you to the definitions provided above again ... recess and adjournment are not the same thing, no matter how you insist they are.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
I think it is fairly obvious that JWatts chides the President because JWatts believes that the President did not advocate such action when he was a senator, but does advocate such action now as the President, which would appear to be fairly convienient.
I don't see anything to suggest that Obama advocates making a habit of recess appointments. He's said he was driven to it by necessity, and frankly based on the evidence and raw numbers I'm inclined to agree with him -- especially based on the rarity of recess appointments under his administration.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
JWatts,

Grow up yourself, comma.

I asked for sources. You provide none, and call me a whiner for asking for sources. You have a history of making claims and ignoring anyone who calls you on it. I just make sure it is clear you were called on it and did not respond.

Your argument is that since Obama is a Democrat, and a Democratic leader had a strategy, Obama must support that strategy. That is an exceptionally weak argument. You are right, either he took a positive action to support it, or he did not. You claim he took a positive action to support it. The burden is on you to provide evidence, not to ask me to prove a negative.

When I make a claim, and realize I have no source, I back down, like a grown up, not double down when I got nothing.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I don't see anything to suggest that Obama advocates making a habit of recess appointments. He's said he was driven to it by necessity,

Did the President only oppose recess appointments when they were not "necessary" when he was a senator? If not, then it is irrelevant. It's like somebody saying adultery is wrong, then changing their view after comitting adultry and stating "adultery is okay if it is necessary, and in my case, it was necessary".

I think the question of wether the President actually did state that he opposed the ability of the executive to make recess appointments in any or all cases, is still in doubt.

In the end though, I have to admit I don't find much sympathy for your case, JWatts. You find fault in the President for saying one thing and doing another. What politician doesn't do this? It's like the woman's perogative, they can change their minds when it suits their purposes.

[ January 05, 2012, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: Grant ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
JWatts,

Grow up yourself, comma.

I asked for sources. You provide none, and call me a whiner for asking for sources.

[Roll Eyes] I didn't call you a whiner for asking for a source. I called you a whiner for your repetitive and whiny comments.

quote:

If you choose to ignore that request for a source, I (and many other readers) will choose to believe you made it up.

That's a petulant comment.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
In the end though, I have to admit I don't find much sympathy for your case, JWatts. You find fault in the President for saying one thing and doing another. What politician doesn't do this? It's like the woman's perogative, they can change their minds when it suits their purposes.

Fair enough. But just because President's can change their mind doesn't mean they shouldn't be publicly condemned for it.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Where did this idea come from, that changing one's mind is in all cases not just wrong, but worthy of condemnation?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
When I stated I was against "A", I never envisioned scenario "B". Now that it has happened, I have refined my opposition to "A".

We'll file this under, “and I should give a *expletive deleted* why?”

If he felt he had exhausted all other avenues and was left with a distasteful option why should anyone act shocked he took it? Is this a victory for the opposition? Forcing your opponent to play dirty or look weak?

Actually wait, it IS a tactic I’ve seen before. My younger brother would instigate and or hit me. I would finally retaliate. He would cry to mom. I would get in trouble. It even worked for awhile until at some point the response shifted to, “You probably deserved it.”

I think / hope the American population is waking up to a “You probably deserved it.” attitude regarding the Republican party. I guess we’ll see next election.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
But just because President's can change their mind doesn't mean they shouldn't be publicly condemned for it.

That's true. But I see no point in condeming a particular pig for horrible table manners at the trough. I just accept that pigs eat sloppily and that Presidents will change their mind when it is politically expedient.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Where did this idea come from, that changing one's mind is in all cases not just wrong, but worthy of condemnation?

The question is not one of changing one's mind, but how and why. An individual who campaigns against smoking pot for years, and then begins to smoke pot because they "changed their mind", might be rightly questioned. What made them change their mind? Was it convience? Is that what they base their decision making and ethical stances on? Political convienience?

Nobody would question sincere change of heart or mind. The question revolves around the "why". So my question is: Did President Obama not support the use of recessed appointments by the executive while he was a Senator? And if so, then WHY did he not support such appointments? Then WHY does he supposedly support them now? Then, tell me how I can totally and unreservedly believe the amount of poo that will be heaped upon me?

[ January 05, 2012, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: Grant ]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
I'll refer you to the definitions provided above again ... recess and adjournment are not the same thing, no matter how you insist they are.
Except that, by the definitions you provided, the Article of the Constitution doesn't make sense.

To quote one of your definitions:

quote:
A recess in legislative practice is an interval of time between sessions of the same continuous body, as opposed to the period between the final adjournment of one legislative body and the convening of another at the next regular session.
So a recess is a break only during a Congressional session (if I understand it correctly). Once Congress is adjourned for the year, that is something entirely different--not a "recess."

But the Second Article of the Constitution states:

quote:
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.
So, if a "recess" is only a break during the session, the President is powerless to appoint Recess Appointment while Congress is not present, but only when they take a break while present.

Or as Pyrtolin so colorfully put it, "the President can only make recess appointments when the Senate breaks for lunch or committee meetings." [LOL]

Considering the history presented earlier, where Congress would take breaks between sessions that would last for months, this makes absolutely no sense.

Therefore it is obvious that when the Constitution refers to a "recess," it includes the breaks between sessions--those breaks that are started by an adjournment. So the President does have the power to create recesses, as defined by the Constitution.

Your definitions, while currently valid, are not the ones used by the drafters of the Constitution.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Nobody would question sincere change of heart or mind. The question revolves around the "why". So my question is: Did President Obama not support the use of recessed appointments by the executive while he was a Senator?
A better question is: did President Obama not support the use of recess appointments by the Executive Office when necessary while he was a senator?

I have no doubt at all that Obama would, even as a Senator, agree that the ability of the executive to appoint staff while the Senate is recessed is not only necessary but a Constitutional right. The only relevant question becomes, then, what constitutes a "necessary" appointment.

So we're not arguing about hypocrisy. We're arguing about Obama's belief that he needed to appoint someone in this specific case more than Bush needed to appoint someone in some specific cases. Assuming Obama actually has some internal justification for that (and I assume he does, whether or not everyone here would agree with it), it's not a case of political double-speak at all.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
So we're not arguing about hypocrisy. We're arguing about Obama's belief that he needed to appoint someone in this specific case more than Bush needed to appoint someone in some specific cases. Assuming Obama actually has some internal justification for that (and I assume he does, whether or not everyone here would agree with it), it's not a case of political double-speak at all.

So if I stop you from doing X, but later I do X because I believe I need to do it more than I thought you needed to do it, that's fine.

That sounds more like a partisan rationalization than an argument. Ergo, I believe my side needs to do X more than your side, so when your side does it, it's wrong, but when my side does it, it's fine, as long as I have some internal justification.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
The question is not one of changing one's mind, but how and why.
That is certainly a question, but not seemingly the one that JWatts is asking.
quote:
Did President Obama not support the use of recessed appointments by the executive while he was a Senator?
This is certainly a possibly pertinent question - though not in and of itself either sufficient to identify whether Obama is a hypocrite, or even to identify whether he changed his mind on recess appointments at all.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
So if I stop you from doing X, but later I do X because I believe I need to do it more than I thought you needed to do it, that's fine.
Recently, a young woman shot a man who walked through her front door. We all agree, I'm sure, that most people should be stopped or dissuaded from shooting people. Is it wrong for her to have done it?
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
QUOTE]A better question is: did President Obama not support the use of recess appointments by the Executive Office when necessary while he was a senator?

Thanks, but I'd like my questions answered first [Smile]

And of course, I seem hesitant to believe anyone on political suppositions without some sort of reference, even you Tom. So sorry to make it somewhat personal.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:
The question is not one of changing one's mind, but how and why.
That is certainly a question, but not seemingly the one that JWatts is asking.
Indeed, I didn't ask that. But I will agree it is a pertinent question; and if Obama had provided a rationale that was expressed articulately for why he thought that it was a significantly more urgent issue now than it was under Bush, I would be more charitably inclined towards his position. As it is, this is pretty autocratic.

A question for the left on this board. Are you willing to give the next Republican President this power unreservedly? Or are you going to immediately change your position when the positions are reversed?
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
So if I stop you from doing X, but later I do X because I believe I need to do it more than I thought you needed to do it, that's fine.
Recently, a young woman shot a man who walked through her front door. We all agree, I'm sure, that most people should be stopped or dissuaded from shooting people. Is it wrong for her to have done it?
No, but I would call into question her beliefs and resolve if she previously held a belief that no one, under any circumstances, should kill another human being. Or for that matter if she earlier condemned an individual for doing the same thing she had just done.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
No, but I would call into question her beliefs and resolve if she previously held a belief that no one, under any circumstances, should kill another human being. Or for that matter if she earlier condemned an individual for doing the same thing she had just done.

To make this analogy more accurate, she would need to have been a member of a group that had actively prevented others from using Guns in the past.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
JWatts, aside from the fact that although you have asserted Obama changed his mind, you have yet to show show that he actually did, it would seem that a number of posts on this thread have addressed the question already. That's aside from the fact that Obama explicitly explained why he was making the appointment, basically answering the question before it was posed; or did you expect him to explain his decision making reference to the Bush presidency's decisions?

That being said, you use the word "unreservedly" - it would seem that there is a pretty wide gulf between allowing something to occur at a slower rate than in any other presidential term in the last 40 years and allowing something to occur unreservedly during a president's term.

Was it your intent to introduce this false dichotomy or was it an accident? There does seem to be a valid constitutional argument to be made here, but it has nothing to do with whether Obama supported recess appointments as a senator.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
JWatts, aside from the fact that although you have asserted Obama changed his mind, you have yet to show show that he actually did, it would seem that a number of posts on this thread have addressed the question already.

So your contention is basically that Senator Obama silently disagreed with Senate Majority Reid and the actions of the Democratic Senate under him.

My contention is that he agreed with his Party and House Leader's actions.

I'll let the reader decide which seems a more likely proposition.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
That's aside from the fact that Obama explicitly explained why he was making the appointment, basically answering the question before it was posed; or did you expect him to explain his decision making reference to the Bush presidency's decisions?

Yes, of course, I want to see why he thinks this recess appointment that may well provoke a Constitutional crisis, is of such importance that he must ignore over 80 years of precedent. A press release isn't exactly what I had in mind.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
That being said, you use the word "unreservedly" - it would seem that there is a pretty wide gulf between allowing something to occur at a slower rate than in any other presidential term in the last 40 years and allowing something to occur unreservedly during a president's term.

That's an outstanding statement. This is a serious Constitutional matter. It's not like he decided to forgo the annual White House Easter Egg hunt. Regardless of why he did it, it's clear that this represents a serious shift in power from the Congressional to the Executive branch.


quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Was it your intent to introduce this false dichotomy or was it an accident?

My question was not a false dichotomy. Either you are ok with All Presidents being able to ignore the Senate's procedures or you are not. If Obama can do it then certainly the next Republican President can do the exact same thing. It's not like you can declare in the future that President Obama only did this 4 times so there is a hard limit of 4 from now on out.

[ January 05, 2012, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
To make this analogy more accurate, she would need to have been a member of a group that had actively prevented others from using Guns in the past.
Sure. Let's say she was a cop, and routinely busted people for using guns. In fact, she would sometimes sit silently while the chief of police frequently lectured people about how the improper and reckless use of guns was dangerous. Was she still wrong to shoot that guy?

[ January 05, 2012, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
JWatts, it now seems you are moving the goal posts to the point that I brought up; you are no longer talking about recess appointments and arguing that Obama was always against them before he became for them, but rather how he unilaterally interpreted Congress to be not in session - a completely different topic and one which is actually debatable.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
JWatts, it now seems you are moving the goal posts to the point that I brought up; you are no longer talking about recess appointments and arguing that Obama was always against them before he became for them, but rather how he unilaterally interpreted Congress to be not in session - a completely different topic and one which is actually debatable.

What, I'm not moving the goal posts! One idea does not preclude the others. Indeed, I was directly responding to the points you made.

I have stated that while I have no explicit proof that Obama was an advocate of the Democratic Senate's policies while he was a member of that group, that a reasonable person would conclude that he most likely supported them. Just because my charge is inductive doesn't mean it's false.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
To make this analogy more accurate, she would need to have been a member of a group that had actively prevented others from using Guns in the past.
Sure. Let's say she was a cop, and routinely busted people for using guns. In fact, she would sometimes sit silently while the chief of police frequently lectured people about how the improper and reckless use of guns was dangerous. Was she still wrong to shoot that guy?
I don't think you've followed. Never made a judgement on wether it was wrong or right to shoot the guy. Nor did I make a judgement on the President as to recess appointments. So you can stop asking if I think it was wrong if she shot the guy, or if I think it is wrong to make recess appointments.

What I did say is that I find is suspect when an individual conviently change their minds politically. So yeah, if the girl was a cop, and was busting OTHER COPS for shooting intruders, then yeah I would have to call into question her judgement after she shot an intruder and thought it was okay.

You seem to think that the primary factor is situational. I agree that the situation is a factor, but I don't know if President Obama actually believed that the situations that he now agrees are "okay" to conduct recess appointments, are also situations that he identified as it being "okay" when he was a Senator. You assume that he did. I don't think I will ever know, and the last person I would believe on the subject would be the man himself (oh, of course, I always believed that recess appointments were justified in these certain situations), and the second to last person I would believe is an Obama apologist.

I wouldn't believe the opinion of an Alabama fan on the quality of LSU's quarterback either, unless they demonstrated to me some sort of judgement in FAVOR of the LSU football team that would be detrimental in comparision to the Crimson Tide, and which I agree with.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
If the Democrats in the Senate were to match or exceed the level of obstructionism committed by the Republicans, then I would have no problem with a Republican President using the same recess appointment tactics that Obama did.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
So yeah, if the girl was a cop, and was busting OTHER COPS for shooting intruders...
But that is the issue, isn't it? I am pointing out that from Obama's point of view, he has stated that he felt he had no choice but to make a recess appointment despite the fact that he's stated a general disapproval of recess appointments. This does not make him a hypocrite any more than a woman who shoots an intruder is a hypocrite if she spends her waking hours preventing people from shooting other people.

quote:
You assume that he did. I don't think I will ever know, and the last person I would believe on the subject would be the man himself...
This boils down to: I prefer to believe the man is being dishonest and hypocritical about this because I have already decided he is dishonest and hypocritical. I hope the analogy here at least alerts you to the fact that this is the least charitable possible interpretation of the available facts.

You acknowledge, I hope, that Congressional Republicans have been incredibly uncharitable -- and obstructionist -- regarding Obama's appointments, to the extent that it is actually jeopardizing the functions of government?

[ January 05, 2012, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This boils down to: I prefer to believe the man is being dishonest and hypocritical about this because I have already decided he is dishonest and hypocritical.

Uhhh, no. I will instead state that I prefer to distrust an individual who seems to make convienient stance changes.

I really don't know to what extent the President is being dishonest and hipocrital. I don't think I ever will know. I would prefer to believe in all cases that he is not. I would prefer to believe the very best about the President, for no other reason then he is MY President. For that matter, I honestly do not see him as any more dishonest or hipocrital then any other recent President, which I alluded to earlier while speaking with JWatts.

But I'm sorry, I tend to be skeptical when a change in stance is politically expedient.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This does not make him a hypocrite any more than a woman who shoots an intruder is a hypocrite if she spends her waking hours preventing people from shooting other people.

Hmmmm. You know, I think we agree on that one. LOL [Smile]
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

You acknowledge, I hope, that Congressional Republicans have been incredibly uncharitable -- and obstructionist -- regarding Obama's appointments, to the extent that it is actually jeopardizing the functions of government?

See. That's why I have a hard time trust your judgement on these things, Tom. You're always on and on and on about those evil little Republicans. Oh they're so devious. They're so bad bad bad.

And yet no complaint at all about the Democrats? Except perhaps that they are not liberal enough.

I respect that you can have such a point of view, but it differs so radically from my own. You're that Alabama fan who says that the sun rises and falls in the crack of Nick Saban's fourth point of contact. Nick Saban can do no wrong and the Crimson Tide is an unstoppable righteous machine, etc.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
And yet no complaint at all about the Democrats? Except perhaps that they are not liberal enough.
I'm curious. What do you think I should complain about re: the Democrats currently in Congress, if not that they are woefully ineffective at implementing their agendas?

Regarding the recess appointment in question, for example, is it not your belief that Republicans have been stonewalling the appointment of any consumer advocate for as long as possible, in hopes that in so doing they can completely prevent any consumer protections -- one of Obama's major campaign promises -- from being implemented, at a time when consumers are arguably in more need of protection than any other in recent memory?

[ January 05, 2012, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

I'm curious. What do you think I should complain about re: the Democrats currently in Congress, if not that they are woefully ineffective at implementing their agendas?

LOL. You got me Tom! I have no idea. Forget about it.

quote:
Regarding the recess appointment in question, for example, is it not your belief that Republicans have been stonewalling the appointment of any consumer advocate for as long as possible, in hopes that in so doing they can completely prevent any consumer protections -- one of Obama's major campaign promises -- from being implemented, at a time when consumers are arguably in more need of protection than any other in recent memory?
YOU'RE RIGHT! [Eek!]
It's not my belief. In fact I have no opinion on the above piece of information. I don't know wether to believe it or disbelieve it. All I have is what I know, and what I believe. And my knowlege and faith do not touch upon the above subject.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
LOL. You got me Tom! I have no idea. Forget about it.
No, I'm serious. What do you think I -- or any reasonable person -- should complain about?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
So we're not arguing about hypocrisy. We're arguing about Obama's belief that he needed to appoint someone in this specific case more than Bush needed to appoint someone in some specific cases. Assuming Obama actually has some internal justification for that (and I assume he does, whether or not everyone here would agree with it), it's not a case of political double-speak at all.

So if I stop you from doing X, but later I do X because I believe I need to do it more than I thought you needed to do it, that's fine.

That sounds more like a partisan rationalization than an argument. Ergo, I believe my side needs to do X more than your side, so when your side does it, it's wrong, but when my side does it, it's fine, as long as I have some internal justification.

And that's all well and good, but a single shift on the issue in light of a person having gained a different perspective doesn't provide sufficient evidence to go on. If changes to support using pro forma sessions again once someone he opposes is in office, then there's a good case, but a single shift on a given issue isn't enough to go on.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I'm with Greg. If someone in my office isn't doing their share of a project, I can either go around them and get the job done despite them, or I can let the project fail and hope somehow they get blamed for the failure and I don't.

I think the more responsible choice for a business, and a country, is obvious.

[ January 05, 2012, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
JWatts, notwithstanding that members of political parties, especially in the USA federal system, are trained to say nothing when they don't support the party line, even if he did agree with the party's obstructionism (and I'm not saying he did) that still does not mean he was ever against the use of recess appointments as a policy; without specific statements from Obama regarding his opposition to recess appointments in general it could only be inferred that he supported hardball politics. In which case his current actions can actually be seen as consistent. Any reasonable person with a basic understanding of logic understands this [Wink]

You can bemoan the race to the bottom that current USA partisan politics has become, but pointing out Obama's actions specifically while ignoring the Republican policies that those actions are in response to is, well, simply partisan.

All this mud slinging is obscuring the larger questions that are important: what do you do about the legislative and executive branches's overreach, especially in the context of current hyper-partisanship? Should Congress be able to stop implementation of previously passed legislation by procedurally stonewalling valid appointments indefinitely for qualified and agreeable candidates? Should the President be able to do an end run around an intransigent Congress?

The best case would that this 'crisis' will actually force Congress to 'grow up' and reform its procedures in light of modern, entrenched abuse. Otherwise they will facilitate even more power grabs from the executive branch, and nobody wants that.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
JWatts wrote
quote:
To make this analogy more accurate, she would need to have been a member of a group that had actively prevented others from using Guns in the past.
OK, show us the evidence that Obama has actively prevented others from using recess appointments. Otherwise, your analogy refinement is verging on the ridiculous.

To summarize:

JWatts accuses Obama of blatant hypocrisy. That is based exclusively on Obama allegedly opposing recess appointments as a Senator.

The sum total evidence to support this allegation is that a Democratic leader opposed recess appointments as part of a political strategy while Obama was a Democratic senator.
No quotes from Obama, even out of context, no hearsay, no hints in his writings, no votes, no nothing. Just the fact that the leader of his party felt that way.

Step back a bit and consider the strength of this evidence, and how vociferously JWatts has defended his allegation based on it. I am at a loss to figure out why someone would flog this point so hard when there is nothing to support it.

I don't object to the premise that Obama is a hypocrite. I object to JWatts implication that his opinion is backed by fact or logic, when it is not. I object to his refusal to provide sources, and his belittling of people who ask for them.

If someone actually has some evidence, I would understand this conversation. But since there is none, what is the argument?

Making allegations and refusing to back them up with facts, and refusing to back down when exposed is the hallmark of a flame board. I don't want Ornery to be another flame board, so I am calling JWatts on this.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
That is based exclusively on Obama allegedly opposing recess appointments as a Senator.
As I read it JWatt's position was that Obama was previously in favor of pro forma sessions being used as a tactic to prevent undesirable recess appointments, not that he was generally opposed to recess appointments.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
After 3 pages I'm struggling to find the meat here. It seems that the argument is that Obama has been hypocritical because he is a hypocrite and that's what hypocrites do. The facts to support that can only be found here in their absence, but facts are facts, after all.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
..Obama regarding his opposition to recess appointments in general it could only be inferred that he supported hardball politics. In which case his current actions can actually be seen as consistent. Any reasonable person with a basic understanding of logic understands this [Wink]

So you are saying that Obama has consistently supported hardball politics. Well by that premise, this stance on recess appointments is a reflection of partisan hardball politics.

But since he has consistently publicly derided hardball politics, that would be a point against your premise. However, he has almost always derided Republican's use of hardball politics more than the Democrats use of hardball politics. Which would actually be an example of him using hardball politics.

Your premise has merit. However, I'm not sure it directly contradicts my premise. He can easily play hardball and still be a hypocrite.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
You can bemoan the race to the bottom that current USA partisan politics has become, but pointing out Obama's actions specifically while ignoring the Republican policies that those actions are in response to is, well, simply partisan.

And that statement is complete horse ****! I said at the very start of this thread that I didn't believe that the pro-forma sessions should stand and that doesn't change which ever party initiated them. I believe that Obama should have the power of using recess appointments.

Shouldn't stand might not be the best phrase. And if the Supreme Court weighs in, I'll certainly defer to their judgement. But for now I'm going to go with 'sleazy'.

Pro Forma sessions were sleazy when Harry Reid initiated them against Bush and they remain sleazy now when used against Obama.

I think Pyrtolin's premise sounds reasonable that the House led by Speaker Boehner have forced the pro forma session and the tactics remain sleazy.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
The best case would that this 'crisis' will actually force Congress to 'grow up' and reform its procedures in light of modern, entrenched abuse. Otherwise they will facilitate even more power grabs from the executive branch, and nobody wants that.

The Executive branch has been growing in power for the last 70 years. It's not the Executive branch I'm worried about. I wasn't worried about George Bush's power being threatened in the last decade and I'm not worried about Barack Obama's presidential power being threatened now.

I'm curious were you worried about 'power grabs from the executive branch' when Bush was President or is your stance purely partisan?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
By the way do any of you dispute that Senator Harry Reid is a blatant hypocrite in this case?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
By the way do any of you dispute that Senator Harry Reid is a blatant hypocrite in this case?

It depends on his future stances. Again, one change of position isn't enough to judge; we need to see if he flips depending on who is in power.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?

I believe that the hypocritical actions that President Obama took will make the situation much worse not better.

What the Republican's were doing was wrong, but they were following the precedent laid down by the Democrats 4 years ago.

Obama should have either followed Bush's lead and negotiated a solution with Congress or initiated a court challenge to the pro forma Senate sessions.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
I'm curious were you worried about 'power grabs from the executive branch' when Bush was President or is your stance purely partisan?
I think I wasn't clear and you misunderstood: not 'grabbing power from the exective branch' but rather 'power grabs [originating] from the executive branch.'
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
What the Republican's were doing was wrong, but they were following the precedent laid down by the Democrats 4 years ago.
Do you believe that Democrats, as recently as four years ago, laid down this particular precedent?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
What the Republican's were doing was wrong, but they were following the precedent laid down by the Democrats 4 years ago.
Do you believe that Democrats, as recently as four years ago, laid down this particular precedent?
Yes, I do. At least for an entire inter-session period.

[ January 06, 2012, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:
I'm curious were you worried about 'power grabs from the executive branch' when Bush was President or is your stance purely partisan?
I think I wasn't clear and you misunderstood: not 'grabbing power from the exective branch' but rather 'power grabs [originating] from the executive branch.'
Oh, yes. I misread that. I agree that Congress should be more functional and that the modern US Executive branch has plenty of power.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?

(I am asking again because you did not address my question the first time)
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Yes, I do. At least for an entire inter-session period.
You may want to study this issue, then. The idea of filibustering/stalling presidential appointments is not exactly a young one.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?

(I am asking again because you did not address my question the first time)

Sorry you didn't like my response, but I ain't your mom or Burger King. You'll just have to deal with it as is.

Perhaps you should take this line of questioning over to the various Republican bashing threads. Or do Lefties's creating threads with names like 'A surge of Santorum (eww!)' get a free pass from you? I fail to see you questioning their responses with nearly this much vigor.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Speaking of people dodging awkward questions, I'd still like Grant to answer mine.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
If you're concerned, you could point out some factual misrepresentations in that thread that we can ponder and respond to. The premise of this thread is a highly partisan charge against the President's character that so far is unsupported. Unless you can fill in the missing information by answering some of the challenges (including mine), it would be reasonable to say that this thread is based on an ad hominem. At least on that other thread we're saying things that don't much depend on hard facts and are therefore indisputable and fun to read, too.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
For instance, I'm adding another such comment to that thread right now!
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
"The premise of this thread is a highly partisan charge against the President's character"

[LOL] Oh yes, I've gone after President Obama so fiercely here. But of course none of the other threads are highly partisan. And of course all of the comments are completely based on well documented evidence. [Roll Eyes]

quote:

In their desperate bid to find a Republican candidate who's not the too-moderate (or too-mormon perhaps?) Romney, the religious right and the tea party crowd seem to have finally, through a hilarious process of elimination, settled on Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum.

Oh, that's perfectly unbiased there.

Oh hey Al you threw this charge out:
quote:
Latest rumor going around is that Nixon was gay.
I'm sure you have a ton of evidence to back it up.

Oh wait, I guess not:
quote:
The evidence for it is, well, evidence isn't all that meaningful these days.
And there was this response:
quote:
Just because he was a cuckold doesn't make him gay.
And let's pile on with some sex jokes.
quote:
Oh and I'm disappointed by the mainstream media. None of them picked up the "Santorum Comes From Rear" headline that's been percolating through the blogosphere and alternative press
And then it gets serious:
quote:
On the gay rights front, five to one says he's foaming sticking specifically to the sort of anti-gay talking points that won't goad the spineless ****s in the media into branding him the bigoted **** that he is.
But no clearly I'm being the hyper-partisan here.


There are three or four threads running on this board specifically to individually bash Republican candidates. And not one of you thinks that's in anyway untoward, because your bias is so deep you can't see the forest for the trees.

But I make a fairly reasoned argument that Obama's actions were probably right, but still hypocritical and none of you can tolerate it.

[Mad]

[ January 06, 2012, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Jwatts, I think that "A surge of Santorum (eww!)'" is disgusting, and the entire attack on a Republican based on his name is stupid and childish.

Your unwillingness to address a simple, direct, and relevant question regarding your argument indicates weakness, not strength. My challenge did not even include any derogatory terms for those who might disagree, it just focused on you clarifying your argument. Why do you post here if you are unwilling to address hard questions?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Jwatts, I think that "A surge of Santorum (eww!)'" is disgusting, and the entire attack on a Republican based on his name is stupid and childish.

Good of you to say so.

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Your unwillingness to address a simple, direct, and relevant question regarding your argument indicates weakness, not strength. My challenge did not even include any derogatory terms for those who might disagree, it just focused on you clarifying your argument. Why do you post here if you are unwilling to address hard questions?

I did answer your question. I'm not sure why you keep saying I didn't.

You asked this:

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?

I responded with this:
quote:

I believe that the hypocritical actions that President Obama took will make the situation much worse not better.

What the Republican's were doing was wrong, but they were following the precedent laid down by the Democrats 4 years ago.

Obama should have either followed Bush's lead and negotiated a solution with Congress or initiated a court challenge to the pro forma Senate sessions.

That's an answer.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"Latest rumor going around is that Nixon was gay."

It was a joke going around the internet, not a serious claim, and I brought to the forum in that light. The whole Santorum thread is a joke.

"The evidence for it is, well, evidence isn't all that meaningful these days."

That was the tie-in to current context, given the charges that are being made about all the candidates by each other, not to mention all the stupid claims that have been made against Obama.

But, let's be clear. I find Santorum's positions on a host of issues to be absurd, gay marriage and homosexuality being just one of them. FWIW, he said today in NH that gays don't get to serve in the military because that's a privilege that not all Americans are entitled to. You want to defend him on that? It's just my personal opinion that he holds bizarre views on lots of issues, and it's also the opinion of a lot of people across the country.

"But I make a fairly reasoned argument that Obama's actions were probably right, but still hypocritical and none of you can tolerate it."

Take this in the best possible way. You are being challenged because you are generally one of the more articulate and responsible right-side posters here. I wax silly and serious according to the topic and the poster. I haven't gone after you in any kind of personal way, but I am challenging you (as are others) to back up your claim with which you started this thread.

[ January 06, 2012, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Take this in the best possible way. You are being challenged because you are generally one of the more articulate and responsible right-side posters here. I wax silly and serious according to the topic and the poster. I haven't gone after you in any kind of personal way, but I am challenging you (as are others) to back up your claim, with which you started this thread.

And that's perfectly fair. I'm willing to accept that the premise is weak since it is at heart an inductive proof.

But it was unfair to me to say I was making a highly partisan charge just for making an argument that the President's actions were hypocritical.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Here's what I can find to back up your position, and I find it fairly weak for several reasons:
quote:
In 2005, Obama Called Recess Appointment “Wrong Thing To Do.” “It’s the wrong thing to do. John Bolton is the wrong person for the job,” said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a member of Foreign Relations Committee. “The president is entitled to take that action, but I don’t think it will serve American foreign policy well.” (Jennifer Loven, “Officials: White House To Bypass Congress For Bolton Nomination,” The Associated Press, 7/30/05)

Obama Called Recess Appointee “Damaged Goods,” Claimed Appointee Would “Have Less Credibility.” “‘To some degree, he’s damaged goods,’ Obama said of Bolton. “Not in the history of United Nations representatives have we ever had a recess appointment, somebody who couldn’t get through a nomination in the Senate. And I think that that means that we will have less credibility and ironically be less equipped to reform the United Nations in the way that it needs to be reformed …’” (Bernard Schoenburg, “Bush Sends Bolton To U.N.; Durbin, Obama Criticize Move,” The State Journal-Register, 8/2/05)

1. Note that he's talking about Bolton's appointment to be our country's ambassador to the UN. Frankly, he's right. Bolton did not have the full backing of our country's elected Congress, and he in fact was perceived by other countries as representing only one partisan faction within our political framework.

2. He's not saying that recess appointments in general are wrong, but that this specific one is. He gives reasons for that that you can disagree with if you choose, but nowhere in there does he say what you claim he did.

Elsewhere Biden is chided for having said in 2002 that recess appointments risk intruding one-sided politics into the appointment process. That's also true, but note that he did not condemn it, only cautioned against its overuse at a time that Bush was making such appointments at the same rate that Reagan did, which was the highest rate in US history. He was right, too.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?
I missed the part where you addressed the question, which was to state which behavior you believed was morally worse. If you believe it was Obama's, then I believe that you are wrong, and would like to see why you believe that your case is correct. If you believe that the morally worse behavior was that of the Republicans in Congress, I would like to understand the rationale for why you choose to ignore that and focus on the actions of Obama.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I missed the part where you addressed the question, which was to state which behavior you believed was morally worse.

I've already answered the question(s) you put forth (plus many other questions from other posters), so before I answer another series of questions, how about you take a turn to answer three questions.


Which thread is morally worse, this thread or the Santorum thread? And Why? And if you think the Santorum thread is morally worse, I would like to understand the rationale for why you choose to ignore that and focus on the this thread?

[ January 06, 2012, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
This thread is worse. Because the original poster of this thread is only pretending to be offended (and threatened) by Obama's alleged hypocrisy and power grab, while the poster of the Santorum thread legitimately cares to insult and marginalize the senator. One is bombast, just smoke and mirrors; the other is honest hilarity.

[ January 06, 2012, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This thread is worse. Because the original poster of this thread is only pretending to be offended (and threatened) by Obama's alleged hypocrisy and power grab, while the poster of the Santorum thread legitimately cares to insult and marginalize the senator. One is bombast, just smoke and mirrors; the other is honest hilarity.

Blatant motive speculation and also untrue.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Here's what I can find to back up your position, and I find it fairly weak for several reasons: ...

Al, I never contended that Obama doesn't have a right to perform a recess appointment.

I contend he's a hypocrite for tacitly (at a minimum) supporting it while he was a Senator and Democratic candidate for President and the Democratic Senate was blocking Bush's Recess Appointments. Now that he is President and the Republican's are using the same tactic on him, he ignores the rules of the Senate and performs a Recess Appointment.

[ January 06, 2012, 09:10 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Blatant motive speculation and also untrue.
Oh, pish. You may as well own it. At least cherry has fun with his stubbornly uninformed rants.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"I contend he's a hypocrite for tacitly (at a minimum) supporting it while he was a Senator and Democratic candidate for President and the Democratic Senate was blocking Bush's Recess Appointments."

Only if blocking one recess appointment makes a lifetime commitment to never make one, and only if all recess appointments are of equal weight and value. I would contend that blocking Bolton's appointment was within the purview of the Senate and making the recess appointment was in fact the wrong thing to do. In Obama's case, he had a law authorizing the appointment which the so-called loyal opposition sought to undermine. They did that despite themselves overall approving of the candidate. I think Obama did the right thing, even if in some abstract way you can find a hint of something reprehensible about it.

Besides your original assertion that it was hypocrisy on his part has no factual basis, so it's just sour grapes and grumpiness on your part to complain about it badly enough to start a whole thread so you can vent.

[ January 06, 2012, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
JWatts, in response to your question, I find it difficult to weigh the morality of two different threads which each contain multiple, opposing views. I can offer my views of the morality of the actions of specific individuals based on their comments in each thread (with the caveat that on a relative basis, there is much less moral significance to comments made on an Ornery thread than there is in actions that shape our national government).

I believe that your actions in this thread are morally worse than those of TheRallanator in giving the ugly name to the Santorum thread - in the latter case, it is a single (very ugly) pejorative reference to someone he disagrees with. In comparing pejorative references, it is much uglier than the pejorative reference you had in one of your comments, and so if that were the only moral content in your postings, the other would be morally worse. However, you go on to make an argument that appears to be insincere (due to your non-responsive to my direct question, I can't tell) because you appear to agree that the actions of the Republicans in Congress are worse than the response of Obama, but you continue to focus on the latter. And unlike your questions above, which link two very different topics only having Ornery as a common element, the actions of the Republicans and Obama regarding the recess appointment are directly linked.

To sum up, your actions in this thread are worse for the reason I provided above, and thus your third question is moot.

Now will you answer the same questions regarding your own actions?
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Besides your original assertion that it was hypocrisy on his part has no factual basis,

It most certainly does have a factual basis. It's not a deductive proof, but that doesn't mean there is no factual basis. Criminal's get convicted routinely based on circumstantial evidence. All I'm doing is leveling a charge of hypocrisy, which is obviously a fairly trivial charge. This is the political equivalent to getting a speeding ticket.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
GregD, so in your world view, TheRallanator starting a thread, who's sole purpose is to defame and lob childish names at a Republican candidate is morally better than a reasoned thread to level a minor charge of hypocrisy at the President of the US?

Take a moment and think about that. Have you ever wondered why political discourse in this country is at a fairly low level? Perhaps, it's because it's become ok to call the other side childish names, but it's not ok to address the serious faults in your own side. (And that comment goes both ways. The right is just as guilty as the left is. Though it wouldn't surprise me to see someone loft the silly 'false equivalency' refrain.)

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
However, you go on to make an argument that appears to be insincere

Again, blatant motive speculation! I thought that was supposed to be against the rules on this forum. Yet this is at least the 2nd time in this thread it's been used against me. Perhaps because the other side has a weaker argument than they would like to contend that they do? If you can't directly refute the argument you try and impugn the motives of the arguer.


quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed? If so, why? If not, why are you harping on a lesser evil that is occurring in response to a greater one?

Now will you answer the same questions regarding your own actions?

Ok, let's start off with an analogy:
Let's say we have two gangs. We'll call one gang the Reds and the other the Blues.

Now let's say the Reds Kill a member of the Blues.
Then say a couple year's later the Blues kill a member of the Reds.
Then directly after this, the Red Leader decides to send a message to the Blues. He Blows up Red headquarters, but he does it at night while nobody is there.

Now, let's apply your questions to the analogy.
"JWatts, do you believe that the hypocrisy that you allege to have occurred in this situation is morally worse than the actions of the Republicans that the recess appointment addressed?"

So do I believe that the Red Leader blowing up the Blue headquarters is morally worse than the Blues killing a member of the Red. Well, without any context, killing is worse than blowing up a building, so clearly the Blues action is worse.

However, when you look at the context, it's pretty clear that the Blues were responding in kind to the previous actions of the Reds. Therefore when the Red Leader takes his response after the tit for tat previous history, it's clear that the Red Leader was escalating the situation.

So, my answer is that Obama's actions were worse. President Bush acted to defuse the situation by agreeing to a compromise with the Democratic congress and to not attempt anymore Recess appointments. President Obama decided to escalate the situation. He made the situation worse than it was.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
The best way to stop the executive branch from grabbing more power is to do your damn job regardless of what party you belong to. Obstructionism is not a trait the public admires. Decisiveness is. Questions of hypocrisy are of little consequence with that political reality looming over it.

There is something primal in us that delights in seeing a bully smacked down. Even if we still don’t approve of aggression and revenge in principle. Ballance of power changes all the time. People rarely do.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
There is something primal in us that delights in seeing a bully smacked down.

True, indeed I think many conservatives will believe this action of Obama's is the classic move of a bully, utilizing Force majeure when compromise failed him.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
AT least they'll use Rovian tactics to sell that concept to deflect from the fact that they were doing the bullying and this was just their target finally standing up to them on it.
 
Posted by Grant (Member # 1925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
this action of Obama's is the classic move of a bully, utilizing Force majeure when compromise failed him.

See, if the President COULD use the force, we wouldn't have this problem.

"Speaker Boehner, this IS the director of the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau you are looking for."


PS: LSU better shape up cause I don't want to hear all the merde from Bama fans for the next 12 months.

PPS: Why in the holy monster's name does wikipedia have a link to "South Park" article under the "Profanity" article? They SHOULD have a link to the "Deadwood" article. Now that was a show with Shakesperean potty mouth.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
(1) thank you for providing an answer my question - you think that Obama's action is worse because it represents an escalation. I disagree, in part because I take into account the ends and effects of the actions of each side, but I appreciate you laying out your thinking.
(2) I don't know why The Rallinator started the thread with the disgusting name (you assert that: "TheRallanator starting a thread, who's sole purpose is to defame and lob childish names at a Republican candidate"). What he did was put up one post where he used a very disgusting pejorative term for someone he disagreed with. I dislike use of pejorative terms, whether they are disgusting or merely annoying (for example, your use of the phrase "lefties") earlier in this thread. I believe that it is more respectful to refer to people the way that they prefer to be referred to. His disgusting one is worse than your mild one, I dislike both (his much more), but both are a lesser moral issue more akin to manners.
(3) The purpose of Ornery is informed and rational discussion (see Ornery Rules, particularly "we welcome serious discussion about events, ideas, leaders, candidates, parties, principles, governments, religions, philosophies, and programs"). To me, "serious" means that we stand behind our opinions (or acknowledge that they change), we explain our logic, and we acknowledge when we have been caught in an error, logical contradiction, or mis-statement.
(4) You have a point about motive speculation (in particular, the comment "the original poster of this thread is only pretending to be offended (and threatened) by Obama's alleged hypocrisy"). I made a comment that was close the borderline, but I don't consider it "blatant motive speculation" because I am not talking about you or your motives, I am describing an argument that you make, and as is clear from the context that you edited out of your quote, I believed that your argument was flawed (I used the word "insincere" which carries with it connotations of a personal nature which I did not intend) based on your repeated non-response to a fundamental question, and then I laid out the conflict that appeared to be in your thinking

quote:
you go on to make an argument that appears to be insincere (due to your non-responsive to my direct question, I can't tell) because you appear to agree that the actions of the Republicans in Congress are worse than the response of Obama, but you continue to focus on the latter
I apologize for the word choice, but not for the argument that I was making at that time
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
(1) thank you for providing an answer my question - you think that Obama's action is worse because it represents an escalation. I disagree, in part because I take into account the ends and effects of the actions of each side, but I appreciate you laying out your thinking.

I find this premise questionable, because you rarely, if ever, seem to express any concern to the 'ends and effects' unless the result is unfavorable Democrats. I see no record that you ever protested the Democrats blocking President Bush's recess appointments, nor indeed do I see any record of any but the most mildest criticisms of Democrats or of you ever giving any but a left handed praise to a Republican. (Actually, I don't recall you ever criticizing Democrats at all, but I haven't read every post you made).

The Obama administration has done plenty of questionably unethical acts and yet you have not once criticized it. Indeed you have heaped lavish praise on Obama. So your argument at this time that you are concerned with the 'ends and effects' of the actions of each side seems shallow and partisan.


quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
(2) I don't know why The Rallinator started the thread with the disgusting name (you assert that: "TheRallanator starting a thread, who's sole purpose is to defame and lob childish names at a Republican candidate"). What he did was put up one post where he used a very disgusting pejorative term for someone he disagreed with.

No, that's not just what he did. The entire thread is full of childish name calling of Republican's. Including further posts by Rallanator in the same vein. If I had started a similar thread on this board about Obama, Lefties would have gone ballistic. Indeed, I'm tempted to do it just for comparison purposes. But later when this comment isn't so fresh. [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
(3) The purpose of Ornery is informed and rational discussion (see Ornery Rules, particularly "we welcome serious discussion about events, ideas, leaders, candidates, parties, principles, governments, religions, philosophies, and programs"). To me, "serious" means that we stand behind our opinions (or acknowledge that they change), we explain our logic, and we acknowledge when we have been caught in an error, logical contradiction, or mis-statement.

Rational discussion requires treating everyone fairly and in a consistent manner. And yet you continuously attempt to hold me to a higher standard than any Leftie poster. You've attacked this thread as somehow immoral and yet it was trivial for me to point out a Republican bashing thread (with no attempt at reasonable debate) that was far worse. Indeed, I could have probably found half a dozen such threads, but I just chose the most obvious one from the first page.

I have on numerous occasions admitted to being wrong. Please, point out the thread where you admitted you were wrong, just so I feel that your standard is being applied fairly and in a consistent manner. And no, apologizing for word choice, but not the argument behind it is not an admission that you were wrong. [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
(4) You have a point about motive speculation (in particular, the comment "the original poster of this thread is only pretending to be offended (and threatened) by Obama's alleged hypocrisy"). I made a comment that was close the borderline, but I don't consider it "blatant motive speculation" because I am not talking about you or your motives, I am describing an argument that you make, and as is clear from the context that you edited out of your quote, I believed that your argument was flawed ... I apologize for the word choice, but not for the argument that I was making at that time

Is that an admission that you were wrong? No, not really. But I accept your clarification that it was not meant to be motive speculation.

[ January 10, 2012, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
I find this premise questionable, because you rarely, if ever, seem to express any concern to the 'ends and effects' unless the result is unfavorable Democrats.
Hey, Pot, looks like you know Kettle already. [Smile]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
You’re spot on JWatts. Everyone sees themselves in the role of the victim when things aren’t going their way. I at first admired Obama for what was in my opinion a willingness to compromise. Now several years down the road I have reframed that trait as naiveté.
quote:
The Obama administration has done plenty of questionably unethical acts and yet you have not once criticized it. Indeed you have heaped lavish praise on Obama. So your argument at this time that you are concerned with the 'ends and effects' of the actions of each side seems shallow and partisan.
JWatts, I think a more fair measure of someone would be if they defends those questionably unethical acts, as opposed to just not mentioning them. The simple fact is that unless you yourself are in charge, and probably not even then, you can never have everything you want in a leader. All you can do is take the bad with the good and vote for and support the leader you feel has the least bad and the most good.

I don’t think you, or your post is immoral for what it’s worth. The action of Obama was out of line with the party’s contention that recess appointments are the wrong way to do business. I expect, but don’t know, that they still believe this to be the case. Unless/until the rules are changed however they must either use the tools available to them or accept political defeat. The administration was faced with the choice to either fight dirty or tuck tail and run.

Either choice was a victory for the republican party. That was the whole point of the stalemate. The interesting questions are did they cause the president to make a legal misstep? Can the republican party leverage this reaction by the president to motivate their base? Is this reaction by the president likely seen by democratic voters as the president growing a spine or sinking to the level of the opposition? Who benefits from this theater? I for one don’t give a **** if someone thinks the president is a hypocrite or not and care even less if the use of the word is proper.

I do think it was trivial for you to point out that particular bashing thread, because the thread itself was juvenile and not worthy of notice in the first place. Or at least the title was enough to dissuade my interest. If you care to make an equivalent thread then I will ignore that one as well. Which would be more fair and consistent behavior from this “leftie poster”. I’ll leave the ballistics to someone else. [Smile]

[ January 10, 2012, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
You’re spot on JWatts.

Thank you

quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Watts, I think a more fair measure of someone would be if they defends those questionably unethical acts, as opposed to just not mentioning them. ...
I don’t think you, or your post is immoral for what it’s worth. The action of Obama was out of line with the party’s contention that recess appointments are the wrong way to do business. I expect, but don’t know, that they still believe this to be the case.

And indeed, I was very qualified in my original post. There were substantive reasons for President Obama's actions and I won't pretend they weren't reasonable, just because he's not 'on my side'. (Though of course, as President of the US he's always at root 'on my team'. He's just Offense and I'm on the Defense [Wink] )


quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Unless/until the rules are changed however they must either use the tools available to them or accept political defeat. The administration was faced with the choice to either fight dirty or tuck tail and run.

That's not the complete story. Obama could have launched a court challenge. But of course that wouldn't be nearly as effective as 'red meat' and this is an election year. His administration was looking for an immediate 'in your face move' to rally the base.

quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I do think it was trivial for you to point out that particular bashing thread, because the thread itself was juvenile and not worthy of notice in the first place.

I don't think it was trivial in context. Greg D was attacking my post on moral grounds. I wasn't countering a substantive argument at that point. In that vein, I needed to pick an obvious immoral stance from his 'side' that he was ignoring to point out the double standard he was attempting to apply.

[ January 10, 2012, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
You were questioning the character of Obama. His 'side' was resorting to childish name calling. Equating the two was in itself a jab on your part. A deserved one against the community as a whole and that poster in particular but trivial in regards to this discussion.

One classless post does not set the bar for all posters of a particular political party. You need look no further than the weekly movie theater listings to see that type of humor isn't going away any time soon.

You can choose to play in the deep end of the pool or the shallow end. The expectations for each group is different. There IS a double standared. Be proud you are being held to the more restrictive standard or go get fit for some water wings and nose plugs.

[ January 10, 2012, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
You can choose to play in the deep end of the pool or the shallow end. The expectations for each group is different. There IS a double standared. Be proud you are being held to the more restrictive standard or go get fit for some water wings and nose plugs.

[Big Grin]
OK, I concede that point. I'll go get my dive suit on. I'm a woose so it's a thick one, I expect I'll need it. [Razz]

[ January 10, 2012, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
That's not the complete story. Obama could have launched a court challenge. But of course that wouldn't be nearly as effective as 'red meat' and this is an election year. His administration was looking for an immediate 'in your face move' to rally the base.
Or- going through the courts would have left economically critical posts unfilled for even longer where the luxury of waiting simply didn't exist anymore. If he was just going for red meat, you'd think he'd have made a substantial number of appointments across the board, since many federal executive and judicial offices are current suffering from the current logjam in appointments.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Sorry for the gap in time - was on travel and just got back from East Coast.

Assessment of morality was based on approach to argumentation, which is a valid concern even if you disagree with my view of the facts.

I have criticized Obama - not just for easy centrism critique (stimulus too small, no legal accountability for those who committed war crimes), but also for detention of American citizens without a warrant.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
So the president does indeed have the power to adjourn Congress. He does not have the power to declare it "in recess" - as in, trying to make recess appointments. It is unconstitutional for the President to declare Congress in recess.
Irrelevant, as precedent for use recess appointment power allows it to apply in to both intersession and intrasession appointments..
You are exactly wrong.

quote:


President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board.

....


The unanimous decision is an embarrassing setback for the president, who made the appointments after Senate Republicans spent months blocking his choices for an agency they contended was biased in favor of unions.

Unanimous decision.

There's more:

quote:


Not only did Obama unconstitutionally arrogate to himself the ability to determine when the Senate is in session, the court now holds that the appointment power exists only in the formal Recess between sessions...

....the court also ruled that the vacancies had to arise during The Recess as well (page 23):

Barry will appeal but a unanimous decision, it looks bad for him.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
So the president does indeed have the power to adjourn Congress. He does not have the power to declare it "in recess" - as in, trying to make recess appointments. It is unconstitutional for the President to declare Congress in recess.
Irrelevant, as precedent for use recess appointment power allows it to apply in to both intersession and intrasession appointments..
You are exactly wrong.


The fact that a silge court has ruled against established precedent does not make the statement that prior precedent has allowed for both types of appointment to be wrong., it just means that that court has decided to override said precedent.

[ January 30, 2013, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Not only did Obama unconstitutionally arrogate to himself the ability to determine when the Senate is in session, the court now holds that the appointment power exists only in the formal Recess between sessions...

....the court also ruled that the vacancies had to arise during The Recess as well (page 23):

That's an impressive level of legislating from the bench that actively flies in the face of decades worth of established use of the power.
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
From the little I have read, Obama had longstanding precedent to justify his action. But this court chose to rule it was improper. That is any court's prerogative, but the only opinion that counts in the end is one issued by the Supreme Court. Perhaps this question will be appealed there, and more precise guidelines will result. It is clear a President has the power to make recess appointments, but the precise circumstances in which it is permissible have not yet been spelled out in detail, so it is not surprising opinions differ.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Pyrtolin is absolutely correct that the President has precident in his recess appointments.

According to the Congressional Research Service, possibly hundreds of previous recess appointments would have been unlawful if this ruling was in effect.

quote:
...[T]he scope of the appeal court decision was far broader than the particular circumstances of the NLRB appointments. The three-judge panel, each nominated by Republican presidents, re-examined the origins of the constitutional recess appointment power and concluded that the president has the power to make recess appointments only in one narrow circumstance: when the Senate is in recess between sessions of Congress and only if the vacancy arose during that recess.

The Congressional Research Service found a total of 329 intrasession recess appointments — appointments that occurred when the Senate adjourned in the middle of a session — since 1981. By the terms of Noel Canning v. NLRB, all of those appointments would have been invalid.

There were another 323 so-called intersession recess appointments — appointments that occurred between Senate sessions — but the CRS was unable to determine how many of those would also have run afoul of the circuit court’s opinion because it lacked sufficient data to determine whether those vacancies arose during the same recess.

I would be very suprised if the Supreme Court decided that a procedure extant for over 30 years and used for well over 300 appointments was suddenly declared unconstitutional.

Which doesn't mean it can't happen. I would just find it very suprising. [Smile]

[ February 06, 2013, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
Precedent is not law - saying we've always done it that way does not necessarily make it legal. There was significant gray area to operate in here and the executive has never sought to directly challenge the legislative branch like this before.

The ruling makes the same point I did:
quote:
The appointment may be made in “the Recess,” but it ends at the end of the next “Session.” The natural interpretation of the Clause is that the Constitution is noting a difference between “the Recess” and the “Session.” Either the Senate is in session, or it is in the recess. If it has broken for three days within an ongoing session, it is not in “the Recess.”
Barry tried to expand his power and ended up picking a fight that looks very much like he could lose and that may clearly define the recess appointment process.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
There was significant gray area to operate in here and the executive has never sought to directly challenge the legislative branch like this before.
OTOH, if the legislaive branch had done its job instead of playing games with the defintion of "in session," Obama wouldn't have had to challenge them. [Smile] If they had simply voted on the appointments during the session instead of tabling it indefinitely and pretending to be "in session," there would have been no reason for a recess appointment. Congress was making a power-grab, too.

And while precident is not law, it is used to determine law. If no one had a problem with the 329+ other appointments, the Supreme Court may decide that this is within the bounds of the law, too.

And if the Supreme Court does rule with the Appeals Court, they will still probably bite the Republicans in the behind, too, since they will have to rule what constitutes a "recess" and a "session." And I very much doubt they will leave that up to Congress, because that will give Congress almost carte blanche power in the future to pull stuff like this again.

[ February 06, 2013, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
If the court rules other than it did, it essentially ends the advise and consent clause as it cedes the power to determine if the Senate is in recess to the executive branch (kind of like when the Emperor permantly disbanded the Senate after completion of the Death Star). I am not sure how anyone could think the President should have a greater right to determine if the Senate is in session than the Senate?

It's interesting to me, that the Senate's gavelling in actual restored the historical intent behind the provision. The provision was to allow for the continuing operation of the government at a time when the Senate would be in extended recess and not easy to recall. That's not a circumstance that even exists in our modern world. The recess appointment power had basically morphed from an emergency procedure to and end run procedure. And the Senate's gavelling in, put it back to being an emergency procedure.

End of day, why would you want an Executive to have this power? Unless you think the Senate should be out of the process entirely.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
The problem is that Congress is extending its power with this maneuver.

Congress has the power to accept or reject the President's nominee. But by doing neither, it is trying to prevent the establishment of the department the nominee is for. Something that Congress does not have the legal right to do.

So either the President gets more power or Congress gets more power--or the Supreme Court figures out how to get Congress to do its job.

It will be interesting, all right. [Smile]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
I am not sure how anyone could think the President should have a greater right to determine if the Senate is in session than the Senate?
The framers disagree with you, since they explicitly gave the President the power to end a session and to call session.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Precedent is not law - saying we've always done it that way does not necessarily make it legal.


It makes it legal until explicitly prohibited ruled otherwise. Previous courts have upheld such appointments, so the current ruling represents a strong shift in what what previously considered legal.

quote:
There was significant gray area to operate in here and the executive has never sought to directly challenge the legislative branch like this before.

That's flat out false. You can go back at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt who did exactly the same thing for precedent here.

quote:
Barry tried to expand his power and ended up picking a fight that looks very much like he could lose and that may clearly define the recess appointment process.
Precedent for this goes back to Teddy Roosevelt; a power that's been considered acceptable for over 100 years can't be considered an attempt at expansion. (Espcailly when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court explicitly told him to make use of his recess appointment power)
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:


A third federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Obama violated the Constitution last year when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, adding more weight to the case as it goes before the Supreme Court in the justices’ next session.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, said that the president can only make recess appointments after Congress has adjourned “sine die,” which in modern times has meant when it breaks at the end of each year.


 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I am not sure how anyone could think the President should have a greater right to determine if the Senate is in session than the Senate?
The framers disagree with you, since they explicitly gave the President the power to end a session and to call session.
I meant to add the rationale for their ruling:
quote:
After digging through constitutional history and reading up on the framers, the judges said it’s apparent the founding fathers intended for the president only to be able to use his recess appointment powers when the Senate was gone for a long period of time, not the brief breaks Congress regularly takes for holidays or weekends.

“All this points to the inescapable conclusion that the framers intended something specific by the term ‘the Recess,’ and that it was something different than a generic break in proceedings,” Judge Clyde H. Hamilton wrote in his majority opinion.

[Cool]
 


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