K.S. Rajan (7 Jan 2012)

Yesterday President Obama decided to do away with that pesky little “Constitution” thing, and assign himself the power to make recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess.
The Constitution could not be clearer about this: “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.” The meaning of this power is equally clear, providing a mechanism for the president to expediently fill important offices left vacant by sudden illness or resignation. The president is most certainly not granted the power to unilaterally decide whether the Senate is in recess or not.

This was all done for the purpose of installing Richard Cordray as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is not what the Founders had in mind when they contemplated the need to swiftly fill crucial offices so the government could discharge its limited Constitutional duties.

"When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” President Obama explained. “I will not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve." And yet, somehow the Republic prospered quite nicely without a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until now. In fact, it prospered quite a bit more than it has under Obama’s job-killing policies and budget-busting corruption.

The Constitution of the United States obliges you to stand by sometimes, Mr. Obama. That’s the entire point of placing limits upon your imperial power. Those limits do not exist to be discarded when a really brilliant President becomes especially angry at a minority he judges unfit to fulfill its representative duties. What chills every American should feel, hearing this extremist, arrogant President declare that he “will not stand by” while a minority takes lawful actions he disapproves of!

—John Hayward