he president has used his constitutional powers to force through 15 recess appointments, overriding opposition by Senate Republicans. The 15 nominees include Craig Becker, a pro-union lawyer appointed to the National Labor Relations Board who faced resistance from members of both parties. The president pointedly blamed "partisan politics" for the Senate's on-average seven-month delay in confirming his nominees. How does this move square with Obama's long-stand ambitions to transcend partisan politics? (Watch a Fox report about Obama's recess appointments)
No more Mr Nice Guy: This is "not what you do if you're trying to make nice," says Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. Obama is finally playing "hardball" with the stubborn GOP. Maybe this signals the end of "postpartisan Obama" and the rise of a "newly muscular president" who is "willing to duke it out" with the "hardcore obstructionist wing" of the Republican Party. Let's hope so.
"Obama plays hardball"
So much for the great leveller: "Any pretense of bipartisanship or moderation has evaporated," says Jennifer Rubin at Commentary, and the "reality of Obama" has shone through. Having "rammed" healthcare through, he wants to "run roughshod over the Senate." This president is "unbending, ideologically extreme, and contemptuous of the other branches." He has become "precisely what liberals used to rail against."
This is in America's interest: A look at Obama's recess appointments shows "how absurd the level of GOP obstructionism has become," says Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress. The list includes domestic finance and tax policy experts, not to mention two U.S. trade representatives whose absence has been an "impediment to the World Trade Organization" and "thus a small-but-real drag on America’s economy." Obama's right: the US needs these jobs filled.
The system, not Obama, is at fault: Recess appointments have been a "political tool" of both parties in recent years, says Robert S. Siegel at Mind Your Own Damn Business Politics. Until "senators from both parties do their job without playing political games, we will have recess appointments." If you are angry at Obama's appointments, then focus that anger at the "correct target": The Senate itself.
"Recess appointments legit; appointees questionable"
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