Leadership: A spokesman says the president "can't wait for Congress to act" and promised that he's "going to take action." This is the president who was "ready to rule" in 2008. Is he an elected chief executive or an emperor?
In November 2008, shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of his transition team, appeared on "Meet the Press." She told host Tom Brokaw that "Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one."
Shouldn't someone who had reached the political heights that Jarrett had reached know that kings rule but presidents are elected to serve and are accountable to Congress, the courts and the voters?
One would think that she and the rest of the administration are aware of a president's legal limitations, but simply aren't interested in respecting them.
A little more than three years after Jarrett declared Obama's majesty, his spokesman Jay Carney warned on the day of the Iowa caucuses that "if Republicans choose the path of obstruction rather than cooperation, then the president is not going to sit here . .. he's going to take the actions that he can take using his executive authority."
Within a day, Obama made good on the threat. On Wednesday, he bypassed the congressional approval process and named Richard Cordray as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The appointment, made while the Senate is in a pro forma session and not in recess, came after that chamber blocked Cordray's confirmation last month.
Not only is Obama trampling precedent that says recess appointments are to be done only after the Senate has been out of session for 10 days or more, he's also trying to circumvent legislation.
As noted by Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute, the Dodd-Frank bill that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires the CFPB's authority to remain with the Treasury secretary until the CFPB director is "confirmed by the Senate." Cordray still lacks that confirmation.
Apparently feeling like a gambler on a roll, Obama followed up the Cordray appointment by placing Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin on the National Labor Relations Board. Of little concern to Obama are the wishes of the Senate Republicans, who had blocked these appointments, which they have the right to do within our system.
Clearly our American arrangement of checks and balances written into the Constitution is an impediment to this president. Before Carney made his statement Tuesday, Obama himself said in October that "we can no longer wait for Congress to do its job. ... So where Congress won't act, I will." ... continued...