The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

I think it’s not about the appointee or even about the agency. I think this is a lawless action by the president at the end of a long string of lawless actions. And it’s banana republic [style].

The president is saying: “I won’t let Congress stop me.” But it’s in the Constitution that you have to have the Senate’s approval… He [the president] can only make a recess appointment if the Senate is in recess. It is not in recess.

In fact, his own Justice Department argued last year before the Supreme Court that the Senate has to be out of session for three days. It has not been. And that appeal was based on a ruling of the Clinton Justice Department–three days.

You can appoint anybody you want in a recess appointment. You can appoint anybody who has already been rejected by the Senate. You can appoint anybody you want as a way to make a purely cynical political point in election year in Ohio, as Obama is doing. But you can’t do it as a recess appointment if the Senate is not in recess.

On the president’s strategy in making this recess appointment:

It’s cynical and it works. Look, [opponents like me are] talking about process and procedure and what would look like arcana. And [the president is] arguing “I am protecting the little guy against the Republicans, who [use] constitutional niceties to protect the rich and the 1 percent, the ones who have robbed you.” It’s a good argument [politically]. He wins it. But I think it’s disgraceful.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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