I would go one poke in the Senate-eye further than Kevin Drum.
Apparently President Obama has decided that playing patty cake with Republican senators is no longer a winning proposition, and he now plans to make a recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau despite the fact that the Senate is technically in a “pro forma session” and hasn’t recessed. Politically, this is pretty defensible: Senate Republicans have refused to allow a vote on Cordray not because of any problems with Cordray himself, but because they simply want to prevent the CFPB from functioning. They’re opposed to any CFPB head. Since the CFPB was created by a vote of Congress and the signature of the president, this is little more than modern-day nullification.
It’s more than just politically defensible – I could suffer this kind of direct appeal for my vote more often, especially if it doesn’t involve another military adventure, like Libya.
…[I]t’s important to keep in mind why the White House is so eager to put a director in place. Certainly it fits the president’s electoral strategy of championing the rights of consumers as an advocate of the middle class and painting the GOP as a defender of dishonest financial lenders.
I hope Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell strokes out. As Sarah Binder and David Hawkings argue, this is not a partisan or even an ideological issue. The executive and legislative branches are supposed to compete. But, just to dot the “i”s, John Elwood defends the action, but calls it a “high roller” act. Give me more!
Oh, and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is thinking of lawsuits.
According to Santorum, what Obama did was probably illegal. “The Senate should go and take the president to court,” he said. In a long event, with a fairly rapt and quiet crowd, it was one of the biggest applause lines.