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Obama desperately seeks a crisis to take advantage of

Obama desperately seeks a crisis to take advantage of

Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau correctly is portrayed as a naked power grab.

First, the Senate is not in recess.  Harry Reid and other Democrats in the past treated the current Senate pro forma business status as not being in recess.

Second, the Dodd-Frank legislation which created the position Cordray will fill specifically requires Senate confirmation.  A recess appointment is not confirmation under any scenario.

According to Greg Sargent, Obama has more recess appointments lined up for the NLRB.

So are the appointments really the issue?  In part, yes, but they are just the excuse.  Obama’s campaign theme is to run against Congress.  What better way to run against Congress than to create a confrontation with Congress?

Republicans in Congress have no choice but to retaliate against this power grab, and that is just what Obama wants.  He wants a crisis he can take advantage of, perhaps over the FICA holiday which runs out in February (how smart were the Tea Party congressman for opposing a short term extension?).

Obama was elected by crisis, he seeks to create crisis at every turn, and he never lets a good crisis go to waste.

I say give him the crisis, but do it carefully so that this time we are the ones who get to take advantage.  We have a President who is arrogant, dismissive, and out of control, the nation knows it.  It has to stop, and it sets the issue up nicely for November 2012.

Update:  Heritage Foundation has a good explanation of why the Senate is using the pro forma session — it’s a constitutional requirement because the House has not consented to the Senate going into recess for more than three days.


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Obama does not govern, he rules

He vacations, then rules.

Was just reading around about all this and agree about the crisis mentality.
I dont know about others but I sure have concerns that republican Senators are at best inept. They should have expected this..the appointments and devised an ironclad method of prevention. Thats what smart folks do..really make it impossible to do the appointments..rather than react after the fact and fall into the political trap.

Reading over at Volokh we find this

    I, also. It is interesting that Eugene Volokh brushes aside the Constitution in favor of arguing administrative gobbledygook-and does he really have a problem with the appointment anyway? It is just a big game to the whole lot of them; they’ll head to the locker room and suit-up for the games after the holidays. Our laws and lawyering are too clever by half. Meanwhile, Cordray reports to work, Major Hasan hasn’t been hung yet, Fast and Furious fades away, and Charlie Rangel’s still in congress in stead of in jail. A sport.

One can safely say, that the sole purpose of Obama studying the Constitution, was to undermine the document.

Henry Hawkins | January 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Even forewarned, I fear the congressional GOP leadership will somehow botch this, get played yet again.

Question: Could a business that is regulated by CFPB challenge any post-appointment regulations because Cordray lacks Senate confirmation?

To counter the argument that the regulation would take place anyway (and maybe eliminate standing on the part of the business?), could you counter-argue that the choice on what/when regulations to create/enforce is discretionary in nature, due to limited resources of the agency, and that the choice was made by said unconfirmed appointee?

Would this side-step the Executive vs. Legislature “political question” that the courts historically by-pass?

Asked by an engineer and not a lawyer. I’m going to cross-post over at Ace of Spades HQ.

Wouldn’t the challenge to the appointment just be as simple as asking a sympathetic judge for a temporary restraining order?

Obama cares not for trifles like the law. He is much, much too awesome to bother with such details.

I’ve already written both my Senators and Congressman. This is not a partisan issue. Congress allowed Obama to thumb his nose at them over Libya. He must be reigned in.

You can contact your Senator here:

You can contact your Congressman here:

[…] Legal Insurrection | Obama desperately seeks a crisis to take advantage of […]

[…] by fate, for his dictatorial power grab with the Senate is still technically in session (the Professor does a brief legal analysis here) and his wife intruding on one of the Young Prince’s favorite shows. I must say that this […]

[…] Prof. Jacobson: Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau correctly is portrayed as a naked power grab. […]

My prediction – a crisis will be served up. I have long been of the opinion that an international crisis will be served up by those who would least like to see Obama replaced in the next election, e.g. Iran, China, a Radical Islamist group. The path to a “solution” will appear, a last minute “resolution” will be attained, and Obama will be hailed as (insert phrase), just in time for the election. It will be genuine, there will be casualties and genuine peril will be involved. But, look around: Iraq, gone; Afghanistan, likely under the Obama bus with the “secret” deal to exchange Guantanamo prisoners for negotiations(!) with the Taliban in Qatar; Egypt and surrounding areas, political turmoil with Muslim Brotherhood everywhere and Israel isolated; China, military and naval build up and expansion into the western Pacific; North Korea, comic-book-reading newly appointed general on the throne; EU and US, economies weakened and no political backbone or will power in sight in either place; the list goes on. These people are making far too much headway without lifting a finger; losing Obama to something as inconvenient as an election would be a genuine blow. Don’t dismiss it lightly.

I R A Darth Aggie | January 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

how smart were the Tea Party congressman for opposing a short term extension?

Pretty smart?

What, you think that in the 6 weeks left we’ll see a 10 month long deal reached? I don’t. I see another two months extension, and so on. Right up until after the election.

This tax holiday doesn’t mean bumpkis, it is money due to Social Security and will be paid one way or another. Teh Won wants to starve your grandpa!

Owego | January 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Your analysis is chillingly spot on. We are witnessing the rise of our own brand of “dictator/king/ruler [insert whatever name you prefer]” with no one in sight willing to stop the power grab, and most fearing that if they do say something critical they will be called out as racist. I’ve seen this happen elsewhere while people scrambled to simply make ends meet and were not paying attention, and while the elected officials stood by and did nothing but say “No, this can’t happen here.” Well it did. Let’s hope we are not too far down that path to stop.

    ladybug in reply to MAB. | January 5, 2012 at 1:55 am

    this started when he unilaterally said he will only deport those he wanted to and NOBODy did a thing. I remember being terrified and contacted several organizations and couple of politicians.

    I said then we are seeing tyranny unfold before our eyes. also requested that they move to stop him then. I have also said I am black and we no one can sit by quiet and allow lawlessness. the race card has run out. he always seems to operate during holidays

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

In another place… and in another time… this is the kind of usurpation and annulment of freedom and liberty that usually ended with someone (or whats left of them) hanging upside down from a lamp post.

Not suggesting, mind you… merely providing a bit of historical perspective.

Republicans had better get this one right. Hand Obama his head in the courts and it will be one more step towards his well earned retirement in 2013.

I remember seeing a tape of Saddam Hussein taking over. When a guy in the parliament objected to Mr Hussein’s actions, he would be hauled out; shortly later we hear a few gunshots. It didn’t take too many such events before the objections stopped.

So, it’s not anything like that. Besides, the President is allowed to detain any citizen as long as he wants. I remember that “indefinite” isn’t too terribly long. You are eventually released to sit in a bar and drink bad gin.

Congress should move quickly to formally Censure the President. Then let the courts handle it. The simple fact is you will NEVER get two-thirds of the senate of Convict Obama on this. However a censure is more than just a slap on the wrist to Obama because he clearly is such an ego driven person. And in the end politics is the art of the possible and I think there are still enough Democrats that see the long term harm Obama is doing to go along with a censure.

This is not merely a “naked power grab”, the headline to be accurate should read,


Tricky Republicans. Obama:

And we know what would happen if Republicans in Congress were allowed to keep holding Richard’s nomination hostage. More of our loved ones would be tricked into making bad financial decisions. More dishonest lenders could take advantage of some of the most vulnerable families. And the vast majority of financial firms who do the right thing would be undercut by those who don’t.

    Obama comes right out and calls his supporters a bunch of morons who can’t get through the day without the government holding their hand and the idiots CHEER.

How do you make a recess appointment when the Senate isn’t in recess?

The living, breathing Constitution just gave up the last gasp…

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | January 5, 2012 at 12:05 am

Exactly, I couldn’t agree more with Mr Jacobson..

Obama was born out of subversion, political corruption, community organizing of radicals, and the school of crisis advantage management.. Obama knows the socialist-marxist-leninist ways, and is supported and paid for, by and with, George Soros funding..

Obama is beginning his downhill legal ownership of the U.S. Presidency, and is now becoming more and more blatant, obvious, and audacious in his outright desperate attempts, to gain and retain, more power and authority.. He will subvert the legal process, and the U.S. Constitution at every turn, and cause any and all manner of crisis, to accomplish his mission of holding onto, and acquiring more power, while seeming to be legally go around, ie; subvert, the U.S. Constitution.

In the end, on the eve of 6 Nov. 2012, if he sees his power and Presidency leaving him, he may even attempt a coupe de tat.. by trying to pulling a 1972 Philippines Ferdinand Marcos style dictatorship power grab, by declaring Martial Law, and suspending the U.S. Constitution.

With that being said, it seems ridiculous.. but do not dismiss this as just conspiracy theory BS.. Just because we are America, does not mean it can’t happen here. It can, if we allow the circumstances to exist, and continue. The warning signs are there, and history has tells us what can and will, and does happen.. Only fools disregard warning signs..

If there is one thing I hate to say, it’s “I told you so”, just like after the 2008 Presidential election of Obama..

He is using an age old crack in the system that EVERY President has used at least once during his administration, but why is it a problem when Obama does it?

Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states: “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.”

One thing for sure, the GOP has an abundance of energy and seeing them is so akin to watching black and white footage from the 60s. The only difference is that African Americans are/were affiliated with the organization. It’s all too convenient how they came onto the scene, when their alleged primary concerns were initiated and had been in motion for years, prior to anyone really knowing who Barack Obama was. This is classic racism at its best.

    Voyager in reply to soulstraww. | January 5, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Problem is, the Senate is still in session. The President only has the authority to do recess appointments when the Senate is in recess, which they aren’t.

    Throwing racists accusations around is only crying wolf.

      ladybug in reply to Voyager. | January 5, 2012 at 2:09 am

      Obama started this tryanny with the suspension of deportations of illegals to run around congress on the dream act nonsense.

      I was scared then call people no one stopped him and thus here we are…guarantee he will continue to do whatever he wants if we the people don’t demand congress act and then boot them out. I am a blk woman and it’s way past time to get over being scared of the race card.

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to soulstraww. | January 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

    soulstraww – facts can be very inconvenient things, can’t they? …”during the Recess of the Senate”. Problem is, the senate is not in recess. The President is in violation of the very article of the Constitution that you cite. It would not matter if the color of his skin was green, purple, or polka dots… by his actions he has violated the Constitution.

    It is interesting that the only one who has brought up his race as an issue is… well, you. So I guess there is at least on racist who has posted in this thread, and the next time you look in a mirror… look closely; you’ll see him.

The difference is the Senate is not in recess. Recess appointments are definitely abused by both parties and aren’t needed with modern transportation and long Congressional sessions. But this is simply the President appointing an executive officer without the advice and consent of the Senate. There is a reason the Senate has this check on the executive branch, and if a Republican were president you would be happy to explain it.

As for your stream of thought racism charge, perhaps you would like a job with the Obama campaign.

Obama is building an easy case for the Republican to paint him as abusing the office and destroying our democratic institutions for political advantage. If the Supreme Court invalidates the individual mandate, it ties in with this, Fast and Furious, refusal to enforce DOMA, indefinite detentions, TSA warrantless searches, and more and the narrative that Obama, the constitutional lawyer, is trashing the constitution becomes pretty easy to establish.

Of course Romney could never credibly make that case. Only Ron Paul can.

Looking forward to the Chamber of Commerce launching their lawsuit against this latest provocation from The Great Uniter.

I will probably be in a tiny minority. I think the republicans should file a declaratory judgement with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals confirming the appointments and the process. If the next president is a Republican (and I desparately hope so) he or she can expect an unpreprecedented degree of obstructionism as the roll back begins. This new power, idenfitied by Mr. Obama, offers a means for the new president to conduct the affairs of his or her office. This will be a tool we will want to have. Trust me. Moreover, it denies the Obama campaign a meme they badly want.
However bad the appointees behave, they can’t do as much damage in one year as another Obama term will do.

I suppose folks in the Senate now realize that old agreements wont work any longer. For years now the pro forma tactic has worked and was thought of as settled..even by Kagan back in 2010.
The reality is were dealing with a Chicago streetfighter who will do most anything to take turf (advance his position). Do we think a community organizer would reason differently? One option..hold the pro forma sessions everyday during recess and invite the press.
Persuing the Constitutional arguement seems pointless….its not so much a legal issue and more an agreement violation.

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to jimzinsocal. | January 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

    “Chicago streetfighter”. I agree with your analysis, but not with this characterization of Obama. It gives him too much credit and conveys a sense of gritty toughness that simply is not part of his makeup. It is just another false mask he slips on from time to time. One of many.

    In truth, he is not a ‘streetfighter’. He is a corner agitator… a rabble rouser. He’s the one who gets discontents and malcontents riled up and then says “Lets go get that guy!!” And then stands back and watches the crowd with torches and pitchforks go on its merry way. If they are successful, he steps back in front of them and says: “See what I did… I whooped him bad”. If they fail, he says: “Well, you just didn’t try hard enough… you’ve all let me down”. That is who Obama is… the guy safely in the back who either takes credit for himself or dishes blame to others.

^^^Corner agitator…I like that better…it gets at what I was after!

[…] on the excesses of the executive branch,” he said.William Jacobson is suggesting this is much more than a mere power grab:Obama’s campaign theme is to run against Congress.  What better way to run against Congress […]

What I don’t understand is why a “tax” cut for SS? This is money that is specifically supposed to be turned over to SS and/or treasury notes (laughably) for it. Why not a reduction of 2% from federal income taxes? Wouldn’t it be six of one and half a dozen of another? The answer is that FICA has never been regarded as a tax they can monkey with until now. They have plans for all that money.

Midwest Rhino | January 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

Obama pretends to fight for the middle class … but he means the class that pay protection money to his union bosses.

Build in a right to work state and the Obama admin’ will sue you.

Be a Republican with a GM dealership and the Obama admin’ will close it.

Try drilling for oil or run a coal fired electric plant … Obama’s EPA will shut you down. (While giving money to Petrobras to drill in Brazil, promising to be their best customer, with Soros a big investor beneficiary)

The middle class and the poor are hurt most by stifling regulations and “skyrocketing” energy prices. Obama’s elite cronies would benefit … just as in other banana republics.

I don’t understand something I’ve read in several news articles about this story. They say Cordray’s appointment will expire at the end of the Congressional session on January 3, 2014. I’ve read that same date in articles at Fox News, Yahoo!, and other sites. I don’t get it. The end of the current 112th Congress is January 2013. So wouldn’t Cordray’s appointment end then and not 2014? I’m confused.

[…] all over constitutional separation of powers and overreaching their legal authority. But since the victim complexes of wingnuts know no bounds, in their tiny little minds it is the president who is […]

[…] all over constitutional separation of powers and overreaching their legal authority. But since the victim complexes of wingnuts know no bounds, in their tiny little minds it is the president who is overreaching and trampling on […]

[…] The professor is quite right: “So are the appointments really the issue? In part, yes, but they are just the excuse. Obama’s campaign theme is to run against Congress. What better way to run against Congress than to create a confrontation with Congress? […]