Obama Recess Appointment Fills Consumer Watchdog Post – The Left Whines

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” ~ Gerry Rafferty

As I write this, I’m on the verge of screaming. Not because of today’s news. That was good – from the Associated Press,

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a defiant display of executive power,President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate, senior administration officials told The Associated Press

With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be able to start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy.

Obama’s decision to make a recess appointment is certain to cause an uproar from Capitol Hill to Wall Street. He is essentially declaring the Senate’s short off-and-on legislative sessions a sham intended to block his appointments.


Senate Republicans have been doing what Senate Republicans do best, obstructing the progress that Obama tries to accomplish. Today, the President took action. Expect more in the future. Sure, Republicans are going to complain, it’s what they do second best, but they don’t have a leg to stand on. Not only is it an executive right guaranteed by the constitution, it’s very much precedented. This is Obama’s 28th recess appointment. George W. Bush made 170 and Bill Clinton, 140.

The complaint this time is over a Senate political maneuver. In an effort to prevent such appointments, Senate Republicans have been running in “pro forma” sessions. The Senate is technically open two days this week, Tuesday and Friday, but there is nothing on the schedule. According to Republicans, the Senate is not actually in recess unless they are off three days in a row.

The Senate has been doing this since 2007, to prevent Bush from making recess appointments.

The administration counters that the pro forma Senate is simply a gimmick and the President is within his rights to make recess appointments.

Regardless of the legalities, which in reality are unlikely to be challenged, the position needs to be filled. Even typical Obama naysayers like Firedoglake are endorsing the move.

Which brings me to my impending scream. I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments in the Firedoglake article and I was assaulted with comments like this:

I have long felt that one of the main reasons that Obama isn’t more progressive is because of the so called progressives like the ones above. No politician in his or her right mind is going to chase after the voter that they have no chance of winning. Right now, Obama has a greater chance of swaying those in the middle than he has of swaying many progressives.

Here’s the thing, I want a more progressive Obama too, so progressives, stop being such f’n assholes! Stop whining long enough to acknowledge when Obama does something right. How would you feel working for a boss who told you they were going to fire you in a year, without giving you any opportunities to redeem yourself? Wouldn’t you dismiss your boss as someone impossible to please, so you stop trying? Fortunately, he’s more adult than that. He is trying to do the right thing, against unprecedented obstructionism, but I suspect he would do even more if he felt that progressives were responding to his actions. So, what is the President left with?

Clowns to the left of him, jokers to the right. Here he is, stuck in the middle with the people who will actually be voting.