Wimp in the White House

President Obama steps up his campaign for a GOP Congress in 2011.

Now that the Senate has graciously decided to approve less than half of the nominees that it had held up, President Obama has announced that he will make no recess appointments in the Senate’s upcoming recess.

The NLRB still has no quorum.  There are still several judges held up.  The Senate did not even move on 3 key Defense Department appointments blocked by Richard Shelby (R-Romper Room).

At the same time in his administration, George W. Bush made several recess appointments, while constantly attacking pliant Senate Democrats for obstructionism and riling up the GOP base: he particularly relished appointing management lawyers to the NLRB.  Obama seems to relish telling his most devoted supporters to STFU.

Rahm Emanuel cut his teeth working for Bill Clinton when he faced a Republican Congress.  Obviously, Rahm seems to like it that way.  But the fish rots from the head.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

18 thoughts on “Wimp in the White House”

  1. Looks like our guy wimped out.

    You would like to think that he would gain something in return, but the GOP will never give a sucker an even break.

  2. IIRC, at this point Bush had at least nominated candidates for most of the empty slots. I think what you're seeing in Obama is that the Presidency is not a starter position; Perhaps in 2012 you can nominate somebody with executive branch experience, if Obama still hasn't gotten up to speed.

  3. Brett Bellmore says:

    "IIRC, at this point Bush had at least nominated candidates for most of the empty slots. I think what you’re seeing in Obama is that the Presidency is not a starter position; Perhaps in 2012 you can nominate somebody with executive branch experience, if Obama still hasn’t gotten up to speed."

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A frikkin' republican talks about the qualifications of a president?

  4. Laugh if you like, it's your guy who appointed a tax cheat to be Treasury secretary. He's bad enough at vetting he NEEDS the Senate looking at his nominees. Every guy he recess appoints will be a ticking time bomb, waiting for some embarassing revelation. And he won't have anybody to share the blame with.

  5. … and the Senate has been SOO active on vetting Obama's candidates. Sure, when they finally stop 'holding' them up, they approve them nearly unanimously. So the 'hold' is about vetting, not … um … say … what could it be? Blackmail?!

  6. Brett, I understand that facts an' history an' stuff ain't you bowl o' possbum stew, but what I was referring to is that GOP administration in power from 2001-2009. Remember them?

  7. Yeah, I remember them, with some distaste. For all that I thought Bush was a lousy President, (My usual description of Bush was, "I voted for the lesser of two evils, and he turned out to be not so nearly lesser as I'd anticipated.") he had the mechanics of doing the job down, he was just lousy on a policy basis. Obama is lousy on a policy basis, (Obviously we're going to disagree about that.) AND doesn't know how to do the mechanics of the job, either. Why, you'd almost think he had no experience as an executive before. Oh, wait…

  8. But, yeah, if you think I'm being stupid about that, go ahead, nominate more Jr. Senators who've never head executive branch positions before. If you've got to have somebody with really bad policies in the White house, I suppose I'd prefer that they be incompetent at pursuing those policies. Obama could have been a real terror if he weren't so clueless about how to be an executive.

  9. Brett, re: Bush: "….he had the mechanics of doing the job down, …"

    Wrong again; Bush basically coasted through his term, on 9/11 and the fact that his policies were to help the elites, so they pushed hard for those policies. As we've seen, Cheney did far more running of things than Bush did, even when Bush gave a flying f*ck.

  10. "Every guy he recess appoints will be a ticking time bomb, waiting for some embarassing revelation. . . he had the mechanics of doing the job down"

    Bernie Kerik, anyone?

    Masterful vetting, that.

  11. ". . . ominate more Jr. Senators who’ve never head executive branch positions before."

    From someone who knows absolutely nothing about how weak and powerless the Texas governorship is and what a poor qualifier it is when it comes to executive experience.

    And btw, how about William Mercer?

  12. Brett Bellmore says: "Laugh if you like, it’s your guy who appointed a tax cheat to be Treasury secretary."

    Yes, Brett, it's a good thing that the Senate has such oversight, otherwise Tim Geithner might be Treasury Secretary today.

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