George Bush has taken advantage of Senate recesses 170 times (167 times through January, 2007, and three more in April, 2007) over the last six years to fill positions that would otherwise require Senate confirmation with people who would likely -- or certainly -- have failed to win Senate confirmation. Bush has never missed an opportunity to flip the bird at the Senate, even permanently appointing a US Attorney using the notorious Patriot Act II provisions on the very day he signed into law Congress' legislation outlawing the practice.
Follow me into my nightmare...
The Senate is scheduled to go into recess on August 6. This gives Bush the singular opportunity to give the Senate and the people of the United States the biggest "Fuck You" of his Presidency -- and to bring to a close any discussion of impeaching Alberto Gonzales -- by replacing Gonzalez with somebody even worse. Attorney General John Yoo, anybody?
Bush's Summer Hires Targeted
May 20, 2007 12:09 PM ET
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a little trick up his sleeve that could spell an end to President Bush's devilish recess appointments of controversial figures like former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. We hear that over the long August vacation, when those types of summer hires are made, Reid will call the Senate into session just long enough to force the prez to send his nominees who need confirmation to the chamber. The talk is he will hold a quickie "pro forma" session every 10 days, tapping a local senator to run the hall. Senate workers and Republicans are miffed, but Reid is proving that he's the new sheriff in town.
Unfortunately, George Bush had already proved in April that any recess is long enough for him to abuse for the purpose of recess appointments. The Senate was only out for seven days then, and Bush appointed Sam Fox to be Ambassador to Belgium, Andrew Biggs as Social Security Commissioner, and Susan E. Dudley to the OMB, none of whom would have stood up to Senate scrutiny; Fox had shortly before withdrawn his candidacy for Ambassador after Senators had assailed his involvement in the Swift Boating of John Kerry.
With these appointments, Bush made his point clear. He will take any opportunity to abuse the system, especially if he can use it to tell his opponents "In your face!"
So why is Harry Reid giving Bush an opening big enough to fly a plane full of extraordinarily-renditioned prisoners through?
The Senate must not recess this August.
Call your Senators, and call Harry Reid, and alert them to the danger.
Here are three toll-free phone numbers, no waiting:
Ask the nice operator to transfer you to your Senators.
Be nice (and sympathetic) to the aides you speak to. Make them understand that the last thing you want to do is force them to stay in Washington through August, but ask them if they really want to come back to find Attorney General John Yoo in September!
I know I don't.