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Posted at 10:04 AM ET, 12/23/2010

The nominations process is absurd

By Ezra Klein

This list of nominees the Senate confirmed before adjourning last night mainly makes clear how insane it is for the Senate to be considering so many nominees. Is there really some pressing reason for Joe Lieberman to weigh in on every member of the Mississippi River Commission? Does Richard Lugar truly have so much to say about the board of directors for the State Justice Institute ("established by Federal law in 1984 to award grants to improve the quality of justice in State courts")? Does the deputy commissioner for Social Security really need to be confirmed by the whole Senate? What are we worried would happen if the Senate merely confirmed his boss?

By Ezra Klein  | December 23, 2010; 10:04 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

"We" aren't worried about anything. It's the Senators who are worried -- about diminished power.

Posted by: Jasper999 | December 23, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Noy to mention the much more important jobs that don't need Senate confirmation: Poster child: the narional health IT commissioner.

(http://www.samefacts.com/2010/10/technology-and-society/worthwhile-ivy-league-stealth-sclst-initiative/)

Posted by: JamesWimberley | December 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Congress passes the laws that create these appointments, and they also decide which ones require confirmation. I think the House colludes with the Senate on this one, to maintain power over the Executive.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | December 23, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

There are so many appointments that need confirming because we've got Separation of Powers. Career government types have to worry more about Congress then their theoretical boss, the President, because Presidents last 8 years (at most) but Congressman last decades. They screw the President they're in the doghouse for a few years, they screw Congress and their department gets defunded out of spite.

This means that if Presidents actually want to be Chief of the Executive branch they have to put their people in key supervisory positions at all levels. Which means government employees at all levels have to confirmed by the Congress or the entire Separation of Powers thing becomes meaningless.

The founders did this to make it a pain for a dictator to do anything. Unfortunately it also makes it a pain for anyone else to do anything.

Posted by: NickBenjamin | December 24, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

We gave the republicans a mandate and they shoved it to us the same as the democrats did on healthcare.I sincerely hope there's a third party in 2012. I have been told that I'll be throwing my vote away. I am anyway. there no such thing as a conservative in D.C now.

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