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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 12/30/2010

So much for bipartisanship -- a slew of recess appointments

By Jennifer Rubin

On Wednesday, Obama shed any pretense of bipartisanship in making six recess appointments. As were his previous recess appointments, this batch included two individuals whose records are so controversial that they could not obtain confirmation even with 59 Democratic senators. Also included was Stephen Ford, nominated as ambassador to Syria and stymied as a forceful rebuttal to Obama's failed Syrian engagement policy. Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute voiced objection to bypassing the Senate, arguing that: "there were credible reasons why the Senate refused to confirm the several nominees Obama has just now given recess appointments, reasons that warranted full and proper Senate confirmation hearings." He contends that "the striking feature here is that once again, as in the lame duck session, this Congress and the president managed to put off these important matters until after the November elections, which will result in this case in officers serving without the benefit of the legitimacy that comes from Senate confirmation." A senior adviser to a key Republican senator was more succinct: "It is an outrage."

The most egregious appointment is undoubtedly James Cole, installed as the deputy attorney general. There were good reasons why he could not secure Senate confirmation. The Web site Main Justice explained that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has strenuously objected to Cole's controversial stance on the War on Terror, which Cole expressed in a 2002 op-ed. Cole wrote:

"[T]he attorney general is not a member of the military fighting a war -- he is a prosecutor fighting crime. For all the rhetoric about war, the Sept. 11 attacks were criminal acts of terrorism against a civilian population, much like the terrorist acts of Timothy McVeigh in blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City, or of Omar Abdel-Rahman in the first effort to blow up the World Trade Center. The criminals responsible for these horrible acts were successfully tried and convicted under our criminal justice system, without the need for special procedures that altered traditional due process rights.

Our country has faced many forms of devastating crime, including the scourge of the drug trade, the reign of organized crime, and countless acts of rape, child abuse, and murder. The acts of Sept. 11 were horrible, but so are these other things."

Sessions and other Republicans also objected to Cole's work on behalf of AIG. Moreover, he represented a Saudi prince against 9-11 families as this report from the Examiner explains:

Cole represented Saudi Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud when insurance carriers and September 11 survivors sued him and others for financing terrorists. Treasury Department documents provided evidence of extensive financial support for Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family and Prince Naif ran the Al Haramain Foundation, a Saudi charity that diverted funds to Al-Qaeda before and after September 11, 2001.

There is little wonder that Senate Democrats were indifferent to Republican efforts to block this nomination. House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R.-N.Y.) issued a statement deploring the recess appointment, declaring:

"I strongly oppose the recess appointment of James Cole to lead the national security team at the Department of Justice. The appointment indicates that the Obama Administration continues to try to implement its dangerous policies of treating Islamic terrorism as a criminal matter.

"After the American people, and the Democratic Congress, unequivocally rejected President Obama's plans to close Guantanamo and transfer admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed to the United States for trial in federal civilian court, I find it absolutely shocking that President Obama would appoint someone who has diminished the 9/11 terrorist attacks by comparing them to the drug trade and who believes that a civilian courtroom is the appropriate venue for 9/11 trials.

"This may be one of the worst appointments by President Obama during his presidency. The Justice Department needs a strong Deputy Attorney General who understands that our country remains at war with Islamic terrorists who continually plot deadly attacks against Americans, not a left-wing ideologue who places terrorists in the same categories as drug peddlers."

Similarly, Debra Burlingame, co-founder of Keep America Safe and the sister of a pilot slaughtered on 9-11, tells me via email, "Cole filed a brief on behalf of Prince Naif in which he derided the basis of the families' lawsuit as pure fantasy. One hopes that was Cole, the advocate, rather than representative of his personal point of view." She bluntly observes that "his remarks, less than one year after 9/11) comparing Wahabbi-inspired terrorism to the drug trade or lone nut McVeigh are, to me, disqualifying. He's dreadful."

A human rights activist well-versed in the Middle East tells me, "I've met Prince Naif. He's a tremendous human rights abuser, having trampled the rights of religious minorities in Saudi Arabia." His view is that "anyone who does represent such a guy should have no expectation of government service, particularly in a job involving counter-terrorism issues."

As for the recess appointment of Francis J. Ricciardone Jr. as ambassador to Turkey, multiple objections were raised at the time he was nominated stemming from his tenure as ambassador to Cairo. Josh Rogin reported in Foreign Policy:

The Bush administration exerted special efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Egypt, a longtime recipient of billions in military and economic aid, and a close U.S. partner on regional security matters. . . . Then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered a ringing 2005 address on democracy at the American University in Cairo, calling on Mubarak to embrace political reform.

Those efforts came crashing down months later, amid the widespread fraud and violence of Egypt's parliamentary elections. The opposition Muslim Brotherhood performed surprisingly well in the early rounds, prompting a harsh government crackdown that continues to this day. When Hamas shocked the world by winning the Palestinian elections the following January, the Bush administration appeared to lose its appetite for promoting Arab democracy altogether.

Former top National Security Council aide Elliott Abrams blames Ricciardone.

"Especially in 2005 and 2006, Secretary Rice and the Bush administration significantly increased American pressure for greater respect for human rights and progress toward democracy in Egypt. This of course meant pushing the Mubarak regime, arguing with it in private, and sometimes criticizing it in public. In all of this we in Washington found Ambassador Ricciardone to be without enthusiasm or energy," Abrams told The Cable.

Senator Sam Brownback (R.-Kansas) was a particularly vocal critic of the nomination.

Finally, although Ford is a respected diplomat, his recess appointment as ambassador to Syria drew a swift rebuke from the new House Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Her statement read in part:

"I am deeply disappointed that the President decided to make such a major concession to the Syrian regime. Using this Congressional recess to make an appointment that has far-reaching policy implications despite Congressional objections and concerns is regrettable. . . .Making underserved concessions to Syria tells the regime in Damascus that it can continue to pursue its dangerous agenda and not face any consequences from the U.S. That is the wrong message to be sending to a regime which continues to harm and threaten U.S. interests and those of such critical allies as Israel."

What, if anything, can be done by the imperious recess appointments of such controversial nominees? Todd Gaziano of the Heritage Foundation emails me, "The real threat (which Robert C. Byrd famously did once) is for the entire GOP caucus" to refuse to consent to any further nominees unless Obama agrees to refrain from issuing more recess appointments. Gaziano says that Republicans "could refuse to confirm another judge, diplomat, etc. until they extract their promise." There is also the power of oversight (to grill appointees on how they intend to perform their jobs) and of the bully pulpit (to publicize the records of these nominees). But the lesson for the GOP here may be to refrain from offering too many open hands to an administration only too eager to slap them and demonstrate disdain for a co-equal branch of government.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 30, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Obama White House  
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Comments

Gee, some people dislike the men that Obama appointed. So what? Maybe you can talk about how many appointments have been held up for no other reason than to create gridlock. Maybe you can write a column about how the republicans have held up judicial appoints. Do you really think all those people are unqualified? Obama made an end run around obstructionism. Period.

Posted by: mg11231 | December 30, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

A senior adviser to a key Republican senator says: "It is an outrage."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

MY STOMACH HURTS.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH . . . ETC.

Posted by: nbotel | December 30, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

It can be argued that the world leader that Bush most resembled and that most resembled Bush during their moment as leaders of their respective nations was Tony Blair. They were united in principle, worldview, and in their resolute devotion to defending civilization and serving a higher power. I was reading Jen's post and asking myself which world leader Obama most resembles and most resembles Obama. There are only two obvious candidates: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. I ultimately settled on Chávez as the closer match, for his contempt for the United States and his extra-contitutional power grabs. It's an interesting exercise. Reagan-Thatcher. Bush père-Major. Clinton-Mitterand, Bush fils-Blair. Obama-Chávez.

Posted by: johnnyramone | December 30, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

2 more years and you Dems are done.

In the meantime, please continue to double-down. We don't want anyone changing their minds about you in the interim.

thanks

Posted by: txdon | December 30, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Republican or Democrat, the nation moves closer to one-man rule.

When Congress refuses to pass legislation, like cap-and-tax, the President simply issues a decree and has the very same laws put into effect as regulation, as was just done with the EPA and carbon dioxide.

When Congress refuses to seat judges and appointees, the President simply appoints them when they are in recess.

Both parties do this. We are becoming Venezuela. Why even have a Congress if the President can do anything he wants with an executive order, a czar or a bureaucratic regulation?

Posted by: TheMSMControlsUs | December 30, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I know little about James Cole, but if it's his remarks about the "war on terror" that are at stake, Ms. Rubin's complaint, that he is insufficiently committed to police state tactics and eternal war as a response to 9/11, must be rejected. Loyal as they are to the Zionist entity, the neocons want perpetual tension and war with the Muslim world, because they throw Israel and the US together. This stance is folly and will bring disaster.

Equally ludicrous is her plaint that the Ambassador did not pressure Mubarak for more electoral democracy. That would bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power, as it did Hamas in Palestine. What would she have us to then? Bomb the hell out of Cairo? Blow up the Aswan Dam?

I am no supporter of the President, but he exercised his constitutional powers. That's what Presidents do, and if Mitch McConnell proclaims that he wants the man's head, no doubt the President will continue to use his executive power.

Posted by: GrumpyOldMan | December 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

And George Bush recess appointed anger bear John Bolton who was worse than all of Obama's appointments put together.

Suck it, Rubin.

Posted by: tblogg | December 30, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Recess appointments? What kind of power-abusing, hyperpartisan monster would use recess appointments?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Recess_appointments_made_by_President_George_W._Bush

Posted by: austintx5 | December 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Barak Obama has absolutely no regard for America and its' citizens. Those who voted this empty suit into office are every bit as much to blame for his incompentency as is he.

Posted by: chuck_mayhew | December 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So Republicans denying votes on Obama's executive nominees is somehow Obama's fault?

Honestly, if his slew of recess appointments didn't create outrage, Obama would not be doing his job properly.

Posted by: JonShields1 | December 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Dear Jennifer,

Gosh it is a pity you are so uninformed. Maybe using Recess Appointments might have something more to do with the fact that these folks have been approved out of committee since last spring and Republicans refused to let their vote come to the floor to be voted on? And somehow that little (I would consider it important) bit of information doesn't show up in your column.

You may dear are an ignorant moron.

Posted by: kindness1 | December 30, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

So Republicans denying votes on Obama's executive nominees is somehow Obama's fault?

Honestly, if his slew of recess appointments didn't create outrage, Obama would not be doing his job properly.

Posted by: JonShields1 | December 30, 2010 11:48 AM
=======================
Yeah appointing apologists with a political agenda is really doing his job properly.

He showed republicans what they get for being bipartisan.

Funny after the media's fawning "Obama's new groove" motif the MSM is largely silent on this now.

Posted by: Cryos | December 30, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The Senate was a great place for advise and consent for Obama when it contained 60 bobbleheads, hopelessly devoted to the One. Now that they'll be "only" 53 Democrats, poor Barack won't have the clout to fix a DC parking ticket. Look for executive orders, administrative fiat, recess appointments and special czar appointments until January 20, 2013. Bi-partisanship is a game for suckers; right Mr. President?

Posted by: TheStatistQuo | December 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Right on Grumpy! Right on Tblogg!

A rule of thumb that I use that ensures one will never go wrong.........If Elliott Abrams is agin' it, I am for it. If Elliott Abrams is for it, I am agin' it.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | December 30, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah appointing apologists with a political agenda is really doing his job properly."

Considering that the position involved is actually a political appointment, and that one would expect such an appointment to agree with the President's views, isn't an "apologist with a political agenda" exactly the point? This is an executive position -- not a judge.

Posted by: JonShields1 | December 30, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord Rubin, are you really that stupid, or just so entrenched into your little insular neocon world, you write these pathetic fact-free columns thinking no one will notice what a craven dishonest liar you are? Seriously, are you stupid or just that shameless?

Posted by: BirchMan | December 30, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So, because the GOP indulged in unprecedented obstructionism, using holds and filibusters to stop appointees that even they themselves claimed were good, qualified people, recess appointments mean *Obama* is giving up on bipartisanship.

And furthermore, Obama using a power the Constitution explicitly gives him, a power that George W. Bush used nearly 200 times (to date, Obama has used it only 28) is "imperious".

Rubin, you are a useless, ignorant hack. Buzz off and give your column space to someone who actually understands our government.

Posted by: jiji1 | December 30, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

mg11231
Maybe you should look up how many Bush appointments were blocked by democrats for EIGHT YEARS? Maybe.

Posted by: cruiszn | December 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

mg11231
Maybe you should look up how many Bush appointments were blocked by democrats for EIGHT YEARS? Maybe.

Posted by: cruiszn | December 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

cruiszn: Look it up yourself, and use an unbiased source for a change. They blocked 10. No, that's not a typo, they blocked *ten* Bush appointments. And those were appointments who were truly extremist and unqualified for office (sort of like your hero Bush himself).

Meanwhile, your extremist unamerican party are blocking *all* of Obama's appointments, even though they still admit that he is nominating good qualified people, merely because they deliberately want to stop the government from functioning.

Posted by: jiji1 | December 30, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Keep it up, 'Bamster. You're making '012 look REAL good. I notice your poll numbers haven't budged, either.

Posted by: fmcdermott1 | December 30, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are engaging in mindless obstructionism of Obama's appointments in an attempt to prevent him from governing effectively. Some are using individual blocking and filibuster power to disapprove nominees. Some nominees get almost unanimous approval once they get to the floor for a vote. This kind of procedure has to stop. Obama's nominees in general are well qualified and highly competent.
Rubin is simply a mouthpiece for the radical right and has nothing intelligent to say.

Posted by: eadler2 | December 30, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

reply to birchman:

Why not a third choice.

a) is Jennifer Rubin stupid?
b) is Jennifer Rubin shameless?
c) All of the above.

I would add:

b1/2) is Jennifer Rubin an embarrassing hack?

Posted by: kindness1 | December 30, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

For those who are citing 200+ Bush recess appointments, what are your sources? In eight years W appointed about 45 people. Where does the 200 figure come from? In eight years, forty-five does not seem that excessive.

While you're at it, can you tell me why Syria's bad behavior be rewarded with a US ambassador, and why a 9/10/01 type of litigator, be added to the "close Gitmo" crowd at Justice?

Posted by: TheStatistQuo | December 30, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Recess_appointments_made_by_President_George_W._Bush

RE: Recess appointments/FYI

Posted by: TheStatistQuo | December 30, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

["For those who are citing 200+ Bush recess appointments, what are your sources? In eight years W appointed about 45 people."]

From people who know better than you, those are our sources. You seriously think Bush only appointed 45 people in total? Not merely as recess appointments, but *in total*? That just goes to show how ignorant you are about the size of the government.


["While you're at it, can you tell me why Syria's bad behavior be rewarded with a US ambassador"]

Opening a channel of communication is not a "reward". It is a basic tool of government foreign policy. As your hero Bush Jr. learned the hard way (from North Korea in case you are wondering), not talking to governments you hate or distrust merely leaves them free to pursue whatever agenda they want, and gives you no legitimate tools to make them stop.


["and why a 9/10/01 type of litigator, be added to the "close Gitmo" crowd at Justice?"]

Because, once again, the 9/10 crowd know better than you do. I realize you've allowed the GOP to scare the pants off of you and turn you into a shrinking violet every time someone breathes the word "terrorist", but that is no excuse to ignore the law. And anyway, the Guantanamo experiment has been an abject failure, leading to the convictions of only three people out of hundreds and even then only when moved into civilian court jurisdictions.

Now some questions for you: Why are you so fired up to continue disastrous failed policies that only harm our country? Are you such a bitter partisan hack that you prefer your false belief of being correct over facing the reality that stands before us?

Posted by: jiji1 | December 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, I found that Mr. Cole's statement about the role of the attorney general in fighting terrorists to be entry reasonable. I am not surprised that Ms. Rubin and Sen. Sessions do not. Ms. Rubin seems to think that we are in some sort of holy war with the Muslim world. Does she think we need to continue invading every Muslim country? Fighting proxy wars? I'm sorry, but I put America's security interests ahead of Israel's, although Ms. Rubin thinks they are identical.

Posted by: dstatton | December 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Please at least fake some originality, Jennifer. If I want Fox spin, I go to Fox, not WaPo.

Posted by: danw1 | December 30, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

jiji
dstatton

First off. I cited my source on recess appointments. I am still waiting for yours. I am guessing Media Matters.
Second, Syria is Iran-lite. Armor-merchant for America's and Israel's enemies. To send an ambassador to a country who has sent hundreds of missiles to Gaza and Hezbollah, and treating them as if they were Ecuador, or Kenya, is emboldening a dangerous adversary. Obama's Muslim outreach has been a colossal failure. But, if you don't succeed try, try again. Yeah, right.

10 days ago Obama worked out a deal to confirm 18 judicial appointments held in the Senate. Now he spits in the eye of those with whom he compromised. Outreach to terrorists? No Problem. Outreach to Republicans? Out of the question. The world according to Barack.

Posted by: TheStatistQuo | December 30, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Why are you writing this column if you know so little about what's going on? Many (most!) of Obama's appointments, not controversial at all, are being blocked for all sorts of irrelevant reasons, but the #1 one is, "We want to obstruct Obama in any way. That's what Republicans are for."

Now let's assume the president actually wants the government to work, having been, you know, elected president to, you know, preside over the executive branch. And some of these appointments blocked "just because" by some Republican curmudgeon, might be important. So is he supposed to let the positions go unfilled for another year? Even though they've all been approved by the committees and would be approved by the Senate if the blockers ever let this come up for a vote?

Hey, here's a clue. Get rid of this blocking rule, and let the nominees be voted on-- after all, that is one thing we pay senators to do! And if they don't get the required number of votes, fine. I bet you Obama won't have to make recess appointments if his nominees were voted on (up or down-- just let them vote!).

There's a reason for recess appointments. And, oh, to quote someone Republican, "Elections have their consequences." Try to nominate someone other than McCain and Palin next time, and you might have your own recess appointments! :)

Posted by: lister1 | December 30, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/07/obamas_cynical_recess_appointm.html

Read Ruth Marcus, hardly a neo-con or Rush Baby. The misuse of the recess appointment process at this time is counter-productive for the President, even if he thought it was a case of turnabout is fair play. His immature response, if he condescends to offer a response at all is: "the Republicans did it first". He is uninterested in himself or his surrogates defending unpopular positions. That's what he did with Medicaid and Medicare Chief, Donald Berwick. Even Max Baucus (Democrat) was taken aback by the abruptness and lack of warning to that recess appointment.

I believe the President is weak and cannot tolerate an opposing point of view, or share the stage with his opponents. It is safer for him psychologically, if he bypassed his moral inferiors than to acknowledge them as his Constitutional equals, or their arguments, which are more compelling than his own. Why be damaged by the Senate, when he can bypass them altogether and spare his delicate sensibilities?

Posted by: TheStatistQuo | December 30, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

According to the Congressional Research Service, Bush made 171 recess appointments.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33310.pdf

Posted by: observer84 | December 30, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

As Obama was quick to point out to Republicans in 2008, he won. He had no interest in bi-partisanship then and these recess appointments show he has none now. Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians have two years to find and support a single outstanding candidate that can defeat him and reject his socialistic policies.

Posted by: PamK | December 30, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"After the American people, and the Democratic Congress, unequivocally rejected President Obama's plans to close Guantanamo and transfer admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed to the United States for trial in federal civilian court, I find it absolutely shocking that President Obama would appoint someone who has diminished the 9/11 terrorist attacks by comparing them to the drug trade and who believes that a civilian courtroom is the appropriate venue for 9/11 trials."

So I hear they're planning to start the new congress by reading aloud the Constitution. I can't wait until they hit the part that refers to GITMO! LOL

Posted by: 54465446 | December 30, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Gee, they let Froomkin go and kept this one?

Posted by: LosGatosCA | December 30, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You don't have to be a political science wizard to grasp the concept that if you make the strategic choice to block regular appointments, you lose any input in the process of choosing the recess appointments.

So go cry about the consequences of your own poor strategic choices some more. I find it entertaining.

Posted by: reynard_muldrake | December 31, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

What a shrill and clueless screed. Ms. Rubin, could you please point me to your writings excoriating the previous administration for its recess appointments? And those suggesting that the minority party not obstruct Obama administration appointments so as to avoid the use of the recess mechanism? I'm having some trouble finding them, most likely because they don't exist. There are worse character flaws than hypocrisy, but it appears to be a flaw you manifest in spades.

Of course, in the interest of the bipartisanship you claim to cherish, I'll be happy to apologize when you easily point to these writings that I can't find.

Posted by: Landru | December 31, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

When you claim the appointments were too controversial to obtain confirmation, this has no relation to reality. I thought you were ignorant of the truth. I'm not so sure anymore - I think you're lying.

Posted by: polaris11 | December 31, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

...as opposed to bush's 171 recess appointments, which were gestures of impartial bipartisanship across the aisle...

what a dumb article!

Posted by: johnfromberkekey | December 31, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I've been looking for Ms. Rubin's article denouncing Bush'a recess appointment of John Bolton and 170+ other folks. Could someone point me to it? I'm sure it must exist--unless, that is, Ms. Rubin is simply striking a pose of partisan faux outrage.

Posted by: nitpicker | January 2, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I've been looking for Ms. Rubin's article denouncing Bush'a recess appointment of John Bolton and 170+ other folks. Could someone point me to it? I'm sure it must exist--unless, that is, Ms. Rubin is simply striking a pose of partisan faux outrage.

Posted by: nitpicker | January 2, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution only allows recess appointments when the vacancy HAPPENS DURING the recess. These vacancies already existed and are subject to normal confirmation. However, Harry Reid did not want to use valuable Senate floor time for confirmations when he and Pelisi had a large legislative agenda.

Posted by: allamer1 | January 3, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I wonder why Obama had to use recess appointments here. It certainly couldn't be because Senate Republicans have brought the confirmation process to a standstill.

Chief Justice John Roberts -- a conservative Republican if there ever was one -- has gone so far as to beg Senate Republicans to stop their obstruction and get officials in office.

And Rubin has the gall to claim it's the president who's acting like a partisan hack?

This is pathetic, even by Rubin's abysmally low standards.

Posted by: ottoman88 | January 4, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe you should look up how many Bush appointments were blocked by democrats for EIGHT YEARS?"

I did. And guess what? Republicans have blocked more Obama nominees in two years than Democrats did with Bush nominess in all eight years.

Republicans have set a record for obstructionism. They waged more filibusters in the last two years than were waged in the period from 1921-1988 COMBINED.

I know the standard Republican response is "Democrats did it too! WAH!" but the GOP has set an all-time record for obstructionism.

All-time.

Posted by: ottoman88 | January 4, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jennifer,

The Republicans have announced that their first priority in the new Congress will be trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. So much for bipartisanship, eh?

And I love how the Republicans have made their top priority not growing the economy or creating jobs (Lord knows they can't do that anyway), but instead their top priority is repealing health care reform and denying people the benefits that are going into effect right now -- making sure they force seniors to pay the Medicare Part D donut hole costs again, making sure they force kids in their 20s off their parents' insurance, and making sure people with pre-existing conditions can once again be denied insurance.

Brilliant.

Posted by: ottoman88 | January 4, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Grow up Ms. Rubin.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | January 4, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Somewhat shorter Ms. Rubin:

"Obama doing the exact same thing George W. Bush (and many other Presidents) did makes him too partisan and a liar.

"Meanwhile, the GOP blocking literally EVERY SINGLE THING ... saying (on camera, multiple times) that their #1 goal for this Congress is to "make Obama a one term President" (not jobs, the economy, Afghanistan, or anything else) ... and using the exact same tactics they were apoplectic about just a few short months ago in an effort to cram legislation down the throats of the American people ... is totally dandy and smart politics."

Or, really shorter Ms. Rubin:

"Bipartisanship, as the DC media establishment has decreed, shall be defined as 'Democrats giving the GOP everything they want, and never using the same tactics the GOP uses. Ever.'"

I'm so old I remember when filibusters and holds on nominees were the greatest threat to our country.

Guess that's only when Democrats do it, right Ms. Rubin?

Posted by: Tke919 | January 4, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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