Sunday, March 28, 2010

I came not to praise Obama, but...

I love Steve Hynd of Newshoggers and really respect his opinions. When I'm confused about some point on foreign policy, he's my go-to guy. I rarely disagree with him, but today I disagreed with this:
If recess appointments were wrong on principle back in 2007 when Bush was President, then they're still wrong on principle now - and Obama just made a buttload of them.

A bunch of Democratically-leaning pundits are writing that Obama is perfectly justified in doing this - and those who wrote back in 2007 that recess appointments were simply wrong and a perversion of the rule of law are now revealed as hypocritical partisan hacks. They know who they are. ...
Well I was one of those who criticized Bush, particularly over the Bolton recess appointment, but I don't see supporting Obama in this now as hackery or hypocrisy. As I commented at Newshoggers:
To be fair Steve, the current level of GOP obstructionism is far beyond anything the Founders envisioned or I imagined that even GOPers were capable of. There does come a point where the functioning of the government justifies the act for the general good of our country.

I'd remind you for instance in Bolton's case, the Dems were allowing debate on the floor and publicly disclosing their objections to a clearly disastrous nominee. In that case, Bush purposely circumvented an ongoing process because he thought he'd lose the vote. In the instant case, the GOP is blocking the process altogether so I'm not sure it's a fair comparison.
I admit I've become more of cheerleader for President Obama than I ever expected but it's partly because the "criticize from the left" beat is so well covered. The man isn't perfect, far from it, but he's the hardest working and most honest President we've had in my lifetime. Given the turmoil in the world and the toxic political climate, I just think it's far more productive to focus on his positives unless he does something really egregious. Otherwise I'm willing to cut him some slack because he is making many postive changes that would have never occurred under a different president.

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Anonymous Steve Hynd said...

Hi Libby,

Looks like a lot of people disagree with me on this one. C'est la vie :-)

But people are misunderstanding: there were many who back then wrote about all of Bush's recess appointments - not just Bolton, he's a strawman - as being wrong on principle because minority lawmakers were meant to throw any sand they could in the works to be an opposition. Those are the people who need to be consistent now.

Regards, Steve

7:47:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Steve. Bolton was probably not the best example, but I still think that the unprecendented and relentless obstruction of the GOP justifies using a process that has been around through many presidencies. AFAIC, the GOP is preventing the function of the process and I don't see how Obama had any choice. And again, Bush used it to thwart an ongoig process, so I still don't think the analogy holds up.

But hey, this is the first time I've thought you were wrong for as long as I've known you, so I guess were due. Miss you all. Wish I had more time to be blogging there again. xxL

9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Meant to say, that intent has to be factored into the use of the recess appts if we're to make analogies.

9:47:00 AM  

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