Release the Recess Appointments!

After noting that Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of Frank Ricciardone, a veteran diplomat slated to become the United States' next ambassador to Turkey, Nick Beaudrot expresses his frustration with the GOP's senseless obstructionism:

I'm rapidly approaching the point where I think Obama should start making recess en masse. Not a few dozen appointees, but everybody. Judges, sub-cabinet officials, the whole lot of them. Dare the Republicans to say that it's more important that they have input on who the Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs is than that we even have someone in that post. It's just gotten ridiculous.

As you've probably guessed by now, I completely agree. At this point, GOP senators are grasping for straws in their opposition to Obama's nominees. In Ricciardone's case, Republicans are upset that he takes the time to understand the governments he works with and isn't interested in joining the conservative movement's effort to redefine Turkey as a grave enemy of the United States.

Instead of watching this senseless obstructionism play out, President Obama should go hard and threaten a blank recess appointment to all pending nominees, like Beaudrot suggests. There are few constraints on the president's power to make recess appointments, and as we saw earlier this year, a simple threat to appoint officials en masse might be enough to force Republicans into dropping their ridiculous objections. Indeed, since we've witnessed the complete lack of Republican cooperation on everything, I don't see why Obama shouldn't make very liberal use of his power to make recess appointments.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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