Wednesday, April 04, 2007

With Love to Senator Kerry: Here's Mud in your eye!

A wonderful message from President Bush to Senator Kerry today:

President Bush used Congress’s Easter break today to defy Democratic lawmakers and appoint three officials who have already drawn heavy criticism on Capitol Hill.

The president used recess appointments to install Sam Fox, a major Republican donor from Missouri, to be ambassador to Belgium; Andrew G. Biggs of New York to be deputy commissioner of Social Security, and Susan E. Dudley of Virginia to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the office of Management and Budget.

Naming the three while Congress is in recess allows Mr. Bush to avoid the Senate confirmation process. The recess appointments allow the three to remain in their posts until the end of 2008, virtually the end of Mr. Bush’s second term.

Mr. Bush’s use of the recess appointment device, which is authorized in the Constitution, was an unmistakable gesture of defiance against the newly empowered Democrats. He has previously used the tactic to install judicial appointees unpopular with Democrats and to seat John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.

Today’s recess-appointment gesture was another sign that he will not easily surrender to lame-duck status despite the Democrats’ control of Congress.

Mr. Fox, a wealthy businessman active in Republican politics, contributed $50,000 to the Swift Boat campaign that attacked Senator John Kerry’s Vietnam War record during the 2004 presidential race. Senator Kerry got a measure of revenge last month as he needled Mr. Fox in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Kerry was of course very proud of himself after trashing Fox--but politely so--at his Senate hearing last month. Today leaves the good Senator left reflecting on what it's like to lose to Bush a second time.

I can't imagine how good it must have felt for the President to sign that appointment.

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