Don’t you think that it is a sad state of affairs when the President of the United States can’t be trusted to make a controversial appointment to some public office without the advice and consent of the Senate? That’s what’s going on at the moment. The Senate has scheduled, while out on holiday recess, a series of pro forma sessions, in order to create the fiction that the Senate is still in session, thereby preventing Bush from making a recess appointment, something he’s allowed to do under the Constitution. You can read about it here.
The Senate had asked him to, essentially, promise not to do that, by offering to ratify certain proposed appointments of his, in return for holding off on one that they deemed controversial. He refused. So the Senators now have to go through the sham of taking turns showing up in the Chamber, gavel the Senate open, then gavel it closed again, all in the matter of a few short seconds, just to prevent the President from defeating the “Advice and Consent” provision of the Constitution, albeit if for only a year.
You would think that the Senate could trust him to hold off until proper consideration could be given to his appointment proposal, or that he would agree to allow the normal process of Senate hearings to review the appointment, but apparently past experience led them to the current state of distrust. They probably remember when he appointed John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations, when he was unable to be formally confirmed after being officially proposed by Bush. Bush waited until the Senate was in summer recess, then appointed him for a year.
Anyone remember when Bush claimed he was “a uniter, not a divider”?