Sunday, September 19, 2010

Administration End Run Around The Law

Elizabeth Warren - photo from WSJ Online
Meet the latest criminal accomplice of the administration, Elizabeth Warren, chosen in an end run around the just-passed Financial Reform law to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Is "criminal accomplice" too strong for you?  Here's the way I figure it.

Despite some reporting in the news services, she isn't really in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she's in charge of "staffing up" the agency.  The bill contained specific language that required the head of that agency be approved by the senate, but no less a liberal than Chris Dodd said he wouldn't vote to confirm her.  So rather than go through the senate, President Obama appointed her "to advise him on how to staff up the agency".  If that position goes unfilled for along time, and she's the defacto head of the agency, well that's different.  She's not really the head of the agency, she's just running it until they find someone to run it. 

Since the law specifically says the "Director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate." the intent is pretty obvious.  As the old saying goes, if it looks like a turd, and smells like a turd, it's a turd. She's the head of the bureau.  As the WSJ article says, .
We have here another end-run around Constitutional niceties so Team Obama can invest huge authority in an unelected official who is unable to withstand a public vetting. So a bureau inside an agency (the Fed) that it doesn't report to, with a budget not subject to Congressional control, now gets a leader not subject to Senate confirmation. If Dick Cheney had tried this, he'd have been accused of staging a coup.
The WSJ Online article has several chilling details about this organization.  You should read it.

Denninger puts it this way:
So here we are with a President who seems to think that The Constitution says whatever he wants it to say on any given day.  Unlike a position such as Rahm's, which is entirely advisory and has no statutory authority, this is very different - not only is the position statutory, so is the requirement for the Senate's consent on the appointment.

Where does that leave us?  The congress, under the urging of the executive branch, created a law with specific requirements that the executive branch has now violated.  At the very least, isn't that malfeasance?  In fact, isn't that a pretty obvious violation of the law?  Getting back to my original question (is the term "criminal accomplice" too strong for you?), I think what the President did is a violation of the law he just asked congress to pass.  Since violation of the law makes it a criminal enterprise, and she is a beneficiary of breaking the law that makes her an accomplice. 
I think Denninger has the best summation on this, so I'll hand it off to him:
Are there any Representatives in The House who will file an Article of Impeachment for this blatant disregard for our Constitutional principles?  Are the any Senators who will come out publicly for this to occur, and will they vote to convict?
Or are we to the point where any act taken by a President is considered "perfectly ok" so long as he has a majority in the House and Senate?

If, in point of fact, we have reached the latter point, we no longer live in a Constitutional Republic.
The implications of that should wake you in a cold sweat tonight.

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