My position was that President Obama was making a political decision with the recess appointments that would ultimately be bad for the consumer agency. It was not in fact a recess appointment because the congress in technically not in recess. The President is well aware of this situation, and I believe that these "recess appointments" will probably be overturned in litigation. If there was an actual confrontation of powers going on, I would be upset, but there is not, as far as I can determine, so I am not, and the outcome is pretty much predetermined. For the President, it is a chance to appear strong before his base without actually making a stand of any sort. I think an actual stand is probably needed, but this would not be the one since it would not be good for the constitution, as you seem to be trying to point out.
The "signing statements" by President Bush, during the last administration, if they were in fact actual statements of when a sitting President would and would not obey laws passed by the congress, seemed to me to be something more clearly being worth upset. These were challenges to Congressional authority, and asserted that the President had the right to act in the sort of Imperial fashion that you say distresses you here. Yet you were quite sanguine about those, as I recall; perhaps if you remember differently, you might remind me of that.
I would disagree about your characterization about President Obama, though.
These were not recess appointments: Congress was not out of session, and the appointments were actually formally illegal. It's unlikely they will stand litigation, and they are more an attempt to solidify his base for the coming primary. It will make him appear more of a solid Democrat than he is. During the General election he will then be able to appear more conciliatory.
While Republicans may see The President as Mr. Liberal, the Republican base is likely somewhat biased in this regard. The Republican base tends to reject some of the most popular and well accepted programs in the history of the country, such has social security and medicare, while the vast majority of the country feels they are useful and necessary. And so forth.
And the President is often willing to undermine portions of these programs to arrive at consensus. Ergo, no, he's not a wild eyed anything; but probably a Rockefeller Republican in Democratic Drag.
The place where he scares me is those places where he doesn't fulfill campaign promises to roll back some of the Republican depredation on civil liberties and rights. He has not closed Gitmo, for example. He certainly should have repaired the attack on Posse Comitatus under the Bush administration, and the attacks on the bill of rights from the PATRIOT ACT (sounds like a sexual perversion to me so grotesque whose details can only be published in some sort of bureaucratic code made up of excerpts of other laws). If it really were patriotic, you'd think everybody would know all the details and would want to do it on the front lawn, like the Fourth of July picnic, wouldn't you?
Anyway, I think Mike's got this backwards.
I think the Post has it wrong as well. The Post does seem to have its facts straight though. Where it's gone wrong is assuming that the administration cares that the "recess appointments" have to stand. I think that the administration is making a political sally that is trying to appeal to its base and consolidate it. In that context, these appointments make sense, even if they don't work — perhaps especially if they don't work.
And, as the movies like to add for legal purposes at the end: No Republicans were Injured in the making of this film.
No, I'm sorry. In the movies, that's no Animals were injured in the making of this Film.