Bush Makes Swift Boat Donor An Ambassador

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Through the use of a recess appointment, president Bush has appointed Sam Fox, a donor partially responsible for the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth attack ads, the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.

Bush had submitted Fox to the Senate for approval, but Democrats attacked his association with the Swift Boat ads and made it more or less clear that he would not be confirmed. When the Senate went into the two-week long Easter recess, Bush withdrew the nomination and appointed him as a recess appointment. Fox will serve as ambassador until the next congress is seated in 2009.

I, for one, think that the president should be able to appoint who he wants to serve in the executive branch. The confirmation process, I believe, tends to politicize even the most mundane of appointments. Add to that the power of recess appointments and the confirmation process is easily circumvented anyway. But, that's not how our system of government works.

It is disingenuous of the president to use a two-week recess to ram through an appointment he knows the Senate will not approve. The purpose of the recess appointment is to fill vacancies in an emergency during a Senate recess. This was a two-week recess and there was no emergency. We're talking about the Ambassador to Belgium here.

This is not the first time the president has used recess appointments to sidestep the will of the senate. Remember John Bolton? It must have been confusing for Mr Bolton to be made ambassador to an organization he adamantly denied the existence of. In fact, president Bush has made 171 recess appointments since he's been in office.

To be fair, president Bush is not alone in the use of recess appointments. The last two Republican presidents used them 320 times. The last two Democratic presidents used them 208 times.

I think the solution here is simple. Harry Reid needs to keep the Senate in session through the balance of the Bush presidency.


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