John Yoo had an excellent article in National Review yesterday in which he skewered Laurence Tribe’s elaborately contrived defenses of President Obama’s “so-called recess appointment” of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Brian Darling over at RedState also had a very good summary of the constitutional issues involved.
Add to this the President’s subsequent three “so-called recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board and I see a dramatic parallel between President Obama’s disdain for the Constitution and Charles I’s flaunting of Parliamentary authority with his reckless forced loan program that culminated in the five knights case. In order to secure the necessary Parliamentary taxes to fund a war with Spain, Charles feigned acceptance of Parliament’s Petition of Right, which re-asserted the traditional personal liberties of Englishmen. Once he received the necessary taxes, Charles dismissed Parliament and went on an eleven year period in which he arbitrarily exercised power with neither Parliamentary nor constitutional constraints. His abuses during this “era of personal rule” were the proximate cause of the English Civil War.
With these “so-called recess appointments” (natural extensions of his dismissiveness of the proper Constitutional role of Congress that we saw with the passage of the Stimulus and Obamacare) President Obama has expanded upon a similarly reckless course of action designed to create constitutional crises. If he’s re-elected in November, 2012, look for this trend to continue. The Obama “era of personal rule” will not be far behind.
Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .