Well, it was a good run, wasn't it? Right around 225 years. However, with Barack Obama's announcement on Wednesday that he had "recess appointed" four appointees while the Senate was not actually in recess, the United States Constitution has received a major wound. Unless Congress as a whole steps up to defend their authority, our beloved Constitution will die. It will not be worth the paper on which it is written.
The Constitution clearly gives each chamber of the legislature the authority to create their own rules- including what constitutes a "recess." Indeed, the only time the Constitution speaks to what a recess may or may not mean is when it says that neither chamber can recess for more than three days without the consent of the other chamber. Pro-forma sessions have long been used in Congress- yes, as a largely political move. However, they are legitimate sessions of Congress, for all that. When Barack Obama claims that he gets to decide that "an effective recess" is occurring, he is acting like a King with his Parliament, not a President who must work with a co-equal Congress.
When faced with the same issue during his presidency, George Bush complained about what congress was doing, but he never claimed they couldn't do it, or that he had some magical power over them to declare them in recess. Barack Obama could have done the same. The fact is, however, he and the Democrats realize that the people don't care about yet another unaccountable government bureaucrat who is ostensibly there "to look out for them," as though the American people have not been able to look out for ourselves for the last 225 years, or so. They don't care about the NRLB- many of them believe it is antiquated, at best. And so Barack Obama and the Democrats in congress knew they would not win that battle- so instead they choose another.
This battle, they're sure they'll win, because they are sure the Republicans won't fight them. This autocratic, dictatorial move by the President is nothing less than a defacto attempt to annul the United States Constitution. If the Constitution does not protect the Federal Government from itself, how can it be expected to protect the citizenry from the Federal Government?
The Democrats are sure the Republicans won't fight them, because the Republicans act like scared rabbits any time a substantive issue comes up. From the various budget and debt-limit battles, to Eric Holder's obvious contempt of Congress, to the various unconstitutional power-grabs by this President, they have largely remained silent, or tried to downplay the problem. Supposedly wiser heads continue telling us that the Election is the most important thing, and actually opposing Barack Obama might turn off independent voters.
Well, I have news for you, Congressional Republicans- we have come to a time of choosing. You can choose to fight this fight, and attempt to communicate with the American people instead of just accepting that they will remain asleep, or you can choose to let the Constitution, the very foundation of our Country, slip quietly into the night. If you make the former choice, be assured that Conservatives will support you. We will scream from the roof-tops that what the Democrats are doing is unconstitutional, and that it ultimately harms the people when the Rule of Law means nothing. If you choose the latter option, you will be responsible for throwing the Republican Party on the trash heap of history- yet another movement which promised to safeguard the people, but became too obsessed with safeguarding its own privilege.