The President has used his power to make recess appointments to put Susan Dudley into a post as head of the little-known but very powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Dudley, an anti-regulation zealot, will now be in charge of the office that reviews all governmental regulations. Yes, once again, the fox is in charge of the hen house.
But wait, as they say on late-night TV, there's more. You may recall that Mr. Bush had nominated Sam Fox to be ambassador to Belgium, an appointment that was pulled when it turned out that Fox was the financial angel behind the "Swift Vote Veterans for Truth," (a title with as much verisimilitude as calling the Soviet Union's chief newspaper Pravda). Today, however, in a matchless display of arrogance and contempt for both congressional Democrats and our constitutional system (which envisions recess appointments as stop-gaps to make sure that essential posts are filled when Congress cannot do so), the President appointed Fox to the ambassadorial job, where he will stay until 2008. Don't you think the Belgians are thrilled and honored?
What can be done? As far as I can tell, there are only two solutions to this hubris. One is for Democrats to make sure that Congress does not recess between now and January 2009. You've heard of the never-ending campaign? Welcome to the never-ending Congress.
The other can be encapsulated in a bumper sticker that I had printed last year.