Friday, January 6, 2012

SPQR (Latin For "The Senate Is Irrelevant")

The Divine Caesar Obama Invictus has decided he can't wait any longer for the processes of the Living Constitution to rubber stamp his appointments to the various boards of proconsuls. It was time to get on with the business of fundamentally transforming America, at least in the proconsulships of Labor and Consumer Protection. Caesar (also spelled Czar) is delegating his authority to proconsuls of like mind. (Third time is the charm? If this post disappears, I'm going to give up and hope tomorrow's a better day)

In addition, he has instituted rule by fiat, ignoring the Constitution, Senate rules, precedent, and the res publica. The rules and precedent, growing from the musty old Constitution, allow for recess appointments. But it took this Caesar to take the decision of when the Senate is in recess away from the Senate in order to place that decision in his own imperial hands. You see, previous Caesars also made recess appointments, but they left it in the hands of the Senate itself to determine when they were actually in recess.

On occasion, in order to avoid Caesar placing some of his more dangerous personal pets in high positions during a recess, the Senate would remain in session by the device of "pro forma" sessions. A few Senators would hang around, making official (but largely meaningless) speeches and comments. The Constitution says that if the Senators are entirely absent for more than three days, it is in recess. A formal recess ruling is helpful, but not necessary. So the Senators appear on the floor briefly at least every third day to make their presence known and official. Which is exactly what was happening when Caesar announced the appointments.

Recess appointments have been done by Caesars of both the Plebeian and Patrician Parties. But in those cases, the Senate itself had determined that it was in recess. This seems to be the first time (at least as far as Senate records indicate) that Senators were performing their pro forma duties, only to be blindsided by Caesar making recess appointments anyway. It is unlikely that Caesar is unaware of this difference because he was at one time a professor of constitutional law at the Imperial Academy of Law at the University of Chicago. Though imperial historians Pliny and Tacitus did not mention this in their histories, it is common knowledge that Caesar knows the Constitution better than anyone else. It's alive! It's alive!

The pro forma Senators were there because forty-six Patrician Senators had earlier petitioned Caesar not to make the current appointments after having already rejected one of the nominees, only to be entirely ignored by the imperial personage. Prior to his elevation to the imperial throne, this Caesar (then merely a Senator from the Province of Illinois) had decried the recess appointment of John Bolton as imperial minister to the empire of the United Nations as being an insult to the prerogatives of the Senate. The previous Caesar, Bush Secundus, made that appointment when the Senate was, by its own rules, in formal recess.

Caesar says that the Senate refused to accept his nominee for proconsul of Consumer Protection because they don't like the underlying legislation passed by a previous Senate (with the concurrence of the Plebes). Caesar's alternate imperial title is Caesar Obvious. Instead of multiple agencies making decisions about consumer protection with Senate oversight, Caesar has now appointed a proconsul who will have control over the minutiae of every financial transaction conducted in America. The appointee, Richard Cordray, has sworn allegiance to every jot and tittle of Caesar's financial agenda. The dismantling of the private right to contract is in his sights.

Over at the Labor Department, Caesar has recess appointed three proconsuls, all at once. Two are members of the Plebeian Party and will be regulating the lives of owners and wage slaves with a strong preference for the slaves. The third is a member of the Patrician Party, but has strong ties to one of the current Plebeian proconsuls.

Caesar is clearly on a progressive course. When his empire is threatened, he must act, with or without the advice and consent of those doddering old Senators. The people must be protected from themselves and the recalcitrant Senate. Only a great Ceasar can do that. Ave Caesar.

15 comments:

T-Rav said...

I was just about to send an email inquiring whether things had gone haywire. I've been out all day; just got back to my laptop, pulled up the site, and was briefly left wondering if I'd gone back in time somehow. :-)

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: tryanmax found the article in the cache, and linked to it. Then, a short while ago, all of it disappeared--the original post with the eighty-three comments and then the backup post with twenty comments (including tyranmax's link to the cache). At the same time it dumped my article for the third time, it dumped Andrew's Film Friday from the main site. BUT THERE'S SOME GOOD NEWS: Andrew's Film Friday on Apollo 18, with comments, is still on the CommentaramaFilms link. At least for now. EEEEEEEK !!!!!!

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - what are you talking about? This is the first time this has been posted today!

T-Rav, pleased stop reading now, okay?

[Sshhh, everyone! T-Rav doesn't know about the Blogger issue. Let's make him think he's gone back in time!]

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Didn't I see you in the movie Mean Girls??

BevfromNYC said...

T-rav don't read this!

FYI - Blogger ate up my post for tomorrow afternoon, but I can recreate it.

BevfromNYC said...

Lavius Hawkus RFDeus - Yes, I was the mean girl in back row on the right...;-)

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: There's no logic to what Blogger is allowing to happen. Your post for tomorrow disappeared this evening, but my morning open thread for tomorrow didn't. On the other hand, this morning my open thread for tomorrow disappeared along with my article. It makes no sense at all.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev. I thought so. And I apologize for not using your proper name, Beva Gloria. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

So far, only one Democratic Senator has outright said that he believes the Senate was in recess. All the other Democrats who have commented at all have said they support Obama's nominees but dodged the question about the Senate being in recess.

As a sidenote, there's a reason why we caution against deciding too early and too quickly that a new Republican (particularly one replacing an old Democrat) deserves national praise. Sen. Scott Brown, alleged Republican from Taxachusetts, says Obama's appointments are good and they should stick because the Senate is in recess. He must have gotten a permanent brain freeze from doing those Playgirl nude layouts.

tryanmax said...

Dang it! I worked hard on that l33t 5p33k comment, and now it's gone before L@\/\/h@\/\/k could reply.

Individualist said...

I can 't remember where the comment thread was going but I think it had something to do with Obama going after Winnie the Pooh.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I'm still tearing out what little hair I have left over the mess.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Exactly right. LOL

T-Rav said...

Bev--don't get alarmed, but in the course of going back in time, I think I may have inadvertently stopped your parents from meeting and thus erased your existence. Just saying.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Well, I guess turnabout is fair play. Does that mean that you were in the movie Bad Boys? LOL

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