The Democratic Congress — led by Nevada’s own left-leaning Sen. Harry Reid and hyperliberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from California — continues to garner abysmal approval ratings.
That’s largely because congressional Democrats apparently believe embarrassing and confronting the president is key to helping them pick up the White House next year and preferable to actually accomplishing anything in the short term.
Late last week, Sen. Reid announced a continuation of his party’s strategy, revealing that Congress will remain in session — technically — over the holidays in an effort to prevent Mr. Bush from issuing “recess” appointments.
A recess appointment occurs when the president waits until the Senate is out of session to temporarily fill high-level positions that normally need confirmation from the upper chamber.
To prevent this, Sen. Reid has ordered that someone gavel the Senate open for business twice a week during the two-week Thanksgiving break and then quickly close the fake session.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to do this, but we couldn’t run the risk of the administration ramming through some of their highly controversial appointments while we were in recess,” Jim Manley, Sen. Reid’s press secretary, told the Los Angeles Times.
And who, precisely, are the “highly controversial” nominees who scare Democrats so?
Who might make Sen. Reid and friends choke on their turkey and cranberry dinner?
Primarily, the Time reports, they fear James Holsinger, the president’s nominee for surgeon general — a post that is essentially ceremonial. Mr. Holsinger, you see, committed a major sin 16 years ago when he wrote that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy. Oh, the humanity!
In fact, this ruse is a farce. Democrats have a majority in the Senate. If as a group they oppose various Bush nominees — for surgeon general or any other office — they have the votes to kill any nomination. So why not simply hold an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor rather than engage in this nonsense?
Even if the president used a recess appointment to install Mr. Holsinger or somebody else, Congress would eventually have to sanction the selection for it to become permanent.
But no matter. Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi must revel in their ability to drive their own approval ratings closer and closer to single digits.