Helping the Victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome
A friend has directed my attention to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States.
The whole section, which sets forth the president’s powers, is worth pondering. But given the fact that the Democrats in Congress seem to be slow-walking (that’s bureaucratese for “obstructing”) Donald Trump’s nominations, I would like to call the president’s attention to the interesting concluding passage of Section 2:
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Recess appointments have been made from the time of George Washington on down, sometimes for simple administrative reasons, to keep the wheels of government turning, sometimes for political reasons, to smooth the road for a candidate unpopular with the Senate. Ronald Reagan made 240 recess appointments during his tenure, Bill Clinton 139. I think Donald Trump should take a page from his predecessors. He should sit down for lunch with Mitch McConnell (salad, with Russian dressing, bien sûr) and convince him to declare the Senate in recess. Then he should go to work.
While I am in the advice-dispensing mode, I would also like to revert to a point I made a couple of months ago: Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from the Clintons about wielding power. One of Bill Clinton’s first actions upon taking office was to install Margaret Richardson, a friend of his and Hillary’s, as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. You never know when you might need a friend in that high place.
Back in May, I noted that many conservatives must wonder why John Koskinen is still head of the IRS. If you haven’t watched Koskinen’s testimony before Congress lately, take a look. It’s depressing, but revelatory. Then take a look at Lois Lerner’s testimony. Then note that you, a taxpayer, are helping to pay for this disgusting person’s pension (the amount, of course, is undisclosed).
Since I am apparently in an advice-giving mood today, let me also revert to a column I wrote at the end of December and iterate the advice I gave then. It comes from Chapter VIII of Machiavelli’s The Prince. It is this: if you have to do unpleasant things, "do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily."
People, I noted, have short memories. They will forget a leader's burst of activity directed against opponents, especially if it is followed by various benefits and largesse for the people as a whole. There can be no doubt that the Left has absorbed, whether by reading or by osmosis, this important lesson. It is less clear that Donald Trump has.