Bush gives the middle finger to Congress; appoints Lieberman's friend as ambassador
Oh, isn't this just great. The President gives a big F-U to Congress appoints Joe Lieberman's buddy (and major donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) to U.S. ambassador.
President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination.Help smear a Vietnam veteran, get a U.S. ambassador post. As Joe Lieberman stated on Sunday's Face the State, he sees no problem with Fox (surprise).
Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat losing the election.
Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.
"It was not fair based on one political contribution this man made to deny him the honor of being an ambassador"
Joe Lieberman: A man with no shame.
UPDATE: Chris Dodd isn't very happy.
"It is outrageous that the President has sought to stealthily appoint Sam Fox to the position of ambassador to Belgium when the President formally requested that the Fox nomination be withdrawn from the Senate because it was facing certain defeat in the Foreign Relations Committee last week. I seriously question the legality of the President's use of the recess appointment authority in this instance. I intend to seek an opinion on the legality of this appointment from the Government Accountability Office and invite other Senators to join with me in that request. This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority -- sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration."
John Kerry issued this statement:
It's sad but not surprising that this White House would abuse the power of the presidency to send a donor to Belgium over the objections of the Senate.
When it comes to getting body armor for our soldiers or relief for New Orleans, they're AWOL, but they'll move heaven and earth to reward a smear.
This White House has governed on fear and smear for far too long. Today's move shows it is wedded to the politics of personal character assassination that they are willing to take unprecedented steps to reward donor Sam Fox with an Ambassdorship.
Last week, the White House acknowledged that Sam Fox did not have the support of the Foreign Relations committee to succeed. Rather than lose a vote, they withdrew his nomination. Rather than fight on principle, they are hiding behind cowardly and perhaps illegal tactics. Today we see they will go to all odds to reward its biggest donor.
This is another abuse of power by this White House and shows an utter disregard of Congress's role in the nominating process. It's time this White House learns it can't change the rules just to win its game.
Unfortunately, this White House is so inseparable from the politics of character assassination that they would take unprecedented steps to install Sam Fox as Ambassador. It's cowardly to buck the will of the Foreign Relations Committee to reward a donor whose nomination was withdrawn rather than face outright rejection. Never before has a president used a recess appointment to support a withdrawn nominee. Every time this White House shows that if they can't win the game, they just change the rules, our democracy and the constitution loses.