Late Senator defended the institution of the U.S. Senate and thus, the Rule of Law
The Framers of the Constitution understood that checks and balances by established institutions were required to provide the processes and procedures to prevent substantive tyranny.
The recently-passed “guardian of the senate” understood that basic fact as well, and despite this 2000 right-wing convert’s voluminous disagreements with the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) on policy, I am confident that he would have rightly raised Holy Hell against President Barack Obama’s Appointments Clause-bypass to use a congressional recess to put his health care rationing expert in charge of over one-third of the federal budget affected by ObamaCare.
Seventy-Two hours have now passed since Obama made Dr. Donald Berwick the Czar-in-Charge of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the only peeps we hear out of the President’s Democrat lemmings in the senate are that Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is “troubled”.
Given Senator Byrd’s reactions to Obama’s appointments of other unaccountable such czars since February 2009, we suspect he is rolling over in his grave:
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.
In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”
Despite the fact that Byrd’s last very public vote from a wheelchair was to enact Obamacare, the Law Factory is confident that a healthy, majority Leader Byrd would have been much better for America than Harry Reid, in insisting upon some check on executive usurpation of Legislative power, especially in this instance, given the power and scope Berwick is being given over programs the Democratic Party, and millions of Americans hold dear.
Yes, recess appointments are provided for under the Constitution, but Congress can also pass laws that would thwart a President that avoids confirmation hearings. Byrd would have used every resource in Senate rules as well.
A Great Man
The Law Factory manufactures conservative views of law and politics, and has been since converting to the GOP in 2000, after 18 years inside the Donkey-beast that Byrd never left. We stayed so long because of our Southern childhood raising by parents involved in integration that Democratic Party rhetoric affirmed.
I left the party for many reasons, not the least of which were the race-based laws Byrd’s party continued to advocate for years after white racism has long ceased to be an obstacle for most blacks to achieve the America Dream. So, I don’t want my comments below praising Robert Byrd, the man and defender of the Senate, to be misconstrued with any affinity for Democratic Party policies. My aversion to those policies extends equally to all government officials still willing to don the “D”, and not just Byrd.
But despite my disagreements, I have had to admit to a close, astute political conservative (yet still a Democrat in state and local politics) observer in Alabama, that indeed, Robert Byrd was a great man. Michael Barone echoes that sentiment here.
Yes, great. Oh, I know that Hannity has made a living always referring to him as, Robert “KKK” Byrd. He also lost a loyal listener in this gamecock, due to that and other cartoonish noise.
One of the main things that causes me to consider Byrd to have been great is precisely that he left the racist organization DECADES ago; lived an honorable family and professional life since; and never acted out any racism since leaving the Klan.
As a trial lawyer, I am quite familiar with rules of evidence that prohibit most references to a person’s past to prove character, that is more than ten years old. No, such rules don’t apply outside the courtroom, but to go back 60+ years to find a blemish is akin to impeachment over a 7-year old that stole a Milky Way at the grocer.
Don’t we want all in the KKK to be “former”? I think so.
I also admired how Byrd worked till he died, despite debilitated health. I disagreed with his votes most of the time (he did usually vote for conservative judges), but saw in him a man’s man.
God bless Robert Byrd and may he rest in peace.
No, West Virginia, there is no Santa Claus
Now, West Virginia, there is no special interest Santa Claus to provide state pork that still makes hardly a dent in the poverty there thanks to failed Democratic Party policies.
Pork, in the larger scheme of things even in West-By-God-Virginia, is puny. Tax and regulatory policy are huge.
Vote Republican when you replace the great man.
[Cross-posted at 73Wire Law Factory]
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
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