Recess Appointments: A Brief Constitutional Analysis
Hurt's column is a racist rant that pretends to offer an analysis of President Obama's decision to make three recess appointments last week. The Constitution allows presidents to make recess appointments when the Senate is not in session and is unable to provide advice and consent. There is a legitimate constitutional debate over the legality of the recess appointments. Obama made the appointments when the Senate was in session. Accordingly, one could argue that his actions violate the Constitution.
On the other hand, it is clear that the Senate was only "in session" in a technical sense. Rather than actually meeting to discuss business, the Senate instead held multiple pro forma sessions. These sessions were designed specifically to block Obama from using his constitutional authority to make recess appointments. Ironically, the Democrats started using this subversive (and highly immature) practice during the Bush administration for the same purpose.
Legal observers who support Obama's decision argue that if Congress refused through subterfuge to offer advice and consent, the president could make the appointments on his own. The Constitution does not discuss the meaning of recess or session. Furthermore, it is possible that the Supreme Court would not intervene in this dispute. The Court could conclude that the matter presents a "political question" suitable for resolution by Congress and the President.
Hurt only discusses the recess flap for one fleeting moment. He devotes most of his analysis listing atrocities and dangers associated with Obama administration. Although Hurt's analysis is riddled with distortions, this is not its worst quality. Instead, Hurt's article is despicable because he uses graphically racist language to discuss Obama. The list below documents Hurt's racist rant. Decide for yourselves whether you consider this respectful journalism.
- Obama used the recess appointment "to utterly rape our most cherished Constitution"
- "Mr. Obama is now installing his henchmen to Senate-confirmed positions. . . ."
- Questioning whether anything could stop Obama "from simply 'recess appointing' thugs to the Supreme Court in order to uphold his socialist platform"
- Considering whether Obama "is learned, yet illiterate, which is entirely possible considering the perniciousness of affirmative action at places like Harvard Law School"
- "Obama has become our homegrown enemy. He shreds the Constitution with the unflinching calmness of a suicide bomber, uncaring that he is destroying the only system on Earth that could have given him the life and success he has enjoyed. . . ."
In the book The Color of Crime, Professor Katheryn Russell Brown of the University of Florida College of Law examines social stereotypes that subject black males to discrimination in the criminal justice system. Russell says that collectively, these stereotypes construct individual black males as a criminalblackman (yes -- one word).
Russell's terminology accurately describes Hurt's treatment of Obama. Hurt depicts Obama as an illiterate rapist, thug, socialist, suicide bomber, domestic terrorist, and undeserving beneficiary of affirmative action. That Hurt invokes racist imagery in his essay is beyond dispute. By publishing this rubbish that only pretends to offer pressing analysis, the Washington Times has discarded any lingering credibility that it has as a legitimate news source.