From Adam Serwer, noting that President Obama’s recess appointments have prompted howls of outrage from both John Yoo and David Addington, each of whom otherwise believes in executive power that would make the president virtually a Roman emperor:
Watching two men who argued for years that the president could pick and choose which laws to follow wring their hands over Obama’s recess appointments as an abuse of power is so absurd that one practically has to reach into fiction to find parallel analogies. If we could only get Lex Luthor’s feelings on financial regulation or Emperor Palpatine’s thoughts on the importance of checks and balances.
There are legitimate legal arguments about such recess appointments, of course, but for Yoo and Addington to make them is simply perverse. Addington, who was the main White House architect of President Bush’s incredibly broad claims of authority, actually told the New York Times that the appointments were “flabbergasting and, to be honest, a little chilling.” He was not the least bit flabbergasted by the argument that the president has the inherent authority to spy on Americans without a warrant, no matter what the Constitution says about it.