President Obama appointed a man named Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Since Becker does not plan to have the sort of National Relations with Laborers that the GOP prefers -- that is to say, actively hostile ones -- they are filibustering the appointment. And so, a recess appointment by which the White House can bypass the intransigence of this broken system of legislative dickery is said to be on the wing.
Of course, ever since the election of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to the Senate, people have been making jokes about the Senate GOP having a super-minority. So it stands to reason that many of them would begin to accept that as a serious thing. And, without further ado, here's Senator Orrin Hatch, with what Greg Sargent calls a "House-of-Lords megalomaniacal moment":
"I sincerely hope the White House does not circumvent the will of the Senate by appointing him when the Senate is out of session," Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, said.
That's after a vote in which 52 senators expressed the desire to seat Becker, whilst 33 opposed. (As Steve Benen points out, the reduced numbers were due to the ongoing Snowpocalypse and in that configuration, "when the vote is 52 to 33, the 33 votes win.")
So, to Hatch, the "will of the Senate" is defined by the expression of the minority. Someone believes all that hype about super-minorities, I guess!
It's an interesting set-up for the 2010 elections. Obviously, the GOP can afford to add a handful of new members to their Senate caucus without losing much. Obviously, the GOP has to be very careful: if they get too cute, and reclaim the majority in the Senate, it will really ruin their ability to push forward their agenda -- you know, whatever the frack that is.
The 'Will Of The Senate' [Washington Monthly]