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Kristol: If Southers Matters, Recess Appoint Him

2:20 PM, Dec 30, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The Obama apologists are pushing back at the cascade of justified criticism by attacking Republican Senator Jim DeMint for placing a hold on Obama's nominee to head TSA, Erroll Southers. DeMint is concerned Southers would support the unionization of TSA screeners.

There's no evidence that having had Southers confirmed would have made a scintilla of difference to anything that was or wasn't done in this terror incident or with respect to anti-terror policy more broadly. And if the Democrats really believe that filling this assistant secretary position is vital to combating terrorism, why did Obama wait until September 10 to make the appointment?

Having said that, one might also point out that nothing has been stopping or is stopping Obama from recess appointing Southers to his position (or anyone else to other jobs, too, for that matter). If it's urgent to have Southers in place, Obama should have given him a recess appointment. Indeed, if it's urgent now, why wait for the Senate to act in a month?