Monday, July 12, 2010

TNR: Obama Wrong On Berwick

Cross-posted from Critical Condition on National Review Online.

Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic, in a post entitled “Obama (and Cohn) Wrong on Berwick,” appears to have been persuaded by Tevi Troy’s argument that Berwick would have benefited from a full hearing:
Several of my readers, particularly conservative ones, wrote back to say they disagreed. Among them was Tevi Troy, a former deputy secretary at HHS who is now a visiting senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. I always take Tevi’s arguments seriously and advise readers to do the same.
Cohn goes on to cite Troy’s correspondence:
I am also not averse to recess appointments in cases where the Senate is clearly dragging its feet or tripping someone up via rotating anonymous holds. In this case, however, I think the White House was unfair to both Berwick and CMS by recess appointing him before he could have a hearing.

Being a confirmed appointee really makes a difference at the agencies, and it is worth taking some political hits to give your nominees that important blessing.
There is another reason for thoughtful (and philosophically consistent) liberals to oppose Berwick’s recess appointment: There won’t always be a Democrat in the White House.

UPDATE: Ezra Klein disagrees.

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