It wasn’t enough for George W. Bush to nominate a donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as Ambassador to Belgium. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which John Kerry sits, was poised to reject Sam Fax’s nomination, Bush gave him a recess appointment.
The President just told Congress what Dick Cheney memorably said to Senator Patrick Leahy: “Go [bleep] yourself.”
Under the recess arrangement, Fox will bypass the Senate and serve in a voluntary capacity, receiving no salary. But since he’s a multimillionaire donor to GOP causes, that hardly matters. Democrats are now questioning the legality of this arrangement. “Federal law prohibits ‘voluntary service’ in cases where the position in question has a fixed rate of pay, as an ambassadorship does,” reports Mary Ann Akers of the Washington Post, citing the Government Accountability Office.
Bush vowed after the November elections that he would “work with the new Congress in a bipartisan way.” It’s now clear that he had no such thing in mind.