I am furious about the nomination of fellow union-side lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board being defeated by yet another filibuster -- this time with the help of Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln. Nelson, who voted for cloture on Bush nominees like John Bolton, justified his joining in the Republican filibuster by claiming that Becker "would bring an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB." What does that even mean?
Perhaps Nelson is unaware that the National Labor Relations Act, the core statute that Becker would be hearing cases about, was passed by Congress in 1935 with the explicit statutory purpose of "encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining."
Becker was superbly qualified and would have been a great addition to an entity that continues to be crippled by a lack of a quorum. (Only two of its five seats have been filled since January 1, 2008, a condition that may well lead to hundreds of decisions of its remaining two members being invalidated.)
It is time for Obama to follow in Bush's footsteps and fill these positions with recess appointees at the first opportunity -- Bush, in fact, had the balls to appoint the Director of Labor Law Policy at the notoriously anti-union chamber of Commerce. Indeed, I would recommend that Obama take every nominee who is currently being stalled by the likes of Richard Shelby and the other Senate assholes and grant them recess appointments. And the first recess appointment should be Craig Becker.