White House invokes separation of powers to block testimony of … social secretary
posted at 9:13 pm on December 3, 2009 by Allahpundit
[I]t is literally inconceivable that anyone drafting the Constitution would have imagined the position of White House Social Secretary, paid for with taxpayer funds, and that the majesty of separation of powers rhetoric would apply to a situation like this…. This is simply yet more evidence that all presidents, regardless of political party and ostensible commitment to “transparency,” take on royalist airs when taking their oath of office.
Congress wants to talk to her about how the Salahis managed to crash the party at last week’s state dinner. Why can’t they? Because she’s a crony of Obama super-crony Valerie Jarrett, which means she’ll be spared the same fate underneath the Hopenchange bus that so many other loyalists have met over the past two years. Politico can only marvel:
In a White House not known for its tolerance of staffing errors, [Desiree] Rogers has been the beneficiary of an unprecedented show of support from senior administration officials. A former corporate executive from Chicago, Rogers has known the Obamas for more than a decade and seems blessed with a status that may shield her from the fate of departing White House counsel Greg Craig or Louis Caldera, the Military Office head who was canned for a botched Air Force One photo op…
For the second day in a row, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the administration had no intention of making Rogers available for lawmakers’ questions, brushing off the charge by Rep Peter King (R-N.Y.), the Homeland Security committee’s ranking member, that the administration was “stonewalling” the congressional probe.
“There’s, I think, a pretty long history of ensuring that White House staff can provide advice to the president and do so confidentially,” Gibbs said.
The confidential “advice” to Obama in this case, presumably, was which fork to use for appetizers. To no one’s surprise, the fightin’ Democrats in Congress that screeched for years about executive secrecy and checks and balances under Bush ended up caving to The One here by declining to subpoena Rogers. Read Dana Perino’s post at The Corner rubbing their faces in it, then, via Greg Hengler, watch Gibbs answer a reporter’s question about what Rogers was doing during the state dinner with one of his snottiest, most condescending dodges yet. The rest of the press corps actually “ooohs” over it. Exit question: Is there more to this than a simple “royalist” assertion of executive prerogative? The social secretary’s right not to have to face Congress is a strange hill for the White House to die on. I wonder if Rogers somehow ended up approving the Salahis’ invitation to the dinner and the administration wants to hide that fact lest it look like they’re chummy with a shady pair of reality-show stars. Hmmmm.