I’m honestly shocked. Wasn’t the whole point of the recess appointment to avoid questions in a high-profile forum about Berwick’s fondness for NHS’s rationing authority and his views of health care as redistribution? Now, suddenly, Obama’s going to force Reid and company to deal with the Berwick headache three and a half months from the midterms? What possible logic could there be?

Obama’s effort to clear Berwick through the Senate on top of his recess appointment would grant his nominee the job indefinitely, as he would serve at “the pleasure of the president,” according to a White House aide.

The president originally nominated Berwick to the CMS post in April, but Republicans blocked the effort and have tied the nomination to their criticism of the health care overhaul. Obama broke the logjam earlier this month by using a recess appointment to install Berwick in the post, a tactic that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said illustrated the president’s attempt to “arrogantly circumvent the American people.”

Did GOP complaints about his use of recess appointments really weigh that heavily on him? Or have they somehow convinced themselves that re-fighting the ObamaCare battle right now is a good idea? I’m mystified by this.