By Scott Tibbs, November 20, 2014
As the Republican party takes over the Senate in the wake of the 2014 landslide, Republicans will be tempted to monkeywrench the Obama Administration by holding up the President's nominees for positions within his administration. The GOP needs to resist that temptation and allow Obama to nominate who he chooses, within reason. (Obviously Judicial Branch appointments are another matter entirely.)
The reason Republicans should allow Obama to have who he wants is that whoever Obama nominates is only going to be following Obama's orders. Whoever is the attorney general secretary of state and so forth turns out to be, that person for all intents and purposes is Obama. If we have a problem with the administration's policies, it is with the President himself, not the cabinet secretaries. We can change those policies by winning the next election.
The only time a nominee should be rejected is in the case of an obvious severe character flaw, incompetence or corruption. That is why the nominees should be examined and questioned. Those cases are going to be relatively rare, because the administration is going to be vetting its own nominees. (This is especially true in the age of the Internet, when problems with a nominee can spread like wildfire in hours.) No administration wants to be embarrassed by a nominee with an undiscovered scandal in his or her background.
There will be plenty of opportunities to oppose Obama and block his agenda in the next two years, but Obama's choices to fill his administration should not be used as such an opportunity. Being mature adults about this and working with the President can also be an opportunity to make things easier for the next Republican President, or at least provide a contrast when Democrats are blocking his choices to fill his administration.