President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a bold political act, but its significance goes far beyond politics. I remarked today to a key Democratic strategists that this was a declaration of political war with the congressional Republicans. He responded that it’s the President’s response to a war begun by the Republicans. We both were correct, but the truly remarkable thing about what the President has done here is to strongly assert his constitutional executive power and to undermine the constitutional power of the Senate — the body from which he rose to national prominence. That’s not about Ds or Rs, but about the power of the office of the President of the United States. Decisions like the one the President made have ramifications far beyond the term of the current occupant of the office. They reverberate for years.