Using an existing and established power in the same way it had always been used (even if more often) isn't an "expansion" of power. Using that power in a new way constitutes an expansion of that power. Doubly so if this new way happens to bypass an assumed check to that very power (which was precisely the case here).
It has not been used in the same way it had always been used. It has been expanded many times over the years.
Sure. But not by George W. Bush. Bush did not use the recess appointment in any way not previously used by earlier presidents. If the term "expansion" is to have any meaning at all in this context, we must acknowledge that Bush did not expand executive power with regards to recess appointments. Quite the contrary, Bush was faced with a "new" process introduced by Senator Reid, in which someone would just gavel a session open while the majority of the Senate was out so as to prevent there from being a formal recess despite no actual business being done, but still did not do anything to go around it. He could have, but chose not to.
Obama, when faced with the same tactic, chose to expand executive power by deciding that a 3 day gap constituted a recess and he could appoints folks during that time. He very clearly did what Bush did not. We can argue about why he did it, and can agree with or oppose that decision for any reason we want, but at the end of the day Bush did not do this when faced with that obstacle and Obama did. It's therefore incredibly disingenuous to claim that Obama was just doing the same thing that previous presidents had done. It's even more disingenuous to specifically single out Bush as an example of someone who was just as bad (or even worse!) on this issue. He wasn't. Numbers of uses of the power isn't the issue. How and when you use it is.
However, we have now reached the point where some people seem bent on burning down the house because they cannot get control of the TV remote.
One could argue that Obama's decision to violate the constitution rather than work with Congress better fits that analogy. Lots of past presidents have managed to deal with a Congress not made up 100% of their own party. Most presidents have had to do that. This president seems utterly unable to accomplish anything unless every single person in the government is "on his side". That speaks volumes about him IMO. And the ruling from the court was more about slapping him on the wrist for failing to find ways to deal with that division other than playing roughshod with the constitution.
I'll also repeat my earlier point that most of this is smokescreen anyway. The Democrats control the Senate. I'll fully admit to not being an expert on every Senate rule (cause who is really?), but it seems to me that this whole business was an unnecessary "crisis" that could have been avoided via normal procedural practices. The Dems collectively choose to use this route to do things instead.
Claiming that the power has been expanded only by Mr. Obama is myopic and surely a partisan view.
No previous president has ever used recess appointments in the way Obama did. It's neither partisan nor myopic to say that this represented an expansion of executive power with regard to recess appointments. I'm honestly kinda scratching my head as to how anyone could think otherwise. The people being partisan are those denying that this did represent an expansion, since it clearly was (I'm assuming the only reason one would deny this is for partisan reasons, but I suppose it's possible some could just be plain misinformed or something).
Claiming that Mr. Bush did not abuse the power is equally so.
The question was which use of the recess appointment represented an "expansion" of executive power. You're introducing a slightly different term. How about we stick with the same one for both so we can make an apples to apples comparison?
If everyone could have agreed to play nicely, they could have avoided having the Supremes issue a ruling on this.
Again, this point applies most directly to Obama himself. He's the one who could not figure out any other way to get people appointed to positions he wanted/needed to fill. Magically, other presidents have managed to figure out how to do this without declaring that 3 days constitutes a recess. Ergo, we can conclude that this is a failing of Obama, and not of Congress, much less the constitution itself.