September 7, 2009

Is Obama Forming a "Shadow Government?"

Hatched by Dafydd

Today, President Barack H. Obama appointed yet another "czar", making the announcement at an AFL-CIO Laborious Day picnic in Cincinnati today; Ron Bloom will make the 33rd Obamic Czar, counting Van Jones, who just resigned but will surely be replaced with a less explosive (but every bit as Marxist) appointee, and after Obama taps someone else to fill Bloom's old position as Car Czar.

Thanks to Glenn Beck, who has done a bravura job of journalism, here are the Czars; entries in blue are those Czar positions created expressly by Barack Obama:

  1. Richard Holbrooke -- Afghanistan Czar
  2. Jeffrey Crowley -- AIDS Czar
  3. Ed Montgomery -- Auto Recovery Czar
  4. Alan Bersin -- Border Czar
  5. David J. Hayes -- California Water Czar
  6. Ron Bloom -- Car Czar (moved to Manufacturing Czar today)
  7. Dennis Ross -- Central Region Czar
  8. Todd Stern -- Climate Czar
  9. Lynn Rosenthal -- Domestic Violence Czar
  10. Gil Kerlikowske -- Drug Czar
  11. Paul Volcker -- Economic Czar
  12. Carol Browner -- Energy and Environment Czar
  13. Joshua DuBois -- Faith Based Czar
  14. Jeffrey Zients -- Government Performance Czar
  15. Cameron Davis -- Great Lakes Czar
  16. Van Jones -- Green Jobs Czar (resigned)
  17. Daniel Fried -- Guantanamo Closure Czar
  18. Nancy-Ann DeParle -- Health Czar
  19. Vivek Kundra -- Information Czar
  20. Dennis Blair -- Intelligence Czar
  21. Ron Bloom -- Manufacturing Czar
  22. George Mitchell -- Mideast Peace Czar
  23. Kenneth R. Feinberg -- Pay Czar
  24. Cass R. Sunstein -- Regulatory Czar
  25. John Holdren -- Science Czar
  26. Earl Devaney -- Stimulus Accountability Czar
  27. J. Scott Gration -- Sudan Czar
  28. Herb Allison -- TARP Czar
  29. Aneesh Chopra -- Technology Czar
  30. John Brennan -- Terrorism Czar
  31. Adolfo Carrion Jr. -- Urban Affairs Czar
  32. Ashton Carter -- Weapons Czar
  33. Gary Samore -- WMD Policy Czar

In each case, the One has replaced functions normally carried out by cabinets or other agencies, headed by secretaries and directors who are subject to Senate confirmation (thus accountable to the United States Congress), with unelected, unconfirmed, unaccountable apparatchiks who ultimately answer to only one person: Barack Obama.

The departments raided of their authority in favor of Czars include the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, Health and Human Services, Labor, Interior, Energy, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- that's the entire cabinet except for the Departments of Education, Transportation, and Veterans' Affairs).

Specific sub-cabinet level agencies subject to the Senate's "advise and consent" rules, now looted of their powers by the Obamic Czardines, include the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Security Council (NSC).

A less charitable observer might conclude that President Obama is systematically creating a shadow government of special commissars, which will allow Obama to bypass congressional oversight and the checks and balances of "independent" (in a sense) agencies to rule the United States directly by decree.

Every "czar" steals some of the authority that would normally reside in the permanent bureaucracy and instead secretes it behind the impregnable wall of an Executive Order: unquestionable, uninvestigatable, unreviewable, unviewable, and of course, un-overturnable by any other branch of government. In fact, I don't believe Congress can even subpoena a czar to testify before Congress what he's doing and why, since the president can declare the questioning off limits under "executive privilege."

Obama has some precedent on his side: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt also tried to overthrow our system of constitutional checks and balances, in order to rule by diktat, with some success. Wilson (if I recall correctly) wanted virtually all power invested in the Congress (mostly the House, the "people's legislature"), whereas FDR demanded direct presidential control "for the duration" (of the Depression and World War II -- which between them endured for all twelve years of Roosevelt's tenure -- which gave him a perverse incentive not to solve either "crisis").

Shifting more and more governmental power into the hands of a single man on a white horse, who will personally speak for and on behalf of "the people," is a classical sign of incipient fascism... which, coupled with Obama's nationalization of the banks, of executive pay (even within companies that didn't take a lick of "stimulus" money), energy production and distribution, news reporting and other journalism, labor relations, medical care -- and soon food consumption and the body mass of each American -- makes a chilling portent of what is to come. As one of Obama's predecessors wrote, "Everything inside the state -- nothing outside the state -- nothing against the state."

I wish somebody would tell me how many elements of fascism must come bubbling to the surface of the new administration (not even a year old... seems like a hundred) before we're allowed to suggest that Barack Obama, the head of the fish, must himself be a liberal fascist.

Must we wait until he re-enacts Wilson's sedition act and starts throwing in prison anyone who criticizes the government, the president, or any of the president's policies?

Cross-posted to Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 7, 2009, at the time of 2:54 PM

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The following hissed in response by: MikeR

Dafydd, I'd like to know the definition of a czar. Surely it doesn't just mean, the one in charge of something.
In particular, there is a careful disconnect between the way the Left and the Right are describing Van Jones. Conservative commentators tend to say things like "personally in charge of $30 billion". Liberals have been saying that all this fuss was after all over a person in a "very minor position" (while previously talking about how excited they were that such a powerful and energetic individual had his remarkable abilities harnessed by this administration...)

Lastly, I see that there are more czars now than previously, but if there were some previously, maybe it wasn't so bad? Just trying to get this a little clearer.

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2009 2:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: AD

"Everything inside the state -- nothing outside the state -- nothing against the state."

Do we know if The One has a girlfriend to share that lamppost with?

The above hissed in response by: AD [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2009 8:01 PM

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