What is a Czar ?

Green jobs  czar Van Jones has announced his resignation. The White House among others has thanked him for  his service. From  other areas have come  a bit of a different perspective. More on Mr Jones’ departure  a  little later.

His position in the Administration was one of as many as 30 that could be described as czars. These powerful positions   are not  subject to the Senate review that say a Cabinet secretary would  require. They give  a President flexibility and perhaps a way to diffuse power or even short circuit Congress when they feel the need to do so. The idea began with Nixon in the early 70’s which is no surprise. He definitely preferred consolidating power in the White H ouse  over the Cabinet which is a perceived benefit of a czar. His first czar was Bill Simon for energy and  either the appointment or concept or both provided less than stellar results. Both George H W Bush and Clinton made use of the concept and Bush 43 even got a czar elevated to a Cabinet level position, one Tom Ridge. That is almost a have it both ways  deal.

Other Obama czars are Paul Volcker on the economy. Carol Browner on energy, Adolfo Carrrion on urban  affairs and Nancy-Ann DeParie on health who has  since departed. Soon to be named is  a cyber security czar who will actually serve on the National Security Council. That should be an interesting appointment.

So back to Mr Jones . His resignation letter blames his departure on a vicious smear campaign led by one Glenn Beck and being composed of lies and distortions. Apparently Jones has done and said some rather controversial things in years gone by. Among  them were comments about school shootings being done by only white students and  that he signed a 9/11 truth petition whose content he said  was not informed about. FYI, the San Francisco Chronicle and Howard Dean are decrying his departure.

Now for some thoughts. Do I think he should have stepped down? Yep. Was it racial , don’t think so. Could it have been avoided, yep again. Now I  know that The Obama folks  haven’t taken my advise before. But here goes again. The appointee in this case was  either not fully vetted by the administration or he was and that did not care. You gotta know that inflammatory sounding comments such as his will come into public view and White House advisers and nominees have been dumped for much less. Had they been determined on having him serve, appoint him to a position that requres  a Senate hearing. Get all  this stuff out in  the open and deal with it on your terms. Odds of success are much greater.

One more question to ponder and it demands more depth than I can give it now. Does Mr Jones departure indicate that any criticism of major Obama initiatives or opposition to appointees or programs will automatically be deemed as racial in nature? Just wondering.


September 6, 2009 - Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] What is a Czar ? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Obama “I don’t think government […]

    Pingback by Shadow Government: What Obama Doesn’t Want You To Know About His 35 Czars « Goodtimepolitics | September 6, 2009 | Reply

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