Obama to name Clinton-era border czar for repeat

posted at 9:31 am on April 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s Hope and Change motto got deployed originally in his run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination as an argument against a return to the Clintonistas.  It hasn’t turned out that way; not only did Obama hire Hillary herself as Secretary of State, but 42% of his appointments have come from Bill Clinton’s administration.  It should not surprise anyone, then, that when Obama needed a “czar” for the southern border, he opted for Bill’s:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is naming a “border czar” to oversee issues related to drug-cartel violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the hundreds of thousands of people who try to enter the U.S. illegally through the Southwest.

An Obama administration official says Napolitano on Wednesday will name Alan Bersin, a former federal prosecutor, to fill the new post at the Homeland Security Department. The official would speak only on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement expected in El Paso, Texas.

As choices go, Bersin isn’t too bad.  He ran Clinton’s crackdown on border crossings for most of his term, and didn’t make many friends doing it.  Operation Gatekeeper succeeded in slowing down illegal border crossings, and for his trouble Bersin won the enmity of open-borders groups.  Some of them opposed his appointment as superintendent of San Diego’s public-school system afterwards.

Of course, Bersin will act to impose Obama’s policies this time, and not Bill Clinton’s.  So far, Obama has shown little resolve in blocking illegal border crossings.  His administration, led by Janet Napolitano, has focused instead on blaming America for a gun problem in Mexico — which, as it turns out, is simply false.

Old czar becomes new czar — and the Obama administration continues to expand the use of “czars”.  The Bush administration dropped the “border czar” position, assigning its tasks within INS initially and eventually within DHS.  In fact, Bush only had one “czar” at all, and that was on war policy, which wound up being all but invisible and was completely within his authority as CinC.  Governing via barely-accountable “czars” portends an even more autocratic government, one more tied to the Presidency than ever before.

Update: Some people took the headline wrong, so I adjusted it for clarity.  Bill Clinton is not the new border czar.


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It could be worse. He could’ve named GW Bush as border czar.

aengus on April 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM

It could be worse. He could’ve named GW Bush as border czar.

aengus on April 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM

or Vincente (my grandfather walked from Cincinnati) Fox

Western_Civ on April 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Oh, I read that headline wrong. I almost thought Bill Clinton would be border czar. That woulda been fun!

misslizzi on April 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM

What good is a “Border Czar” if you don’t enforce the immigration laws?

TooTall on April 15, 2009 at 9:37 AM

misslizzi that is how I took it too. Bill Clinton?

Eyvonne on April 15, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Czar sounds so Socialist,me thinks!!

canopfor on April 15, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Lax border policies?

That’s not change! That’s more of the same!

leetpriest on April 15, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Turnstiles are cheaper and you don’t have to pay them health benefits.

Mr. D on April 15, 2009 at 9:41 AM

This fondness for the term ‘czar’–indicative of a mind set?

jeanie on April 15, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Sorry about the confusion from the headline — I’ve changed it.

Ed Morrissey on April 15, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Border Czar? Qu’est-ce que c’est?

youngO on April 15, 2009 at 9:45 AM

NAU on the horizon. IF we let them. That’s all amnesty is about. That’s why you won’t get the fence. It’s about global governance. Your screwed! IF YOU LET THEM!

True_King on April 15, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Comparatively speaking, Clinton’s administration allowed government agencies to function inhibiting illegal immigration; whereas GWB’s administration had stone cold immovable and inactive feet enforcing related laws.

Evidently, Bersin and Napolitano worked together under Clinton. Odd mix, he was CA Sec. of Education (earning Arnold’s praise) and San Diego ISD Superintendent, also.

We’ll see the differentiation between Bill and Hillary Clinton, as Napolitano seems closely knit with Hillary who is now attached to Obama, not Bill.

maverick muse on April 15, 2009 at 9:45 AM

With an open borders mindset, why appoint a czar? Hell, why appoint anyone.

GarandFan on April 15, 2009 at 9:46 AM

I’m waiting for Obama to appoint me to be the first strip-club Czar. Some one has to over-see these deviants.

Rovin on April 15, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Like this moron is going to do anything.
Just name the head of the Sinaloa cartel the border czar and be done with it…

TexasJew on April 15, 2009 at 9:51 AM

So, basically, if Bill Clinton were to become the border czar and were to impose HIS policies all over again, we would be MORE safe than with Obama’s? What alternate universe are we lost in?

littleguy on April 15, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Bubba. Still running the show. Watch your back Obama.

Hummer53 on April 15, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Will Napolitano also name a RightWing Extremist Czar?

I’m getting fed up with all of these czars. They remind me of someone being made in the mafia world. They pretty much have a free hand to do whatever they want, but they are only answerable to Der Leader or one of his inexperienced cabinet members. We the people, and our representives, are locked out of the process.

But we’re not headed for socialism. Nah, no way.

Keep it up Hussein, and it won’t be long until the Tea Parties evolve into Turkey Shoots.

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

So far there are six comments indicating that Bush was as bad or worse than the Democrats on border issues whereas if you ever criticised Obama for anything I think I’d have a heart attack.

aengus on April 15, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Clinton was significantly better on the Mexican border than W. Bush, so this isn’t bad all things considered.

The Dean on April 15, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

You got that right …… 4 years. Then Obama X gets the boot.

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:07 AM

This administration has more czars than a russian history book…

D2Boston on April 15, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Dissent is Patriotic

- Hillary Clinton

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Do you think he will actually visit the border?

Some like Obama just stay in town and don’t visit the field.

seven on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Obama is naming a lot of “czars”, sounds kinda socialistic to me.

Tommy_G on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Czars are so Soviet era…

tarpon on April 15, 2009 at 10:10 AM

So far there are six comments indicating that Bush was as bad or worse than the Democrats on border issues whereas if you ever criticised Obama for anything I think I’d have a heart attack.

aengus on April 15, 2009 at 10:03 AM
——
I have.

Objectivity. You should try it.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Dissent is Patriotic

- Hillary Clinton

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM
——
Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Drywall says X
HotAir laughs at X
Repeat

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM

I have.

Objectivity. You should try it.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Clearly threads that I’ve missed.

BuckeyeSam on April 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I bet he doesn’t cure cancer… try again.

D2Boston on April 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Doesn’t a smoker promote cancer?

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Czar? Another un-elected fall guy for the Obama Regime?
Remember what happened to the Czar?

Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Hey Dave, Obama is the Cancer that America needs a “cure” for.

old trooper2 on April 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Obama does X.
Hotair yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 4 years.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

I remember this, you’re a little off (as always) though:

Bush does X.
Moveon, Code Pink, Pelosivitch and Reidski, and DKos yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 8 years.

Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

No, we’d complain about Obama getting hand-fed directions from the teleprompter.

leetpriest on April 15, 2009 at 10:21 AM

I have.

Objectivity. You should try it.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Proof?

And this is a private website full of private citizens that share the same subjective view (and occasionally, a retard Canuck troll like yourself that doesn’t know what they’re talking about).

leetpriest on April 15, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Under Bersin, the Clinton Administration actually did have U.S. Marine patrols along the Mexican border. But that was ended after the May 1997 accidental shooting of teenager Esequiel Hernandez near Redford, in the Big Bend area of Texas, because of the lawsuit that followed and the complaints from open border and human rights groups.

So in abstract, he’s not against patrols on the border, and with the drug wars in Mexico, the open border groups have lost ground in the past two years due to fears from people living along the border that the violence could spread into the U.S. But he’ll be taking orders from Napolitano and whomever in the White House is telling her what to do, so I doubt we’re going to see a return of the Marine patrols any time soon.

jon1979 on April 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Another czar?? geez

becki51758 on April 15, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Border Czar? Qu’est-ce que c’est?

youngO on April 15, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Eine Grenze Zar ist eine Person, die Uhren Menschen über die Grenze.

Johan Klaus on April 15, 2009 at 10:29 AM

——

Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Obama could turn the U.S.A. into a socialist country and you would not complain. Oh, wait……….

Johan Klaus on April 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Obama could cure cancer and you would complain about job losses at cancer clinics.
Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Actually Obama’s administration IS a cancer.

TexasJew on April 15, 2009 at 10:37 AM

jon1979 on April 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Actually the Marines were removed from the patrols because they used their weapons and a Mexican National was shot. Don’t count on any more of that. The Sovereignty of Our Borders is not high on Obama’s list.

old trooper2 on April 15, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Too many Czars spoil the…

How many Czars do we need?

Isn’t this sort of thing what Cabinet Secretaries are supposed to take care of?

Of, course, having a Czar or two or three (how many does Obama have anyway?) well, they do not need Senate confirmation…thus are immune from oversight.

Oversight? Wasn’t that one of those memes the Dems kept talking about all during the election?

coldwarrior on April 15, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Border Czar… wouldn’t that be the Head of DHS?

Romeo13 on April 15, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Border Czar… wouldn’t that be the Head of DHS?

Romeo13 on April 15, 2009 at 10:54 AM

More of a border collie…

coldwarrior on April 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Wow, a tag-tem death match-Hot Air VS Drywall.

Face it, O’bama is COOL. After all, he eats Spam when he’s on vacation.

The adults are in charge now.

Del Dolemonte on April 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Nothing will happen at the border until the Administration goes big time public and commits unequivocally to a secure border and sets an aggressive time table to secure it and demands progress and obstacles be reported weekly and fires the folks that don’t meet the goals. Czars are red herrings and mean nothing to accomplishing goals but are only awarding a high paying job, benefits and amenities to a bureaucrat.

rsl775 on April 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM

More of a border collie…

coldwarrior on April 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Now, now, I resemble that remark, as a long time Border Collie owner. They’re widely recognized as the smartest dog breed.

In fact, the average Border Collie is smarter than O’bama is, and certainly smarter than all of those who voted for him.

Del Dolemonte on April 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM

If DHS didn’t name Arpajo or Tancredo, they are not serious about the border. This is just another retread from Clinton’s Cabinet who failed to do the job required to him (although he probably did the job assigned to him-keep the borders flooded with illegal aliens(not outerspace aliens, for those dimwit blond anchors).

eaglewingz08 on April 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Border? What border?
/

Disturb the Universe on April 15, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Bush does X.
Moveon, Code Pink, Pelosivitch and Reidski, and DKos yahoos complain about X.
Repeat for 8 years.

leetpriest on April 15, 2009 at 10:21 AM
——–
True.

Some of their crybabying was legit, some of it was bullsh*t.

At least I acknowledge that.

You yahoos think Obama is wrong 100% of the time. Zero objectivity.

Dave Rywall on April 15, 2009 at 12:21 PM

If DHS didn’t name Arpajo or Tancredo, they are not serious about the border.

Aren’t they on the DHS’s Right-Wing extremist watch list?

Disturb the Universe on April 15, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Obama is naming a lot of “czars”, sounds kinda socialistic to me.

Tommy_G on April 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Czars are so Soviet era…

tarpon on April 15, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Actually, the Czars were pre-socialist. But the term still rings of totalitarianism.

Disturb the Universe on April 15, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Im sorry, just how many federal bureaucracies do we need. Don’t we have homeland security to alledgedly protect our border? All these friggin czars we are going to have is going to make old Russia jealous. I mean hell, I heard that Michelle hired a makup artist for chrissakes.

FlyoverJ-HawkFan on April 15, 2009 at 12:52 PM

fogw on April 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM

+1

Al in St. Lou on April 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM