Hope and Change: Obama eliminates transparency czar

posted at 2:20 pm on August 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Somehow, some way, this has to be a bad joke, right?  Barack Obama made a big deal about creating the Most Transparent Administration Evah in the 2008 Hope and Change campaign, and after taking office appointed a transparency “czar,” which is in itself a contradiction in terms.   Eighteen months later, Obama has eliminated the position:

This perfectly captures the Obama White House’s attitude toward disclosure. Sure, the administration publish the names of all White House visitors, but, as the New York Times reported a few weeks back, White House folks just meet their lobbyists at Caribou Coffee across the street. Sure, they restrict the work of ex-lobbyists in the administration, but lobbyists who de-list aren’t questioned.

And we’ve seen just a few of the e-mails former Google lobbyist, now Obama tech policy guru, Andrew McLaughlin traded with current Google lobbyists using his Gmail account, but who knows what else the White House whiz kids are doing to avoid the Presidential Records Act — Facebook messages? Twitter direct messages? …

The Sunlight Foundation is also concerned about the fact the White House no longer has anyone whose job is transparency, as Eisen’s job was. John Wonderlich, at SunglightFoundation.com, lists a few transparency promises on which the president hasn’t followed through, including earmark transparency, a single Web site (Ethics.gov) with all ethics and accountability information, and better lobbying disclosure, among others.

The White House wants to reassure everyone that the duties won’t disappear, however.  They will transfer Norm Eisen’s duties as he leaves to become US Ambassador to the Czech Republic to … Obama’s chief counsel, Robert Bauer — because attorneys are all about full public disclosure of activities. Timothy Carney gives Washington Examiner readers a primer on Bauer’s commitment to openness and transparency:

On his blog, Bauer derided the notion “that politicians and parties are pictured as forever trying to get away with something,” saying this was an idea for which “there is a market, its product cheaply manufactured and cheaply sold.” In other words — we keep too close an eye on our leaders.

In August 2006 Bauer blogged, “disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned.” This is the man the White House has put in charge of making this the most open White House ever.

Most telling might have been Bauer’s statements about proposed regulations of 527 organizations: “If it’s not done with 527 activity as we have seen, it will be done in other ways,” he told the Senate rules committee.

“There are other directions, to be sure, that people are actively considering as we speak. Without tipping my hand or those of others who are professionally creative, the money will find an outlet.”

Not that this is much of a comedown.  Let’s recall that Eisen played a key role in the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin after he tried to blow the whistle on a sweetheart settlement that rescued an Obama supporter from political doom.  Eisen failed to provide the necessary notice to Congress and instead instigated a smear of Walpin as mentally deficient in order to cover the White House’s tracks.  Terminating IGs, who are supposed to be independent,  hardly upholds the concepts of transparency and accountability.

Instead, we get a partisan attack dog attorney as our new guarantor of transparency.  Having a White House counsel regulating transparency would qualify as a scandal in the media for any other President besides Barack Obama, and farce in any other setting than this administration and Congress.

Reason gives a list of Obama’s failures on transparency.


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Before long Bammy’s gonna be wandering the White House at 3AM talking to the pictures on the walls.

Bat Chain Puller on August 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM

If he’s not already.

Bat Chain Puller on August 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM

“On his blog, Bauer derided the notion “that politicians and parties are pictured as forever trying to get away with something,”

ObowmaCare comes to mind…

Seven Percent Solution on August 13, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Most people should be able to see right through this move….. bah da bump dump

Insert witty screen name here on August 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM

He did a terrific job on emperor øbama’s wardrobe…mission accomplished!

cartooner on August 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Transparency and obfuscation are synonyms in Chicago.

ButterflyDragon on August 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM

It’s not like this guy was doing his job anyway – unless it was to limit transparency.

fossten on August 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Maybe they could replace him with the race card….It’s been used so much you can see through it.

KZnextzone on August 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Wow!……..Didn’t see that one coming!

alwyr on August 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Cue up the Captain Louis Renault Award.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Let me be clear…

faraway on August 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Speaking of Walpin, what’s the latest?

marinetbryant on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

So they disappeared the transparency Czar?

Makes sense, as Barry’s credibility and any respect anyone had for him vanished long ago.

We would be better off with an Irish Setter for a president.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

SNL should mock Obama, playing him entirely made of transparent glass.

Schadenfreude on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Funny, I didn’t see THAT coming…

ornery_independent on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

“Oh, did you think I was talking about me when I said transparency?” said the greatest president ever.

Cindy Munford on August 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

SNL should mock Obama, playing him entirely made of transparent glass.

Schadenfreude on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

That’s why they have TOTUS.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Is this the same lawyer who’s going to decide who to go after when they cite the Constitution after naming BO’s blunders in office?
Bcs that’s what we need in the govt, more lawyers.

Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

We would be better off with an Irish Setter for a president.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist. Why because his name is O’Bama?

/s

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

On the plus side: One less czar (I hope).

On the down side: This is the last czar that should have gone… well, assuming they were actually promoting transparency.

MeatHeadinCA on August 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

What… no ht? ;)

Skywise on August 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

And if the Republicans win in November there will be fewer lobbyists in Washington???? The only difference will be who the check is made out to.

repvoter on August 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist. Why because his name is O’Bama?

/s

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

It is racist against Irish Setters.

Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Oh piff,Hopey through the Czar,under da bus!

On the bright side,there might be (1)job
re-created!!

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Most people should be able to see right through this move….. bah da bump dump
Insert witty screen name here on August 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Are you talking about Americans? The Americans who are apathetic and ignorant? I’m not reassured myself…

CCRWM on August 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Bauer is not only a partisan attack dog, he was the attorney for Obama’s campaign. And he is married to Anita “Fox News Is Not A Legitimate News Organization” Dunn.

Pretty obvious that they aren’t even trying to keep up the pretense anymore that this Administration is going to “change Washington.”

rockmom on August 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

There are two main things that all but the most hardy of stomach should not see close up. Sausage being made and Louie Hussein destroying the U.S. Constitution.

Tav on August 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

And if the Republicans win in November there will be fewer lobbyists in Washington???? The only difference will be who the check is made out to.

repvoter on August 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Smaller government = fewer lobbyists.

Right now, if you own a substantial business and DON’T have a lobbyist, you are an idiot. Nobody can shut you down faster than the federal government.

rockmom on August 13, 2010 at 2:43 PM

The One has become so ‘transparent’ he no longer needs anyone in that office. Besides, it gives him an excuse to give his lawyer a raise. (More responsibility, more money).

And it was only a campaign promise anyway. As Barry said, “the campaign is over”.

GarandFan on August 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Obama eliminates transparency czar

Obama appoints Opacity Czar in 5….4….3….

infidel4life on August 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Out: Transparency

In: Translucency

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I really do wonder, in all seriousness, if maybe he’s just not smart enough to see the farce of it all. He has ridden to the crest of the equal opportunity wave, and there he is, completely over his head, much less intelligent than those around him and too ignorant and stupid to even be overwhelmed. He really is a sad, pathetic, nasty little man and it’s tragic how this has all worked out. Somehow, I just can’t see how the ‘feel good we elected a black man’ outweighs the ‘feel bad, we elected an idiot.’

WashingtonsWake on August 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

repvoter on August 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Less race baiting poverty pimp lobbyists, less union lobbyists, less Muslim “activist” lobbyists, less trial lawyer lobbyists, less environmental extremist lobbyists . . .

More lobbyists trying to get American businesses on track and hiring again, by overturning the horrendous legislation the Democrat Congress saddled us with.

Excellent.

NoDonkey on August 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Obama eliminates transparency czar

Obama appoints Opacity Czar in 5….4….3….

infidel4life on August 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

infidel4life:D*mmit,the proper word,and,beat me to it,
I salute you!!:)

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

He is just making the Transparency Czar…..Transparent.

Now you see him, now you don’t.

portlandon on August 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

al New York Times headline: Obama Slashes White House Budget!

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Folks let’s face it, there is no way short of some sort of disaster of biblical proportions that lobbying is going away in the government. It has become more powerful than the government itself in a way. We need to look at ways to limit it’s influence instead of trying to get rid of it. Control it first if possible, then work to eliminate it.

Johnnyreb on August 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

He is just making the Transparency Czar…..Transparent.

Now you see him, now you don’t.

portlandon on August 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Disappearing Czar

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM

They will transfer Norm Eisen’s duties as he leaves to become US Ambassador to the Czech Republic

The Transparency Czar Czechs out to the land of Glasnost…or Glass Not.

In August 2006 Bauer blogged, “disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned.”

I question your virtue.

“If it’s not done with 527 activity as we have seen, it will be done in other ways,” he told the Senate rules committee.
“There are other directions, to be sure, that people are actively considering as we speak.

We just won’t tell you about them. See how transparent we are? Hide the decline, everyone!

Steve Z on August 13, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Out: Transparency

In: Translucenacy

canopfor on August 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM

FIFY.

Steve Z on August 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM

One guys lyin, the other is swearin to it!
Transparency the Chicago way!

Send “Cousin Eddie” and his whole lyin RAT clan packin!
Remember Together in NOvember!

dhunter on August 13, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Before long Bammy’s gonna be wandering the White House at 3AM talking to the pictures on the walls.

Bat Chain Puller on August 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM

“Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one
Smokin’ cigarettes and watchin’ Captain Kangaroo
Now don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do”

(Statler Brothers – Flowers on the Wall)

Yoop on August 13, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Speaking of Walpin, what’s the latest?

marinetbryant on August 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I think I read recently that his lawsuit had been dismissed.

There appears to be no accountability for this disgraceful administration’s conduct. They are incredibly sleazy, dishonest and unethical; they routinely violate laws with impunity; and most of the public seems not to notice or care.

AZCoyote on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM

what a schmuck

iam7545 on August 13, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Now will we get an Opacity Czar.

That’s what the old one was anyway.

notagool on August 13, 2010 at 3:22 PM

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=190457

Y’all seen this story…
Citizens taking matters into their own hands.
NICE….

Keemo on August 13, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Bauer is not only a partisan attack dog, he was the attorney for Obama’s campaign. And he is married to Anita “Fox News Is Not A Legitimate News Organization” Dunn. rockmom on August 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Who said Mao was one of her fave philosophers…

Akzed on August 13, 2010 at 3:30 PM

That is a pretty foolish move………

His lawyer is going to be pretty busy with (ahem) other things next spring.

Vashta.Nerada on August 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Obama had a Transparency Czar?

ctmom on August 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM

He needs an Eliminator Czar….

cmsinaz on August 13, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Before long Bammy’s gonna be wandering the White House at 3AM talking to the pictures on the walls.

Bat Chain Puller on August 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM

.
In other words, he’ll be talking to himself.

mrt721 on August 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM

The regime was always very transparent from the beginning to me. Save that salary for another bail out, why don’t cha.

Kissmygrits on August 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM

In other words, he’ll be talking to himself.

Must be why he has those sat dishes on each side of his head!?

chickasaw42 on August 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM

In other words, he’ll be talking to himself.

Must be why he has those sat dishes on each side of his head!?

chickasaw42 on August 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM

That one took a few seconds.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Obama is so transparent aleady that he appears to be nothing but an empty suit.

BadMojo on August 13, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Obama is so transparent aleady that he appears to be nothing but an empty suit.

BadMojo on August 13, 2010 at 6:34 PM

And Obama is such an empty suit he thinks that his legendarily thin skin actually fulfills his promise of full transparency.

leilani on August 13, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Right now, if you own a substantial business and DON’T have a lobbyist, you are an idiot. Nobody can shut you down faster than the federal government.

rockmom on August 13, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Yeah. I hate this.
Our cattleman’s organization, & all of them probably, have to employ full-time lobbyists to go to state legislatures as well as DC.
This is stupidly insane that we have to do this to get heard.
But how do we stop it?

Badger40 on August 13, 2010 at 8:02 PM

With all the transparency about King Obama it was easy to see that he didn’t have the “cahones” that he tries to make us thing he does.

Smorgasbord on August 14, 2010 at 4:07 AM