Is Obama Forming a “Shadow Government?”
posted at 4:29 pm on September 7, 2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh
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:
- Richard Holbrooke — Afghanistan Czar
- Jeffrey Crowley — AIDS Czar
- Ed Montgomery — Auto Recovery Czar
- Alan Bersin — Border Czar
- David J. Hayes — California Water Czar
- Ron Bloom — Car Czar (moved to Manufacturing Czar today)
- Dennis Ross — Central Region Czar
- Todd Stern — Climate Czar
- Lynn Rosenthal — Domestic Violence Czar
- Gil Kerlikowske — Drug Czar
- Paul Volcker — Economic Czar
- Carol Browner — Energy and Environment Czar
- Joshua DuBois — Faith Based Czar
- Jeffrey Zients — Government Performance Czar
- Cameron Davis — Great Lakes Czar
- Van Jones — Green Jobs Czar (resigned)
- Daniel Fried — Guantanamo Closure Czar
- Nancy-Ann DeParle — Health Czar
- Vivek Kundra — Information Czar
- Dennis Blair — Intelligence Czar
- Ron Bloom — Manufacturing Czar
- George Mitchell — Mideast Peace Czar
- Kenneth R. Feinberg — Pay Czar
- Cass R. Sunstein — Regulatory Czar
- John Holdren — Science Czar
- Earl Devaney — Stimulus Accountability Czar
- J. Scott Gration — Sudan Czar
- Herb Allison — TARP Czar
- Aneesh Chopra — Technology Czar
- John Brennan — Terrorism Czar
- Adolfo Carrion Jr. — Urban Affairs Czar
- Ashton Carter — Weapons Czar
- 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 Big Lizards…
Recently in the Green Room: