Czar Wars

All this recent manufactured outrage over the presence of "czars" in the government by the right is one of the dumber, sadder trends I've seen in awhile. It's a non-existent argument based on semantics, aimed at playing on the fears of a particularly gullible section of the population who hasn't been paying attention for the last thirty years. The fact that it's been at all effective is further proof that we as Americans are completely deserving of whatever shitty government we saddle ourselves with.

On a related (if lighter) note, here's a recent illo from the Las Vegas Weekly, from a piece suggesting what sort of czars the state of Nevada might appoint...in this case, a Border Czar, whose most important task would be keeping out Utahns!


Anonymous said...

Has it been effective? I sure hope not.

How about the crazies on the right cheering AGAINST the US because we didn't get the Olympics? So sad.

Robert Ullman said...

They're pathetic. They're loud and obnoxious, which makes 'em seem more of a presence...but in reality I don't think they're too big a part of the population.

jason said...

As a native of Utah, I'd like to point out that a whole lot of Nevada border towns would dry up without Utahns patronizing their casinos... and Utahns would probably start spontaneously combusting if they were kept away from the cultural relief valves those border towns represent. It's a symbiotic relationship!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you mean by "manufactured outrage," but I'm sure you can find folks on the right (and the left) making lousy arguments. Nevertheless, there are at least two reasons that you should be concerned about the proliferation of czars:

(1) At least some of the czars are exercising authority that is arguably limited to Officers of the United States, whom the constitution requires be confirmed by the Senate. You might not care because the Senate is mostly a rubber stamp for Obama, but even Russ Feingold is expressing concern about the Czars, and it's hard to label him a right-wing teabagging racist. At the very least, if Obama's czars are vetted by the Senate, he could avoid the embarrassment of having to fire them if they turn out to be 9/11 Truthers.

(2) The Democrats aren't going to be in power forever. Set a precedent that the President can appoint whomever he wants to unaccountable positions, and that precedent stays when the president is named Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney. I'm reminded of what Thomas More said in A Man for All Seasons:

"This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's, and if you cut them down... do you really think you could stand upright in the wind that would blow then? Yes. I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake."

Give the government the power to harass your foes today if you want, but someday you might find yourself a foe of the government that has the power to harass you. I guarantee that you won't like Sarah Palin's czars.