Via Jason Linkins
Over the past few days, I've written about the wildly outsized claims of czars in the Obama administration undermining the government. Republican Senators are sending letters and GOP House members are holding up posters and attempting to pass thoroughly baffling bills to prevent the Obama White House from appointing advisers.
These elected officials seem to be unaware of some basic facts. Many of the people they insist need to be confirmed by the Senate already have been confirmed. Many of the people they consider to be holding unprecedented appointments are merely filling well-established positions. In some cases, these lawmakers seem to have forgotten that they themselves passed laws that mandated the appointments. And in a few cases, they just select some established functionary at random -- like a State Department envoy or the Deputy Secretary of the Interior -- and call that guy a "czar" just for fun!
All of these fears and complaints are indicative of either a powerful desire to mislead or an advanced mental disease that hopefully Dr. Charles Boustany will be able to treat, with some sort of Louisiana voodoo poultice.
And of course, it's always worth pointing out that "czars" (the term itself being nothing more than a media shorthand standing in for long government titles and/or complex portfolios) have been a fact of life in American politics since the Nixon administration. And it's equally worth pointing out that the Bush administration itself deployed a veritable flotilla of czars.
The latter point is being made abundantly clear in a new Democratic National Committee ad entitled "Dancing With The Czars," which employs the services of Fox News's own Glenn Beck to elucidate some of the 47 Bush czars that walked the face of the earth before the Obama administration came to the White House.
"With apologies to Tom DeLay, and despite the railing you're hearing from the Republican caucus room and Fox News, the GOP has been 'dancing with czars' for a very long time. The unmitigated hypocrisy of these attacks not only speaks to the credibility of this manufactured controversy, but to the inability of the Republican party to say no to the marching orders doled out by Glenn Beck and the far right's noise machine," said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.