While most Americans eat, sleep, and go about their business, an anonymous group of men and women are running their lives. They have infiltrated government sectors, private industries, and even societal mores. But, most frighteningly of all, their actions and sheer power go unnoticed by apathetic national media and oblivious citizens. They are Barack Obama’s czars.
And there are more than handful. Actually, there are thirty one, to be exact. Twenty six positions have already been filled. Some of their official titles include Technology Czar, Economic Czar, Afghanistan Czar, and Border Czar. Among the more humorous are Great Lakes Czar, Green Jobs Czar, Guantanamo Closure Czar, and Middle-East Peace Czar. Yes, these are actual government positions.
So if, due to the tight job market, one were interested in one of these jobs, how might he go about applying? Well, he can’t. What, then, is the criteria for a selecting a Czar? Nobody knows. So why do they exist? We can only speculate. America’s unfamiliarity with their new leaders is apparent by the implied hand quotations that go up every time the word ‘czar’ is uttered on television.
What we do know is that these czars are essentially unregulated regulators of our society. They are appointed by President Obama to oversee different industries, issues, etc. But unlike department secretaries (Treasury Secretary, Education Secretary, etc.), they are not subject to congressional confirmation. This process was put in place so that the legislative branch, the branch closest to the people, could limit the power of the executive. But these czars are accountable to only one man, Barack Obama.
That, in itself, is a frightening proposition. These czars have powers not regulated by the constitution, or even by federal law. This might, just maybe, be due in part to the fact that such positions have never existed in America. Yet, oddly enough, they are paid by taxpayer dollars and given immense power over those very same taxpayers. Taxpayers, however, were curiously absent from the hiring interview. These czars do the bidding of a single man, with absolutely no checks on their power. No Washington Rent-A-Leader can claim such massive authority with such little scrutiny. Whether you are liberal, conservative, green or purple, that should scare you.
Now, I understand that government must adapt and change for a new generation, and new departments are sometimes necessary. For example, when America was attacked on September 11, 2001, it magnified a glaring problem in our intelligence community. Separate governmental departments could not communicate efficiently enough to coordinate a defense plan. In response, President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security and appointed Tom Ridge as Secretary. But, as a secretary of a department, he was subject to confirmation by the Senate, an elected body of the people.
With the utilization of czars, Barack Obama is sidestepping the constitution and further toying with America’s civil liberties. The President is stretching, bending, and breaking the limits of his own administration while the public turns a blind eye. And since the media has thus far displayed a general unwillingness to raise a question toward Carnival de Obama, I leave you with a short list of my own.
1. Will the Science Czar consider doing away with Systemic Physiology? (Because I find it largely unnecessary and potentially harmful to my GPA.)
2. How far down the food chain can the Pay Czar regulate salary? (I was thinking about a promotion, but I might reconsider.)
3. Does the Great Lakes Czar have jurisdiction over Brett Favre contract negotiations?
4. Will the Guantanamo Closure Czar be given ample time to find employment before his position is eliminated? (Or maybe his position will simply be renamed Alcatraz Reopening Czar.)
5. Has the Stimulus Accountability Czar been given his annual performance review? (Because I have some comments and/or concerns.)