All the president’s men

As I’ve been surfing the intertubes, I’ve noticed some conservatives in the blogosphere are calling for President Obama’s impeachment, and not because he’s broken any laws, but because they really don’t like him. The rationale for impeaching President Obama seems to be that he’s circumvented the Constitution through his use of “czars” to lead his administration’s efforts in a number of areas, as if the appointment of “czars” is something new and exclusive to the Obama administration.

Administrations from both parties – and going all the way back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – have been appointing “czars,” and even George W. Bush, who can seem to do no wrong in the eyes of some conservatives, appointed a good number of czars during his 8 years in office, and I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at some of President George W. Bush’s “czars”:

  • Abstinence Czar – Randall Tobias
  • AIDS Czar – Scott Evertz, Joe O’Neill, Carol Thompson
  • Bank Bailout Czar – Neel Kashkari
  • Bioethics Czar – Leon Kass
  • Bird flu Czar – Stewart Simonson
  • Birth control czar – Eric Keroack
  • Budget czar – Mitch Daniels, Josh Bolton, Rob Portman
  • Clean Up Czar – Jessie Roberson, James Rispoli
  • Communications Czar – Dan Bartlett
  • Cyber Security Czar – Richard Clark, Rod Beckstrom
  • Democracy Czar – Elliot Abrams
  • Domestic Policy Czar – Karl Rove
  • Drug Czar – William Bennett, Bob Martinez, John Walters
  • Faith-Based Czar – John Dilulio, Jim Towey, Jay Hein
  • Food Safety Czar – David Acheson
  • Global AIDS Czar – Randall Tobias, Mark Dybul
  • World Trade Center Health Czar – John Howard
  • Health IT Czar – David Brailer
  • Homeland Security Czar – Michael Chertoff, Phil Mangano
  • Hurricane Katrina Recovery Czar – Donald Powell
  • Manufacturing Czar – William Sutton, Albert Frink
  • Mine Safety Czar – Richard Stickler
  • Policy Czar – Michael Gerson
  • Reading czar – Reid Lyon
  • Regulatory Czar – Susan Dudley, John Graham
  • Science Czar – John Marburger
  • Counterterrorism Czar – Wayne Downing
  • War Czar – Douglas Lute

If you’re counting – and I was – that’s at least 28 “czars” appointed by President George W. Bush, but curiously, I’ve yet to hear a single conservative say President Bush should have been impeached for his appointment of “czars.”

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21 thoughts on “All the president’s men

  1. Doesn’t Article 2; Section 2; 2nd Clause give the office of President this power? And it is up to the Senate to confirm these appointments? (Which for the lower appointments is done procedurally now-a-days.)

    Clause 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

  2. We have called Bush on nor did we call Clinton on it. I asked you to defend the vetting process and the likes of Jones and Sunstein. Which czars in the Clinton or Bush Admins were radicals?????? Defend this president and stop going back to Bush!!!!!

  3. Wait a minute, you’re calling the Director of the Office of Management and Budget a Czar?

    Where the hell did you get that info from? Also, the “Homeland Security Czar” is now a Cabinet position.

  4. I cannot speak to the Bush/Clinton Czar situation, didn’t pay much attention to it then, but not holding past administrations accountable for something abhorrent to the Constitution is no excuse for not holding the current administration accountable for the (supposedly) same actions. Why is this guy getting a pass from the left?

  5. If we impeached every president that “circumvented” the Unites States Constitution, arguably we could have started with Abraham Lincoln. The list could also include Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt—read American history. Unfortunately, U.S. Presidents have a long history of conveniently, circumventing and—in view—purposefully misinterpreting our Constitution. And they have been aided and abetted by Congress and the Supreme Court.

    It’s not difficult to see that some Conservatives and Republicans are trying to even the score for the call for Bush’s impeachment by Liberals and Democrats during the Bush years. Ridiculous political-gamesmanship.

  6. Fred K – Oops, didn’t know I was playing a game, I thought I was calling for a President guilty of circumventing the constitution to be impeached. The fact that we as Americans have been lax in the defense of the Constitution in the past is not reason enough to let it slide now.

      1. –Senator Byrd wrote a letter to President Obama in February, criticizing the president’s strategy of creating czars to manage important areas of national policy. Senator Byrd said that these appointments violate both the constitutional system of checks and balances and the constitutional separation of powers, and is a clear attempt to evade congressional oversight.
        –Article two, Section two
        …He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
        “WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE”
        –Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
        (…or something like that…)

  7. It’s all about putting things into perspective and you just did that Zach! Thanks much! I have been having the same reaction to all this Czar talk. I don’t like Czars but to pretend President Obama is doing something new is disingenuous.

  8. I believe the Homeland Security Czar is actually the Homeland Security Advisor, currently held by John Brennen, Homeland Security Secretary is something completely different Kevin, and yeah Director of OMB could be considered a czar. Just because the OMB director is a cabinet level officer, that is at the Presidents discretion.

  9. Let’s take the example of Cass Sunstein, for argument’s sake. We can refer to Sunstein as a “czar” within the Obama administration, but he does have an actual title and office, which is Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a position established in the Office of Management and Budget under section 3503 of title 44 of U.S. Code.

    So tell me how exactly Cass Sunstein’s position violates the Constitution.

    1. Sunstein is just scarry – he thinks our animals should be able to sue us!!! He is crazy. Laughable

  10. I think for most, it’s as simple as poking fun at and being irritating about the issue and Obama’s use of the term more than anything. Personally, I think it’s funny, and I can’t hear czar without a chuckle because I think of Russian Tsar/Czars and the idea that giving out the title is all it takes to make someone a supreme leader or something.

    My guess is that it’s only the fringe who think it rises to the level of impeachable or unconstitutional – I certainly don’t.

    As to some of the specific appointees, after a really well prepared first week or so, Obama’s nominees/appointees have been quite disappointing. Whether poor vetting or just hubris that I don’t know. The failure to pay taxes by Geitner…That they thought Van Jones history was something that wouldn’t be found or matter. Etc. But that’s all poor choices, nothing remotely in the neighborhood of impeachable.

    I agree completely, the idea you can’t impeach a guy you don’t like & it’s just partisan hackery.

    1. Czar by definition means emperor or someone with authority – He has alot of poor choices of czars – most of them have criminal backgrounds. Makes you wonder how he knows all of the people. Czar is a russian word. You know, communism?? It is not partisan hackery. I think people want the TRUTH about these czars and other issues. The science czar wants to limit the number of children we have like China does now. He thinks it ought to be mandatory birth control.

      1. babydoll, were you worried about all the czars in President George W. Bush’s administration? Were you worried about communism because of his czars?

  11. The problem here is all in the spelling. See, “czar” creates the impression of a forgiegn body in a place where it doesn’t belong, much like a C student taking power through patently undemocratic means in the greatest democracy on earth. Now, see, if it was spelled “tsar,” people would be more complacent. “Tsar” looks like a misspelling of “Star,” which has positive connotations. Remember, entertainment is America’s biggest export. That’s why we need to make a movie about people who want to impeach the president because he’s full of czars.

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