Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pat Sajak Gets Into the Mix

Great little piece written on the blog Ricochet by Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak on the "czarism" that is engulfing the Obama Administration. Sajak, tongue firmly in cheek, discusses how he is about to be named "Game Show Czar" by the Obama Administration.

Funny stuff, for sure.

But the underlining theme brings up a serious issue with this administration. Democrats, including then-Senator Obama, raised holy hell when President Bush used recess appointments for judicial nominees bogged down in the Senate swamp due to Democratic filibusters. The Democrats argued that the judicial nominees needed to be fully vetted by the Senate, as is written in the Constitution. They had a valid point during the Bush years and that point still stands today in the Obama Administration: under our form of government the Senate has to confirm judicial appointments, including Supreme Court justices, and cabinet appointments. These are the rules and (this is where the Hat Trick is going to get on the Republicans a bit) BOTH sides need to respect that, not just raise hell when the opposition party controls the White House and you want to make a political point. All this does is make the process more toxic and slow government down even more. Not a good solution.

However, these "Czars" that have become popular in the Obama White House are very problematic. The czars have quite a bit of authority, much like cabinet secretaries, yet have NEVER gone through a confirmation hearing. This is a real problem from a public policy standpoint. I understand the theory behind them: make government work better, more accountable, focus on specific public policy problems, etc., and avoid the toxic politics of the Congress, especially the Senate. However, by granting these sweeping mandates the Administration has created an opportunity for significant public policy decisions to be made without the blessing of the Congress and, indirectly, the blessing of the citizens of this country who elect the Congress.

You may not like the players in the sandbox (the Senate) but those are the rules that we are governed by in this country. To continue down the road of these "czars" only seems to me to be another step towards Directive 10-289 and the world of Atlas Shrugged.

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