I was completely opposed to impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. Sure, he had oral sex with an intern next to, probably even in, the Oval Office – and, yes, of course, he lied about it under oath. But for me that didn’t rise to the level of impeachment. Reason: the percentage of men who have lied about sex, many of them under oath, is astronomical. I am certain that accounts in part for the ubiquity of no fault divorce. If lying about sex were an actionable offense, our courts would be in terminal gridlock. Moreover, although some differ, Clinton’s pathetic behavior didn’t really have much to do with the life of our country or affairs of state. It was basically a private matter. In fact, Clinton governed rather well as a centrist president.
Barack Obama’s Czar System – which has recently come under scrutiny for some repellent, even paranoid, statements by his “Green Czar” Van Jones, a onetime “9-11 truther” who calls Republicans “assholes” on television – is an entirely different matter. This is directly an affair of state and seemingly an end run around the Separation of Powers. According to an article recently published at Examiner.com by Patrick McMahon, there are now thirty-one of these czars, covering areas from terrorism to domestic violence. Congress has not vetted a single one of them, as far as I know. Indeed, with only a couple of exceptions (Dennis Ross, etc.), we know who few of them are. Are others as extreme as Mr. Jones? Who knows? All we know is that they are there and that Obama (or someone) approved them. We don’t know exactly what their authority is and what they are supposed to do ultimately. They are a completely new part of our Executive Branch, invented by the President and/or his advisors. Was this what the Framers intended when they created the three branches of our government with all the checks and balances?
Unlike Mr. Jones, I am no lawyer, and obviously not a Constitutional one, but it strikes me there is a problem here. And it could be very embarrassing to Mr. Obama. No doubt this is why, as Byron York points out, the mainstream media has been so reluctant to cover this story, only the WaPo and CBS chiming in at this point, although they were late to the party and relatively perfunctory. The former Newspaper of Record has yet to log in. Had Bush appointed thirty-one czars outside the normal Congressional approval system the MSM would have been all over it like the proverbial wet suit, declaring a coup d’etat in the making. But, as of now, the MSM has imposed omerta. It is Labor Day weekend. We shall see what happens next week.
UPDATE: Now that Van Jones has stepped, not surprisingly the NYT has commented – but without any acknowledgement that they had ignored the story. But what is interesting is that they do note (twice) that Van Jones escaped the normal Congressional vetting process. Is the Times too worried that Obama has stepped over the line and is in danger of destroying himself? Possibly.
Howard Dean’s pathetic attempt on excuse Jones(he accidentally send the “truther” petition) on Fox this morning is quoted at the end of the article. Who do they expect to believe that?
MORE: From Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana: “The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who’ve been appointed to these czar positions,” said Pence, speaking to reporters. “And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations.”