Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama's Shadow Government

By Alan Caruba

How many of these names do you recognize?

Adolfo Carrion, Aneesh Chopra, Ear; Devamey, Kenneth Feinberg, Carol Browner, Ed Montgomery, Todd Stern, Cass Sunstein, Ron Bloom, and John Brennan. If none of them ring a bell, it is because they and others are all part of a shadow government of some thirty “czars”; advisors to President Obama who did not submit to the Senate confirmation process and are exempt from Congressional oversight.

Article 2, Section 2, U.S. Constitution, an excerpt: He (the President) 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 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 the heads of departments.” (Emphasis added)

The Constitution creates two types of positions in the executive branch: principal officers and inferior officers. The first of these are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The latter are not subject to this process.

The Obama administration began with a series of nominations that were found to be tax cheats and forced to withdraw before Senate confirmation. One of them, Van Jones, put in charge of “green jobs” was forced to resign when it became known that he was a self-identified communist. Carol Browner, responsible for environmental and energy issues, was on the board of the Commission for a Sustainable Society, the action arm of the Socialist International.

In the case of “special envoys” George Mitchell, Richard Holbrooke, and Dennis Ross, they all engage in ambassadorial duties, representing the nation to foreign entities and are responsible only to the president. Key elements of the nation’s foreign policy, particularly as regards the Middle East, remain hidden from the public, except in terms of the president’s public pronouncements.

All of the president’s cabinet secretaries in charge of various departments and agencies of the government are vested with administrative powers and all must be confirmed by the Senate. By virtue of the Administrative Procedure Act, these offices must hold public hearings and maintain records when decisions are made, thus creating a paper trail. All of these offices must have separate lines in Congress’s annual appropriations bills.

The bulk of the president’s czars are exempt from such oversight. They advise and answer directly to the president and a number of them exercise control over the decisions made by cabinet secretaries and agency directors, most of whom have been reduced to a role of carrying out their decisions, their agenda.

The U.S. government is being run out of the White House by a cohort of czars/advisors who do not answer to the American people and operate in the dark. This is part of the warning issued in “The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.” The authors, Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski, are both attorneys with extensive knowledge of the Constitution. Blackwell has been an ambassador.

These czars are essentially unconstitutional and illegal.

All presidents have had advisors, but none prior to Obama have had so many and none have been delegated vast powers. They represent a violation of the separation of powers essential to a democratic republic and all violate the need and expectation of transparency and accountability.

Some have demonstrated in their past publications and present statements that they are wholly incompetent to hold such power. The regulations czar, Cass Sunstein, has said that animals should have the same legal rights as humans. The science advisor, John Holdren, has advocated putting chemicals in the drinking water or requiring devices that would neutralize fertility, including compulsory abortion.

John Brennan, the terrorism czar, responsible for homeland security, downplayed the near disaster of the Christmas “underpants bomber” and claimed that all possible intelligence that could be secured from him had been in less than an hour after his arrest!

All these czars function in direct contradiction of the long history of such advisors to presidents and in contradiction to the framework of the U.S. Constitution designed to ensure that the executive branch is answerable to Congress.

The function (or lack of it) of elected senators and representatives is ugly enough as seen in the failure of Congress to exercise caution in the passage of bills that affect the economy and the lives of all Americans. The U.S. debt has increased to levels not seen since World War Two. Obamacare was an ugly process of bribery and closed-door deals that resulted in a straight party line vote that was a repudiation of the will of the people.

No one knows what these unelected and unsupervised czars are doing, but you can be sure they all are loyal advocates and agents of the socialist transformation of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Eddy said...

Alan, this Cszar thing is a very European thing to do. It is tradition there, at least in many countries, to have a "cabinet" surrounding the various ministers (or Secretaries as you call them). These cabinets of collaborators form an "administration" on top of the "administration" and the civil service just follows the instructions of the members of cabinet. So, once again, Obama is looking at Europe as a model, and we know how great democracy works in Europe, right? Right? :-)

Gustav said...

Thanks for shedding light on an important subject. It's not something I understood before reading your essay.