White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, whose mom is a lovely woman but who seems a bit out of his depth as most Press Secretaries do, raises a valuable point about Republican hypocrisy, and an even more valuable point about Democratic hypocrisy:
Gibbs said GOP “silence was deafening” on the issue of czars during former President George W. Bush's administration.
Republicans didn’t raise the issue, he said, when Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) pushed a Y2K czar or when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called for a manufacturing czar.
“You've read Sen. Bennett was pushing for a Y2K czar that he didn't think was powerful enough,” Gibbs said. “You've seen Lamar Alexander call for a manufacturing czar."
He also brought up the name of Randall Tobias, a Bush administration deputy secretary of State and “abstinence czar” who resigned after it was discovered his name was on a prostitution-services call list.
“You know, somebody referred to in the Bush administration as the abstinence czar was on the D.C. Madam's list,” Gibbs said. “Now, did that violate the Constitution, or simply offend our sensibilities?”
With respect Mr. Gibbs, the answer to that last question is, "Yes to both."
That the government would appoint a "Czar" to oversee sexual abstinence is a gross and blatant violation of the Constitution, one that was sold as promoting a federal government of limited powers, and it offends my sensibilities. Not that the Czar hangs out with hookers, but that he exists at all.
The typical justification behind "Czardom" or any other federal jefe, program, or policy that doesn't, to any liberal but honest reading, appear among the powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution, is that the government has the authority to promote, demote, or regulate this, that, and the other thing based on the "commerce clause," which gives the federal government authority to regulate the sexual intercourse of wheat plants, and the "necessary and proper clause," which allows the government to do anything that could, in some sophist's mind, conceivably advance the government's legitimate aims at controlling the sexual intercourse of wheat plants, or human beings for that matter. Because human reproduction affects interstate commerce, unless of course one wishes to prohibit the abortion of such reproductions, in which case the right to privacy, a penumbra and emanation of the fourth and fifth and fourteenth amendments, comes into play.
But I don't recall a single damned Democrat complaining that an abstinence Czar was unconstitutional Mr. Gibbs, only that the anointed abstinence Czar was a hypocrite, so on that front your accusations of Republican hypocrisy rebound. Nor do I recall any Democrat, though the Republicans are lamely doing so when they're not running the show, complaining about an auto manufacturing Czar, an auto labor Czar, a California water supply Czar, a climate Czar, or a domestic violence Czar, all of which we have now.
With the exception of Robert Byrd, I can't remember the last time a prominent Democratic politician made a serious, educated argument that any law or program of any sort was unconstitutional, unless it had something to do with keeping expectant mothers from having their fetuses' brains sucked out by vacuum pump because they were too lazy or ignorant to get an abortion in the second trimester.
But back to Czars, is the water supply in California so low that we need a federal official in charge of it? Hasn't southern California always been a desert? Don't we really need a Czar in charge of sending all those smug, glorified ex-Okies back to where they came from? Or better still, back to Europe?
What Democratic and Republican politicians need is a real Czar. A Tsar, if you will, one who understands the knout, and how to deal with Pugachev and his like. Rather than a Czar in charge of creating hundreds of thousands of new criminals overnight, perhaps we could have a real Tsar, one who punishes only those guilty of the hubris of believing they're wise enough to control everyone else, while showing mercy and love to the people of Russia.