Ill-Founded Claims Concerning Obama
There were much easier ways for Allan Jefferys to critique Obama's performance to date than the ill-founded constitutional claims raised in his Sunday, Oct. 11 column.
The one easy way he did choose -- Obama's "wasting millions of dollars" flying to Copenhagen -- leads one to wonder why, in the past, he withheld comment on President Bush's 77 trips to Crawford, Texas, on Air Force One (a consequence of which was, per US News, his absence from Washington for 490 days).
More seriously, Jefferys accuses Obama, directly or inferentially, of violating his oath of office by appointing "czars" without the advice and consent of the Senate. While citing the clause in the Constitution requiring consent to presidential appointments, Jefferys omits mention of the qualification in the same clause permitting appointments without Senate consent, i.e., "the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone."
Without this power, government would be paralyzed. It would be analogous to requiring the CEO of General Electric to consult his board for the appointment of each staff member.
Accounts vary, but according to a compilation in Wikipedia, Obama has created 32 so-called czar positions. Bush created 31 during his tenure. A president is confronted with a huge, multifunctional organization and sorely needs advice as to functions that often cross organizational lines. How he chooses to get that advice is quintessentially a management decision.
The presidents have usually used the term "czar" as a convenient description of scope. Obama's more extreme critics have managed to conjoin it with their equally absurd charge of Obama's fascist, socialist (or preferably Marxist) march toward the establishment in the United States of a Muslim totalitarian theocracy.
J. Thomas Tidd
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