Have you heard about the latest Obama czar to stir up controversy for his extreme policy positions and radical affiliations?
I’m not talking about Van Jones, the recently deposed “Green Jobs Czar.” Sure Jones has an affinity for Marxist ideology and dabbles in 9/11-was-an-inside-job lunacy. But this guy makes all the fuss surrounding Jones look downright humdrum by comparison.
He’s got ties to domestic terrorists, believes babies who survive abortions do not deserve protection and for decades embraced a mentor who thinks America deserved what it got on that horrific day eight years ago. And he’s the most powerful czar of them all: Barack Obama.
Many Americans are aghast that President Obama appointed a radical to a key advisor’s position. But they shouldn’t be surprised. Obama’s always been most comfortable on the fringes.
In his book Dreams From My Father, Obama writes about how he chose his associations while in college. “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.”
The radicalism of Van Jones and other Obama czars merely reflects the president’s own views and is squarely within the mainstream of the political Left.
Van Jones insists he’s a victim of a “vicious smear campaign.” But most of the conservative criticism involved simply reciting Jones’ own statements back to him. He can complain all he wants, but these are positions that in front of certain audiences Jones would have been delighted to trumpet, and associations without which he probably never could have ascended to the point of being considered for the administration post in the first place.
The mainstream media, when it finally acknowledged the story, tried to absolve the Obama administration of any wrongdoing. The most the Washington Post could concede was that the controversy “revealed a lapse in the administration’s vetting procedures…”
But it is implausible to suggest that the Obama administration was in the dark about Jones’ beliefs and associations. Obama key aide Valerie Jarrett said only a few weeks ago that they were “delighted to be able to recruit him,” and “we were watching him.” A White House source told The American Spectator this week, “You don’t fill a position like this without his hire being approved at a couple of different levels at least.”
Let’s be honest: The Obama administration knew what Jones believed. It’s mainstream Americans who were in the dark.
As night follows day, liberal journalists pointed to Jones’ skin color to accuse his critics of racism. David Sirota wrote at the Huffington Post,
“…let’s just be honest — the fact that the right chose to mount a hysteria campaign specifically around an African American, Jones, was no coincidence.”
The race-baiting Left’s ability to confuse correlation (criticizing a radical leftist who happens to be black) with causation (criticizing a radical leftist because he is black) never ceases to amaze me. In truth, the only color conservative critics of the Obama administration were looking for is red, as in Communist Red. And Jones is a professed Communist.
Jones is only one of many radical Obama czars. Science Czar John Holdren is an environmental extremist whose writing suggests he once supported coercive population control measures including forced abortion as well and adding sterilants to drinking water.
Cass Sustein is Obama’s Regulatory Czar. Sustein has written in support of granting animals legal standing in civil litigation (a right, incidentally, he would not extend to unborn persons), banning hunting and encouraging people to eat less meat.
Then there’s Mark Lloyd, Obama’s Diversity Czar with the Federal Communications Commission. Lloyd is an admirer of Hugo Chavez and supports reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine, which would muzzle conservative talk radio.
It is into the hands of those and the dozens of other “special advisors” that Obama has placed a level of unaccountable power that even cabinet secretaries do not possess.
At least one liberal is concerned. Democratic Senator Robert Byrd sent a letter to Obama stating:
“the rapid and easy accumulation of power by the White House staff can threaten the constitutional system of check and balances…as presidential assistants and advisors, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president. They rarely testify before congress and often shield the information and decision making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.”
Byrd wrote that letter in February. Since then, President Obama has added more than a dozen new czars.
This week GOP Congressman Patrick McHenry called for all of Obama’s 32 plus czars to testify before Congress before assuming their positions. I think that’s a good idea.
But here is the dirty little secret: The liberal left does not consider Jones and his ilk extremists. These guys weren’t invited into Obama’s inner circle because the president’s team was ignorant of their histories. Nor were they given their posts in spite of their extreme records. They were elevated to their positions because of their radical views.
These high-profile figures are only the tip of the iceberg. Countless political appointees holding the same views operate in a vast bureaucracy, put in place by Obama, and all are working day and night to remake the country in their image.
But there is a silver lining to this story of unaccountable, unelected officials seizing political power. It’s the story of a grassroots revival of good, old-fashioned democracy. Citizen involvement was seen at town hall meetings and tea parties. And people’s voices have been heard on the internet, talk radio and even during the president’s healthcare address to Congress this week.
Van Jones was forced to leave office after ordinary Americans learned what kind of person President Obama had chosen. An engaged electorate is a powerful thing, and their attention is turning to the other un-vetted officials Obama picked. Other czars might want to get their resumes together. Who knows, czar employment rates could eventually reach the level that the rest of the country is suffering from.