Mark Rudd is a former SDS/Weather Underground member who’s friendly with many of Obama’s radical friends from Chicago. He currently serves on the board of the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS), the parent body of Progressives For Obama, a leading far left umbrella group that supported Obama’s presidential campaign, and continues to support his Presidency.
Last December, Trevor Loudon, (the NZ blogger who nailed Van jones) noticed a compelling entry from Rudd’s blog:
Our job now is to organize both inside and outside the Demo party. There’s already a big battle in the Demo party at every level. Here in the New Mexico State Legislature, the progressives are challenging the conservative Dems for leadership; the same is true in Congress. If you can’t stand to work in the party, work on putting mass pressure on issues such as healthcare and jobs and the war from outside.
Here’s my mantra: “Let’s put this country on our shoulders and get to work.”
…Leave the military alone because they’re way too powerful. For now, until enough momentum is raised…you have to be able to look like you’re doing one thing but do another. That’s why all these conservative appointments are important: the strategy is feint to the right, move left…Look to the second level appointments. There’s a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They’re mostly progressives…”
Andrew McCarthy had predicted the same thing back in November about Obama’s 2nd level appointments:
I expect the Obama appointment strategy to be two-fold . . . and clever. Step One: Establish the precedent for easy confirmations with ostensibly moderate, center-left nominees who are popular enough in the senate that the RINO bloc will quickly get on board. This would establish a working coalition for Obama in the upper chamber (not just on nominations but on legislation) and discourage the remaining GOP ranks from using the filibuster or other procedural stalls.
Step Two: Obama will move the country leftward with the appointments that really matter in government: the hundreds of second- and third-tier (and below) executive agency appointments — the deputy-secretaries, under-secretaries, and associate-this or -that for policy, etc., who work where the rubber of big government meets the road. They are the ones who implement policy, who have a huge hidden role in making policy, and who control the hiring of the thousands of federal employees who do not require confirmation.
Who could have predicted that Obama’s lurch to the left would go far beyond filling low level cabinet positions with far lefties. Obama has gone over the heads of his Cabinet, and created dozens of new positions, known as czars, creating positions that already have counterparts in the Cabinet…positions that some are saying make up a “shadow government”.
He’s created anywhere from 29 (according to the Politico) to 32 (Glenn Beck) to 44 (American daughter) Czar positions.
One reason for the discrepancy is because of the unclear definition of “Czar”. Ed Morrissey, argues that a Czar does not have to go through a Senate confirmation, so someone like Cass Sunstein who is currently going through the confirmation process is considered a special adviser to the President, not a Czar. On the other hand, Michelle Malkin has called him a “Czar nominee (who is subject to confirmation hearings)”.
At any rate, there has been an unprecedentedly large number of folks appointed to positions in the executive branch, who do not have any Congressional oversight whatsoever, in Obama’s first nine months as President. So what the heck is going on here?
Anthony Martin of the Examiner believes this “bodes ill for citizens who value liberty and the Constitution”:
I postulated a theory yesterday that maintains Obama is forming a ‘shadow government’ that could, at any moment, replace the Cabinet, Congress, and the Supreme Court. The sheer number of these shadow government officials strongly suggests that their presence in the White House is more than just a casual, friendly ‘advisory’ relationship with the President. Rather, the scenario that is developing indicates the attempt by an American President to pull an ‘end-run’ around the legislative and judicial branches of government.
Glenn Beck has hinted at something similarly nefarious on his show.
Michelle Malkin calls them “Czars of Obama’s underworld”,
The Obama administration has created a two-tiered government—fronted by Cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them, just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making.
She reports today, that a Democrat Rep opposes the Czar system, and has in fact called for their dismissals:
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren said Congress should use the power of the purse to push the Obama administration to remove so-called czars that do not go through a confirmation process.
Responding to questions during a telephonic town hall, the Oklahoma Democrat said he was glad Van Jones, who resigned over the weekend as controversy continued to build over past statements, has left his post.
Senator Byrd came out early against the Czars, writing a letter to Obama, back in February:
In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd, a Democrat, said that the czar system “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances,” Politico reported. Byrd added that oversight of federal agencies is the responsibility of officials approved by the Senate.
“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president,” Byrd wrote. “They rarely testify before congressional committees, 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.”
A couple of Republicans jumped on board the anti-Green Czar bandwagon at the last minute to call for Van Jones’ resignation. Maybe some Republican leaders (hello Michael Steele?) could be so bold as to ask for all of their resignations?
Of course, there’s always plan B, as posited by Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker:
Since it appears Congress is yet unwilling to insist on the preservation of its Constitutional prerogatives and the White House unlikely to change course on its own, I take it it’s up to what we call the alternative media to keep plodding ahead and picking off one by one those Czars who are manifestly unsuitable for these posts. < blockquote>
Perhaps it’s wrong to say that Obama is forming a shadow government. As Jackstraw suggests, perhaps the person responsible is a puppetmaster with deep pockets, shaping the agenda from behind the scenes.