December 22, 2009

Is Obama now deliberately avoiding the term "czar"?

"Today the White House announced the President’s new White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, Howard Schmidt."


Last September on the White House website, Anita Dunn called out critics of the term "czar":
 ... Although some Members have asked serious questions around the makeup of the White House staff, the bulk of the noise you hear began first with partisan commentators, suggesting that this is somehow a new and sinister development that threatens our democracy. This is, of course, ridiculous....

... Darrell Issa, a Republican from California and one of the leaders in calling for an investigation into the Obama Administration’s use of "czars", had to admit to Fox News that he had never raised any objections to the Bush Administration’s use of "czars". Many of these members who now decry the practice have called on Presidents in the past to appoint "czars" to coordinate activities within the government to address immediate challenges. What is clear is that all of this energy going into these attacks could be used to have a constructive conversation about bringing this country together to address our challenges moving forward – and it doesn’t take a "czar" to bring that about! Just some folks willing to act in good faith.
You can call people out or you can just stop doing nonessential things that open you to criticism. And when you're engaged in a grand enterprise of amassing power, calling your minions "czars" is unnecessary, to say the least.


Scott M said...

It doesn't matter what the people are called. We've been referring to "czars" in these positions, in my memory at least, since Bush Sr.

The problem is with the Van Jones', Anita Dunns', and Ron Blooms' the President has running around. He told us specifically that he should be judged by the people he surrounds himself with.

Fair enough. We do.

TMink said...

FDR called the dictators.

No joke.


rhhardin said...

Shortest thesaurus path

hope wish impulse incitement goad instigator leader czar

Mr. Forward said...

Is the "Corn Czar" job still available?

traditionalguy said...

The other aspiring members of the Czars Inc were not pleased. Obama was giving Czardom a bad name by his bowing down to every Uber-czar he runs into around the world.

Matt Eckert said...

I think the trouble all started when they stopped calling them

wv:detwas. det was wrong dude.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich B said...

This is a good start. Now if he could deliberately avoid destroying the country.

JohnAnnArbor said...

What about "tsar"?

Rialby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rialby said...

federal unelected czarist kleptocrat m'fers everywhere

Montagne Montaigne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

A czar by any other name would smell as vile.

Henry said...

I'd be willing to give a pass to a grammar czar. Someone needs to be in charge of copy writers and caption writers at the same time.

Is Cybersecurity one word or two words? Make a decision, someone.

* * *

As for Cybersecurity Coordinator -- can't we shorten that somehow? How about "Cyco" as in "Today the White House announced the President's new Cyco, Howard Schmidt."

Maguro said...

Kommisar seems more appropriate.

Matt Eckert said...

Why not honor that great Democrat Senator Robert Bryd and call them

Scott M said...


Conservatives are idiots. Aggressive idiots.

Too late, MM. I see that you deleted your post from the actual Althouse thread. To bad RSS strings keep everything downloaded. Or, rather, good because it shows your ad hominem attack for what it is.

Idiotic and aggressive.

I'm sure all of those aggressive idiots rioting and destroying property in Copenhagen were conservatives, right?

Paul Snively said...

Nevermind the inconvenient etymological truth that "czar" is the Russian pronunciation of "Caesar," just as the German "Kaiser" is the German pronunciation thereof.

The only thing I want from a bunch of little caesars is pizza.


edutcher said...

Maguro said...

Kommisar seems more appropriate.

That's what they really are. He would have used the word, but people went all wee-wee over it.

vbspurs said...

Obama should just demote them to Tsarevich.


Gahrie said...

The problem wasn't the fact that Pres. Obama had czars.

The problem was the unprecedented number of them, and the role they played in avoiding the advice and consent role of the Senate.

Scott said...

Whatever he calls them, Obama's appointments need to be confirmed by the Senate. The fact that this is not happening is very troubling.

Phyllis said...

Maybe somebody in the Administration finally read how the Last Czar turned out.

Now, where's that Rasputin fellow?


pst314 said...

What about "commissar"?

Eric said...

I often wonder what the Russians make of the whole czar thing.

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