Friday, September 18, 2009

The White House Blog Shows Some Teeth

I was a bit shocked at the White House blog entry tackling the question about Czars in the administration. It struck me as being quite sharp:

Last week, when the President addressed the Joint Session of Congress in a speech on health reform, he referred to some of the untruths – okay, lies – that have been spread about the plan and sent a clear message to those who seek to undermine his agenda and his presidency with these tactics: "We will call you out." So consider this one of those calls.

Over the past several weeks, we've seen with increasing frequency and volume issues raised around the use of "czars" by this Administration. 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.

But of course, it’s really the hypocrisy here that is noteworthy. Just earlier today, 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.

The article goes on to name names, and supply other evidence.

It's hard to believe that about 8 weeks ago the President laughed off the idea of death panels.

I suppose the White House seriously underestimated the web and TV's ability to spread what are essentially conspiracy-theories-of-the-day. To their credit, they have adapted fairly quickly and are taking this kind of chatter seriously.

Folks like the 9/12 marchers wanted to be heard, and I think they got their wish.

Now, if we could just tease apart their real arguments about, say taxes, from their insane ones, about say Obama setting up concentration camps for citizens, I'd be really happy.

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