At a recent town hall meeting, an average citizen -not part of a mob, not an insurance-company stooge, not someone in a Brooks Brothers suit that conceals a swastika, but clearly someone who just wanted to speak his peace as a free citizen- gives a lesson in civics to Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA). For context, Periello had compared President Obama’s creation of over 30 “czar” positions to former President Bush’s use of warrantless wiretaps to surveil terrorist communications, including those that pass through the United States. The argument was that Obama’s creation of czars is far less offensive than Bush’s wiretapping of terrorists. That got this unnamed gentleman riled up:
Is this fellow doing anything in 2010?
Periello’s comparison is, of course, ridiculous. Bush’s authority to order warrantless wiretaps of enemy communications that pass through the US is contained within his Article II powers as commander in chief. Four federal appeals courts and one FISA appeals court had previously upheld even more domestically intrusive intelligence operations within US territory.
President Obama, on the other hand, is abusing “special advisers” to create positions in control of tens of billions of dollars, while cabinet secretaries are left to be spokesmen. The money the czars control has not been delegated to them by Congress, which controls the purse, nor are they subject to congressional oversight. Indeed, none have even been vetted in confirmation hearings, as we realized to the administration’s embarrassment in the Van Jones affair. Hence the charge of setting up a “shadow government” appears to have some merit.
Congress will soon be ending its recess and returning to DC. Let’s see if they listened to their constituents.
(hat tip: Hot Air)