Who had more czars, Bush or Obama?
One of the more recent complaints about Barack Obama, mostly pushed by Glenn Beck, is the number of “czars” in the administration. Some of these are confirmed by the Senate, most aren’t. The knock is that Obama has appointed more czars (Beck says 32 total) than any other president.
Well, Beck is wrong:
[T]he Bush administration had even more appointed or nominated positions whose holders were called “czars” by the media. The DNC has released a Web video claiming that there were 47, but it’s counting multiple holders of the same position. We checked the DNC’s list against Nexis and other news records, and found a total of 35 Bush administration positions that were referred to as “czars” in the news media. (Our list of confirmed “czars,” with news media sources cited, is here.) Again, many of these advisory positions were not new – what was new was the “czar” shorthand. Like the Obama czars, the Bush czars held entirely prosaic administrative positions: special envoys, advisers, office heads, directors, secretaries. The preponderance of czars earned both ridicule and concern in editorials and in media, but no objections from Congress.
You can see the full list here.
I’m not defending the Obama Administration, I’m just saying that there was no criticism or concern for the Constitution during the Bush Administration over czars. Once again, it’s a matter of inconsistency on the part of Republicans.