Late this Saturday night President Barack Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Van Jones, resigned amid what the Washington Post calls another “lapse in the administration’s vetting procedures.” That’s putting it mildly. Jones is an admitted former communist and black nationalist. His Ella Baker Center for Human Rights produced a rap record in 2005 “hosted by” cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, in which Jones links the Palestinian fight against Israel as part of the “global struggle against the U.S. led security apparatus” that “we need to see linked” to “our problems here.”

His more recent advocacy for green jobs fits perfectly into Jones’ racial/Marxist worldview. In a 2008 interview Jones said: “The white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color’s communities because they don’t have a racial justice frame.”

So how did someone with views as radical and inflammatory as Jones’ get into a position where he would control one of the “five pillars” of President Obama’s plan to rebuild the entire economy? The short answer is that Jones was never vetted. Jones was never asked to fill out the exhaustive 7-page 63-question form White House officials require of every Cabinet-level secretary and deputy-secretary position. And why did he not fill out the questionnaire? He did not have to. His official “czar” job, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, does not require Senate confirmation. To be fair, President Obama did not create the first Executive branch czar, but his administration has authored an explosion of them. In fact, President Obama just appointed another czar, former steelworkers union official Ron Bloom, to oversee his manufacturing and automotive policy yesterday.

According to Politico there are, not counting Jones or Bloom, 30 other Obama administration officials with czar-like duties and powers, including: Afghanistan Czar Richard Holbrooke, AIDS Czar Jeffrey Crowley, Auto recovery Czar Ed Montgomery, Border Czar Alan Bersin, California Water Czar David Hayes, Central Region Czar Dennis Ross, Domestic Violence Czar Lynn Rosenthal, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, Economic Czar Paul Volcker, Energy and Environment Czar Carol Brower, Faith-Based Czar Joshua DuBois, Great Lakes Czar Cameron Davis, Guantanamo Closure Czar Daniel Fried, Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, Information Czar Vivek Kundra, International Climate Czar Todd Stern, Intelligence Czar Dennis Blair, Mideast Peace Czar George Mitchell, Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg, Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein, Science Czar John Holdren, Stimulus Accountability Czar Earl Devaney, Sudan Czar J. Scott Gration, TARP Czar Herb Allison, Terrorism Czar John Brennan, Technology Czar Aneesh Chopra, Urban Affairs Czar Adolfo Carrion Jr., Weapons Czar Ashton Carter, and WMD Policy Czar Gary Samore.

The proliferation of czars is a direct consequence of both the ever expanding power of the federal government and Congress’ willingness to cede ever more legislative and judicial functions to the Executive branch. Our Founding Fathers specifically created a Constitution dividing the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government into three branches so that the separation of these powers would limit the size and scope of the federal government.

Since the dawning of the Progressive Movement, the left has correctly identified the Constitution’s separation of powers framework as an obstacle to their remaking of American society. If our republic is to survive in the 21st century, our Congress must begin to reassert itself and rein in Obama’s czar state.

Quick Hits:

  • Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez said this weekend: “With Obama we can talk, we are almost from the same generation, one can’t deny that Obama is different (from Bush). He’s intelligent, he has good intentions and we have to help him.”
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday invited representatives from a group of six world powers, including the United States, to Tehran, but he said negotiations over his country’s right to a nuclear program would be off the table.
  • Many states are walking away from a $5 billion federal fund to stimulate the economy because states say they can’t afford to put up the 20% of costs required by the federal government.
  • Appearing at a Labor Day rally in Pittsburgh, Biden said card check will make it through Congress before the end of the year.
  • According to Gallup, 39% of Americans say they would direct their member of Congress to vote against a health care reform bill this fall while 37% want their member to vote in favor.