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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-04-11 16:35
Subject: We appear to be hiring a prime minister
Security: Public
Tags:iraq, politics
"The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation."

    -- Washington Post, April 11, 2007

Huh? Isn't that the president's job? Issuing directions to the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies?

Am I the only person who finds that bizarre, both politically and Constitutionally?

(Off to write now, in any case.)
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
gvdub: show
User: gvdub
Date: 2007-04-11 23:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:show
And jeweled eggs. Don't forget the jeweled eggs. But forget the hereditary blood diseases. That would discourage a lot of people, I think.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-11 23:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Secretary of Defense is what they sound like they're describing.

GEEZ!

But yeah, ultimately, he does report to the Prez, though with the current chair warmer, that's not saying much.
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Bob
User: yourbob
Date: 2007-04-12 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, to me it sounds like what they're looking for is currently called "President and Commander in Chief".

If THEY are looking for a new one, we're really in trouble.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-12 00:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, yeah.

As for them looking for a new one, you don't expect BUSH to be able to handle this and take the flack for it, do you? Shoot, he's never taken the flack for anything he's ever done in his life. Why would he start now?
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-12 00:10 (UTC)
Subject: it's time to rearrange the deck chairs
The White House has not publicly disclosed its interest in creating the position, hoping to find someone President Bush can anoint and announce for the post all at once. Officials said they are still considering options for how to reorganize the White House's management of the two conflicts. If they cannot find a person suited for the sort of specially empowered office they envision, they said, they may have to retain the current structure.

OMG! It's the MBA's answer to everything. When in doubt, reorganize. That'll solve all the problems.
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Chris McKitterick: Vote hippie!
User: mckitterick
Date: 2007-04-12 02:30 (UTC)
Subject: Re: it's time to rearrange the deck chairs
Keyword:Vote hippie!
Oh, and adding layers of beaurocracy always makes things run smootherly.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-12 02:33 (UTC)
Subject: Re: it's time to rearrange the deck chairs
Nothing like having someone else to blame... which is what this is all about.
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España Sheriff
User: cmdrsuzdal
Date: 2007-04-12 00:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Firstly; yeah, wtf? That is the president's job isn't it? Although this could be Bush admiting he really is just a figurehead and whoever was in charge (Rove? Cheney? Richard Nixon's Preserved Head?) has quit.

Second; Someone, maybe Wonkette or the Daily Show, pointed out that we only appoint czars to deal with situations that we know are unwinnable (Drugs, Terrorism, Poverty) ... so I'm a little worried now.
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User: tillyjane
Date: 2007-04-12 00:28 (UTC)
Subject: ..to direct the defense and state depts...
But but but I thought thats what Cheney was for...along with the CIA, of course.
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Richard Parks
User: ogre_san
Date: 2007-04-12 00:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While I respect his admission that he doesn't know wtf he's doing, he's not going to get out of this that easily. He screwed the pooch and now he wants someone else to pet sit the angry beast. Most candidates have wisely declined.
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User: stevewilson
Date: 2007-04-12 01:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think "Vizier" would be an excellent title, in place of Czar.
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corvida
User: corvida
Date: 2007-04-12 06:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In the Seattle Times this morning, "Bush wants a war czar, but can't find any takers"
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Brian Dolton
User: tchernabyelo
Date: 2007-04-12 10:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Seems like the reason they need someone is that Defense and State can't actually agree on anything. Perhaps this because if it's a war, it's Defense's responsibility, otherwise, it's State, but whether or not it's a war changes on a daily basis.

If it got me the opportunity to tell both State and Defense what to do, I'd take the job, but it does seem clear that in fact neither Defense nor State want anytone in that position, and thus it's an absolute hiding to nothing.

*sigh* and there's still almost two more years of this...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-04-12 11:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thing is, in the American government, Defense and State are both executive departments. Their leadership works directly for the president. It's the president's *job* to tell them both what to do. If they disagree, it's the president's *job* to trump that disagreement.

Aren't you British? In the UK, the chief of state is abstracted from executive authority, which rests in the leadership of the legislative branch. In the US, the chief of state is also the executive authority. He doesn't get to fob it off on someone else.

In our context, Bush would have to demote either State or Defense to a branch of the other department, or as branches of some new department, for this to make Constitutional sense.
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