A Czar Bites the Dust:

The Obama Administration has appointed more czars than Romanov dynasty ever had. Now, however, one of those czars has been forced to resign. "Green jobs" czar Van Jones has resigned as a result of the controversy that arose after the discovery that he signed a 9/11 "Truther" petition back in 2004. Jones' dubious excuse that he had not read the petition carefully before signing and that it didn't reflect his real views failed to mollify the critics, especially given other inflammatory statements he has made.

Jones' ridiculous beliefs probably aren't typical of those of the administration's many other czars. However, the fact that a person like him could be appointed to an important czar position does highlight one of the weaknesses of the czar system: by circumventing the normal appointment and confirmation process, it makes it more likely that a poorly qualified person or one with ridiculous policy views will be put in charge of important issues. Unfortunately, not all such dubious czars can be as easily exposed as Jones was. And that is just one of several flaws of the czar system.

As I noted in previous posts, Obama is not the first president to use "czars." Several Republican presidents also employed them. However, that does not justify the present administration's massive expansion of this dubious practice. We can only hope that the Jones incident will convince the president to cut back on it.