Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has organized a Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee hearing on the administration's "czars"--a topic that has drawn a lot of criticism in conservative sectors. Feingold previously sent a letter to the White House seeking details on the czars, and was rebuffed. As a liberal Democrat, Feingold isn't a usual suspect for czar concern--a lot of the czar-related worry has been brought to prominence by Glenn Beck--but, while he reasons there's fewer than 10 people among those popularly referred to as "czars" who actually hold any kind of special position in the administration, in his opening statement today he criticized how the White House has handled matters of czar concern:
The White House decided not to accept my invitation to send a witness to this hearing to explain its position on the constitutional issues we will address today. That's unfortunate. It's also a bit ironic since one of the concerns that has been raised about these officials is that they will thwart congressional oversight of the Executive Branch.
The White House seems to want to fight the attacks against it for having too many 'czars' on a political level rather than a substantive level. I don't think that's the right approach. If there are good answers to the questions that have been raised, why not give them instead of attacking the motives or good faith of those who have raised questions?
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