Benjy Sarlin Makes It Too Easy

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 16 2010 10:01 AM

Benjy Sarlin Makes It Too Easy

Yesterday the Daily Beast political reporter tweeted :


Answer: Yes. Michelle Malkin welcomes the news that Elizabeth Warren is coming in as Assistant to the President & Special Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the headline "Another day, another Obama czar."

"Special adviser" is the new czar. Facing stiff opposition and pointed questions about the left-wing, anti-business advocate that he wanted to nominate as chairman of the new federal consumer financial protection bureau, President Obama once again circumvented the Senate’ constitutional advice and consent role and installed Elizabeth Warren with a wave of his hand.

And so on. The Great Czar Panic of 2009 was one of the first freak-outs that really surprised the Democrats. Until Obama's presidency, it really never seemed like an issue that presidents would try and speed up projects by appointing special advisers instead of going through Senate confirmations. One reason: the confirmation process is completely broken. Senators can put holds on nominees for any reason, and some of the important reasons they've done so include disagreements over online gambling and the fate of flavored cigarette imports. Another reason: the White House isn't as quick on the draw about appointments as it could be, and I'm thinking of Fed board nominees here. But the big reason is the implosion of the Senate process. Nominees with majority support, even overwhelming support, can be held up for a year because of one senator's pique. Administrations, realizing that, look for ways to bypass the swamp. And when Obama's done it, it's become a key component in the Grand Unified Conservative Theory of his power-madness.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 6:41 PM The World’s Politest Protesters The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?