In the 300-plus years of the Romanov dynasty, there were a total of 18 czars — those who ruled with absolute authority and no accountability. In just six months of being in office, President Obama now has at least 32 "czars" and more on the way.
Let's be fair: Presidents from Roosevelt to George W. Bush have appointed so-called "czars" to head up special task forces or to work across agency lines to accelerate the often ridiculously slow wheels of government.
But let's not forget that the truly brilliant and inspired men who created our form of government designed it to go slow in making big changes. They were so afraid of vesting too much power in one person or even in one branch of government that they created a government that was as tough to steer as a big ship with a small rudder.
There are three reasons to be concerned about a government by "czar."
First, "czars" typically don't have the kind of congressional oversight or work within the normal boundaries of government accountability within an agency that has the "rules and regulations" in place which have been drafted, revised and approved through a tedious, but thorough process.
The second reason is that you have to pay for these "czars." Government operates off your dime, because the only dimes they have are the ones they take out of your pocket. And, to be honest, we're no longer talking dimes, but dollars — trillions and trillions of them and this is a government that wants more.
The third reason is that a lot of "czars" is indicative that government is trying to do a lot of things in a hurry. When government goes fast, it usually goes wrong. I'd rather trust a 16-year-old with the keys to a super-charged Corvette than to trust government with a bunch of "czars" without a budget.
We are supposed to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The ideas of unelected czars running everything from car companies to the California water supply violates the spirit if not the letter of the law.
With apologizes to Robert Frost, here's my rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Czar."
Twinkle, twinke, little czar,
How I wonder who you are!
What do you do and how much do you cost?
Are you a sign that my country is lost?
Twinkle, twinkle, little czar,
I can't believe you're going make my car.
That's my view, I welcome yours. E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org