ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA WARNED ABOUT THE ARROGATION OF POWER IN THE EXECUTIVE branch: “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States.”1 When he did become president, however, he did just the opposite. He took steps to centralize power in the executive branch that George W. Bush would never have dreamed of taking. Working at a furious pace, he appointed an unprecedented proliferation of officials—known popularly as “czars”—with a huge array of responsibilities over immense swaths of domestic and foreign policy. These appointments bypassed the legislative branch altogether, for while conventional Cabinet appointments required the approval and oversight of Congress, these czars were accountable to no one except Barack Hussein Obama.
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