Yesterday, tens of thousands of people gathered in rural West Virginia for the coal-powered “Friends of America Rally.” The point of the event was to rail against the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, the driving force behind the rally, said that “America itself” was at stake if the bill wasn’t stopped.
Fox News personality Sean Hannity was one of the rally’s keynote speakers, and he took the opportunity to gloat about Van Jones’ resignation. He vowed to the audience that he would get rid of “every other one” of Obama’s so-called czars:
HANNITY: Do you want another czar?
HANNITY: I don’t think so. By the way, we got rid of one, and my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other one. I promise you that!
Hannity’s pledge is part of a larger right-wing campaign. Glenn Beck has announced that Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd, and Carol Browner are his next targets and asked his followers to dig up all the dirt they can on them.
Republican lawmakers are trying to argue that Obama should be barred from appointing more advisers until the administration addresses their constitutional concerns. Yesterday on Fox News, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) said that all of Obama’s advisers should have to go through the same vetting and approval process through the Senate as Supreme Court nominees and Cabinet secretaries. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has said that the “president should suspend any further appointments of so-called ‘czars’ until Congress has an opportunity to examine the background and responsibilities of these individuals.”
The conservative strategy is to bring the executive branch to a screeching halt. Republicans in the Senate have tried to hold up key Obama nominees in what amounts to ideological witch hunts and self-interested horse-trading. Additionally, several of the so-called czars have actually already been confirmed by the Senate.
Kingston now has 34 co-sponsors to his bill that would prohibit taxpayer dollars being used for “any task force, council, or similar office which is established by or at the direction of the President and headed by an individual who has been inappropriately appointed to such position (on other than an interim basis), without the advice and consent of the Senate.”