Nomenklatura 101

James Pinkerton has a very smart post over at Huffington in which he suggests that the nation’s next president, no matter who it is, appoint Arnold Schwarzeneggar to be "energy and environmental czar" in the new administration.

I like the idea, but quibble with the word "czar." In light of Vladimir Putin’s claiming the role for himself in reality with his invasion of Georgia, Americans should refrain from using the word as a metaphor. Despite a series of gauzy books and docudramas about the last Czar and his ill-fated family, the fact is that all czars were tyrants, some relatively benign, others positively vicious, and none of them possessed the kind of bureaucratic fluency that we would want in an official of the government of the United States. It is time to reinvest the word with the reality and apply it to the ugliness of the regime that sits in the Kremlin today.


Michael Sean Winters

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