Monday, September 14, 2009

The Duce Menace

I had intended to post something on the silliest of the silly season controversies -- the big czar problem -- but not only did others mine this territory already (here's Terkel, via Yglesias; here's Weigel), but instead I've uncovered an even larger crisis, one that suggests a conspiracy to completely undermine...well, as Senator Hutchison puts it in a slightly different context, it threatens to "deny the American public the accountability and transparency the Constitution guarantees."

I'm talking about the proliferation of a new class of federal officials. They may or may not have formal titles, but they are known* as....Duce. Or Duces; I'm not really clear on the plural, here. Where do they work? For Senator Kay Bailey Hutschison of Texas. They are so secretive that they aren't even listed on her web site, but apparently she employs a Legislative Duce, a Press Duce, and a Communications Duce. Also several regional office Duces. And some others. We have no idea who these people are, what their responsibilities may be, what dangerous associations they may have had before assuming their current posts, and whether they use mayonnaise or miracle whip. I'm pretty sure, though, that it's a Dangerous Situation.

And she's not the only one. Eric Cantor, the House Minority Whip, has hired a virtual army of these Duce -- on both his personal staff and in the Whip's office. Two virtual armies! Cantor alone has more Duce than Fascist Italy! Put together!

The Duce Menace. Fear It.

*You may ask? To whom are they known as Duce? You might as well accuse Republicans of picking a bunch of officials that have nothing in coming, deciding to call them czars, and then getting upset because Obama has too many czars. You might as well.

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