Bush Caesar (Source: democrats.com)

Caesar in the White House

All hail Caesar, Hail, Hail!

There's more evidence that George Bush has mistaken Hail to the Chief for Hail Caesar. For six years now he has used "signing statements" to put his own spin on legislation passed by Congress and, as The Decider, declare which laws he will deign to faithfully execute. Now he has taken another step to further tighten the screws on the machinery of government to enforce his will.

The word despot comes to mind (definition).

When legislation is passed, the various agencies of government develop the rules and regulations to implement the legislation. By Executive Order 13422, Bush mandates that a political appointee be in charge of each agency's regulatory policy office to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries and requires "any significant guidance documents" be submitted to the White House for review before they are published.

What this means, in practical terms, is that political appointees instead of civil servants and scientists will be in charge of writing the regulations that affect many of the critical provisions of laws to protect public health and safety, the environment, civil rights, and privacy. The Bush administration has a clear record of appointing industry insiders to the very agencies that are supposed to regulate that industry. Naturally, business loves this latest order.

Gulliver and the Lilliputians

The Bushies are determined to exert total control over the government — and hence over us. This latest gambit extends the kind of political mind-control that we've already seen, such as when the White House re-worked a scientific report on global warming to make it conform with their political stance on climate change (see CBS News: 60 Minutes).

Subverting science and policy to political ideology is not good government. But so far, the White House Lilliputions have done a pretty good job of tying down or intimidating the rest of government. Give them credit, but give them the boot!