Ever since the appointment of William Simon as Energy Czar back in the 1970s, a common Washington reaction to any (likely insoluble) problem is to appoint a "Czar." For example, the Bush Administration has been trying to find somebody to be "War Czar" with little success.
Obviously, the Secretary of Defense can't run the war because, well, his job is just too girlie-sounding. I mean, I'm surprised the Secretary hasn't demanded to be promoted to Administrative Assistant of Defense. It would be a step up. But is "Czar" really the best title this great country of ours can come up with?
In the grand tradition of the Bush Administration's philosophy of "marketing major postmodernism," allow me to suggest that, after a third of a century of failure, the difficulty is with the language and framing (not with the concept, of course). I mean, how did this Czar thing work out in Russia? Granted, I'm not a detail person myself when it comes to history and books and stuff like that, but it's my strong impression that there aren't any more Czars over there, and that, in fact, something bad happened to the last one. That leaves a negative connotation.
So, what we need is a more imposing title. Instead of appointing new "Czars," here are some other possible titles the Administration could use:
Shogun, Generalissimo, Pharaoh, Duce, Shahinshah, Mikado, Grand Vizier, Master and Commander, Nabob, War Lord, Fuhrer, Khan, Big Brother, Doge, Galactic Overlord, Potentate, Übermensch, Grand Turk, Humongous, Rajah, Paterfamilias, Kaiser, Kahuna, Kommandant, Big Man, Ayatollah of Rockandrollah, Cacique, Imperator, Poobah, El Supremo, Commissar, Patroon, Big Enchilada, or Capo di Tutti Capi.
Or, we could try being realistic: Fall Guy-in-Chief, Paramount Stooge, Flak Catcher of All the Flak Catchers, Abuse Magnet, Sacrificial Victim, Scapegoat Supreme ...
A reader writes:
I think you might be on to something. As we all know, the Humongous rules the Wasteland. And, what could be better described as the "Wasteland" than Iraq? It's a perfect match: endless desert, the area's only discernable resource is oil, lawless highways, and warlordism is the regime du jour. If the administration had any wits about them, they'd get to finding an Ayatollah of rock'n'rollah, outfit him with creepy bondage gear, and crown him Lord Humongous. He would then, by definition, rule Iraq. It can't work any worse than dyeing fingers purple, at any rate.