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Don't ignore the symbolism. The Republican obsession with appointing "Tzars" speaks heavily to their desire to wield absolute executive power.

Alexei McDonald

I always assumed that it was the Czar's ability to rule via ukase that was being referred to, which I guess is much the same point as the previous poster was making. However, the actual ability of the new Iraq/Afghanistan Czar to issue an ukase seems limited. From what I hear, no one will take the job since the holder would have no control whatever over the most important decisions.

David Tomlin

The first 'czar' I recall was the 'energy czar' of the 1970s.

From a little googling, it seems 'czar' was an unofficial nickname, possibly originating with Gary Trudeau's 'Doonesbury' cartoons.

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