Having appointed czars for the auto industry, bank bailouts, pay, energy, and countless other issues, President Obama finally got around to appointing a czar for a really important issue to those of us in the Midwest — namely, preventing the potential invasion of the Great Lakes by the Asian carp.
It’s not entirely clear what powers the “Carp Czar” will have, although Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, in announcing the czar’s appointment, said he would be in “full attack, full-speed ahead mode.” (The Senator also helpfully reassured us that the federal government is “not in denial.”) That’s a good thing, because the Asian carp unquestionably pose a tougher challenge than reinvigorating the moribund U.S. auto industry, reining in greedy executives, or preventing further reckless lending and investing by U.S. bankers. After all, the Asian carp are cold-blooded creatures that can fly (sort of), eat 40 percent of their weight every day, swim hundreds of miles upstream, knock out boaters and fishermen, and smash through an electronic force field without some much as batting a lidless fish eye.
So if we are going to get a Carp Czar, let’s make sure that he’s not a prissy, wussy czar like Nicholas II who may fall under the spell of some fishy character like Rasputin. No, we need a tough, ruthless czar to adequately meet the formidable challenge of the Asian carp. Someone with the temperament of Ivan the Terrible or Peter the Great, willing to lay waste to entire populations of carp, denude the entrance points to the Lakes of all sustenance and aquatic life, and reroute the streams of commerce to keep the invasive fish out of our Great Lakes, would do just fine.