Carol Browner, who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under Bill Clinton, is the latest Clinton-era retread to resurface in the Barack Obama administration.
Skeptics may be excused if they start to wonder whether the motto for this administration should be not so much "change" as the title of a 1976 Firesign Theatre compilation album: "Forward, Into the Past."
Unfortunately, because Mr. Obama has asked Ms. Browner to serve as his "assistant to the president for energy and climate" (already dubbed "Climate Czarina"), which is not an official Cabinet post, there will be no Senate confirmation hearings.
That's too bad, because it would be nice to hear Ms. Browner answer a few questions raised by Doug Bandow's column in the Jan. 12 American Spectator, headlined "Carol Browner a Socialist?" which itself draws on a piece in last week's Washington Examiner.
"There's a tendency of conservatives to carelessly toss about the 'S' word," Mr. Bandow acknowledges. "However, as the Washington Examiner pointed out last week (and the Washington Times mentioned today), Carol Browner really is a socialist. ... Reports the Examiner:
"'Browner is a member of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society (CSWS), which is a formal organ of the Socialist International. ... The Socialist International is no group of woolly-headed idealists. It is an influential assembly of officials from across the international community whose official Statement of Principles describes an agenda of gaining and exercising government power based on socialist concepts. ...
"'At the Congress of the Socialist International held last June 30-July 2, the CSWS officially resolved that "market solutions alone are insufficient and will not provide the financial support and resources necessary to achieve the required combination of deep emission reduction, adaptation to already changing climate conditions, energy security and equitable and environmentally sound economic development. By appointing Browner to a White House post, Obama has at the least implicitly endorsed an utterly radical socialist agenda for his administration's environmental policy. ...'
"The best part," Mr. Bandow concludes, "is that Browner obviously is embarrassed by the connection, since someone has engaged in a bit of Stalinist air-brushing of history by eliminating her picture and bio from the socialist Web site."
Did we say "Forward, Into the Past"? Perhaps we were thinking of an earlier Firesign Theatre classic, from 1971:
"We're All Bozos on This Bus."