Saturday, January 12, 2013

President Obama's Diversity Kerfuffle

    President Obama has been taking friendly fire lately for the "lack of diversity" in recent cabinet picks.  As I noted yesterday, even Charlie Rangel was a bit put out by President Obama's lack of focus on symbolism in personnel decisions.  Perhaps there is nostalgia for the glory days when pandering to groups was more of a priority.  One such example is the president's signature accomplishment  ObamaCare.

    While perusing the ObamaCare law for another story, I made an inadvertent discovery.  I noticed the references to "women" were fairly frequent, but I had trouble finding "men."  As it turns out, there's a good reason that the disparity was so apparent.  A search of the document reveals 145 uses of "women."  And "men"?  One.  And here it is, in Section 1101, page 418:
(3) provide information to women and health care providers on those areas in which differences between men and women exist;
    "Men" only makes it into the law as a point of reference to define areas of care for women.  Men are simply the not-women of ObamaCare.

    Obviously men are covered under the (endless!) general provisions of ObamaCare.  Women have unique health needs that the framers of the law felt necessary to spell out.  Is this 145:1 ratio evidence of discrimination against men?  I suppose it's possible, but unlikely.

    The point here is not one of complaint, but rather illustration.  In the current kerfuffle with the president, liberals have painted themselves into a corner given their history of incessant emphasis on externals ("color of their skin", in the words of Martin Luther King, and "war on women", in the words of countless liberals.)  When a conservative or a Republican violates the unwritten rules of diversity, it's easy to shout "racism" or "sexism."

    But this is their man.  What are their alternatives?  Is the president deliberately or carelessly overlooking more qualified minorities in favor of "good ole (white) boy" picks?  That's virtually unthinkable for a true progressive like Obama.  Or are the minority candidates not as qualified, but the president's critics believe he should choose them anyway?  Diversity trumps qualifications?  Or are the good ole boys and the minorities equally qualified, and the critics believe a tie goes to "diversity"?

    Perhaps this conflict will help expose the hypocrisy of the "diversity" crowd to a wider audience.  I do not know Barack Obama's motives for choosing the men he has to fill the open cabinet positions.  But it is obvious that at least in these cases, he's not pandering on the basis of race or sex.  Would that liberals could give conservatives and Republicans the same benefit of the doubt.

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