Friday, November 19, 2004


"President Bush and diversity: Against expectation, and without divisive debates over affirmative action and quotas, he has built an extraordinary record of minority appointments to his inner circle. He did it by sneaking them in the front door while everybody was watching. Condoleezza Rice's nomination yesterday to be secretary of state is the latest and most dramatic example. That she would be the first black woman to hold the post - and that she would succeed Colin Powell, the first black man - is a groundbreaking moment in American racial history. Our original sinners would be shocked. But we're not, and that, too, takes the breath away. America clearly is ready for a black official to be our representative to the world. And both Powell and Rice are so obviously qualified that it's as though race is not a factor for or against them....

Limousine-liberal Democrats and their media poodles, many of whom send their children to near-segregated private schools, have basically ignored the racial triumphs Powell and Rice embody. Just as they have barely noted that Rod Paige, the departing secretary of education, is the first black to hold that job. Or that Ann Veneman, the departing secretary of agriculture, is the first woman to hold that job. Or that Alberto Gonzales, if confirmed, will be the first Hispanic attorney general. Or that Bush has an Arab-American and two Asian-Americans in his cabinet. Had a Democratic President made those appointments, the celebratory coverage would invoke Harry Truman's integrating the armed forces or Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's battle for civil rights. Talk about your double standards.

No matter. Bush isn't looking for applause. And my guess is that his trailblazing days are not finished. Given William Rehnquist's failing health, Bush likely will get to nominate an associate justice and a chief justice of the Supreme Court. There has been talk that Clarence Thomas might get the top job. I don't see it. A more likely scenario is that whoever Bush adds to the panel, he would elevate Sandra Day O'Connor to chief justice. She is the one true swing vote on the court and thus the perfect leader to guide its deliberations and jawbone for consensus. Did I mention she would be the first woman to hold the job?"

More here.

And British conservatives have twice chosen a Jew to lead them: Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century and Michael Howard in the 21st century


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