April 17, 2001
8:17 AM   Subscribe

Affirmative action seems to be taking root in an unlikely place: the Bush White House. "There's been talk inside and outside the administration about having no more than half the 484 political positions in the cabinet and agencies go to white males and at least 30 percent to women," Fred Barnes writes in the conservative Weekly Standard.
posted by rcade (6 comments total)
This reminds me of a joke I've heard, can't remember where but there was a photo of a republican, or several and they were holding up lists, the joke was 'and this lists all the black people that our friends'
posted by tiaka at 8:24 AM on April 17, 2001

This isn't affirmative action at all, but straight quotas. This is against everything Republicans stand for such as picking the best person with the best qualifications for a position, regardless of race or gender or anything else.
posted by gyc at 11:38 AM on April 17, 2001

If Republicans stand for picking the best person with the best qualifications for a position, why did they let Bush run for President?

Easy! Because he had a better chance of getting elected. I think...
posted by gleemax at 12:22 PM on April 17, 2001

I'm of two minds on this. I think affirmative action leads to a better administration, so I'm glad Bush is following Clinton's lead in making his administration more inclusive. However, I think it's extremely cynical for the president to publicly condemn affirmative action while employing hiring quotas.
posted by rcade at 1:24 PM on April 17, 2001

I can't see why a voluntary hiring quota would necessarily be inconsistent with always hiring the best person for the job. I mean, it seems trivially obvious that skills will be fairly evenly distributed between men and women, and between people of different races; that being the case, a quota, far from unfairly favoring women and minorities, should simply be a convenient way of checking a tendency to hire white men first regardless of their skills.

Of course, I can see a difference between a voluntary quota (which this seems to be, to the extent that it is even a quota at all) and an involuntary, government-mandated one. Without an honest interest in fair hiring, a business may well hire incompetent women and minorities just to fill their quotas, on the assumption that they will never find competent ones. But there is a clear difference between that sort of quota and one that is used merely as a test that hiring practices truly are based on competence. I believe President Bush can see this difference, and that it accounts for the difference between his opposition to quotas as a legal mandate, and his (possible) use of them as internal policy.
posted by moss at 5:04 PM on April 17, 2001

this quota thing could be the chewy compassionate center of the bush ... or a clever ploy to incite a backlash
posted by dukejohnson at 2:19 AM on April 18, 2001

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