There is a misleading caricature of Affirmative Action (hereinafter referred to as “AA”) which is frequently espoused by GOP officials and that caricature is amplified by the media poodles who adore and enable them. As the caricature goes, supporters of “AA” (i. e. Democrats) are so enthrall to the notion of racial diversity that they are willing to promote it at the expense of rewarding merit. According to these dishonest detractors, supporters of “AA” simply want to increase the number of minority participants included or admitted to a program or institution and that this policy is completely unconcerned with either qualifications or merit. That is why you frequently hear “AA” described by its ideological opponents as a quota system. The argument is primarily waged over college and graduate school admissions and it suggest that supporters of “AA” would willingly deprive a higher, achieving white applicant by granting admission to a less qualified person of color, simply because he or she is a person of color. They actually make this bogus argument with a straight (a-historical) face! In a rare moment of intellectual consistency, the political party WITH NO BLACKS MEMBERS IN EITHER HOUSE OF CONGRESS has determined that racial diversity, in the world’s most racially diverse society, isn’t an important value. As a result of their “facts notwithstanding” and hypocrisy laden repudiation of “AA”, the Republican Party has decided that the concept of merit, as subjectively defined by their racially homogenous party, is both the proper way to define that elusive term and that their antiquated definition far outweighs any value associated with racial diversity.
Here, in one of those rare instances where Republicans are intellectually consistent, they are also purposefully misleading. You can’t on the one hand argue that school admissions or employment hiring/promotions policies should strictly adhere to the subjective notion of merit favored by Republicans, while at the same time promoting a totally unqualified candidate for Vice President of the United States! In 2008, our nation was confronted by 2 foreign wars, a well founded fear of terrorism, and a looming financial crisis of epic proportions. The notion that a political party that dishonestly attacks “AA” as an affront to the concept of merit would simultaneously promote Sara Palin as an aged (McCain was the oldest Presidential candidate in U.S. history), 3 time cancer survivor’s running mate for our nation’s highest office is simply breathtaking in both its absurdity and its hypocrisy!
While Sara Palin is very popular with a small, ultra conservative and racially homogenous segment of the American people http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m10d11-USA-USA-Oylmpic-edition, her limited comprehension of issues both foreign and domestic place her easily within the boundaries of the most extreme version of the GOP’s caricature of “AA”. When her inability to grasp basic political facts, her breathtaking historical ignorance and her intentionally divisive rhetoric are taken into consideration http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/11/20/sarah-palin-wwe-star/, the notion that she would be promoted as a national leader is simply unfathomable. At a time when our nation (and the world) was in such a precarious position, the Republican Party’s unifying behind her candidacy clearly demonstrated their complete lack of a serious governing philosophy, their continued embrace of policies and politicians who polarize the American people and the total hypocrisy inherent in their opposition to “AA”!
Are we really to believe that who gets into what college or is admitted to what law school (there are no “AA” Bar Exams) is more important then who our national leaders are? There is a statistical likelihood that a 73 year old, 3 time cancer survivor (Senator McCain) would not have survived a full Presidential term and if he was unable to complete said term (death or illness) Sara Palin, the right wing and extremely polarizing, half term Governor of Alaska (she quit her elected job) and a woman of clearly limited intellect (she’s intellectually challenged) and zero intellectual curiosity (she’s content to be intellectually challenged) would have become the President of the United States! She has even gone so far as to suggest that she has a foreign policy advantage over her opponents because she can see Russia from her house! Are these people serious?
All that being said, when one considers the Balkanizing language and intellectual perversity embraced by the Beck/Limbaugh/Fox News/Tea Bag wing of their party’s supporters, in conjunction with the self-serving and anti Democratic practices they consistently display in Congress, it seems pretty clear that Republicans actually do embrace their own unique brand of diversity. As Republicans give a big wet enabling kiss to any group or movement they think improves their electoral chances (Tea Baggers), they have also revealed the concept of diversity which they support. Unfortunately for the American people, the diversity Republicans have embraced isn’t racial, ethnic, religious, ideological or regional. While Democrats have opted to create a big tent where diverse groups can coalesce and voice their considered opinions on important matters of public policy, Republicans, seemingly disinterested in public policy and considered opinions, have broadened their party by uniting both their fact or knowledge based supporters and those who believe or disbelieve things “facts notwithstanding” (also known as the stupid)! Now that’s diversity!