I respect Andrew Sullivan for his thoughtful and often witty essays, even when I disagree with him. He has made an eloquent case for same-sex marriage; I know that had to cost him some of his conservative readership.
However, I think he is absolutely off-base in his criticism of the left for its criticism of Condi Rice:
“I guess I should say that Condi Rice’s race and gender are not the most important things about her career and abilities. But I’m still amazed at how little credit this president gets for promoting a black woman to such a position, and, more importantly, by his obvious respect and admiration for her. His management style is clearly post-racial, and his comfort with female peers is impressive. You know, Bill Clinton was celebrated for his progressiveness, and ease with African-Americans. But it’s inconceivable that he would have given so much power and authority to a black female peer. Why does Bush get no respect on this score? I guess it reveals that much of the left’s diversity mania is about the upholding of a certain political ideology, rather than ethnic or gender variety itself. Depressing.”
No, Sully, I do think highly of Bush’s ability and desire to think “post-racially.” Unfortunately it only seems to apply to people he knows, such as Dr. Rice. The man has no concept of his many policies and political strategies that are not “post-racial.” Those affect the millions of people of color. His policies don’t affect those in his inner circle that are of the same socio-economic status — Rice, Powell, Paige and Clarence Thomas. The difficult and complex issues that surround race, gender, sexual orientation, and class (the most neglected on that list) elude him. I would add, though, that this problem is not strictly a Republican one. Democrats, like Bill Clinton as Sully pointed out, didn’t feel an obligation or desire to appoint minorities at the high levels Bush has. Comfort with minorities is not the same as hiring them, Big Bill. I think both parties, for different reasons, still don’t have a handle on these abovementioned issues and don’t speak clearly to them.
But back to Rice. She may be a talented pianist and Russian scholar, but she sucked as NSA and is likely to do just as “well” as Secretary of State. And that has nothing to do with race or her political bent — it’s her track record.