EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 13, 2013

Column: Obama’s divisive rhetoric comes back to bite him

Good thing we’ve got more important issues to discuss about President Obama’s Cabinet choices than trivialities like national security, terrorism, the endless war in Afghanistan, a nuclear Iran, an increasingly aggressive North Korea and China, our disastrous fiscal plight and unemployment still close to 8 percent.

What’s really important is how many of the president’s picks are boys and how many are girls. We have so few fundamental problems here in the U.S. that we have the luxury to fuss about gender balance.

All you had to do was read the New York Times this past week for instruction in what our priorities should be. In a story written by a woman with research help from two women and one man (a glaring imbalance), the paper noted that at a meeting of Obama’s top economic advisers, all 10 were male. It noted that he is putting together a national security team “dominated by men,” and then continued with an in-depth analysis of gender in administration appointments, concluding that it was better than that of President George W. Bush, but “no better” than that of President Bill Clinton.

It wasn’t just the Times – it was all over other major newspapers and network television, and there was much tweeting and twittering on social media.

All of which led to the delicious irony of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, confronted for once by an aggressive press demanding that he explain such grievous discrimination. Carney paid extravagant lip service to diversity but concluded, “in the end, (the president will) make the choice that he believes is best for the United States.”

Whaaaat? How could Carney make such an absurd statement? How could any right-thinking person believe that what is best for the United States is to pick the best-qualified people, without regard to their gender, age, ethnic background or sexual preference? How could it be best for the country to have more men than women in positions of power?

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