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Obama’s Race-Based Spoils System

Chester Arthur was a most unlikely reformer.

A crucial cog in the political machine of the Empire State’s Sen. Roscoe Conkling, he was named by President Grant to the powerful and lucrative post of collector of customs for the Port of New York.

Arthur was removed in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes, who wanted to clean up the federal patronage system. But when James Garfield of Ohio was nominated to succeed Hayes, he sought to unite his party by picking the Stalwart Arthur as running mate.

Six months into the new administration, a deranged office-seeker shot Garfield. Arthur was president. And in a dramatic turnabout, he became the president forever associated with civil service reform, converting the U.S. government into a meritocracy where individuals were hired based upon examinations and advanced based upon merit.

In our time, however, Arthur’s achievement has been undone, as a racial spoils system in federal hiring and promotions has been imposed by Democratic presidents, unresisted by Republicans who rarely exhibit the courage to stand up for their principles when the subject is race.

A week ago, an item buried in The Washington Post reported [1] that Obama had “issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.”

Obama, wrote Isaac Arnsdorf, is targeting “a problem that has been on the administration’s radar. Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.”

Now, as white folks are two-thirds of the U.S. population, and perhaps three-fourths of those in the 45 to 65 age group who would normally be at senior federal positions, why is this “a problem”?

As no one has contended otherwise, we have to assume that the men and women who hold these top positions got there because of the longevity of their service and the superiority of their skills.

Why is the color of their skin a “problem” for Barack Obama?

As reported here previously, African-Americans are hardly underrepresented in the U.S. government.

Though only 12 percent to 13 percent of the U.S. population, blacks hold 18 percent of all federal jobs. African-Americans are 25 percent of the employees at Treasury and Veterans Affairs, 31 percent of State Department employees, 37 percent of the Department of Education, 38 percent of Housing and Urban Development. They are 42 percent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., 55 percent of the Government Printing Office, 82 percent of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

According to The Washington Post, blacks hold 44 percent of the jobs at Fannie Mae and 50 percent of the jobs at Freddie Mac.

The EEOC, where African-Americans are overrepresented by 300 percent, has been asked to oversee the new “government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.”

I’m not making this up.

Perhaps, while he is battling for a greater diversity of sacrifice and rewards up there on Martha’s Vineyard, our president might reflect on another example of the overrepresentation of white males — in the caskets coming home to Dover.

In the first five years of the Iraq war, Asian-Americans were 1 percent of our fallen heroes, Latinos 11 percent, African-Americans 10 percent. White Americans were 75 percent of the dead, and from photos of the fallen in newspapers since, the ratios appear to hold.

Does this overrepresentation of white men in the body bags and caskets coming home bother our commander in chief, who wants fewer white men at the top level of his executive branch?

“Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” says the Lord in Matthew’s Gospel.

Has Obama taken a close look at his hypocritical party on Capitol Hill? Though African-Americans are fully 25 percent of all Democratic voters, in a Senate Democratic Caucus of 53 members, there is not a single black man or black woman.

Well, regretfully, we are told, none was elected.

But if liberals believe in affirmative action, why don’t Democratic senators practice as well as preach it? Why don’t they lead by example rather than by exhortation?

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have been around for decades. Why do they not agree to flip a coin, have one resign, and have Gov. Jerry Brown appoint Rep. Barbara Lee, head of the Black Caucus, to the U.S. Senate?

Why does not Barbara Mikulski, who has been there forever, not stand down and let Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley appoint Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore to the Senate? Let Chuck Schumer go forth and do likewise, show us what a heroic liberal is, and let Gov. Andrew Cuomo name an African-American to replace him in the Senate.

Senate liberals applaud affirmative action programs that deny white students and white federal workers admissions and promotions they have earned by their labors. But when, ever, has one of these liberals voluntarily made the sacrifice that he demands be imposed upon others?

Copyright 2011 Creators.com

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#1 Comment By Hammersmith On August 26, 2011 @ 10:45 am

Liked the article much, but we all know that as power shifts via population and voting a corrolary will be (un)equal division of spoils. Moreover, white people have largely denied themselves, discarded, an agressive (defensive?) response. Like so many things, all I seem to be able to say is: you mean this is not what us white people had in mind?

#2 Comment By KXB On August 26, 2011 @ 10:50 am

Given that we waste needless time over debating abortion & gay marriage – issues of concern mostly to evangelicals and the Catholic clergy (the masses of cafeteria Catholics don’t care), why not a discussion of how the nation has to appease these two religious minorities? Oh right. They’re mostly white – real ‘Muricans, while the rest of us are just tolerated.

#3 Comment By Michael F. Morrissey On August 26, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

I think Affirmative Action Programs should now be class-based not race-based. Also means tested.

#4 Comment By K. W. Jeter On August 26, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

I’ve had this discussion for decades, with very much the same results. For political elites on both the right and left, affirmative action means some blue-collar white guy losing his job in favor of a preferred ethnic minority member, and the elites staying right where they are, with all their privileges intact. Multiculturalism, diversity, etc., for most people just means that their boss gets a warm fuzzy feeling when he looks out over the shop floor and sees what he feels is the appropriate mixture of skin colors. That doesn’t mean he wants to see the same mixture in the boardroom — and certainly not to the point of giving up his own job to achieve it.

#5 Comment By Stephen On August 26, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

Abolish affirmative action. It has no place in a free society whatsoever. And check out Ron Paul’s new book “Liberty Defined.” He explains very well why there should be no affirmative action.

#6 Comment By Greg Panfile On August 27, 2011 @ 5:29 am

As always we are all better off when Mr. Buchanan sticks to foreign policy (genius), the issues of energy and manufacturing (utterly sound) and eschews these cultural matters (certifiably insane). No Republican candidate has any viable approach to governance that will do anything serious about our energy and manufacturing crises. All electable Republican candidates will certainly, thanks to the military industrial complex and the neocon base, continue the blood and treasure bled into a dying, resource-eating empire. And Mr. Buchanan writes this, because Obama is a Democrat. For shame. Is there no perspective or coherence here, at all?

#7 Comment By maxsnafu On August 27, 2011 @ 9:58 am

@Michael F. Morrissey: I guess some people are forever wedded to the notion that in order to end discrimination “our” government must discriminate.

#8 Comment By michel1835 On August 27, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

Affirmative action is unjust , it should be abolished

Obama is proposing quietly anything that brings America backwards , not surprising that the country is regressing into a banana republic

#9 Comment By K. W. Jeter On August 27, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

Actually, Mr. Panfile, I believe PJB wrote it because in a rotten economy, with jobs virtually impossible to find, taking a position against affirmative action would be a vote-winner, for Republican or Democrat candidates. Appealing to the threatened white working and middle class would win the 2012 presidential election. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s an economics issue.

#10 Comment By Rossbach On August 27, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

Affirmative action at any level of government violates the provisions of the 14th amendment of the US Constitution. It is just a politically correct justification for racial preference. Basically, the government is saying, “It’s not racism when we do it.”

#11 Comment By Thymoleon On August 29, 2011 @ 8:48 am

@Greg Panfile: The remark that Mr. Buchanan is “certifiably insane” when he writes on “cultural issues” is merely another way of saying that Mr. Buchanan has committed a “thoughtcrime”. Wouldn’t you agree?

… “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you…” George Orwell, 1984.

#12 Comment By NJ Lawrence On August 31, 2011 @ 1:49 am

Advancement according to merit… what a concept!

#13 Comment By sleepy On August 31, 2011 @ 7:00 am

I wouldn’t express too much alarm at Obama’s proposal.

Like most of his programs, it’s undoubtedly a PR stunt, here to shore up his decreasing support in the black community.

I have not seen the figures, but I would assume that unemployment and overal economic health in the black community has increased dramatically in the Obama years, beyond its historically high levels.

I say “most of his programs”. The bankster-wall street bailouts were not a stunt. Those were real.