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Diversity, or whatever it takes

In its editorial opposing Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, the Washington Post wrote:

Mr. Obama has available other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream and to the president’s first-term policies. Former undersecretary of defense Michèle Flournoy, for example, is a seasoned policymaker who understands how to manage the Pentagon bureaucracy and where responsible cuts can be made. She would bring welcome diversity as the nation’s first female defense secretary.

By playing the diversity card, the Post was, I think, firing a shot across the White House’s bow. And, sure enough, suddenly there are reports that Flournoy may have replaced Hagel as the frontrunner for the Secretary of Defense position.

If Hagel were the nominee, it would mean that, for the first time since the Clinton administration, white men hold the top jobs at State and Defense. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The nation survived this particular manifestation of white patriarchy for more than two centuries, so an occasional recurrence is hardly the end of the world. But these days, in some liberal circles, the very notion that neither blacks and nor females won’t occupy at least one of two top policy making jobs sends shudders all around.

I don’t know much about Flournoy, but she would almost surely be a better selection than Hagel. Ashton Carter, a white male, might well be better than both of them. But if takes the left’s obsession with diversity to derail Hagel, that’s fine with me.

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