[A “Happy Days” reference seems felicitous, since last week saw series creator, writer and frequent director Garry Marshall head off to the Big Malt Shop In The Sky. In addition to having the good taste to be named Marshall, Gary’s myrth-inducing career in TV and movies as a producer, writer, director and actor (Marshall’s turn in “Lost on America” as the incredulous casino boss whom a desperate Albert Brooks tries to persuade to give back the life savings lost by Brooks’ wife in a mad gambling spree might be my favorite comic acting bit of all time) was long and productive, and the culture will miss him greatly. As will I. ]
Attention must be paid to the fact that while the speakers at the Republican National Convention sounded scary (to some), the Democratic National Convention authorities acted scary.
Twenty-one Vermont Democrats have filed an official complaint with the party, protesting that the Democratic leadership ordered the state party to replace Vermont Sen. Tim Ashe and party member Ken Dean with women, in the name of “gender balance” without adequate due process.
By all means, let’s make sure that gender discrimination in pursuit of the greater good and Progressive Nirvana is done with due process!
I think it’s cute that both political parties are losing their minds at the same time, don’t you?
Dean and Ashe were duly elected as Sanders delegates—Bernie is a Vermont politician, remember, and the Green Mountain State is not Hillary territory—but never mind: Male Delegates Don’t Matter! Vermont’s delegation was ordered to replace the two men with members of the superior gender or risk losing five delegates at the Democratic National Convention that begins next week. Of course the state party meekly complied.
“The DNC’s tactics were designed to strong-arm the Vermont Democratic Party: the party was ordered to act within 24 hours, the party was threatened with the loss of 5 delegate seats, the loss of hotel rooms and the password necessary for convention logistics,” the complaint reads. “The Vermont delegation was given no time to work together to explore other ways, other solutions, to abate the gender imbalance.”
“Other ways.” You know, like adding extra un-elected female delegates elected, forcing Dean and Ashe to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, or having them announce that they would identify as females for the next week or so.
For the sane among us, the complaint is just as loony as what it’s complaining about. Why does having two more men than women constitute a crisis of “gender imbalance?” By what logic or laws of the cosmos must all groups have the exact same number of males and females? Has anyone informed the U.S women’s soccer team? The Dixie Chicks? Does this mean that President Hillary will decree that men must be the beneficiaries of affirmative action in college admissions, since there are now more women than men in college?
Related questions of some urgency include: How did progressives get like this? How many voters are bothered by the prospect of their government being run by people who think quotas are fair and democratic?
Ken Dean, who spilled the beans about the episode to The Associated Press, said he expects the credentials committee to consider the complaint on Sunday. He also proved he was a genuine progressive by adding that the real imbalance wasn’t with the elected delegates but the party’s superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders. Eight of the ten Vermont superdelegates are men, so the complaint reportedly suggests replacing the men on the superdelegation rather than the elected delegates.
More questions: How did progressives take such a bone-headed wrong turn down the ideology highway to get to this point? [ Aside: Last night I watched the beginning of “Wrong Turn 6.” All of the “Wrong Turn” movies are about hapless travelers, hikers, or vacationers who take the wrong road in the West Virginia countryside and end up on the menu of a tribe of mutant cannibals. I’ll end my musings here and leave you to your own…]
By what perversion of “justice” does it seem “progressive” to impose mathematical equality at the cost of democratic determination or achievement by merit and enterprise? How do progressives think the non-favored gender or racial groups are likely to feel when they are directly harmed by open discrimination justified by cant? When progressives insist on what are undeniably quotas, why should anyone believe the claims of affirmative action and “disparate impact” advocates that what they really are agitating for are not quotas, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected? If their ethics alarms don’t ring out at the whiff of quotas, as they should, why should we trust their judgement and values?
Most of all, why aren’t Democrats embarrassed by this? They say they trembled in fear because Donald Trump “sounded” autocratic, but what their party is doing is undemocratic. One answer to this question is that most Democrats don’t know about it. Did you? The mainstream media doesn’t think it’s newsworthy. Nothing that exposes the rot within the Democratic Party is newsworthy. Get used to it: this is how the upcoming campaign will be reported.
In a post in which he highlights Supreme Court decisions that should have pointed the Democratic Party away from the cannibals, law professor Jonathan Turley blogs,
“The Democratic party leadership appears to be moving away from the fight against gender discrimination in guaranteeing equal opportunity to the fight for gender equality with the use of quotas to force gender balance. Ironically, it was Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in United States v. Virginia (1996) who warned that “Today’s skeptical scrutiny of official action denying rights or opportunities based on sex responds to volumes of history.” Not only are these delegates saying that they are being denied position due to their gender, but the DNC is negating the choice of Vermont voters — male and female. There is such a thing as individual achievement and choice. The Vermont voters are allowed to select people on the basis for their individual merits rather than categorical exclusions based on race, gender, religion, or other immutable characteristics.”
One more question: Do progressives believe that there is such a thing as individual achievement and choice? I wonder.
[ Note: This incident gets the “This Will Help Elect Donald Trump” category designation. That’s something else I wonder: do Democrats understand this? Can they possibly be so stupid and afflicted with tunnel vision that they don’t?]