Thursday, April 16, 2015

Extra-Diverse Democrats, Part II

Back when we were still in the throes of the 2008 Democratic primary, I predicted that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton would add additional "diversity" to their ticket if nominated (that is, both would select a White male VP).
The reason is that there is a very predictable media narrative that will form if two members of politically underrepresented groups appear on the Democratic ticket. One person is ground-breaking and history-making. Two people, by contrast, is an "affirmative action" choice and proof the Democrats are in thrall to "interest groups." If Obama picks a woman, it will undoubtedly be cast as "appeasing" women's groups who were ready to see Clinton break the ultimate glass ceiling. If Clinton picks a Black running mate, same thing, except replace NOW with the NAACP. This is what Derrick Bell calls the unspoken limit on affirmative action. Even if at first the diversity is applauded, at some point folks will start getting uncomfortable with too many women or people of color.
It's hard to say I was vindicated, given the n of 1. But I think the reasoning holds up, particularly given Wayne LaPierre's comments on Hillary Clinton's presidential run: "Eight Years Of One Demographically Symbolic President Is Enough."

No comments: