I teach Election Law. One of the things that I tell my students is that a not inconsiderable portion of our political discourse - and much of our political advertising - is undertaken in bad faith. The unspeakably silly attack on Mitt Romney for saying that he had his staff assemble binders containing information on women that he might appoint to high political office in Massachusetts is an example. There have been, I suppose, political attacks even more stupid, but this has to be on the Irrationality Hit Parade.
our friends on the left would be telling us that it's wrong to hire
through an "old boy's network." They would say that we must make a
special effort to include members of historically excluded groups.
Indeed, they might even say that we must intentionally hire so that the
percentage of certain groups is proportional to the population at large.
didn't go to quotas, but he did make a special effort to ensure that
women were included in in his administration. That's where the binder
come in. Let me explain for those who are unable or, more accurately, unwilling to understand.
You see, binders,
in this context, are a notebook cover with rings or clamps for holding
pieces of paper. Persons will often make up binders to contain documents
that are important to them and that they want to keep together for
further reference and review. When I am arguing a case,for example, I
will often have binders put together with the parties' briefs, important
prior decisions and other critical information.
When I am
hiring someone - and I am now - I like to have binders put together with
those resumes that warrant further consideration. Sound familiar?
Romney was concerned that the names that were initially brought to his
attention had failed to include qualified women. So he instructed his
staff to work harder to find qualified female candidates and to place
the information pertaining to them in binders to ensure that this
information would get further reference and review and the women would
get the consideration they deserved.
See, it's not so hard.
I know its the atmospherics of the matter - the sub-rational signifying
- which is another way of saying that there is no point at all. Or its
supposed to be funny. I get the joke. "He had "binders of women" - like a
little black book!" "Did he have photos?" Grow up.
the first debate, the Democrats thought the issue was Big Bird. After
the second, they think it was binders. Pretty thin gruel.
Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin