Wednesday, 18 May 2011 10:29
Louisiana Jindal, Quotas and Black Appointments: Political Crybabies
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And so, as a budget deficit needs final resolution, flood waters run rampant, and the wisdom of extensive tax cuts emerges as an issue, the great debate heats up over that burning issue of the day on which the fate of the state hangs, whether Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, of south Asian origins, appoints enough non-whites to spots in state government.

Statistics show that 10.6 percent of all appointees by the Republican have been blacks, while 32 percent statewide identified black as a single race for the 2010 Census. Other non-whites he appointed to the tune of 2.4 percent when other single-race identifiers, including Hispanics, totaled 6.4 percent statewide. Thus, whites got 87 percent of appointments in a state where identifying as single-race whites were 62.6 percent of the population.

Releasing this information prompted the Democrat chairman of the House Governmental and Affairs Committee, state Rep. Rick Gallot, to take the pacifier out of his mouth

long enough to whine about how “This governor can do better and should do better. People of this state deserve better,” and that the governor should testify personally to these statistics instead of, well, having one of his staffers do it for him.

Understand what Gallot says here, that the people do not “deserve” appointees whose primary qualifications are their abilities to serve competently and faithfully in their positions, but instead the people are best served when appointees meet the primary goal of a quota. If that’s not what he meant, he needs to clarify.

As well he should if so, because his articulated view reeks of intellectual vapidity. The only things required out of appointees should be competence in fulfilling their assigned duties and that in doing that they take into consideration all interests. Gallot seems to imply the latter isn’t being done simply because blacks, who overwhelmingly did not support Jindal in his two gubernatorial campaigns (in fact, perhaps because of racist feelings about him), aren’t represented in the same numbers in appointments as they are statewide in proportion of population.

If he thinks so, this is a slap at his colleagues on the Senate Governmental and Affairs Committee who vetted these appointments as well as shows he buys into the stupid argument that equates physical characteristics with the ability to understand issue preferences. Thinking like this, perhaps Gallot needs to launch his next accusation of failure to represent at Pres. Barack Obama who identifies as black yet is called upon to understand the preferences of whites that make up the majority of the U.S. population.

As Jindal aides have pointed out, governors have the right to appoint individuals that support their agenda, and given that about seven percent of blacks voted for Jindal in 2007, Jindal actually has appointed disproportionately more blacks that supported him then. But, as he always has asserted, Jindal cares more about quality than skin color in his choices, to the point it took considerable political pressure on a specific issue very important to Jindal to make him act to put emphasis on ethnicity in this regard.

And as for Gallot’s request for Jindal in person to testify, why should Jindal feed the political campaigning of this crybaby who eyes a move from his term-limited position in the House to the Senate, which is Gallot’s main motive in making much ado over nothing? Let Gallot issue a subpoena if he dares, making him look even more petulant to the state even as it might provide positive campaign fodder for his future electoral ambitions given his projected constituency. Stupid is as stupid does, and Jindal only would catch it from Gallot if he assented to the moronic request.

Jindal is wise to treat this cheap campaign stunt for what it is, and if Gallot wants to waste taxpayer resources in pursuing the matter to further his own political interests as the expense of the people, shame on him.

Read more by Jeffrey Sadow Ph.D. on his blog, Between The Lines

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

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