JONATHAN CHAIT JANUARY 6, 2010
Most conservatives realize it has become totally socially unacceptable to advocate discrimination. So, any opposition to minority rights must be framed as opposition to quotas, affirmative action, "special rights" -- a demand by minorities to be held above other citizens. So, how would the religious right respond to the news that the Obama administration has hired a transgender bureaucrat? Here's how:
"Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama administration?" asked Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth. "How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby." ...
Matt Barber, associate dean at Liberty University, said the appointment "boggles the mind."
"This isn't like appointing an African-American in order to try to provide diversity and right some kind of discriminatory wrong," he said. "This is about political correctness.
The interesting thing is that there's no attempt to show that the administration employed any sort of quota or affirmative action program. It just hired a person who's transgendered. The religious right obviously opposes that, but they can't say so. Thus they have come to employ words like "quota" to mean something entirely different than their literal meaning.
It's very odd to witness a part of the political discourse where one side understands that its actual views are so completely socially unacceptable that they can't be expressed, and must be replaced with nonsense terms.