Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Elephant in The Room is Not Wearing Pink


There are times when certain subtle realities of politics can only be handled indelicately.

Witness for example, the memo provided to Mayor Lee by Steve Kawa's office in re commission appointments, discussed further here.

The memo as published is redacted. I'm not going to ask who did the redacting, but in many cases it's kind of obvious why redacting was done. It was done to protect the privacy of individuals.

What may be interesting is that an aspect of one's private life becomes an issue with regard to demographic representation. In other places religion generally may be treated the same way.

There are a couple of concerns that come to mind, however:

1) Regardless of noble intention, redacting almost always makes an official document worthy of derision by someone. For instance, I would not be surprised if it were to show up reprinted in VERITAS USA accompanied by the usual bigoted screeds.

2) Suppose for a moment there were an unwritten rule that 18% percent of San Francisco political appointments should be from a certain demographic feature which is relevant to one's private life. Suppose then, that some cheeky sort in Washington decided that in response there should be an unwritten rule that no more than 10% of jobs in the Capitol should come from this same demographic. It might cause a catastrophic shortage of Congressional aides.


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