In light of their reaction to the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, I gather liberals have gotten over their enthusiasm for multiculturalist milestones. It's interesting that they dropped their celebrations of the "first woman!" "first black!" "first Asian!" designations at the precise moment that we are about to get our first black female secretary of state.
When Madeline Albright was appointed the FIRST WOMAN secretary of state, the media was euphoric. (And if memory serves, Monica Lewinsky was the first Jewish female to occupy her various positions on the president's, uh, staff.)
With Albright at the helm of the State Department, Osama bin Laden ran wild throughout the Middle East, the North Koreans began feverishly building nukes under her nose, and we staged a pre-emptive attack solely for purposes of regime change based on false information presented to the American people by Albright about a world leader who was not an imminent threat to the United States. Slobodan Milosevic wasn't even a latent, long-term, hypothetical threat.
But the girls in the mainstream media were too smitten with Albright's brooch collection and high heels to notice the shambles she was making of foreign policy.
The New York Times raved about Albright's brooches in an article titled, "A Diplomat Who Says 'Read My Pins.'" In the San Francisco Chronicle, Leah Garchik was amazed by Albright's "jewel-encrusted flag" pin ? Albright's clever ruse to prove that Republicans did not have "dibs on patriotic jewelry." Perhaps Rice could impress American journalists if she talked more about her accessorizing.
People magazine quoted an aide gushing that Albright "stays in her heels all day." Albright herself told Harper's Bazaar, "I've kidded that the advantage of being a woman secretary of state is makeup." This was a great leap forward for feminism? At this point even Paris Hilton was rolling her eyes and saying, "Oh, come on now!"
But Bush nominates a brilliant geopolitical thinker who happens to be black and female and all of a sudden she's Butterfly McQueen, who don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no Middle Eastern democracies.
Earlier this year, the flamboyant Richard Clarke claimed that when he briefed Rice in early 2001 about al-Qaida, her "facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before." It's good to know that Clinton's chief terrorism "expert" believes himself to possess paranormal abilities such as ESP.