Monday, November 05, 2007


Political correctness and political stupidity

Next in the series of government folks to fall to the clue-bat of political correctness is John Tanner, a Justice Department official who made a comment related to the relative life expectancy of blacks and whites. I don’t care whether or not what he said is accurate; I don’t care about the sincerity of his apology; none of that is what this commentary is about.

OK, look: any one of us may or may not think that we’ve gone overboard with the political correctness thing. People can’t take a joke these days, people always put the worst spin on anything you say, people don’t give you any slack, people are just too sensitive. Maybe we’ve gone too far, maybe we haven’t, but that’s not the point.

The point is that things are, now, the way they are, and we know that. And we have to deal with it. For better or for worse, you can’t just say any damned thing you want, especially if you’re a celebrity, and that goes double if you’re with the government.

If you’re Halle Berry babbling on a late-night talk show, well, hey. Or if you’re Mel Gibson drunk at a traffic stop, or Don Imus doing some mindless banter, or Michael Richards when your stand-up jokes just aren’t cutting it, well, hey, there too. You’ll make the news for a while, and it’ll be annoying or embarrassing. If you’re unlucky about it, you might lose your job, but otherwise... you’re just an entertainer. Who really cares, when you get down to it, what you have to say?

But, um... if you’re a government official, you don’t get a “well, hey,” you get a “WTF were you thinking?” We know we have morons running the country, but we oughta figure them to at least have enough sense to watch what they say... to be especially careful.

If you’re too stupid to know that such statements, regardless of how you intended them, will piss people off... then you’re too stupid to be running a government agency. That is what really bothers me when government officials say things like this.

Hm, maybe the real point of the political correctness craze is to give us an easy way to find the stupid bureaucrats.

1 comment:

Dr. Momentum said...

"Hm, maybe the real point of the political correctness craze is to give us an easy way to find the stupid bureaucrats."

I don't think political savvy is necessarily coincident with intelligence. Especially where arbitrary and stupid rules are concerned.

What you get with that filter is people who can toe the line on a particularly silly set of rules. They are not necessarily optimized for competence at their jobs.