Could Romney Actually Be SOUND (!!!) On Affirmative Action?
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Affirmative Action - Achilles Heel for Obama Campaign?

In a very enterprising piece of journalism, Andrew Miga of Associated Press has produced the most encouraging news yet about Mitt Romney (probably unintentionally):

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney scuttled the Massachusetts government's long-standing affirmative action policies with a few strokes of his pen on a sleepy holiday six months after he became governor…

Romney's executive order eliminated the state's Office of Affirmative Action, which required executive agencies to have civil rights officers in charge of monitoring the hiring of minorities, women and people with disabilities. A state diversity office was created, along with broad goals and guidelines.

Black leaders and civil rights groups said Romney's order lacked enforcement mechanisms and removed penalties for agencies not complying with the state's diversity efforts…

The policies Romney erased were started three decades earlier by Republican Gov. Frank Sargent and substantially expanded by Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1983. Three Republican governors who directly preceded Romney had left the policies in place.

Outcry over Romney's Mass. affirmative action move Saturday June 2cnd 2012

Faced with screams of rage from those privileged to benefit from Affirmative Action Romney of course flip-flopped – but not entirely:

Romney essentially walked away from the fight… he had state officials effectively follow the old affirmative action policies he had formally revoked with his executive order.

It wasn't until Deval Patrick, a Democrat who was the state's first black governor, took office in 2007 that the old policies formally were reinstated.


That Romney bends under pressure is not news. What is news – astonishing news - is that he seemingly actually cared about the issue enough even to attempt breaking with the traditional Republican Plutocrat connivance with this savage attack on their own supporters – unlike Bush.

AP notes

Romney has said he supports workplace diversity but opposes quotas in hiring, government contracting, school admissions and the like.

"I believe our nation is at its best when people are evaluated as individuals," he said in a 2008 Washington Post issues survey. "I…encourage the disclosure of the numbers of women and minorities in top positions of companies and government — not to impose a quota but to shine light on the situation."

A very minimalist position.

Although off the Beat, I have long been intrigued at repeated evidence that Romney resents China’s egregious currency undervaluation – see Romney adviser explains willingness to break with GOP on China by Sarah Huisenga CBS June 1, 2014.

While he is absolutely correct, this issue is not political currency since it is esoteric and the Chinese have Wall Street and Washington totally bought. Every businessman susceptible to international trade influences is well aware of the situation – most just try to figure out how to benefit. But Romney apparently cares. Maybe Affirmative Action is a similar issue of principle.


Affirmative Action reform could be wonderful issue for Romney. Not only would it appeal to the main victims – white men and their dependents - and the libertarian minded, motivating Paulistas (who otherwise have little reason to vote) but it strikes at a key Obama stronghold – the Millennials. Very young voters generally bitterly resent Affirmative Action, of which they have had more experience than anybody else. But they have no notion of anyone doing anything about it.

As I noted in Affirmative Action Alert!'s Ammunition Depot this issue was returned to the front burner by the Supreme Court in February. There have been faint signs the GOP Establishment has taken notice and is aware of the political potency of the issue But the assumption was that cowardice and stupidity would prevail.

Delightfully, the Obamacrats, oblivious as they are of their opponents’ concerns, expect the issue to energize their base – and will keep raising it. This was clear from the headline the Washington Post gave to the AP story Romney’s moves on Mass. affirmative action may offer clues to how he’d deal with civil rights (June 2 2012)

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