Barack Obama, NOW, And Trivia Politics

It would be very easy to use this story as a club to hit Obama with or as a wedge to pry apart the Left, but that’s not where I’m going with it:

We asked Terry O’Neill, the new president of the National Organization for Women, what she thought of those Democratic women and others quietly complaining about a “boy’s club” atmosphere at the White House, as exemplified by the president playing basketball earlier this month with 11 members of Congress and four Cabinet Secretaries — all men.

As the New York Times and cable news chatter looked at whether the Obama White House is too fratty yesterday, President Obama brought along a woman golf partner for the first time in his 24 golf outings as president, domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes.

Is this much ado about nothing?

O’Neill says no.

“Relationships get built in those more informal settings,” O’Neill told ABC News, “and the relationships have a huge impact on the influence an individual has. We know what happens when we segregated whether it by race or whether it by gender — you end up with 1st class citizens and you end up with 2nd class citizens.”

O’Neill told ABC News’ Mike Callahan, “we need to see the White House leading the way for desegregating the work places all around the country and it is troubling.”

Let’s be honest: Terry O’Neill’s complaint is ridiculously trivial. If this is on the top 500 issues that women in America need to worry about, NOW should just thank Sarah Palin for putting women over-the-top, declare victory, and disband.

But of course, there is a whole grievance industry built on fussing about nonsense like this. Without tiny little slights for people to pretend to be outraged about, how would Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Terry O’Neill, Al Gore, Andrew Sullivan, Keith Olbermann, etc, etc, stay in business?

I don’t want to say the Right doesn’t have people like this — we most certainly do. However happily, there are a lot less of them and they do considerably less damage than their counterparts on the Left.

Our society would be a lot more unified and our politics would be much less fractious without any of them.

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