Something I learned today: Michigan is the only state in the nation that explicitly forbids discrimination based on height and weight.
There’s been talk of adding sexual orientation to the state’s civil-rights law, but in the current legislature, that’s unlikely to happen. A little googling reveals that height and weight were added in 1976, and it was the foundation of a suit brought five years ago by a Hooters waitress — 5-foot-8 and 132 pounds, who was pressured to lose more weight, so as to fit into a size-XS uniform.
In the comments, some guy refers to her as “a porker.” Which put me in mind of this, semi-NSFW. We are so cruel to one another, but only in the comments sections are we cruel to young women who can’t squeeze into an XS.
The other thing worth reading today is this Frank Rich piece on Ben Carson, or “Dr. Ben Carson,” as he’s popularly known. Cutting right to the point:
Thanks to his status as the political equivalent of a unicorn, Carson qualifies for the most elite affirmative-action program in America, albeit one paradoxically administered by a party opposed to affirmative-action programs. Simply put: If an African-American raises his hand to run for president as a Republican, he (they’ve all been men) will instantly be cheered on as a serious contender by conservative grandees, few or no questions asked. He is guaranteed editorials like the one in the Journal, accolades from powerful talk-show hosts (Carson would make “a superb president,” says Mark Levin), and credulous profiles like the one Fred Barnes contributed to The Weekly Standard last month. Barnes’s piece regurgitated spin from Carson’s political circle, typified by his neophyte campaign chief Terry Giles, a criminal litigator whose clients have included Richard Pryor, Enron’s Kenneth Lay, and an estate-seeking son of Anna Nicole Smith’s elderly final husband. “If nominated, can Carson beat Hillary Clinton or another Democrat?” Barnes asked—and then answered the question himself: “Yes, he can.” How? By winning 17 percent of the black vote in swing states—a theoretical percentage offered by a co-founder of the Draft Carson movement.
There’s no reason that a small-government black conservative Republican couldn’t be elected president—a proposition that might have been tested by Colin Powell and no doubt will be by other black Republicans one day. But not today. There have been three Great Black Presidential Hopes in the GOP’s entire history, Carson included—all of them in the past two decades. None has had a chance of victory in a national election, not least because none of the three ever won any elective office. None can be classified as presidential timber without a herculean suspension of disbelief. Indeed, the two Great Hopes before Carson were a buffoon with congenital financial woes and a two-time settler of sexual-harassment suits. But they, too, were praised to the skies by their Republican cheering section up until—and sometimes past—their inevitable implosions. And not without reason. There is a political method to this madness that reaches its culmination with Carson.
If nothing else, it’s an entertaining walk down memory lane. I’d forgotten about Alan Keyes. And Herman Cain is probably best left that way.
Whoa, but I’m sort of whipped. Let’s try again later.