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Step off, old man!
Saturday, 7 August 2004
The great uniter speaks on affirmative action
I know some people like the common folks touch of President Bush but to see this man in an unscripted moment in front of a real audience is truly frightening. And I'm not talking about his "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we..." comment either.

If you saw the Q&A the President conducted on Friday in front of a group of minority journalists, you know how bad it is.

Whenever I hear about Bush opposing affirmative action, I always think, "Hey, hammerhead, you couldn't get into the University of Texas law school on your own but you got into Harvard Business School. And Yale too. Gee, think your family name had anything to do with it? What's that, if not affirmative action for dim rich people?"

But here comes the great uniter with his answer about legacies and affirmative action. I saw the speech and when Bush answered the question about affirmative action, the crowd started laughing.

Not with him, either.

This is from the AP wire story:

"President Bush said Friday he opposes the use of a family history at colleges or universities as a factor in determining admission. Bush stated his position to what's known as "legacy" in response to a question during a Washington forum for minority journalists called Unity 2004. He was asked, "Colleges should get rid of legacy?"

Bush responded, "Well I think so, yes. I think it ought to be based upon merit."

Under legacy programs, applicants are given an advantage if their parents or grandparents attended the school. Bush, a third-generation graduate of Yale University, joked about his own legacy.

"Well, in my case, I had to knock on a lot of doors to follow the old man's footsteps," he said to laughter.

Bush's remark came as he was being grilled about his opposition to affirmative action programs that consider race as a factor for admission, particularly through quota systems. Bush said admission should be based "on merit."

Bush has not previously expressed opposition to the use of family lineage at a university to help admission. In a lengthy exchange with the journalist, Bush said there should be no "special exception for certain people."

He expressed his support for diversity. While Bush clearly stated his opposition to quotas, he also suggested that he was not opposed to affirmative action. But he didn't explain what the distinction was.

"I support college affirmatively taking action to get more minorities in their school," Bush said as the audience laughed.

You had to see it. Really.


Posted by brettdavey at 9:03 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 7 August 2004 9:06 AM EDT
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