Our black girl can be Secretary of State but your black girl can't (cont'd)
Does gender — or the supercharged combination of gender and race — play a role in the preemptive strikes on not-yet-secretary of state nominee Susan Rice?
For perspective on this complex question, it helps to return to 1974 and the nomination of another woman, Alice Rivlin, to head the Congressional Budget Office.
As Rivlin tells the story, the office had just been created, she was selected by a search committee — and the House Budget Committee chairman made clear his adamant, gender-based opposition.
“Over his dead body was a woman going to run this organization,” Rivlin recalled at an Atlantic magazine “Women of Washington” lecture last year.
No one would say that today. No one, I’d venture, would even think it. A woman, after all, has been secretary of state for all but four of the last 16 years; during the interregnum, the job was held by a black man. House Republicans are getting well-deserved grief right now because of the absence of women among committee chairs.