Individual matters more than integers

Freedom New Mexico

Air traffic controllers had better keep an eye out for flying pigs, because Pat Buchanan has come out in support of quotas.

The conservative commentator and erstwhile presidential candidate recently weighed in on President Obama’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

The court currently includes two justices of the Jewish faith, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In an online column for WorldNetDaily, Buchanan complains that the choice of Kagan illustrates a liberal bias against Catholics and Protestants.

He writes: “If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.” The Catholics on the court number six, or 66 percent of the seats, when they are less than 25 percent of the population. Buchanan whines about Catholics and Protestants as one body, as though they ever could be.

Buchanan has made a jarring U-turn here, albeit an unintentional one. If you look at the extensive record of the things he has written and said in defense of conservatism over the decades, a blunt but principled opposition to affirmative-action policies quickly becomes apparent.

So why does he now seem interested in the demographic percentages of the Supreme Court? In Buchanan’s worldview, aren’t leftists supposed to be the promoters of by-the-numbers diversity and proportionate representation in all public and private institutions?

In this case, Pat Buchanan appears to have stumbled into the same problematic area populated by many of the liberals he criticizes: the idea that integers come before individuals.

Whether from the left or the right, approach this briar patch with caution.