In the wake of Katrina, the Bush administration waived the requirement that those contracting with the federal government to provide relief develop the elaborate (and, by the way, unconstitutional) affirmative-action programs typically mandated by the Labor Department. This was a perfectly reasonable decision, and did not waive the government’s actual nondiscrimination requirements, nor its requirements that signs saying “Equal Opportunity Is the Law” be posted, that various records be kept, and so forth. But, predictably, the Left is quite upset that the usual goals and timetables (i.e., quotas) won’t be required, even if doing so would retard relief efforts.
And speaking of affirmative action and Katrina: One hopes that, given the enormous expense of the relief efforts, the Bush administration will award contracts to the lowest bidders, rather than giving special breaks to companies because of their owners’ skin color or gender. If the administration also decides that it makes sense to give a preference to the local victims of Katrina, one also hopes that such preferences will be awarded to ALL such victims, regardless of skin color (and not to, say, a company owned by a rich guy from Illinois who happens to be an African American).