A reader of this blog suggested that my description of Loretta Lynch as the national HR (Human Resources) manager might not be readily understood by many who have no experience with the corporate world. So with apologies to either Loretta Lynch or the HR managers of the world whichever has been insulted…
Decades ago the HR manager had a vital role in ensuring that an organization had a competent and talented staff. The HR team was responsible for identifying, developing and retaining employees who would ensure that the organization would grow and prosper. This required the identification of qualifications that were required for each position in the organization and finding individuals who met those qualifications. For example, if you were hiring a legal counsel you might require, say, a law school degree. In addition, you might specify a certain level of experience in certain legal disciplines commensurate with the responsibilities of the legal position. If you were looking for a nuclear engineer you might want someone who had an engineering degree, perhaps even a degree in nuclear engineering. Experience in the design and construction of a nuclear facility might even be desirable.
A good HR manager would review the resumes of applicants to determine if the candidates met the minimum qualifications for the position that management desired to fill. As a general rule the best qualified person would be offered the position without regard to the race, gender or sexual persuasion of the applicant. There would be some level of subjectivity but the HR manager was relied upon to make a critical judgment as to the best candidate. The HR manager had a substantive role.
But that was then and to say things have changed would be to engage in understatement. The HR managers today are, by comparison, towering mounds of whipped cream. They are devoid of substance and engage more in the art of box checking than developing an effective and competent team.
The typical slate of candidates must now include a level of diversity rather than minimum qualifications. Failure to include a woman, a racial minority and/or someone from the LGBT community is frowned upon and inclusion of a straight, white male between the ages of 35 and 50 calls the entire process into question. This necessarily requires that there be no objective qualifications which might be seen as limiting the diversity of the hunt. We have reached the point where there is really only one qualification…is the candidate breathing?
The measurement of competence for employees becomes almost comical. Standards of evaluation now include such “skills” as inclusiveness (whatever that means), the ability to see around corners (Clark Kent is one of the few who meets that incredibly useful talent) and clear thinking (I want to meet the sociology major that even understands that concept let alone is capable of designing a yardstick to evaluate it). In short HR has removed all intellectual standards from the evaluation process which has reduced most organizations to a sea of mediocrity. It can be said that most large meetings in large corporations or the White House cabinet room are a testament to HR failure.
So how does this relate to our current Attorney General? Basically because she has a surfeit of those wishy-washy qualities so admired by the HR community. Last week Ms. Lynch suggested that we should confront terrorism with “compassion, unity and love”, failing only to mention the need for fast food career opportunities. This is the same mindless idiocy that caused Neville Chamberlain, as a pundit once observed, to crawl on his hands and knees at 200 mph to appease Hitler. But somewhere an HR manager was smiling. She has proposed three pronged attack strategy that is impossible to measure and which is almost certainly guaranteed to fail. But it does paint a lovely picture of inaction and fantasy.
Any public appearance by the AG involves the wafting of verbal anesthesia among the assembled multitude creating an intellectual somnambulism that precludes rational thought. She is a master of HR speak. Her tone is always soft and fluffy, gentle to the non-discerning ear. To search her pronouncements for something of substance is like trying to find a climate prediction by Al Gore or the UN that has proven correct.
Listening to her explanation of the inappropriate meeting with our former sexual harasser-in-chief Bill Clinton was painful even as she soothingly told us that this spontaneous meeting was solely related to a discussion of grandchildren (I don’t think she has any) and the fee schedule for speeches given by former government employees. Seconds after she concluded her remarks everything she had uttered vanished into the ether without leaving a physical or mental trace.
Her handling of the investigation of Hilliary’s felonious personal server shenanigans is classic HR methodology. She deftly passed the responsibility for the decision regarding indictment to the FBI by which she is able to shirk her responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. Her testimony before Congress could have launched a fleet of hot air balloons. Not only does she not see around corners she never gets close to anything that looks like an intersection. Clear sailing all the way to some unknown and undefinable destination.
Sadly the qualities evidenced by Ms. Lynch are epidemic in the Obama administration. The inability to specifically identify Islamist terrorism, the specious claim that America is incurably racist, the back door support for the militancy of the Black Lives Matter movement and the inability to understand the meaning of the term hate crime all suggest a terminal lack of seriousness. Yet I cannot suggest that this is an intentional effort to undermine the exceptionalism of America because I firmly believe that this is the most clueless administration in US history.