Karl Zinsmeister, who worked in government for only a brief period, in the early 1980s, has become Bush’s chief domestic policy adviser.
It seems Bush has a thing for “Karls” as policy advisors. On the heels of Karl Rove’s departure from his policy-advising position at the White House, the president has chosen Karl Zinsmeister, editor in chief of the magazine published by the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. He has had some eyebrow-raising things to say on the subject of race over the years. (Biographical info on Zinsmeister here.)
The Horse’s Mouth:
KARL ZINSMEISTER’S EYEBROW-RAISING QUOTES. Yesterday President Bush named Karl Zinsmeister his new chief domestic policy adviser, hailing him as an “innovative thinker” that would bring “energy and a fresh perspective.” Turns out Zinsmeister may be a bit more innovative than Bush bargained for. Over at the New York Sun, reporter Josh Gerstein did a bit of digging and came up with some interesting gems from Zinsmeister’s past writings that, as Gerstein wryly put it, “could cause embarrassment to the White House.” Here they are:
From The American Enterprise, 1996: “But the point of the conservative concern over black underclass life is that the pathologies run so much deeper there…we desperately need to find out what it is in contemporary black culture that makes for these exceptional breakdowns—and then work like crazy to counteract those factors.”
Also from the same article but not quoted by Gerstein: “The brutal reality is that whether in the selection of juries or the choice of neighborhoods to live (or get lost) in, colorblindness has become a real risk today…The penalty for the person who, ignoring race, turns down the wrong street today can literally be death. (Emphasis added.)