Bush domestic policy czar: "I am never going to hire another woman because they just get pregnant and leave."
Via TNR today (login required): When Bush chief domestic policy advisor Karl Zinsmeister was editing The American Enterprise, an AEI house organ, here's what he had to say to business manager, Garth Cadiz:
"[ZINSMEISTER] I am never going to hire another woman because they just get pregnant and leave."
Of course, as always with authoritarians, it sounds better in the original German:
NOTE It's actually worth getting a free login to real the sleaze on this guy. He's no worse than the usual Republican kleptocrat, but the details are so entertaining. I like that Zinsmeister got a $125,000 salary and used his own books as subscription premiums, collecting thousands in royalties and inflating sales. Good preparation for the Bush White House, I'm sure.
NOTE Here's the full quote:
But the biggest grievance harbored by the magazine's staff concerned Zinsmeister himself. "He went to his son's basketball game, and then he would give Jo [Roback-Pal] a hard time about a doctor's appointment," Rollins says. "That happened all the time. If one of these things just happened every now and then you'd write it off. ... But there were so many of these things and so often." Roback-Pal, who was originally hired to work four days a week, says Zinsmeister demanded that she start working five days--with a small increase in pay--or accept a salary cut to stay at four. She threatened AEI with a lawsuit but eventually settled for a severance package. While Zinsmeister frequently complained about Roback-Pal to other staffers at the magazine--telling Cadiz that she was "useless" and "never there"--her former colleagues say that she never missed a deadline and that he was "abusive" toward her. When she angered him by taking a four-month maternity leave, Zinsmeister told Cadiz, "I am never going to hire another woman because they just get pregnant and leave." For her part, Rollins says that her relationship with Zinsmeister--which she described as "fantastic" during her first two years at the magazine, starting in 2001--eventually soured so badly that he stopped speaking to her for the two months prior to her departure. Another former editor said that "people in the office tried to avoid talking to him." Magazine employees began referring to their think tank with the inverse of its acronym--IEA: the Institute of Evil Administrators--and calling Zinsmeister "Captain Queeg" behind his back.
I've no sympathy for the staffers. You work for an authoritarian movement, you get Captain Queeg as a boss. Sorry.