Mr. Other McCain has a post here about meritocracy. Having worked in the Federal Government for the last twenty years or so I have come across the concept of meritocracy and affirmative action in action. At one of my jobs were a group of fine senior Federal employees we called the "bitchy GS-15 women". These were a group of women that had been hired, groomed and worked their way up to decision level management who lorded themselves over everybody because of their "position". Their problem was that they had never been told that hey had made a mistake or screwed up. Constantly promoted and receiving the highest ratings they could not consider of making mistake and demanded the respect they were due to the point that they were not only annoying but self-destructive. McCaian calls this "Elitism as Self-Congratulation"; and the only point they were where they were because they were women first; then fairly competent people later. In many ways they were oblivious of this.
Rant kind of over.