Is 'Villaraigosa' Spanish for 'Village Idiot'?
But it does get the Democrats votes. In fact, it is the primary thing that gets them votes these days, now that union membership is dwindling.
So Antonio Villaraigosa could be a cross between a pederast and a serial killer and the Dems might still bring him out, given the effectiveness of the strategy. And, alas, it has forced Republicans to play the same game, bringing forth minority after minority at the convention.
Of course, the likes of Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice, and Susana Martinez are by several degrees (1000?) superior to Villaraigosa. But never mind -- in true Catch-22 fashion, Republicans are accused of racial pandering for highlighting these people.
Unfortunately, there is some truth to this. Race and religion should have nothing whatsoever to do with our politics or who speaks at a convention. Policy and accomplishment should. But if they were, the current election would be Armageddon for the Democrats. They have no discernible policies and their record is disastrous.
But speaking of racial/religious politics and Los Angeles, I would be remiss (ducking the question?) if I didn't mention the role of my co-religionists who permeate, if not dominate, the politics of West L.A. -- you know, those folks who famously "live like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans."
Although some are skeptical, this year, for the first time in recent memory, there are hints they will not vote so monolithically Democratic. It's not just Obama's attitude toward Israel (still kept in a locked box by the Los Angeles Times) but also the obvious fact that Jews too have been hurt by the economic downturn. (Well, perhaps not Steven Spielberg.)
The laudable part of Jewish liberalism was always concern for the other. That was a good thing. But these days it no longer makes sense, if it ever did. Why vote like a Puerto Rican if, in so doing, you actually hurt the Puerto Ricans? Some Jews are starting to learn that lesson. When even more do, we may reach a tipping point and, who knows, Jews could even follow the path of Governor Martinez.
The sooner the better.
(Thumbnail image of Villaraigosa on PJM homepage by Jose Gil / Shutterstock.com.)