The Dems' Great Hispanic Savior fails to appear.

A mostly political Weblog.
Nov. 10 2002 1:40 PM

Salvation Postponed

Hispanics fail to ride to the Democrats' rescue yet again.

The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reports "RISE IN MINORITY VOTING IS SLIGHT." ... After all the fuss (including some in this space) about the Democrats' "Dream Team" boosting turnout in Texas,

[F]or all Texas counties that are 75 percent or more Hispanic, including populous El Paso and Cameron counties, turnout nudged upwards by 4 points.

The WSJ twists this failure of the Great Hispanic Savior to appear into a PC piece about how Hispanic candidates are somehow denied their rightful share of seats due to old-boy gerrymandering. But if you scan the chart accompanying the piece, it sure looks as if the percentage of Hispanics in any state's congressional delegation is almost precisely the same as the Hispanic share of the actual vote in that state (as opposed to the Hispanic share of the population, which is higher because Hispanics don't vote in high percentages, as the story notes). ... At this rate, Hispanics will manage to gain political power for only a brief period before we're all taken over by the robots. ...Actually, the robots may get there first. ... P.S.: For excellent background on the Diaz-Balart family, which now holds two seats in Congress, see Ann Louise Bardach's Cuba Confidential. The Diaz-Balarts are the old dynastic rivals of Fidel Castro, Castro having married a Diaz-Balart, Mirta.  As Bardach tells it, when Castro was in a Cuban prison in the early 1950's, Mirta's brother, Rafael, was Deputy Minister of the Interior and could read the censored prison mail. He took a letter Castro wrote to his mistress and put it in the envelope for Mirta. And he took the letter to Mirta and put it in the envelope to Castros' mistress. This did not enhance the Castro-Diaz-Balart marriage, which soon ended in divorce and bitterness. ... 6:09 P.M.

I agree with most of what TNR editor Peter Beinart says in his recrimination rumination. But in a paragraph that struck me as wishful thinking on a near-delusive scale, Beinart calls for a Democratic

agenda that challenges the president's indifference to post-war reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq and challenges [Bush's] refusal to fully fund homeland security and act aggressively to secure loose nuclear materials throughout the globe. And that agenda will allow Democratic candidates to compete in the many foreign policy-dominated elections to come.

Not that we shouldn't reconstruct Afghanistan. But "Let's Get Afghanistan Moving Again" is probably not an election-winner. ..

One searches Beinart's essay in vain to discover what, exactly, is his big beef with President Bush. It can't just be that TNR preferred owner Marty Peretz's friend Al Gore in 2000, and that with Gore removed there's ... fully funding homeland security! ... Note to Beinart (and Noonan): Isn't universal health insurance the important issue over which the parties differ? Isn't it also the obvious bridge between the two warring "camps" of the Democrats --an issue that can appeal to the left wing of the party, obviating the need to depart from the center on "crime, welfare, race"? Health insurance isn't just an issue for the poor, but for middle class people threatened with a risk of bankruptcy and a near-certain nightmare of forms and bureaucrats and buried loopholes.

If not that, what? .... 1:20 A.M.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Good Notetoday, especially #5 and #10. Exhaustion makes for concise blogging! ...I forgot, they're not a blog. ... Actually, here's an interesting exercise: Compare today's Note (written by ABC News) with today's front-page "news analysis" by the NYT's Johnny AppleWhich piece of writing gives you more insight and info? Which wastes less of your time? Which is more entertaining? It's not even close. ...True, Apple does report that

How much Mr. Bush will be able to achieve on Capitol Hill remains to be seen.

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