The car may be a flop, like the new Pacfica wagon, which somehow became just uglified enough in the transition from the prototype to seem ho-hum. But the 300C, unlike the Pacifica, has a big advantage over its competitors: Rear-wheel drive. If the price is right, it will fill a huge hole in the market. (That's why GM announced today it is thinking of following suit with rear-drive sedans of its own.) Without any evidence of the 300C's inadequacy, the "billboard" criticism seems a Raines-era cheap shot by Times reporters Landler and Maynard, conforming to the journalistic fallacy that when things are going bad for a company or institution then everything must be going bad--and playing to Times readers innate distaste for anything big and American. ... P.S.: The pull quote in the print version is "Bigger cars are not necessarily better in this market." There is no evidence to support even this mealy-mouthed sentence in the actual piece, of course. But the slightly-untethered views of the NYT copy editors who write the pull quotes are, as usual, a good indication of the biases driving the article. ... Update: Instapundit says I'm wrong to call the Pacifica a flop, reporting, "I'm seeing quite a few of them in my neighborhood." ... "Flop" is probably too strong. But it's clearly nowhere near the instant success Chrysler hoped for and expected. And you don't see many of them out here on the cutting edge. ... 1:07 A.M.
Tuesday, September 9, 2003
A very useful post by Brian Linse traces the ancestry of the Mechista "Por La Raza ..." slogan to a 1961 speech that Fidel Castro used to justify abuses of writers "outside" the revolution. ... Linse seems to believe this somehow proves the phrase is just a harmless "revolutionary unity statement." But Linse's e-mail source, Prof. Roberto Ignacio Diaz of USC, notes:
I do agree with you that the general meaning is something like "United We Stand"--except that this union seems to invoke the exclusion of other "razas" ... .
Even in Linse's "unity" interpretation--in which the slogan is directed inward, at members of "La Raza"--it translates into something like the Leninesque "If you work through La Raza, even if you disagree with it, anything good can happen. If you work outside La Raza, you're a treasonous gusano who deserves prison." Or words to that effect! These were the '60s, remember. ... 7:27 P.M.
Buried lede? Bustamante's permanent rolling super-amnesty: Did anyone notice this extraordinary passage buried in the LAT's coverage of a weekend Bustamante rally?:
In his news conference, Bustamante went further when asked if he saw any differences between legal and illegal immigrants.
"I think that anybody who works and pays taxes ought to have a right for citizenship," he said.
He deflected a question about whether that meant he would support open borders, but said later that he would back an amnesty program for illegal immigrants living in California. [Emph. added]
Bustamante's statement, taken at face value, may not mean open borders. But it does mean more than a blanket amnesty for current illegals (a fairly controversial proposition in itself). It would seem to mean prospective amnesty, and citizenship, for anyone who can get across the border and start working. ... (Note: It's pretty clear that when it comes to determining whether someone "pays taxes" Bustamante will be satisfied with sales taxes.) ...At best this is evidence that Bustamante, maybe more than Schwarzenegger, is kept under wraps by his handlers because he's shaky when it comes to policy pronouncements. ... P.S.: Maybe Bustamante's timidity in criticizing the Aztlan-oriented MEChA group isn't substantively irrelevant after all. After a few decades of both legal and illegal immigration leading to U.S. citizenship, wouldn't something like a "reconquista" be on the political agenda for the American Southwest? Again, think 'Quebec with France next door.' ... Backfill: Weintraub picked up on Bustamante's "work and pay taxes" pronouncement, and noted that the Lt. Gov. seemed to believe illegal immigrants normally serve in the U.S. military:
During his speech Sunday he said it was unfair to allow immigrants to serve and die in the armed forces while state policy denies them driver's licenses, as if he were talking about the same population. But U.S. military policy allows only legal immigrants to enlist. [Emph. added]
P.P.S.: How slow and ponderous is the L.A. Times? The day after Bustamante's comments, the Times front page features what must have been a long-in-the-can thumbsucker headlined
"Candidates Skirt Immigration Issue."