Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SAY WHAT?....Here's the latest from Robert Salladay, the LA Times' new political blogger:

Some good news for pessimists today: California is headed toward a political system dominated by a white minority which votes and sets public policy at the ballot box, while Latinos and other ethnic groups that make up the majority of California's population sit on the sidelines.

....White people are expected to be only one-third of the state's adults in 2040, the report said. But their power at the ballot box will remain strong still representing a majority of voters in 25 years.

Salladay's blog is only three days old, and I know that sometimes sloppy wording can creep in inadvertantly when you don't have four layers of editors watching everything you write. Still, can someone please tell me how a "political system dominated by a white minority" can be considered "good news for pessimists"? Or is pessimist what we call racists and xenophobes these days?

UPDATE: Salladay clarifies:

Let me explain the "good news for pessimists" intro. It was not meant to be taken in a racial context or suggest in any way that the PPIC's pessimistic assessment of the future is "good."

The state's voter system is dividing along many lines: race, income, age, etc. The pessimism concerns the state's political system devolving into fewer and fewer people taking control of their own destiny through the ballot box.

Kevin Drum 1:23 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (103)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

"Good news for pessimists" means that their pessimism is justified, because the "electorate does not reflect the size, the growth or the diversity of California's population."

I thought his meaning was pretty clear.

Posted by: alex on September 14, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

As in, "more proof that I was right all along about things going to Hell in a handbasket."

Posted by: Raven on September 14, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

alex:

Well, "good news for pessimists" is inherently oxymoronic. Like the proverbial half-empty glass, a pessimist interprets any given fact set as *bad* news.

Although, strangely enough, "bad news for optimists" seems much less contradictory for some reason ...

I dunno. I think you and Kevin are both right.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the glass is half full... of puke.

Posted by: Kenji on September 14, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

That guy could take lessons in lucidity from Bush. I bet he was trying for ironic nuance. Baby steps fella, until your readership knows where you stand.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on September 14, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Query whether people who believe a white minority will make better decisions about public policy consider themselves "pessimists".

Posted by: Shelby on September 14, 2006 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think it was pretty clear. "a political system dominated by a white minority" is a bad thing, and if you're a pessimist you worry about bad things happening, so this is good news, you're going to get what you want, a bad thing.

Anyway, I am still trying to figure out why I read the Washington Monthly everyday and sometimes twice a day.

Posted by: jerry on September 14, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Shelby:

I think the operative assumption is that "pessimists" mean pessimists about democracy and equal representation.

Although it's close enough to code for white supremecists that's it's a particularly inapt way to phrase it ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

I think the word he wanted was "cynics" as in those with cynical world views, or even those pessimistic about you know progress, race relations, equality ever happening. This does not mean they are for those things. K. Dru fumbled here.

Posted by: Pinko Punko on September 14, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

"Some good news for pessimists today:..."

Wow! WOW!

Although he seems totally oblivious to the racist message he sends, in his defence, he is so blind that I don't think he even realized what he said because he thinks he is passing on the message of the survey only, not endorsing it.

But he did.

How it got past any editor? Well, no one read it. Obviously!

Following down the line, as long as everybody gets educated, those minorities will vote. I hope. And the US will evolve.

Posted by: notthere on September 14, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

This is a common complaint among political scientists in CA. Whites vote at a higher rate than everybody else. They are an even larger percentage in primary elections, where ballot measures often get placed by opportunistic campaigns. Their priorities are thus reflected in policy outcomes (pro-suburban, low taxes, middle class programs, etc.)

For the forseeable future, policies will be set by a minority (whites) due to lower voting rates by the majority.

I wouldn't make too much out of this guy's language. It's mangled, not malicious.

Posted by: gfw on September 14, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

If Salladay traces his family tree very very carefully, he'll find out that it's Iranian. Another racist who spits into the wind just like that macaca senator from Virginia.

Posted by: anonymous on September 14, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Since four years from now very likely Antonio Villaraigosa will replace Schwatzenegger as governor, thirty years before 2040, this might be a little questionable.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on September 14, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

crappier version of modest mouses' latest album title:

"Good News for People Who Like Bad News"

Posted by: alex 2 on September 14, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

sometimes sloppy wording can creep in inadvertantly when you don't have four layers of editors watching everything you write

Sort of like sloppy spelling.

Posted by: Christopher M on September 14, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

"Good news for pessimists" means that their pessimism is justified, because the "electorate does not reflect the size, the growth or the diversity of California's population.

yeh well Borot does!!

Posted by: Trinary+Suka on September 14, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

Holy Shit, Drum! How else could one read

"dominated by a white minority" can be considered "good news for pessimists"?

except thinking the author agrees it's bad news?

"Good news for pessimists", like "pain for masochists", is not generally greeted with enthusiasm.

Ahem: InadvertEntly.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 14, 2006 at 5:17 AM | PERMALINK

As long as election officials keep using Diebold electronic voting equipment, a minority of one can set public policy at the ballot box.

I do not trust anything Diebold says or does and I believe that the number of people who lack confidence in the integrity of the "ballot box" is growing.

Posted by: Chief on September 14, 2006 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

I believe that 90% of the problems in this world can be directly traced to the anxieties of middle-aged, pudgy, pasty, self-loathing, heterosexual white males who continually whine about having to deal with all those racial/ethnic minorities, women, and gay people.

The other 10% is the fault of all those racial/ethnic minorities, women, and gay people who continually pick on

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 14, 2006 at 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

As I was saying before my cat stepped on my keyboard, thus rendering my post a cliffhanger -- The other 10% is the fault of all those racial/ethnic minorities, women, and gay people who continually pick on those poor, fat, anxious, middle-aged white males.

But as I just discovered, cats could be part of the solution, if we'd only allow them to run our world the way they dominate our lives at home.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 14, 2006 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe this guy was talking about the fear that US citizens have with the expert estimates of the rising control illegal aliens are gaining in the electioin process.

It seems he is equating all non-white people in California as being in the country illegally.

Pessimists have argued that California would be taken over by illegal aliens and all them to vote without committing to be a loyal part of the USA.

Posted by: Orwell on September 14, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with others above. The meaning seems pretty clear to me. It's a bad thing and will therefore justify the negativity of pessimists. I think there are some commenters here who are over interpreting.

That said, there have been some alternate versions offered that might have done the job with a little less nuance.

Posted by: The Pop View on September 14, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

I like it. It's a funny turn of phrase reminding me of people I've known.

Kevin should have liked it too, as he was obviously in a pessimistic and way-too-literal frame of mind when he read it.

O well, you can't please everyone- and some of the people you can't please will be happy that you've disappointd them once again. In a grumpy sort of way.

Posted by: serial catowner on September 14, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Christopher M and bad Jim beat me to it.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's obvious that Salladay is using good news for pessimists as a clumsy way of saying bad news and that everyone is overreacting.

Laney blogs at Apophenia

Posted by: Laney on September 14, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

I recind my earlier comments on the basis of my ineptitude. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's obvious that Salladay is using good news for pessimists as a clumsy way of saying bad news and that everyone is overreacting.

Oh my gosh, people at WashMonthly OVERREACTING?????

Say IT ISN'T SO!

Posted by: Red State Mike on September 14, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

It's getting harder and harder for them to disguise their racism while remaining coherent, isn't it?

Their efforts to speak in code that only they can understand are backfiring.

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on September 14, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Guys, let's remember that a pessimist expects bad things to happen. He doesn't want bad things to happen (necessarily).

So bad news for a pessimist is the same as bad news for anybody else. Good news, to the pessimist, means that he's been proven wrong.

Posted by: Dan T. on September 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ahh - He was just trying to be cute with that opening. It probably sounded like a great idea when he was trying to put something together under a deadline. With a little more polish, he'll be able to do that kind rhetorical flourish without making some people scratch their heads.
It's a three day old blog; cut the guy some slack.

Posted by: Geeno on September 14, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Good News for People Who Love Bad News" was already taken.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on September 14, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

I can't believe the discussion is going on at this length.

Then again, I posted earlier just to snark Kevin's misspelling a word while complaining about other people's sloppy writing, so I suck, too.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an unforgiving curmudgeon, and I get it. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. I agree with the "cut him a little slack" contingent.

Posted by: Roger Sizemore on September 14, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Or is pessimist what we call racists and xenophobes these days?" - Kevin


Or Democrats. Your choice.

Posted by: Jay on September 14, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

The optimist says the glass is half full.
The pessimist says the glass is half empty.
The engineer says the glass is twice as large as needed, but, since it was built to specifications, it isn't his problem.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on September 14, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

"bad news for pessimists" = "clothing bargains for millionaires"

Posted by: Peter James Bond on September 14, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

What he's actually saying: "Never fear the numbers game! We'll still be more powerful than those wogs."

BTW, Donald from Hawaii, I hope your cat is not a xenophobe.

Posted by: Vincent on September 14, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

"The American leaders should prefer to not speak in an angry fashion, he said, before asserting that his country is a natural international leader.

Declaring solidarity with Africa

We believe the on the basis of law and justice, we can better lead the world,

Associated Press Published: 09.14.06, 07:37
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Islamic countries to mobilise against Israel and remove the Zionist regime.

The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilise to remove this problem, the president said in a speech to regional officials."
Saturday, July 08, 2006


Now that's leadership.

I can't wait until Harvard invites Ahmendijad to speak. Isn't being multi-cultural fun?

Posted by: Jay on September 14, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, come on. As several commentors have pointed out, its clear that he's being sarcastic. Laney is right: 'I think it's obvious that Salladay is using good news for pessimists as a clumsy way of saying bad news and that everyone is overreacting.', except for the fact that it wasn't clumsey, it was quite damned obvious that that was his point. And all of you folks seeing racist overtones in Salladay's writing- get a grip.

Lordy Kevin- that was weak. I'll give you a break because even our all-powerful overlord Atrios seems to have been sucked into this silliness.

Posted by: Doug on September 14, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Dan T.: "Guys, let's remember that a pessimist expects bad things to happen. He doesn't want bad things to happen (necessarily)."

As a card-carrying pessimist, let me say that I would welcome any good news that might come along. Not that I expect that will ever happen. :(

Posted by: Grumpy on September 14, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK
I think it was pretty clear. "a political system dominated by a white minority" is a bad thing, and if you're a pessimist you worry about bad things happening, so this is good news, you're going to get what you want, a bad thing.

This explanation relies on the premise that "worry about" means "want", when the two are opposites.

Pessimists don't want bad things to happen, they just expect bad things to happen.

Bad news is not "good news for pessimists."

Posted by: cmdicely on September 14, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

A small glimmer of hope against Hispano-fascism.

The United States is dissolving at the edges much like a sugar cube cast into a bucket of water.

What once Lincoln strove to hold together, today globalists like the Coyote-in-Chief Jorge Bush seek to rend asunder in the name of the free flow of cheap labor.

Posted by: Myron on September 14, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I think it's more that pessimists will interpret any bit of news to find the bad in it. "Good news for pessimists" strictly speaking doesn't parse.

It was a clumsy attempt at humor is all.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

I think you overreacted.

Substitute /* Confirmation */

for /* Good news * /

and you have what the author meant.

Posted by: Xact on September 14, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Latinos can be white.

Posted by: Rich on September 14, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Or is pessimist what we call racists and xenophobes these days?

Nah, we call them "Republicans".

Writers, on the other hand, should know that a pessimist only expects bad news - but it's still bad news. Expecting and wanting are two different things.

Posted by: Avedon on September 14, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

It sure sounds racist to me when someone says it's good news when the white race votes more than the black race.

It sounds simlarly racist when someone says it's good news when the black race votes more than the white race.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 14, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Avedon, check out Jay's post of 9:44.

You were beat by a solid hour and a half. Of course, getting beat by Republicans should be a familiar feeling.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 14, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

The people who made California the way it is that attracts people will try to keep it that way. Those who want to kill the goose will, hopefully, never gain ascendancy.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on September 14, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Take it from a genuine, board-certified pessimist: We are not gladdened when bad things happen. We do not celebrate when our expectations are confirmed over and over and over.

One would hope that a guy who apparently writes for a living like Mr. Salladay would know that words have meanings. But painful experience has shown too often that what one hopes never matches up with reality.

Posted by: Wally Whateley on September 14, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Drum. Pessimists don't desire bad news. That's some shit made up by business execs on prozac (or maybe it's neocons high on Iraq, I can't remember).

Posted by: B on September 14, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

You were beat by a solid hour and a half.

Is that what Republicans call an hour and forty minutes now?

Posted by: B on September 14, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think y'all are missing the important issue here --

how many pessimists can fit on the head of a pin?

Posted by: Declan on September 14, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who is committed to Democracy the idea of a minority group of whites dominating politics in California is repugnant. The effort necessary is to fully assimilate the ethnic majority. Once the ethnic majority is voting in numbers the problem of a white minority controlling California politics will diminish. It won't go away because white, middle aged men and women will continue to have a lot of money and will continue to use that money to influence local politics.

By the way if the past is any guide itself by 2040 most people won't even understand what the original post is all about. The only ones who do will be students of history.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 14, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Pudgy, pasty, self-loathing, heterosexual white males..."

Oooh, oooh, I know, Rush Limbaugh right, right?

Posted by: ckelly on September 14, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

If my previous post didn't make it clear, I think this is an important issue considering the conservative "optimism = patriotism" meme.

Posted by: B on September 14, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Don't believe it. Latinos are organizing in the Golden State. Salloday's projection is based on the ever-popular "if things stay exactly the same as now" projections which pretty much define beltway political critism (except, for some reason, when it comes to Iraq).

And yeah, it sounds pretty damn racist.

Posted by: GiantDuck on September 14, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

"claire" & "tj" = sock puppets.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey claire & tj:

Did you know that that nefarious Zionist tool Amnesty International just declared Hezbollah's targetting of civilians with rocket strikes to be a war crime?

Must be all those JOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSsss who sit on their board of directors, right?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

All that Soros money apparently can't buy a brain.

If voting percentages were higher among blacks and Hispanics than whites, one could expect to find "liberals" spinning that as a good thing.

As for real issues, the Dems in the CA senate passed a resolution supporting foreign citizens making a show of force and marching in the streets demanding rights to which they are not entitled.

Since none of those Democrats were censured over that resolution, the national Democratic Party fully supports what they did.

If every Hispanic citizen in the state voted and if many illegal aliens were able to vote due to MotorVoter, one wonders what would happen.

According to "liberal" rules, people (except for white people) are supposed to vote for their race.

Also according to "liberal" rules, only white people can be criticized; criticizing People of Color is racist.

Also according to "liberal" rules, it's acceptable to collaborate with the Mexican government.

Would a racial demagogue such as Villa. or Cedi. take advantage of those "liberal" rules to take it one step further and try to even further undercut our immigration system in order to consolidate racial power?

Can anyone imagine the Democratic Party taking steps against that, just as long as there are votes or profits to be had?

Posted by: TLB on September 14, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives and moderates like to spread the idea that liberals and leftists want bad things to happen so they can complain about them. The defeat of America in Iraq or the people are not represented through the so-called democratic process are two examples. So, even if this 'blogger' seems to be making a liberal point about a problem of under representation, he is countering it with his prelude to pessimism and making sublte agreement with exactly what the elites in California want.

Posted by: Hostile on September 14, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Optimists say we live in the best of all possible worlds.

Pessimists know it.

Posted by: Hostile on September 14, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I had to read it twice, then read your summary, in order to figure out what was bad about this. I felt that "good news for pessimists" was just an exasperated/snarky way of saying "as usual" or "on the continuing downward spiral." You'd have to look pretty hard and squint a lot to interpret it as "Good news for people who've been worrying about the eventual balance of races in our government."

Posted by: Doug Nelson on September 14, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

umm, doesn't good news for pessimists mean bad news?

Posted by: twb on September 14, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Sure it is racist:

From the Pew Hispanic Research Organization:

"Foreign-born youths are significant contributors to the nation's teen school dropout population. Only 8 percent of the nation's teens are foreign born, but nearly 25 percent of teen school dropouts were born outside the United States, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of data from the 2000 U.S. Census.

Many of these foreign-born school dropoutsnearly 40 percentare recent arrivals to this country who were already behind in school before they left for the United States"


So, tell me, Democrats, are you out of power because ignorant voters were duped by Carl Rove? Don't you think that ignorant, uneducated frightened voters are best left on the sidelines?

Posted by: Matt on September 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa. Just google his name and you'll see he seems to be a pretty straight-forward reporter, who, for example, reported the Schwarzenegger "hot-blooded" comment. Probably a slip of his pen,let's not get too carried away!

Posted by: whenwego on September 14, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why the fuck is it that every pointer I get to Kevin's blog demonstrates that I've just wasted my time again?

Salladay is no racist - in fact, any moderately well informed reader of the LAT knows he's one of the best writers in the country.

Yet more evidence that the Spinsanity style of Reasonable Liberal Thinkers(tm) is worse that a waste of time.

Posted by: Pacific John on September 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Matt- Your commentary on ignorant, uneducated voters might carry a bit more weight (nah, not really, but I'll humor you just so that I can mock you) if you spelled "Karl Rove" correctly.

Posted by: snarky on September 14, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Good news for pessimists" means what follows is bad news. I don't know anyone, racist or otherwise, who thinks that "a political system dominated by a white minority which votes and sets public policy at the ballot box, while Latinos and other ethnic groups that make up the majority of California's population sit on the sidelines" would be good news.


Posted by: Capybara on September 14, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is showing the same special combination of poor impulse control and questionable judgment he displayed when he was enabling W's Iraq war PR campaign.

Holy cow. No wonder the nation is going to hell if major "liberal" publications like TNR, TAP and MwMo have Siegel (and countless others), Nyhan, and Drum.

Posted by: Pacific John on September 14, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

... I'd like to clarify that Drum isn't nearly as bad as the other examples, but he needs to sober up and think a little more clearly. And he's up to it. Thats what's frustrating. I expect better.

Posted by: Pacific John on September 14, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Not sloppy at all. The "pessimists" are the white californians who think its a bad thing that there so many mexicans here. The good news is that the white people will still be in power in 30 years. Clear, plain, direct.

Posted by: Daad in Burbank on September 14, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Read it again and think logic.
I am a pessimist, and I assume that the man is going to keep me down forever.
Now, news that its true!
Thus I am vindicated.
Thats good news for a pessimist.

Posted by: Chris Schommer on September 14, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think this accusation of racism is bunk, and based on a hurried reading / misunderstanding.

Did anybody read the whole item?

I'm doubly disappointed, because Robert Salladay's new "Mothers Milk" feature on the blog,

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/politics/cal/la-calpolitics-money-special,0,5023822.special

logging "Total political contributions for all state races" is one of the best things I've heard about all week in CA politics.

it's obvious to me what the "pessimist" thing refers to: check out the post by "nothere" on this very thread -- he's an "optimist." He believes, like me, that continued positive evolution of the U.S. can come via expanding democratic participation in our representative democracy, including by "minorities" and other groups with low voting rates.

but in good news for pessimists, this study says that what's really happening in CA is that, more and more, "minority" voters are staying home.

to call Robert Salladay "the Times' new political blogger" is not incorrect, but those unfamiliar with the CA state press should know that Salladay is not new to reporting or to the LA Times.

Posted by: jennfer poole on September 14, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

snarky,

It appears that some "pessimists" have remained in California especially in the Fresno area.

Many have already left, as in white flight, to western regions where they have become the dominant political force. For example the panhandle area of Northern Idaho, just east of Spokane, WA has become a Repug bastion of "pessimists" - No, not the neo-nazi variety of olden days around Hayden Lake, but the garden variety middle class bigoted Repugs, who bought into the low tax, no minority areas of rural and suburban Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Montana. Strong family values in raising their kids in a low tax, minority free and straight environment. Say hall-o-looo and sing, "What a friend we have in George W,".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 14, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mexicans are good at manual labor and generally good at following directions but are not that bright. They certainly should not be voting or in politics. Maybe if the few smart Mexicans got married and then had the usual eight babies the next generation would be more intelligent. Look I have nothing against Mexicans, Consuela my nanny and Jose the gardener are kind people but they need to let this go. They should be happy I let them into my home to work and stop making this trouble.

Posted by: Brentwood mom on September 14, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Brentwood Mom, you're funny. About as funny as a nation of dead Indians. Or a nation of dead Iraqis. Or a race of enslaved plantation workers. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Nezua Limn Xolagrafik-Jonez on September 14, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Congrats, Kevin. You're bungled reading of Salladay's post has led Kos to ignorantly label the man a racist. Good for you. And by "Good for you", I mean, "shame on you", in case you had difficulty picking up on the sarcasm.

Posted by: way to go on September 14, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Pessimists = "white people who are pessimistic that the brown people are taking over"

Posted by: Right Coast on September 14, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

We must consider race in immigration by law. As demographics shift, affrimative action, school bussing, health care policies, college admissions, all get affected...including the shapes of Congressional districts. Its disingenous to say race is not an issue with immigratin, nor that race of immiigrants does not have rammifications.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9HnGCKA6-4

Posted by: Ed Donegan on September 14, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

For the adults, a continuation of my comments above. If most Hispanics in California voted, would that be a threat to the Democratic Party? If most Hispanics wanted, for instance, full citizenship rights for anyone who could make it across the border, but the Dems realized that was political suicide (they wouldn't care about it being national suicide, just political suicide) and decided that was a bridge too far, what would happen? Could Latinos start their own party, as others have suggested?

Posted by: TLB on September 14, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

here's Salladay's own comment from the original thread

"Let me explain the "good news for pessimists" into. It was not meant to be taken in a racial context or suggest in any way that the PPIC's pessimistic assessment of the future is "good."

The state's voter system is dividing along many lines: race, income, age, etc. The pessimism concerns the state's political system devolving into fewer and fewer people taking control of their own destiny through the ballot box."

Posted by: jennifer poole on September 14, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Could Latinos start their own party, as others have suggested?

Latinos are the Democratic Party, at least a very large, influential slice of it. Art Torres has been chair of the party forever. Cruz has been a regular force for workers' rights, making a regular sober presentation on the subject at annual conventions. And there's Villaregosa. Tho' surprisingly few seem to genuinely notice this alignment, it is structural and deep.

Posted by: Pacific John on September 14, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are overreacting. Robert Salladay's comments were in no way racist. He was saying "this is a good day for pessimists" (racists), but this was in no way "good news" period.

Posted by: Phoenix Democrat on September 14, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Complete overreaction, and I think apologies our owed. I get a headache when I try to see the interpretation of the intro as racist - his explanation makes perfect sense. Unfortunately this serves to confirm stereotypes of hysterical liberals lobbing charges of racism...

Calling someone racist is pretty bad - this guy didn't deserve it. Apologize.

Posted by: Bryce on September 14, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Could Latinos start their own party...?"

Well, sure, if they're willing to invest the time and effort. But the point of Salladay's article was that most California Latinos are not even inclined to register and vote. Non-voters don't start political parties.

Posted by: Dennis on September 14, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I've been pointing to what he is pointing for over ten years and working to get the communities of color more active in elections. It can't be racist just to tell the truth. The work of getting new citizens into the process is VERY slow -- usually takes ten years after immigration, sometimes more.

Posted by: janinsanfran on September 14, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Markos has updated his post with "Salladay says that's not what he meant" hyperlinked to Salladay's own comment to his original post, and it looks like Salladay has done an update too:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/politicalmuscle/2006/09/dont_believe_it.html

perhaps, Kevin, you could do the same? again, I urge everybody to check out the "Mother's Milk" feature of the LA Times blog, amazing stuff.

Posted by: jennfer poole on September 14, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

This is ridiculous. If people are unwilling to read the context of the whole post, and unwilling to believe those of us who recognize the phrase as a trope for "bad news", in order for them to read the phrase as meaning "good news" they have to ignore the words "for pessimists."

And its all besides the point, but the logicians who argue that pessimists don't want bad news, just expect it, follow logic but ignores psychology: people are pessimists because it fits their psychology needs, and in some way welcome bad news because it confirms their world view, and at least lets them say "I told you so."

Posted by: Capybara on September 14, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, for f*ck's sake! Someone say niggardly already...

Posted by: John on September 14, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Chicago LA Times does NOT represent Los Angeles.

The rightwing Tribune Company bought the LAT in 2000, SPECIFICALLY in order to foist rightwing view on Angelinos and the country (from a supposedly liberal source), and to silence westcoast liberal opinion (and reportage on our many huge protests).

They have been outed by leaked emails which stated outright these intentions. They have fired everyone on the paper with a liberal opinion, replacing them with the worst racist firebrands the rightwing has. They lost the Pulitzer prize winning Jim Carroll as editor within the first year.

And their subscription base HAS TANKED. They are at below 1 million daily, and about 1.2 on Sunday. There have been leaked discussions that the CT is planning on selling the paper, or closing it outright.

DOWN WITH THE CHICAGO LIESANGELES TIMES!

Posted by: Paul in LA on September 14, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, here he says ... no need to worry white folk, no need to be pessimistic, there's GOOD NEWS!!! for although you're headed for an undeniable minority status you'll still control the vote, because the majority won't bother to get off the sidelines and vote. Fear not white folk!

I think that's what he mean?

Of course, it could be that he is trying to goad the side-liners to get off their side-lines?

Posted by: Faust on September 14, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I wish I'd thought of the handle "Capybara." They're the best, man.

Paul in LA, sorry, hon, but now you know what we've been dealing with in Chicago for lo these many years. A bright blue town with nothing but red dailies. Colonel McCormick directing operations from the grave.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Paul in LA, Robert Salladay is a reporter; you can't blame him for the opinion page.

Presumably you're not specifically calling Salladay "one of the worst racist firebrands the rightwing has," just blaming him by association for the ownership changes / editorial changes at the paper.

it was Salladay who wrote the original story last week about Scharzenegger's idiot remarks characterizing "all" Cubans and Puerto Ricans by their "blood":

"I mean, they are all very hot," the governor says. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-meeting8sep08,0,5945392.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Posted by: jennifer poole on September 14, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is liberal McCarthyism - and I'm a liberal! There's a racist hiding behind every bush? I understood it to mean EXACTLY what Salladay said it meant. Get a life. Or at least an open, discerning mind.

Posted by: imajoebob on September 14, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Not well written but I think it's unfair to conclude the sentiment is racist.

Posted by: jhannon on September 14, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Interpreting this comment by Salladay as racist is willfully dense. I agree with imajoebob - I'm a liberal, one who would argue all night that racism is still widely present and harmful in this society. But this kind of hairtrigger accusation is one of the most unappealing habits of many contemporary liberals.

Salladay really deserves an apology for this, especially since Kos piled on, based on Kevin's post.

Posted by: cerebrocrat on September 14, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Pacific John says: Latinos are the Democratic Party, at least a very large, influential slice of it. Art Torres has been chair of the party forever.

Look, I realize that proud Democratic Assemblyperson Jackie Goldberg was on the board for some Communist event a few decades ago. We can forgive! But, as I said above, aren't some things going just a bit too far?

Let's say, just as an example, that millions of people finally read up on the past associations of those Hispanic Democrats you mentioned, as well as their quotes (like Torres' extremely racist quote about the "last gasp of white America"). Wouldn't most of those people realize that the Democratic Party is chock full of racists and irredentist extremists?

Would the Dems purge themselves of those racists and irredentist extremists?

Where would those racists and irredentist extremists who are currently proud leaders of the Democratic Party go?

Dennis says: "the point of Salladay's article was that most California Latinos are not even inclined to register and vote. Non-voters don't start political parties."

No, but leaders do. And, if it's an ethnic nationalistic party similar to all the other ethnic nationalistic parties, it might have appeal to large numbers of people of that ethnicity, as we've seen with those other parties. Those who are currently ambivalent about voting might be quite inclined to join an ethnic nationalistic movement.

And, as pointed out above, the "liberal" rules would bless that form of ethnic nationalism.

Posted by: TLB on September 14, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin didn't accuse him of racism you idiots. He accused him of having poor editors.

Posted by: toast on September 14, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

TLB:

You know, that's just paranoid mouth-breathing. An "ethnic nationalist" party would be in no way Democratic -- it would more closely resemble proto-Fascism. What you're doing is conflating a tiny minority of leftist Hispanics who like to flay white cultural dominance with cultural-dominance rhetoric of their own with the vast amount of potential Hispanic voters who tend to be culturally rather conservative, if economically liberal enough to be strongly compelled by the Democratic message.

The Republicans, in fact, had hoped to capture a sizable chunk of this vote, and that's why Rove engineered Bush's immigration strategy. They see the demographic handwriting on the wall -- and think it would be good politics if they can connect with the Catholic / Evangelical family-values leanings of these sorts of voters.

Instead, the GOP base rebelled hard, and the movement of Hispanics into the GOP has been pretty much stopped cold by the all the recent immigration fracas. Not saying that the Democrats are going to necessarily gain from this -- but they do have a sizable opportunity.

But the idea of some crypto-ethnic supremecist party appealing to recent Hispanic citizens who don't vote in large number is something of a Minuteman's hallucinatory nightmare and little else ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, let's remember that a pessimist expects bad things to happen. He doesn't want bad things to happen (necessarily).

So bad news for a pessimist is the same as bad news for anybody else. Good news, to the pessimist, means that he's been proven wrong.

You must not know any dyed-in-the-wool pessimists; they feel emotionally validated when their negative predictions come true. And if they play the stock market, they sell short and are financially rewarded, as well; they would hate to be proven wrong -- and in that they are like most people, and thus the point of the expression.

If the author had simply meant "good news", he never would have written "for pessimists". And it was quite clear (to any competent reader) from the rest of the article that he did not consider this to be good news.

Posted by: truth machine on September 15, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin didn't accuse him of racism you idiots. He accused him of having poor editors.

But other people here did accuse him of that, moron. As did Kos, in his link to this piece.

Posted by: truth machine on September 15, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

He was saying "this is a good day for pessimists" (racists), but this was in no way "good news" period.

No, he was not equating pessimists to racists -- how can people be this dense? Racists would welcome this news because it meets their desires; it's what they want. Pessimists would "welcome" this news because it meets their expectations that things go badly -- it's not what they desire, else it wouldn't be pessimism.

Salladay needs to learn to write as though most of his audience were illiterate retards -- because apparently they are.

Posted by: truth machine on September 15, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly