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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | September 03, 2003

Schwarzenegger skips debate; U.S. English

Meanwhile, back in that little hamlet called California, Arnold is refusing to participate in today's debate.

Schwarzenegger has agreed to participate in only one debate, sponsored by the California Broadcasters Association on Sept. 24, for which questions will be provided ahead of time. That decision has drawn criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
What kind of debate provides the questions "ahead of time"? The kind, apparently, designed for an intellectual lightweight like Arnold.

Meanwhile, Republicans can't believe that Bustamante was a member of MEChA back in his college days. Why? Because a MEChA splinter group recently founded a genuinely racist and anti-semitic magazine, giving "ammunition" to GOoPers trying to tar my boy Cruz with something. Anything.

Yet, Jeanne over at Body and Soul has demonstrated why we should be legitimately concerned about Schwarzenegger's involvement with U.S. English -- the racist, anti-Latino group trying to stamp out all vestiges of the Spanish language in this country.

U.S. English is hardly a benign organization. Its co-founder, John Tanton, founded or helped fund at least 13 anti-immigration groups, three of which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as "hate groups," including this charming collection of vigilantes. Tanton's no longer associated with U.S. English, but one of their current spokesmen is James Lubinskas, a contributing editor to the neo-Confederate American Renaissance magazine.

When news of John Tanton's racist views came out in 1988, several prominent members, including Walter Cronkite and the certainly far from liberal Linda Chavez resigned, rather than be associated with such views. Chavez accused Tanton of being both anti-Hispanic and anti-Catholic.

Anti-Catholic? What could have given her that idea? Maybe the fact that Tanton told a reporter that too many immigrants were Catholic.

Linda Chavez is a far-right reactionary much maligned in the Latino community. You all might recall her as Bush's first choice to head the labor department, until it was learned Chavez employed undocumented immigrants to clean her house.

So while U.S. English was too reactionary, racist, and anti-Catholic even for a wingnut like Linda Chavez, that was not the case for Arnold, who happily kept his seat at the table. Charming.

Note that this is all old news -- Jeanne's piece is over two weeks old. But since the right wants to keep the MEChA thing alive, perhaps it's time to really start harping on Arnold's ties to U.S. English.

Posted September 03, 2003 09:07 AM | Comments (49)


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