Sunday, July 24, 2016

Race, The Democratic Bosphorus

California's Senate campaign, thanks to a crazy first-two-past-the-post primary system that has the effect of solidifying one-party rule in the state, is between two Democrats, state Attorney General Kamala Harris, and long-time Representative Loretta Sanchez. Sanchez, who is comparatively unknown in large parts of the state, polls well among Hispanics but no other group, and trails Harris by a margin of 3-to-1 in fundraising. Sanchez had some words to say about Barack Obama's endorsement of Harris:
Sanchez made the comment during a taped interview for public affairs show “ConexiĆ³n” that aired Friday on Univision 19 in Sacramento. The remarks follow a blistering statement Sanchez issued after the endorsement earlier this week, accusing the president of being part of the nation’s “entrenched political establishment.”

In the interview, the congresswoman noted that Obama and Harris have been longtime friends, but said that race was also a factor in his endorsement:

“I think they have, what he said they have, is a friendship of many years. She is African American, as is he. They know each other through meetings,” Sanchez said in Spanish during the interview.
 Sanchez beat "B-1" Bob Dornan for the seat in 1996 when I lived in the district, marking the first significant inroad of the Democratic Party to what had been safe Republican territory for over a generation. While Sanchez's remarks here are comparatively tepid — she doesn't exactly claim race was an overriding factor — it's clear she thinks it is a factor. For all that Donald Trump rightly gets press for being divisive, the Democrats themselves have chosen a politics of divisiveness: division by race, by sex, by sexual preference. Yet we appear to enter an era when minority status may no longer provide political advantages; witness Asian-Americans successfully quashing renewed efforts to resume affirmative action in UC admissions two years ago. The politics of victimhood end with the realization that not everyone can be a victim.

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