Shenanigans, part 2

Chico’s city councilmembers (see Editorial) have nothing on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Democratic opponent, Phil Angelides. They’ve both been doing a good job of embarrassing themselves and the people of California in recent days.

First the Los Angeles Times reports on a leaked tape recording of a private conversation in which Schwarzenegger stated that Cuban and Puerto Rican women have “very hot” temperaments because of their mix of “black blood” and “Latino blood.” The governor didn’t mean to be derogatory, but his core racism shone through. Equating personality traits with a person’s “blood” has been used to justify bigotry for centuries.

The Angelides camp leaped on the revelation, accusing the governor of “a disturbing pattern of behavior.” They had a point, but they blew it by not acknowledging up front that they had given the Times the tape after downloading it from the governor’s own Web site. Then, when the truth came out, they tried to blame it on two low-level staffers, as if higher-ups had no idea it was being given to the Times.

The whole tawdry thing was enough to turn us off politics—if it weren’t so damned important.