Bet if you got this piece of work going he'd tell you all about the terrible times and the discrimination and the abuse his Italian immigrant ancestors suffered from xenophobes who thought and said exactly the sort of things about Italians as he says about Mexicans. And he wouldn't get the irony if you rubbed his nose in it.
"It was different then," he'd say. Or "My ancestors weren't like them" and he'd tell you how they wore heavier socks or ate with their forks in their right hands or learned to speak English like college professors on the boat ride over here. He'll come up with some difference that shows why his ancestors were good and deserving and an asset to America and Mexicans are not.
Then again, maybe not. He may not know anything about his ancestors except their last names, never mind that they were made to feel as welcome here as Hispanics are made to feel in his joint. Back in Boston I knew plenty of proud Irish-American bigots who couldn't tell you what NINA stood for or why police vans are called Paddy Wagons or that there was a time when all decent people agreed that the Irish were gifted only at procreating, singing and dancing, playing baseball, drinking, and crime.
We do such a good job of teaching history in this country.
At any rate, it's nice to see somebody covering national politics notice that clowns like this aren't just colorful local characters, which is why Rudy Giuliani showed up to get his picture taken with his sign. Rudy wasn't there to connect with his own Italian roots or to show that he's a man of the people. He was there to show that he's a man for the white people, the stupid, hateful, anti-anybody who's not like me especially if they're brown-skinned white people. Rudy was there courting the racist jerk vote because he's a Republican and you can't get nominated for President as a Republican without the racist jerk vote.
Don't you love it when Mr This is America Speak English boasts how he's just saying what everybody's thinking, he just has the guts to say it outloud?
He's right. If by everybody he means anyone who's going to vote for Rudy because of Giuliani's taste in cheese steaks.
Besides, as any Beltway Insider who covered the election four years ago can tell you, what's important is that you know to order Cheez-whiz not who you're ordering from.
Tell you what, though. I ever go to Geno's? I'm ordering in Italian.
Thanks to Will Bunch.