Schwarzenegger, the "all stereotypes, all the time" governor

Friday, September 08, 2006 at 05:32 PM

Like so many Republican officeholders who attained their office primarily by packaging themselves as "plain speakers," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks not only plainly, but in simplistic terms that rely largely on stereotypes.  Sort of like high school sophomores.

The latest from the denigrator of "girlie men" legislators, the groper of all things curvy and female? A tape recording that captured Arnold the Grate and a staff member speculating about the ethnicity of a California legislator that Arnold likes:

I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it.

Of course, the legislator of whom he spoke, state Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, has appeared with Arnold to testify that she was not offended.  But the foot is not to be so easily extracted from the oral cavity.  Others are not so sure the apology was heartfelt:

Critics, though, are condemning the remarks, saying his apology didn't go far enough. Latina activist Dolores Huerte said the Latino community will "take to heart how they're being abused by this governor."

Congresswoman Hilda Solis, of East Los Angeles, said, "He apologized, but I don't think it was heartfelt."

Solis also dismissed Garcia's remarks.

"We know she would protect and defend the governor because she's a Republican," Solis said. "But it really doesn't fly. The rest of us know how he meant it and how we'll take it."

The strangest part of El Arnoldo's explanation?  He thinks that ethnic groups won't be offended because they know "it was not meant to be in any negative way." And how do they know this?  Because "All of them understood it was an off-the-record conversation."

Get it?  You can't mean it negatively if you were off the record.  So, apparently, only on the record statements could possibly be meant negatively.

Time for a recall.