Hasta La Vista, Hispanics!
November 13, 2008, 12:45 AM
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This Slate article "So When Will a Muslim Be President: A guide to which minority group has the best chance to win the White House" by Mark Oppenheimer is a classic example of how a certain minority group that numbers almost 50,000,000 residents of America barely features in the mental universe of the NYC-DC punditry. It begins:

At long last, my people have an answer to the question "When will we have a Jewish president?" The answer, it turns out, is "Not before we have a black president." I imagine that all ethnic groups play this game of "when will one of ours get there?" (The question is especially common among Jews, since we're sort of white and used to success at other jobs—law, medicine, swimming.) But now that a half-African man with Muslim ancestors has defeated, for the presidency, an Episcopalian with a Roman numeral after his name, the bookmakers have to move the odds for all of us.

Which historically oppressed group will see one of its own take the oath of the presidency on a Bible/Quran/Analects/etc. next? We must admit that some groups are too small to have much of a chance—met any Zoroastrians lately?—and others seem too exotic. But plenty of others are in the running. Here, then, is a guide to which minority group will next see one of its own in the White House, in descending order of probability, and with possible candidates included:

The Slate article goes on to consider the chances of the following groups from which Presidents have never been elected:

  • Women
  • Latter-day Saints
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • Hindus
  • Gays and lesbians
  • Atheists

Do you notice a rather large minority group who is missing?

Last week, we heard everywhere that the Hispanic tidal wave of votes means that the GOP has to publicly expel every single immigration skeptic if it ever wants to win again. (But, of course, Hispanics couldn't possible have anything to do with the mortgage meltdown because there are so few of them.) This week, Hispanics have dropped off the mental radar screen so far that nobody at Slate bothered to ask the writer to drop in a paragraph about them.