Benjamin Wittes shares a bit of hate-mail.

It’s the usual fever-dream nonsense, but what caught my attention was “Joe DiGenova is good old Irish-Italian stock.” Good old what? Since when is Irish-Italian considered a “stock”? (Jokes about minestrone with extra potato occur to me, but I push them aside.) Since when is Irish-Italian treated as a US ethnic grouping? Since never, that’s since when. Wittes’s correspondent is apparently just thinking “good old immigrant stock, the kind who immigrated so long ago that nobody thinks of them as immigrants any more, your Kennedys and McCarthys and Scavinos and Scaramuccis.” That’s nice, but he’s an idiot if he thinks those immigrants were welcomed with champagne and excellent housing. Like hell they were. They were greeted with hostility and tenements and crap jobs. It’s just a matter of time passing that makes them seem to Abusive Emailer like old, respectable, patriotic, normal, ok “stock.” Just a shot in the dark here but I wonder if one of his parents is of Irish background while the other is of Italian. Wild guess.

Anyway the point is, guess what, genius, time does wonders for injecting Respectability into once-hated immigrant groups provided they are white.

There’s also his bashful list of the things he likes best about his girlfriend, but that’s another story.

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