While the Democrats have a tight presidential race between two mature white people, the Republican side threw up two men of Hispanic descent in the first and third slots in the Iowa caucuses.

The media took scant notice. For the media, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are, as the headline on a Commentary blog post by Jonathan Tobin puts it, "Not the Right Kind of Hispanic." Tobin notes:

Because the pair are both conservative Republicans rather than liberal Democrats, they are considered not authentically Hispanic by the media arbiters of their identity, such as Univision’s Jorge Ramos — who considers them “disloyal” because of their opposition to illegal immigration — or the news editors at the Times and other publications and broadcast outlets.

But there is another, more appealing reason why the ethnicity of Cruz and Rubio has not been highlighted as much as it might have if they were Democrats:

That’s because although their immigrant stories are part of their appeal — especially in Rubio’s case — they are not running as ethnic candidates. More to the point, the ability of the pair to run as mainstream presidential contenders without abandoning their identities is a tribute to the triumph of the American immigrant experience that we don’t hear much about anymore from liberals. In a media culture where the Hispanic experience in America has become inextricably linked to support for a bogus right to illegal immigration, politicians who stray from that line are effectively stripped of their heritage.

Of course, this is a parallel to female GOP candidates, who, because they don't support big government and abortion, are seen as traitors to their gender and not really a woman candidate. If by some chance Carly Fiorina got the GOP nod, do you think progressive women would suddenly flock to her to elect the first female president?

African-American candidates and office holders have it even worse. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are treated like pariahs in progressive black political circles. The rejection of these outstanding Americans is not unrelated to the left's critique of American society:

Whether you support their candidacies or not, the rise of both Cruz and Rubio is a testament to the reality of the American dream that the left dismisses as irrelevant to their critique of contemporary American society.

Both men come from relatively humble backgrounds and rose on the strength of their own merits and hard work. They are both viable presidential candidates because their beliefs and their biographies resonate with Americans from a variety of backgrounds. They are proof that for all of the flaws and problems in the American system, the opportunity to rise is still primarily the responsibility of the individual, no matter who they are or what challenges they may face.

This is a message the left can't stomach.