Roundup compiled by Blogger Jenny Hatch. Five of the best political stories on the web this past week!
1. Note to President Obama and Team – Not all Hispanics vote Democrat…
“At first I thought the recent announcement by President Barack Obama that the U.S. would try to open up a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants landed with a thud. Actually, it was more like a feather. Because on the scale of weighty issues on immigration reform, this is fairly soft stuff. Why? Because it practically has bi-partisan support. I would say the issue has been out there so long that it is like a feather that lands and just as the Hispanic population embraces it, it floats off and eludes them once again.
I think it is really important that voters realize both parties are working on opening up opportunities for children who were brought here by their illegal immigrant parents. And that the Democrats don’t have a lock on recognizing the need for some kind of reform. After all, it was Ronald Reagan who touted an amnesty program to ease problems along the US/Mexico border. And Florida’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio who proposed his own version of the Dream Act back in April. Rubio wants to create a system where these kids could earn work papers by taking college classes or through military service….”
…The timing of Obama’s announcement seems designed to court Hispanics in key states in these 2012 elections – Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico. But Obama should take note that Hispanics are the fastest growing segment in the social conservative bucket of the Republican Party. Within the next ten years, minorities will be the majority in this country and neither party will be able to take them for granted.To assume this latest political checkmate leads directly to votes for Obama may be naive. First, it has turned off some in the Latino community who wonder why more wasn’t done earlier in his first term as President. And second, as we’ve said, not all Hispanics vote Democrat.”
This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and see what all the bloggers had to say, read What Do You Think of President Obama’s Immigration Decision?
American Thinker: Jack Cashill
“I was sitting out at lunch the other day reading David Maraniss’s new book, Barack Obama: The Story, when I came across a passage that gave me pause. Maraniss excerpted the passage from an article, “Breaking the War Mentality,” that Obama had written in 1983 for a Columbia University publication called the Sundial. What caught my attention was that the passage in question read better than I remembered…
…After catching the word switch in the Sundial excerpt, I now have to question whether it was the young Obama who added the umlaut. I suppose the Sundial edit, like the umlaut, might have been made by an editing program and overlooked by Maraniss, but the duty to explain is now his. Otherwise, he stands accused of fraud.”
3. Is it really right for the President to Claim Executive Privilege when an American Citizen/Border Agent has been murdered?
The Left Can’t Defend Obama’s Privilege
Commentary Magazine: Alana Goodman
“Democrats and the political left hammered the Bush administration for using executive privilege, and are now faced with trying to justify President Obama’s much more questionable use of it. This isn’t as tricky for the Democratic politicians — they’re partisans, and it’s not exactly surprising they have a double-standard based on which party is in power. But left-wing pundits, columnists and bloggers (at least the ones who want to avoid being labeled as hacks) seem to be having a hard time justifying it…
…But this is really the only argument the left can make — that they dislike the use of executive privilege, but this “politically-motivated witch hunt” is one of those rare circumstances when it’s necessary. And that would be fine, if there wasn’t already plenty of evidence indicating that the DOJ has tried to mislead the Congress on this investigation. And if past investigations that the left has cheered on — i.e. the Plame affair — hadn’t clearly been blatantly politically motivated.
If this is the greatest defense from the left, then the Democrats are in trouble. No wonder Jon Stewart has already abandoned them on this.”
Jon Stewart hammers the administration on Fast and Furious
4. The parents of slain border patrol agent Brian Terry ask some great questions…
Don’t Ken And Josephine Terry Have “Absolute Moral Authority”?
One of the things that is true of the Left is that it is generally guilty of great selectivity when applying those things it claims are absolute.
I could note their selective absolutism on discrimination (except for affirmative action), the right to keep medical care between patient and doctor (but only for abortion — ObamaCare will bring government into every other medical decision), free speech (except for speech the Left dislikes) and freedom of religion (you WILL buy birth control for your employees and do gay marriages or lose your tax exemption!).
And apparently that selective application of absolute principles applies to the parents of public servants who are killed in the line of duty….
…And the news media? They have virtually ignored the Terrys — just like they ignored Brian Terry’s death and the connection to a law enforcement operation gone sour.
After all, supporting these parents of a slain law enforcement officer who just want the truth about their son’s death and proper punishment meted out to those who are responsible for it could reflect badly on an administration that so many in the press are invested in seeing succeed — unlike what we saw in 2005, when the media was more than willing to use a grief-stricken mother to tear down a president they opposed.
And we certainly haven’t heard the liberal media establishment arguing that Ken and Josephine Terry have “absolute moral authority” that needs to be deferred to by an administration that is arguably responsible for their son’s murder — because once again, that which the Left declares to be an absolute principle must fall by the wayside when it becomes inconvenient to the accomplishment of what they have decided is a higher goal (like reelecting Obama).”
5. And I saved the best for last.
Mark Steyn at National Review:
“Courtesy of David Maraniss’s new book, we now know that yet another key prop of Barack Obama’s identity is false: His Kenyan grandfather was not brutally tortured or even non-brutally detained by his British colonial masters. The composite gram’pa joins an ever-swelling cast of characters from Barack’s “memoir” who, to put it discreetly, differ somewhat in reality from their bit parts in the grand Obama narrative. The best friend at school portrayed in Obama’s autobiography as “a symbol of young blackness” was, in fact, half Japanese, and not a close friend. The white girlfriend he took to an off-Broadway play that prompted an angry post-show exchange about race never saw the play, dated Obama in an entirely different time zone, and had no such world-historically significant conversation with him. His Indonesian step-grandfather supposedly killed by Dutch soldiers during his people’s valiant struggle against colonialism met his actual demise when he “fell off a chair at his home while trying to hang drapes.”
David Maraniss is no right-winger, and can’t understand why boorish non-literary types have seized on his book as evidence that the president of the United States is a Grade A phony. “It is a legitimate question about where the line is in memoir,” he told Soledad O’Brien on CNN. My Oxford dictionary defines “memoir” as “an historical account or biography written from personal knowledge.” And if Obama doesn’t have “personal knowledge” of his tortured grandfather, war-hero step-grandfather, and racially obsessed theater-buff girlfriend, who does? But in recent years, the Left has turned the fake memoir into one of the most prestigious literary genres: Oprah’s Book Club recommended James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, hailed by Bret Easton Ellis as a “heartbreaking memoir” of “poetic honesty,” but subsequently revealed to be heavy on the “poetic” and rather light on the “honesty.” The “heartbreaking memoir” of a drug-addled street punk who got tossed in the slammer after brawling with cops while high on crack with his narco-hooker girlfriend proved to be the work of some suburban Pat Boone type with a couple of parking tickets. (I exaggerate, but not as much as he did.)
Oprah was also smitten by The Education of Little Tree, the heartwarmingly honest memoir of a Cherokee childhood which turned out to be concocted by a former Klansman whose only previous notable literary work was George Wallace’s “Segregation Forever” speech. Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood is a heartbreakingly honest, poetically searing, searingly painful, painfully honest, etc. account of Binjamin Wilkomirski’s unimaginably horrific boyhood in the Jewish ghetto of Riga and the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. After his memoir won America’s respected National Jewish Book Award, Mr. Wilkomirski was inevitably discovered to have been born in Switzerland and spent the war in a prosperous neighborhood of Zurich being raised by a nice middle-class couple. He certainly had a deprived childhood, at least from the point of view of a literary agent pitching a memoir to a major publisher. But the “unimaginable” horror of his book turned out to be all too easily imagined. Fake memoirs have won the Nobel Peace Prize and are taught at Ivy League schools to the scions of middle-class families who take on six figure debts for the privilege (I, Rigoberta Menchú). They’re handed out by the Pentagon to senior officers embarking on a tour of Afghanistan (Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea) on the entirely reasonable grounds that a complete fantasy could hardly be less credible than current NATO strategy…
…In an inspired line of argument, Ben Smith of the website BuzzFeed suggests that the controversy over Dreams from My Father is the fault of conservatives who have “taken the self-portrait at face value.” We are so unlettered and hicky that we think a memoir is about stuff that actually happened rather than a literary jeu d’esprit playing with nuances of notions of assumptions of preconceptions of concoctions of invented baloney. And so we regard the first member of the Invented-American community to make it to the White House as a kinda weird development rather than an encouraging sign of how a new post-racial, post-gender, post-modern America is moving beyond the old straightjackets of black and white, male and female, gay and straight, real and hallucinatory.
The question now is whether the United States itself is merely the latest chapter of Obama’s fake memoir. You’ll notice that, in the examples listed above, the invention only goes one way. No Cherokee orphan, Holocaust survivor, or recovering drug addict pretends to be George Wallace’s speechwriter. Instead, the beneficiaries of boring middle-class Western life seek to appropriate the narratives and thereby enjoy the electric frisson of fashionable victim groups. And so it goes with public policy in the West at twilight.
Thus, Obama’s executive order on immigration exempting a million people from the laws of the United States is patently unconstitutional, but that’s not how an NPR listener looks at it: To him, Obama’s unilateral amnesty enriches stultifying white-bread America with a million plucky little Rigoberta Menchús and their heartbreaking stories. Eric Holder’s entire tenure as attorney general is a fake memoir all by itself, and his invocation of “executive privilege” in the Fast and Furious scandal is preposterous, but American liberals can’t hear: Insofar as they know anything about Fast and Furious, it’s something to do with the government tracking the guns of fellows like those Alabama “Segregation Forever” nuts, rather than a means by which hundreds of innocent Rigoberta Menchús south of the border were gunned down with weapons sold to their killers by liberal policymakers of the Obama administration. If that’s the alternative narrative, they’ll take the fake memoir.
Similarly, Obamacare is apparently all about the repressed patriarchal white male waging his “war on women.” The women are struggling 30-year-old Georgetown Law coeds whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year, but let’s not get hung up on details. Dodd-Frank financial reform, also awaiting Supreme Court judgment, is another unconstitutional power grab, but its designated villains are mustache-twirling top-hatted bankers, so likewise who cares?
One can understand why the beneficiaries of the postwar West’s expansion of middle-class prosperity would rather pass themselves off as members of way cooler victim groups: It’s a great career move. It may even have potential beyond the page: See Sandra Fluke’s dazzling pre-Broadway tryout of Fake Memoir: The High School Musical, in which a 30-year-old Georgetown Law coed whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year passes herself off as the Little Rigoberta Hussein Wilkomirski of the Rite-Aid pick-up line. But transforming an entire nation into a fake memoir is unlikely to prove half so lucrative. The heartwarming immigrants, the contraceptive-less coeds, the mustache-twirling bankers all provide cover for a far less appealing narrative: an expansion of centralized power hitherto unknown to this republic. In reality, Obama’s step-grandfather died falling off the chair while changing the drapes. In the fake-memoir version, Big Government’s on the chair, and it’s curtains for America.”
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn
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