Saturday, November 01, 2008

November surprise: Aunt Zeituni is an illegal alien 

A few days ago the diligent British press, not used to rolling on its back for even liberal politicians, had located Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt, who is living in less than middle class conditions in a tough neighborhood in Boston. She had contributed to Obama's campaign, but told the reporter who located her that she could not speak to the press until after election day. The implication was, of course, that Barack Obama's campaign knew where she was, but that (i) either the organization had kept the news from Obama himself (which would say something about accountability in an Obama administration), or (ii) that he had made a conscious decision to cover her up, as it were, rather than help her in any visible way or allow the press near this person whom he had promoted as evidence of his own multicultural roots.

Well, now we know the story: Aunt Zeituni is an illegal alien. Barack Obama could not help his aunt, at least not while running for office, because that would open him up to charges, both political and, presumably, legal, of aiding and abetting immigration violations.

The problem, of course, is that this revelation would put Obama in a very difficult spot as president. Not only is there the question of scandal and cover-up -- what did Obama know and when did he know it? -- but this compromises him on a subject that is increasingly at the center of the American culture war. How is he supposed to enforce our borders when his own kith and kin are illegals and he has done nothing about it? Any weakness on the subject of immigration will open him up to suddenly credible charges of conflict of interest.

This issue is actually dangerous for everybody. If it does not dominate the weekend news cycle in media not owned by Rupert Murdoch it will become completely obvious even to stupid people that the press cannot be trusted on the subject of Barack Obama. Good on the Associated Press, though, for not pulling a "Los Angeles Times" with this story. It might well have argued that it promised a source -- the "super" in Aunt Zeituni's building, perhaps -- that it would not publish the story.

There is also a trap here for Republicans. The McCain campaign and its proxies must discharge every barrel of every shotgun in their arsenel against this issue, but if the Republicans are even a little off key they will alienate every non-white voter in the country for the better part of a generation. The message -- the only message -- is that Barack Obama has committed a fundamental breach of trust with the American people. How can we trust him to protect our borders when he has obviously covered up the immigration status of his own aunt?

Finally, President Bush needs to solve this problem for Barack Obama regardless of the outcome. On Wednesday morning, he should pardon Aunt Zeituni from all immigration violations. That would go a long way to blunting the long-term reaction against the anti-immigration rhetoric that will no doubt issue forth from conservatives in the next three days.

MORE: Michelle Malkin has more.


By Blogger Who Struck John, at Sat Nov 01, 07:42:00 AM:

If she's an illegal alien, then I wonder if her campaign contribution to the Obama campaign is illegal as well?

Perhaps that pardon will need to be a bit broader than you thought ...  

By Blogger Dan Kauffman, at Sat Nov 01, 08:25:00 AM:

Of course it's illegal, but what I am pondering is how does a US Senator let his Aunt get turned down for a Visa?

I despise the man, but I would not hold him to the fire if he had pulled some strings to get her an asylum Visa.

But to let it go so long that her status is illegal? Does he pay attention to what happens to his kin at all?  

By Anonymous jpe, at Sat Nov 01, 08:29:00 AM:

"How is he supposed to enforce our borders when his own kith and kin are illegals and he has done nothing about it?"

Are you suggesting that he should have turned his aunt into the authorities?

Barring your odd sense of civic duty, I don't see any reason that this would compromise Obama's judgment. No one is suggesting, for example, that illegals be rounded up and returned. To the contrary, that position, aside from being totally retarded, has been rejected by both candidates.

If the reply is that this means Obama has a personal stake in policy, then you have to distinguish this area of policy from all the other areas of policy that touch on the candidates personally (to pull one example: McCain stands to save buckets of money from his own tax cuts)  

By Blogger Dan Kauffman, at Sat Nov 01, 08:44:00 AM:

" No one is suggesting, for example, that illegals be rounded up and returned. To the contrary, that position, aside from being totally retarded"

I see enforcing our laws is retarded, I guess intelligent would be dismantling ICE and demobilizing the Border Patrol.

I don't expect them to be rounded up overnight, it took over 20 years for it to get this bad, I am willing to take 20 years to round them up and deport them AND confiscate their property as proceeds from illegal activities AND if they had mortgages?

Too bad, I would even allow insurance companies to deny claims on mortgage insurance for Illegal Aliens.  

By Anonymous jpe, at Sat Nov 01, 09:45:00 AM:

Dan, you seem to be replying to some hallucinated interlocutor, since your comment (about on-going enforcement of immigration laws and disincentivization of living in America as an illegal) had nothing to do with my comment (which used as a premise the thesis that deporting illegals en masse will never happen, and will only be put forward by nimrods like Tom Tancredo)

At any rate, I neglected to note that yall should probably re-watch the Brady Bunch where Bobby becomes a hall monitor. There are important lessons there about ratting out family.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 01, 09:53:00 AM:

Obama has had years to clean this up, before running for president. Why didn't he? Yes, someone might have tried to throw some charges his way, but he "I was helping my family become legal citizens in the greatest county on earth" defense would have satisfied all but the complete wingnuts.

Again the irony to this whole thing is Obama bashing McCain for owning too many houses (many of which were bought for family members) and Obamas own family. He wants to take care of us, but not even minimial help for them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 01, 12:01:00 PM:

No, Bush should formally charge Obama's Aunt with campaign finance violations, and arrest her for being in the country illegally.

Either laws ONLY APPLY TO WHITES, or they apply to everyone. Including the relatives of Obama.

"The One."

Put Obama in the position of arguing to the White Majority that LAWS only apply to THEM and not to Blacks, or Hispanics, and certainly not his relatives.

Put Obama further in the position of arguing that it's "OK" for illegal aliens to break the law twice -- once for sending him money, and the second time for being in the country illegally.

Heck, allow Republicans to argue that ALL of Obama's New Deal 2.0 stuff will just go to illegal aliens, with Whites being treated as second class citizens, soon to be despised and legally discriminated against minorities. Within a few years.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Nov 01, 12:11:00 PM:

It's one thing to not sell out a family member to the authorities. In the clash between loyalty to the state and its laws and loyalty to family, one can persuade me that loyalty to family should win out.

It's another matter when you are the authority. You have a duty to enforce the law equally. Making special exceptions for people because you're related to them (or friends, or business associates, or whatever) is corrupt, pure and simple.

Disagree? Then answer this.

If a county sheriff refused to arrest a teenage vandal because the vandal was his nephew, how would you react?

Or if an FBI special agent scuttled an investigation because the investigated party included a college roommate?

That's not just an act of mercy for someone you love; it's an obstruction of justice. It's corrupt.

Justice for all. Is that a dead ideal?  

By Anonymous Roy Mustang, at Sat Nov 01, 01:04:00 PM:


Of course he knew she was here illegally since he got the f**king visa for her in the first place. If you believe he didn't, then you might also believe he didn't know his good Rev. of 20 years was a out and out bigot.  

By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Sat Nov 01, 01:49:00 PM:

She's already got a deportation order. I don't think that's the same as "rounding up all illegal aliens to deport them". She, specifically and individually, is a known illegal alien. He knew she was here - illegally - and chose to do nothing about it. Not that I agree with it, but how many times have Congressional representatives worked to pass legislation to legalize the status of specific individual in similar situations? Sad the American press couldn't do their job and it was left to the British press to bring this relative to light...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 01, 01:57:00 PM:

"How is he supposed to enforce our borders when his own kith and kin are illegals and he has done nothing about it? "

Did George Bush's 1976 conviction for drink driving stop him from enforcing drink driving laws?  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Nov 01, 02:07:00 PM:

The President has exactly shit to do with enforcing drunk driving laws.

So, no.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Nov 01, 02:46:00 PM:

Anon 1:57, Dawnfire was being nice. We welcome our lefty commenters here, but you need to raise the bar.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 01, 04:10:00 PM:

how the heck are we suppose to be shuting down the boarders, a change, when his own aunt is here, as an illlegal alien?  

By Anonymous Anon 1:57, at Sat Nov 01, 04:28:00 PM:

I was not trying to make a partisan attack (although on rereading I can see that it could come across that way) and I had mistakenly assumed that drink driving laws were federal rather than state. Perhaps it would have been more technically accurate to say “Did his conviction for drink driving have any effect on him as Texas governor from proposing and enforcing drink driving laws”

What I was trying to do was contrast the two October surprises and questions the logic of the original post. Because George Bush broke the drink driving laws it did not naturally follow that as governor he would want to amend those very laws when he was in a position to do so or support anyone else breaking them. Assuming that Obama knew his aunt was an illegal alien and did not hand her over to the authorities it does not naturally follow that he will amend those same immigration laws or support those laws being broken in general.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Nov 01, 05:55:00 PM:

"I had mistakenly assumed that drink driving laws were federal rather than state."

Do you even live in the USA? Either you don't or you are incredibly ignorant.

As for comparing Bush/drunk driving to this situaton with BO's aunt, there is no comparison. Bush paid for his drunk driving long before he became governor of Texas. BO's aunt is illegal now, as we speak, as BO is running for POTUS.  

By Anonymous jpe, at Sat Nov 01, 08:10:00 PM:

"He knew she was here - illegally - and chose to do nothing about it. "

What did you think he should do?

Tigherhawk, what do you think he should've done?

It seems Tigerhawk would've turned his relative own, but what would you have done?

That said: McCain would stand to make a bundle from his own tax cuts. Why should we trust him to make a decision untainted by personal interest?

Thanks in advance for non-hackish answers.  

By Anonymous jpe, at Sat Nov 01, 09:55:00 PM:

Gary, Dawn, Tigerhawk: you guys are embarrassing yourselves. The federal government compelled the states to adopt .08 as the DUI limit by threatening to withhold highway funds.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Nov 02, 01:48:00 AM:

No, you're still embarrassing yourself jpe. The original statement was

"Did George Bush's 1976 conviction for drink driving stop him from enforcing drink driving laws?"

Federal government still does not enforce driving laws. Also I didn't embarrass myself by using the Brady Bunch to defend BO.  

By Blogger Consul-At-Arms, at Sun Nov 02, 03:59:00 AM:

"President Bush needs to solve this problem for Barack Obama regardless of the outcome. On Wednesday morning, he should pardon Aunt Zeituni from all immigration violations."

I'm not sure I follow the logic of this last suggestion, although it's certainly consistent with Pres. Bush's past over-gentlemanly and sportsmanlike conduct towards his political opponents.

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/11/re-november-surprise-aunt-zeituni-is.html  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Nov 02, 02:03:00 PM:

Poor psuedo-conservatives and whiners. Always feeling sorry that the press is against you. It seems thats all you have left - smear campaigns and lies. Hey how about McCain not comdenming political terrosims when he shared a podium with an anti-abortion speaker who endorsed violent political terrorism by defending a convicted terrorist who tried to murder abortion providers. I guess McCain endorses terrorism? Or how about Palin who doesn't believe that bombing health clinics isn't terrorism or murdering health workers who also provide abortions isn't terrorism? And of course McCain didn't repudiate Palin on this. Well hyprocisy is nothing new on the right so hold on to Obamas aunt and keep whining and feeling sorry for yourselves. See ya Wednesday!!! Ha Ha Ha! Hey I got a scandal for you: Obama may not have returned library books on time and the liberal press is covering it up.  

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