Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston




“With his immigration bill dead, the administration rolled out a proposed rule to address some of the major issues in the failed legislation,” the Associated Press writes, before outlining some of the changes the president will enact without the consent of Congress.

But the article isn’t about President Barack Obama’s impending executive action to “expand temporary protections for millions of undocumented immigrants.” It’s from 2007 and it details President George W. Bush’s push to enact changes to immigration law after his own immigration reform bill failed in the Senate.

The rules required employers to dismiss workers whose Social Security numbers don’t match those in federal databases, tightened border security, and streamlined guest-worker programs and urging employers to fire undocumented workers.

In defending his actions, Bush sounded a lot like Obama does today.

“Although the Congress has not addressed our broken immigration system by passing comprehensive reform legislation, my administration will continue to take every possible step to build upon the progress already made,” Bush said.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino explained that the administration had initially held off on the changes to allow Congress breathing room to deal with the immigration problem comprehensively, adding, “We’re going as far as we possibly can without Congress acting.”

Both Sides Do It?

So a Conservative president acted on immigration without Congress and to the best of my recollection, no GOPer predicted blood in the streets or impeachment for President Bush.

The GOP's reaction appears to be nothing more than a partisan temper tantrum and a whole pile of horse manure.

Friday, December 19, 2008

She pals around with who?

Remember during the campaign when Sarah Palin did her "guilt by association bit" on President-elect Barack Obama? Her logic went this way: President-elect Obama met Bill Ayers at various associations in the political and charitable arena in Chicago, therefore, that meant Obama "palled around with terrorists." Remember that?

Well Anchorage Alaska papers are reporting that Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law has been arrested at her Wasilla home and charged with six felony drug counts. Alaska state troopers then searched the Johnston home for further evidence of narcotics. She was charged with second-degree misconduct for allegedly manufacturing narcotics and a fourth-degree misconduct related to possession.

Sarah and Todd Palin must have met Bristol's future mother-in-law, right? Maybe even had them over to their home. Or they visited Levi's mom at her home.

Well, using Sarah Palin's logic of guilt by association we can therefore conclude that:

Sarah Palin palled around with drug dealers! Her daughter is actually engaged to be married into a family of drug dealers????

Wasilla is a small town. Do we really believe that the Palins wouldn't know what was going on in Levi's mother's home? Come on now. This MUST mean that Sarah Palin KNEW about Levi's mom's illegal drug use and dealing and, what? did nothing about it? GASP!

Sarah! Oh no! Say it isn't so!!!!

See how utterly dishonest and dumb her dishonest and dumb guilt by association claims were during the campaign? Yet, her adoring fans ate it up and agreed with her.

Now the tables are turned. We can apply the same guilt by association related to Palin and her family and Levi Johnston and his family. The association is undeniable. And much, much closer than the Obama/Ayers connection. Sarah's daughter, afterall, will marry into this family. Levi's drug dealing mother will be part of Sarah's family.

But watch her defenders defend her and say there's no comparison. But, of course, there is.

Old saying my grandmother taught me: "Don't spit in the wind, it'll come back and hit you in the face."


libhom said...

At the moment, I'm more worried about Obama palling around with Rick Warren.

dmarks said...

In the Senate, Obama palled around with a lot of people who opposed abortion. So this is perhaps nothing new.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm disappointed with his choice of a man who holds crazy, idiotic opinions about gays.

If Obama had chosen someone who held these prejudiced ideas against, say Jews or Latinos or any other minority, there would be howls all over the country. But it appears we can have a "man of god" give the invocation while at the same time he holds ungodly ideas about human beings he knows nothing about.

I'm really disappointed and I just don't understand why Obama chose this guy.

Gordon said...

Bills of attainder are prohibited by the constitution; you don't prosecute the son for the sins of the mother. In the case of Obama, he was an adult who chose to associate with an anti-American racist pastor, and a self-confessed terrorist.

Not only did he associate with Wright, he contributed money and called him a friend and spiritual advisor. In the case of Ayres, they worked in the same building, on the same floor, served together on a board, and gave public speeches together. Obama even contributed a blurb for one of Ayres' books.

The sins of the mother were not previously known. The sins of Wright and Ayers/Dohrn were quite well known; they brag about them.

C'mon Shaw! You can do better than this! ;-)

Gordon said...

As for Obama picking Warren for his inauguration, what's the big deal? Obama is solidly against gay marriage; he's said so many times. He and Rick will have lots to talk about.

dmarks said...

Gordon: Rev. Wright, with his antisemitic sermons, does fit with Shaw's "If Obama had chosen someone who held these prejudiced ideas against, say Jews...."

And yes, the Obama-Biden ticket was against gay marriage.

Gordon said...

True, DMarks! Now in his heart, I suspect Obama has no hatred of Jews, and would be perfectly comfortable with gay marriage. But this is about politics, not personal preferences.

Ruth said...

Funny, our government in prosecuting the Holy Land Foundation by using the charity's family associations with Hamas members to 'prove' charitable works here in the U.S. promoted terrorism. Works in drug dealing too, I should think.

dmarks said...

Rush: There are some real Muslim charities. But Holy Land Foundation, which promotes exterminating Jews, is not a "charity".

Shaw Kenawe said...

In the case of Obama, he was an adult who chose to associate with an anti-American racist pastor, and a self-confessed terrorist.--Gordon

In legal terms, Rev. Wright did nothing unlawful. He exercised his 1st Amendment rights and criticized the government. There have been plenty of white evangelical pastors who have done the same—who have damned America for its legalization of abortion. So I don’t accept the Rev. Wright’s association with Obama as evil—you may decide it was not politically correct and definitely politically harmful, but definitely NOT illegal. You are imputing guilt by association to Obama because you and others disagree with the perfectly American way that Rev. Wright expressed his feelings over how America treated its African-American population. I strongly disagree with a lot of what Rev. Wright has said, too, but I will defend his right to say it.

This is wholly and beautifully American. We don’t determine that someone is un-American just because someone he/she has known for years says things that are nutty or distasteful. If that were so, you’d have to call me un-American for certain unpleasant political rantings a “funny uncle” used to deliver for years and years at the dinner table when he was alive.

In the case of Ayres, they worked in the same building, on the same floor, served together on a board, and gave public speeches together. Obama even contributed a blurb for one of Ayres' books.

You are imputing guilt by association to Obama here. Nothing Obama has done is illegal. You strongly disapprove of Ayers for his past actions (even if he has redeemed himself and made a purpose-driven life out of one that included violence). Obama was what? 7, 8 when Ayers was part of the anti-war movement? When Obama met him, he had long stopped his violent activities and made himself a useful, law-abiding citizen—which is what we hope people will do when they choose to go down a destructive path in life. Again this is pure guilt by association, since from the time Obama knew Ayers in Chicago’s political arena, Ayers had become a useful citizen. You and others tried to impugn Obama’s reputation because of something Ayers had done 30+ previously, NOT what Ayers life has been since Obama knew him. Plus, that sort of judgment is quite unChristian.
Jesus “associated” with whores and thieves—remember? And he taught above all else to forgive. It’s a difficult virtue to put into practice, isn’t it? Especially when one has to apply Jesus' tenets to one’s political opponents.

The sins of the mother were not previously known. The sins of Wright and Ayers/Dohrn were quite well known; they brag about them.

Excuse me? Can you tell me how you personally know that no one knew what Mrs. Johnston was doing? The Alaska papers report that Wasilla is the crystal meth capital of Alaska. You actually believe that Bristol’s boyfriend, Levi, knew absolutely nothing about what his mother was involved in? Since Levi was still in high school at the time he got Bristol with child, I’m assuming he lived under the same roof as his mother (just guessing, since there has been no mention of Levi’s father—so perhaps there was a divorce and Levi lives with him.) But if Levi did live at home with his mom, it’s probable that he talked about his mom’s “activities” to Bristol, who in turn, perhaps mentioned it to Sarah? This is, of course, speculation, but more probable and possible than your guess that “the sins of the mother were not previously known.” That strains credulity.

I stand firm on equal application of guilt by association in accordance with Sarah Palin's definition of it. Sarah should examine what her words have done and understand that often they can come back and hit you in the face.

Gordon said...

Shaw, Ayres may have formed the Weather Underground when Obama was 8, but their activities continued into the 1980s, and even after Ayres "left" the group, he continued to support their aims and methods. He and his nutball wife have not apologized for what they did; just lately he's written a self-serving piece for the NYT that claims he personally never hurt anyone--which glides over the fact that some of the bombs he planted were designed to hurt people, but failed ( or blew up his friends and girlfriend ).

There is a tendency on the left to excuse just about any atrocity as long as it was committed a) against an American policy they don't like, or b) in support of communist goals. Witness the Che Guevara hagiography! He was a vicious little trust fund baby (like Ayres) who committed mass murder of innocent men, women and children. Yet many lefties cheerfully buy t-shirts and posters of his image.

Or, here in Minnesota, we had our own version of Ayres/Dohrn--Kathleen Soliah. She was part of the SLA, murdered a housewife during a bank robbery, planted a bomb under a police car. When she was discovered living here under a false name, the local lefties cried out in her defense. It was a crazy time. We all did things to fight oppression. They organized fund raisers for her.

If any conservative had the kind of associations (that Obama had) with someone even half as radical and violent as Ayres/Dohrn, he or she would be reviled and shunned--as much by other conservatives as anyone. But if you did it in support of lefty goals, well, it's just youthful exuberance.

Shaw Kenawe said...

There is a tendency on the right to excuse just about any atrocity as long as it was committed a) for an American policy they like, or b) in support of fascist goals.

Witness the Khmer Rouge/Mobutu/Samoza/Pinochet/Saddam Hussein/the Contras/PW Botha/ All of these dictators were supported by America's right and all committed mass murder of innocent men, women and children.

If any conservative had the kind of associations (that Obama had) with someone even half as radical and violent as Ayres/Dohrn, he or she would be reviled and shunned--as much by other conservatives as anyone.

Really? Read this:

Obama has said repeatedly that Ayers' radical past (he was involved in a handful of bombings in the 1960s) occurred when Barack was just a child, and he repudiates those actions. Nevertheless, McCain wants more. He claimed recently:

"I think not only a repudiation but an apology for ever having anything to do with an unrepentant terrorist is due the American people."

Now, however, the Chicago Tribune is pointing out McCain's own radical associations with G. Gordon Liddy:

How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns--including $1,000 this year.

Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

For those who are unaware, Liddy helped plan the Watergate break-in that would cost Nixon his presidency and landed Liddy a four-year jail sentence.

But Liddy's career of inflammatory statements and actions exceed his Watergate actions.

Liddy, on Vitenam:

"I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes [sic]. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that."

Liddy, advising Branch Davidians how to defend themselves from ATF agents during a radio show:

"If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head."

Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:

When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it "made me feel a strength inside I had never known before," he explains. "Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body."

John McCain admired this nutcase.

dmarks said...

Gordon: Che worked tirelessy to increase a European power's colonial holdings in Latin America, he oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners, and he even proposed putting gays and lesbians in death camps. He is a Pol Pot -like figure of the Western Hemisphere.

Yet so man on the left really love him. I argued about this with one leftist once, and he acknowledged the atrocities Che committed, but said that Che was worthy of admiration for his "ideals". This leftist friend was not far left. But other far-leftists I have talked to excuse genocidal monsters for what they do because they say they are doing it to "Help the poor". Never mind the fact that people like Castro, Ortega, Pol Pot, Lenin, etc kill far many more poor people than they kill rich people.

As for Kathleen Soliah saying "We all did things to fight oppression", if you look at her views it turns out that she as fighting to bring about extreme oppression. Not fighting agaisnt it.

Shaw: I am one of those who makes no big deal of the Obama-Ayers connections. However, " You strongly disapprove of Ayers for his past actions (even if he has redeemed himself and made a purpose-driven life out of one that included violence). " glosses over the fact that Ayers is unrepentent, and his views to this day are strongly fascistic (of the Chomsky stripe of fascism). While I downplay Obama's and Ayers' supposed connections, I refuse to gloss over the proud actions of this very hateful man. I do not impugn Obama with guilt by association. I impugn Ayers for his actions and statements.

AdamS said...

Maybe a bit late to add another example of Palin's hypocrisy, but what about her husband? Todd Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. Palin is not just someone who 'pals around' with secessionists, she married one.

(And yes, guilt by association is wrong imo, judge people by their opinions and actions not their social circles.)

Shaw Kenawe said...

"...the fact that Ayers is unrepentent..."-dmarks

I'm not sure about that. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as to his regrets over his violent actions in the past. Just because he hasn't done a public "mea culpa" to satisfy his most angry critics, it doesn't mean he has no regrets.

Again, I would turn this back to what I said about Christianity, the political Right, and how it relates to Ayers.

The political Right claims this is a Christian country; is always quick to point out how their freedom to be Christians is being eroded little by little, and especially the Evangelicals talk about the healing power Jesus' love can bestow on those who seek it.

But a lot of these Christians on the right ignore (or at the least, are not satisfied with) what Ayers has done with his life since his Weathermen days, are not satisfied with his statements of regret, and simply refuse to believe in his redemption and ability to turn a violent life to public good.

I guess that's just plain human nature. Go to church on Sunday and profess to believe in a personal Savior who preached redemption, forgiveness, love, but don't practice it when it involves people you don't like.

Lefties do it too.

Bill Ayers committed reprehensible acts. He is no longer involved in those types of behaviors. He's a contributing member of his community.

Yet he was used as a cudgel to beat up on Obama during the campaign for having been a domestic terrorist, for turning away from it, and for leading a socially redeeming life.

I've used the Sarah Palin example to show how inane "guilt by association" is. Palin is not responsible for her future son-in-law's mother's illegal behavior, nor do I believe she supports it.

But it was Palin who used the "guilt by association" over and over and over again during the campaign, and now that the tables are turned, there are people who don't see the irony in it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Welcome, AdamS.

Yes. I brought that point up to my conservative blogmates several times during the campaign, but it didn't seem to move them to think about her very real association with a secessionist (which is treasonous).

Patrick M said...

After reading a few comments:


Gordon said...

Just to pick a nit or two: being in favor of secession is not treason, under US law.

And not every member of the AIP favors secession; it's actually a small (but vocal) minority.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I would think that palling around/living/sleeping with a secessionist is far, far worse than having a tentative social/business relationship with a reformed hippie.

And remember, a small vocal minority seceded from the British Empire in 1775.

Any group espousing secession is a group that is by definition antiAmerican.

But it seems that certain people are willing to look the other way in this instance but became incensed and threatened over a long ago defanged hippie.

Gordon said...

Who's the defanged hippie?

Ayres wasn't a hippie, Yippie or any other variety of -ppie. He joined the SDS and went from there to the Weathermen, thence the Weather Underground.