On February 16 in my column "It's Coming...." I predicted that George W. Bush and Vicente Fox would kiss during the Crawford visit. I was wrong.
What actually happened was that Laura Bush kissed "Chente" and GWB kissed Marta Sahagun de Fox. I saw it with my own two eyes.
And the First Lady has emerged as a key co-conspirator in the on-going Bush-Fox treachery.
I have never bought into the mystique surrounding Laura Bush. The sanctimonious and saccharine—especially when they're wearing Oscar de la Renta—make me look for the door.
Come on! Who doesn't support child literacy and improved health for all Americans?
And the First Lady's role in the last few weeks has been much more than a quiet, behind-the-scenes force for family literacy. She has become a one-woman traveling road show to promote—guess what? —President Bush's guest worker/amnesty plan.
What better shill for the president that his "butter won't melt in my mouth" wife?
As an added bonus for the President, Laura Bush is a tenacious campaigner and skilled fundraiser.
The First Lady has the immigration patter down cold. On January 9th, a day before leaving for Monterrey, Laura Bush gave back-to-back White House interviews with Telemundo and Univision. If you had merely read the text, you would have wagered that it was George W. himself giving those canned answers to questions about guest workers and amnesty. (The translations are mine.)
Telemundo posed this question:
Q: "Your husband already proposed an immigration plan. But some people think that it's not good to allow illegal people to work here in the United States. What do you think?"
A: "I think it's really very important. I'm very proud of his immigration plan that he's come up with. It's terrible for people who are illegal here. They can suffer a lot of exploitation if they are involved in any way in—if they are exploited in any way, it's very difficult for them to go to the authorities in the United States, because they're illegal here.
"So I think it's a very important move to give workers who are here who are employed a chance to have a temporary employment visa and be able to work here. And then that allows them to go back and forth to their homes, wherever their homes are, without fear of not being able to get back into the United States after their vacation or their visit with their family. So I think it's a very important step and I hope the Congress will work with the President to come up with an immigration policy that's safe for immigrants, for people who come to the United States, as well as economically beneficial for American employers."
A few minutes later, Univision put a woman's issues spin on its question about President Bush's amnesty plan:
Q: If you will, because this is an issue for millions of immigrant women in this country, if you put yourself in the position of an immigrant worker, a mother of two, she has two kids in school, she has two jobs, and her only goal is that these two kids receive [VDARE.COM note: i.e. steal from American taxpayers] an American education. Why would you register with the government for a temporary visa for three years if you might risk that, at the end of this you, all of you, might be deported?
A: "It [registering] gives you the chance to go to your child's school and to be an advocate for your child at their school, and to not be afraid that somehow, when you went up to talk to the teacher, that you might have a chance of being turned in as an illegal. All of those things really would protect women and men who are working in the United States. It gives you the chance to look for better working conditions. If there's anything about your working conditions that are bad, you can't complain about it now if you're illegal working in the United States."
"Well, he's working very hard in every community, but particularly he's interested in the Hispanic community. We're from a state that shares a very long border with Mexico. We are very aware of all of the issues that have to do with our two countries, our border, with immigration, with the economies and how important it is for both economies—ours and the economy in Mexico—to be strong so that people can find work."
Bush followed up by saying that the President's proposal is a way:
"…to try to deal with the large number of illegal immigrants that are in the United States who, right now, really don't have any rights; they're afraid to go to the police if they suffer a crime because they're illegal, and they think they'll be deported. So it would be a way to try to address that; to also let American companies hire workers when they need workers."
Bush concluded that, "it's a human rights issue and a way to address what is a huge inequity in the United States—and that is illegal workers who are here and don't really have any rights."
Such compassion! Such empathy! Such ignorance!
If only either Bush—George or Laura—could spread their love around to unemployed or otherwise hurting Americans.
No doubt the First Lady had more to say to the assembled crowd at Rancho Mirage—like about donations! But the press is banned when the subject turns to cash.
According to www.whitehouseforsale.org, the website launched by the national consumer group Private Citizen and as reported in the New York Times on February 7 2004 in its story titled "A First Lady Fiercely Loyal and Quietly Effective," Bush has raised more than $5 million for her husband's campaign.
As for this weekend's events, who knows? President Bush has inexplicably chosen to squander the precious little political capital he has on this unrequited relationship with Fox.
What we can hope is that Jay Leno's worst nightmare will not come true.
Talking about Fox's demands that Bush make it easier for Mexicans to enter the U. S., the late-night TV host quipped:
"What could possibly make it any easier - moving sidewalks? What do you want, bus fare?"
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.