I’d like to tell a story, but the problem is, I’m sort of the hero of the story — but I think I’ll tell it anyway. Forgive me. I was reminded of the story by this news item:
President Barack Obama has his domestic ambition at the top of his travel agenda as he travels to Mexico on Thursday. To sell his immigration overhaul back home, he needs a growing economy in Mexico and a Mexican president willing to help him secure the border.
Some years ago, at Davos, I said a few words about the immigration problem in America. Part of the problem, I said, was Mexico: Millions of people were fleeing it. It’s not natural to flee home, in favor of a foreign country. What is driving people to it? Hopelessness, despair. What Mexico needs, I said, is revival: the rule of law, economic growth, and so on.
Well, the temperature seemed to drop about 30 degrees in the room. I could see ice forming on the walls. When this particular session was over, I left the room as quickly as I could. I was virtually running along one wall — when I sensed someone virtually running behind me. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Someone wants to give me what-for.”
It was the only Mexican in the room — a journalist from one of the big magazines in the capital. He wanted to thank me for what I’d said about Mexico. He agreed with me entirely.
One of the highest tributes I’ve ever been paid, professionally. I told you I shouldn’t have told this story. But it’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?
I was reading an article by the estimable Charles Lane, of the Washington Post: “Government’s bad bet on Fisker.” Fisker is one of those “green” companies. I was reminded of something Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign: It’s bad enough that the president picks “winners and losers.” But to add insult to injury, he seems to pick only losers.
Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between non-Hispanic white Americans and most minority groups . . .
I couldn’t help thinking: “Wonder how they voted.”
On the second day of this year, I published a piece about Romney and his defamers — “the revisionists and the revilers,” I called them. I swore (to myself) I would not do this again: The revisionism and reviling would continue, and one has much other work to do. But Maggie Gallagher had a blogpost on this site two days ago, and it brings me out of retirement — just for now.
Maggie said that Romney declined to run against Obamacare, in adherence to a “silent ‘truce’ strategy.” I wonder how anyone watching the 2012 presidential campaign could think that. As truth is the first casualty of war, it is the first casualty of losing campaigns. A campaign quickly enters lore; reality is shoved aside.
Nevertheless, the record of the 2012 campaign is available to all who wish to examine it. It’s perfectly possible to oppose Mitt Romney without falsifying the record. What will we hear next? That he was a socialist drunk?
Having said this, let me say that I’m a big, big fan of Maggie’s, and always have been. I regard her work against abortion — and against divorce and against other charming things of life — as heroic.
I will now go back into retirement, and will do my best not to be provoked. (I’ve broken promises before, rather like politicians.)
Got a PR notice in my inbox: “AL JAZEERA TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE IN CHICAGO.” Oh, sure. You remember that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wanted to keep Chick-fil-A out of Chicago because Chick-fil-A’s president is against gay marriage. Emanuel said, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.”
Al-Jazeera — more his cup of tea, I’m sure. More Al Gore’s, too. (The former vice president sold his network, Current TV, to al-Jazeera. An improvement? Not sure.)
Walking in New York the other day, I encountered one of those clipboard people — I think Soros pays for them. Some days, you encounter them every hundred yards or so. They want to stop you and get you to sign something or something. This one was working for Planned Parenthood. And I had a thought . . .
You know how Barack Obama and other pro-choice folk are always saying that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms, even though it isn’t true? If I were Planned Parenthood, I would be tempted to start providing mammograms — just to make honest men out of Obama & Co.