by Richard Olivastro, guest commentator
“I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona. It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree, but also introduce a terrible idea using racial profiling as the basis for law enforcement.” said Mexican president Felipe Calderon.
That outsider Calderon said it is not a problem. That Mexico’s president chose to do it while a guest inside our country is the problem.
Worse, Calderon said it – not once – but twice.
The first act of diplomatic verbal abuse by Calderon was delivered at the national state dinner – held in his honor – inside our White House.
When the news broke, some forgiving Americans were, apparently, willing to turn the proverbial other cheek to the Mexican president’s stunning insult. After all, who among us would have anticipated yet another slap in the face was coming? Besides, couldn’t forever trusting Americans expect that administration staff at the White House would ensure that diplomats at the State Department were certain to remind the Mexican president that he was here as a guest in our country.
But, no: either the Obama administration was asleep at the switch; agreed with Calderon’s statement after the dirty deed was done; or, pray tell, even invited the Mexican president’s invasion into U.S. domestic affairs?
More importantly, perhaps, could it be that the answer to the rhetorical question – ‘how far would some of today’s politicians go in pursuit of domestic ethnic-bloc votes’ – lies within the question?
In any case, Mexico’s brazen president took his undiplomatic tour on the road the very next day.
The stage changed to the United States Congress but Felipe Calderon remained fixed to his script as he delivered the second slap in our national face during his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
The Mexican president blasted the new Arizona law that requires police to make a reasonable attempt to check immigration status of people encountered during “a lawful stop, detention or arrest”.
Choosing to ignore the fact that the Arizona law specifically precludes using race or ethnicity as a test for reasonable suspicion, Calderon reiterated his day-before statement that “It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree, but also introduces a terrible idea: using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement…”; then added for the congress “And that is why I agree with the president (Obama), who says the new law carries a great amount of breach, when core values that we all care about are breached.”
Party democrats in the congressional audience vigorously applauded Calderon’s political intrusion into U. S. policy while republicans refrained from doing so.
Later, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated “It’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws, especially when the state of Arizona only acted in the best interest of its citizens.” Hatch added “Arizona is stepping in where the federal government has failed… it is trying to stop waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom are dangerous gang members and drug and human traffickers, from crossing into its communities”.
Senator Hatch got it right when he said “it’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws…”.
At the same time, why is it the White House seems like it cannot get anything right?
No matter how one looks at it, Mexico’s Calderon was clearly out of line saying what he did at the White House state dinner; and, then dared do it again while addressing the joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Equally true: so too is the Obama administration out of line in how it has domestically handled the state of Arizona stepping up to the porous U.S. borders problem; and, failing to deal with the Mexican president’s inappropriate comments while a guest inside our country.
AZ Governor Jan Brewer’s prior advisory to President Barack Obama was spot on when she said “Do your job and secure the border”.
And, regarding Mexican president Calderon’s inappropriate behavior while on United States soil: Mr. Obama should apply this paraphrase of his attempt at humor from the recent White House Correspondent’s Dinner ‘We all know what happens when you disrespect our country and our laws – Adios, amigo Calderon.”
Richard Olivastro is president of Olivastro Communications, a professional member of the National Speakers Association, and founder of Citizens For Change (www.CFC.us). He can be reached via email: RichOlivastro@gmail.com Checkout his blog: www.richardolivastro.com/blog