Monday, November 19, 2012

Mama Mia, what a story

The embellished résumé has been a problem ever since there were résumés.  And politicians embellishing their backstory has been around since there have been politicians.

The Internet has improved our memory for such tall tales.  After all, a candidate for a small local office tells his story and it goes on the record.  That story shouldn’t change. And politicians have been held accountable for such things as military service (or lack thereof) and academic degrees.

The most famous tale is Obama’s.  He’s been around the world.  And he’s sealed his college records.  Now why would he do that?  He’s already told us he was a lousy student at Occidental College.  And he seemed to have done well at Harvard.  Some think it has to do with his minority student status; that maybe he claimed to have been something other than a U S Citizen.  Of course, that doesn’t prove he was born in Kenya, but the alternative explanation is worse; that he fibbed about his citizenship to claim a foreign student spot.

And there is written evidence that his publicist claimed he was born in Keyna in an effort to sell his books.

Then there was the Elizabeth Warren story.  Oy vey!  The story goes like this.  Warren’s mother told her she was part Cherokee and she went with it.  Boy, did she go with it.  She claimed to be a “woman of color” in order to get a teaching job.  And she milked that story until she gained tenure. 

She rode that trail of tears all the way to the U S Senate.

Now my mother used to call me her Superman.  She even sewed me a red cape.  But she wouldn’t let me play on the roof of the garage.  And my brother used to remind me that, “Just because you have rust in your shorts doesn’t mean you’re a man of steel.”

What mother told you may be an embellishment not suitable for the political arena.  And if you’ve told mother’s story in an earlier campaign, expect to have to back it up later on…or admit it was just a quaint family story.

Enter Mia Love.  Back in January of 2011, before she was a candidate for Congress, Mia was the subject of a Deseret News story by Lee Benson.  It was a fluff piece really.  Benson wanted to highlight Mia Love because she’s black and successful.  What could be better for Martin Luther King Day?

And Mia told her story about how she was the reason her parents got to stay in the United States and she was the reason her siblings got to emigrate from Haiti.  It was quite a detailed account, claiming that her birth in December of 1975 was just in time for the deadline of January of 1976.

Mia went on the run for Congress.  She even spoke at the GOP convention.  What could be better than a woman who is black and successful?  And she spoke about her parents coming from Haiti with $10 in the pockets, but not a peep about her role in their immigration.

Along comes Mother Jones, claiming that Mia was an anchor baby.  Now, that’s a non sequitur.  Mia never said her parents were ever illegal, only that her birth qualified them to remain and bring over her brother and sister.

Here’s the critical part: Mia denied she ever told that story.  She got all indignant and claimed the liberals were picking on her.  She claimed her opponent planted the lie.  By extension, she implied that the reporter made up the story.  (It’s funny that she never said anything when the story ran in January of 2011.)  Further, she would not allow people to talk to her parents.

So if she’s stonewalling, let’s play a little game.  Let’s think about possible endings to the story.  What is she hiding from?  Let’s SPECULATE:

Ending #1: Mia wanted to distance herself from the “anchor baby” label, even though her parents were legal throughout.

Ending #2: Her parents are illegal aliens and never did legalize.

Ending #3: Her parents are Obama supporters.

Ending #4: Her siblings are illegal aliens.

Ending #5: Her parents are green card holders but never bothered to become citizens.

Ending #6: The story was nothing more than an anecdote she liked to tell with no basis in fact.

Ending #7: Lee Benson is a liar who never liked her and made it all up, knowing that someday Mia would be more than the mayor of a small town in the Utah desert.

Ending #8: Have at it.  You make up your own ending.

Here are the stories:
The original:
The exposure:
…or this one:

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