Presidente Bush

Does Bush think he is president of Mexico?

Is Bush the president of Mexico?

Apparently he believes he is.

Last week he made his case to the Mexican people for what he euphemistically calls "comprehensive immigration reform" in the United States. He pledged to do more for the Mexican people.


Is that what Americans elected Bush to do? More for the Mexican people? What about his own country? What about his own people?

And does Bush believe emptying out more than 10 percent of the Mexican population into the United States is somehow a service to the country and people of Mexico? Because that’s what his open-border policies have helped to accomplish so far.

Here is what Bush said, word for word, last week in his meeting with the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon:

"Senor Presidente, thank you very much for your gracious hospitality. I think you picked a perfect place to invite Laura and me and our delegation. It’s a beautiful land. It is a spectacular day. And our meetings were constructive. Thank you, First Lady, for your hospitality, as well.

"Relations between Mexico and the United States are muy importante. We’ve got a great history. We’ve got a strong tradition of working together. And my job, Mr. President, is to do all I can to work with you to advance progress on both sides of the border.

"There are issues, of course, issues that we discussed today and will continue to discuss in a manner of respect and dignity. Perhaps the biggest issue concerning your country is the issue of migration. America is a country of law, we’ll respect law, but America is also a hospitable country, a country that recognizes the value of each human being. And as the president of your grand country, I know you’re deeply concerned about how your citizens are treated within our country. And my pledge to you and the people of Mexico is they’ll be treated with respect and dignity.

"The best way to do that is to pass a migration law that upholds the values of America, and at the same time, allows us to respect the rule of law. As I told you in private, as you expressed your deep concerns about whether or not America can pass such a law, that I will use all the efforts I can, working with both Republicans and Democrats, to pass such a piece of legislation.

"We spent a lot of time talking about Mexico’s important role in the world, and I thank you for your leadership, Mr. President. You’re president of a great country. You will use your influence to foster social justice and prosperity and peace. I look forward to your leadership on such issues — I look forward to helping you as best I can, as best as you request to do so.

"And I, too, would like to offer a toast. I’d like to offer a toast to the great people of a great country, nuestro amigo, Mexico, and to your salud, Mr. President. "

Now, not to be a grammatical nitpicker, but I’d like to bring your attention to the exact words Bush used in Paragraph 3: "And as the president of your grand country, I know you’re deeply concerned about how your citizens are treated within our country."

What Bush is literally saying here, though I acknowledge it is probably a result of his tendency to scramble syntax, is that he, George W. Bush, is president of Mexico. That’s what it means. And while this is in all likelihood a slip of the tongue, I think it is worth pointing out, in light of Bush’s tendency to act more like the president of Mexico than the president of the United States.