Mexican president insults U.S., Congress cheers

When Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, addressed a joint gathering of the United States Senate and House of Representatives less than three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was a speech delivered at the right time, in the right place, to the right people.  It helped strengthen and define Allied resolve for the looming battles against Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire. 

Yet, among the many speeches delivered over the decades by foreign heads of state to the Congress of the United States, Churchill’s December 26, 1941 address was the exception to the rule.  Most foreign leaders who are afforded this honor deliver largely forgettable lectures about how wonderful are the ties between their nations and ours; and often in support of receiving financial or military support from Washington.

Few foreign leaders, however, possess the audacity exhibited earlier this month by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon when he spoke to the House and Senate in joint session.  In his speech, Calderon as much as blamed the tide of extreme violence sweeping Mexico in recent months on the United States.  Calderon specifically singled out our government’s failure to reinstate the Clinton-era gun ban, which expired in 2004, as a major reason why some 23,000 citizens of his country have died as a result of drug-fueled violence since he became president in 2006.

In criticizing what he clearly viewed as a legislative “failing” of the Congress to pass gun-control legislation, Calderon crossed a line normally not breached by visiting heads of state – at least publicly.  Foreign leaders generally are more sensitive to the protocol that you don’t openly meddle in another nation’s domestic political agenda. 

The administration of President Obama may have urged Calderon to step into this fray as its surrogate; having correctly concluded that openly pushing the gun-control agenda this cycle would likely hurt not help Democratic candidates for Congress. 

Calderon added insult to injury, when he offered as evidence of America’s complicity in Mexico’s rampant drug-cartel fueled violence, the fact that “more than 80 percent of [guns and assault weapons seized in Mexico] came from the United States.”  In reality, this “fact” is not a fact at all, but rather a figure demonstrably proved to be false.  The “80%” figure (often boosted to as much as 90%) surfaced early in 2009, and was initially cited without challenge by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), officials at ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and media personalities.

These bloated figures — offered as “proof” that lack of sufficient gun control in the US was fueling drug-cartel violence in Mexico – subsequently were shown to be completely false.  The vast majority of  firearms fueling Mexico’s violence were never able to be “traced” in the first place; and of those that were, they were shown largely to have entered Mexico’s burgeoning black market not from the US but from China, Russian organized crime groups, Spain, Israel, guerrilla groups in Colombia, and elsewhere.  The Mexican military, itself rife with corruption, is another source of purloined armaments for the drug cartel; though, of course, Calderon failed to mention this.

Thus, we witnessed a foreign leader accept an invitation to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress, and then criticize that body for not passing particular domestic legislation based on false and discredited data.  One might have hoped that such audacity would have elicited if not a “boo,” at least a raised eyebrow from the congressional audience.  National pride might have drawn at least stony silence.  Instead, the Democratic majority – or at least most of them – actually stood and applauded the insults delivered by Calderon.  They might as well have stood and said, “thank you, Señor; may we have another, Señor.”  How do you say “spineless” in Spanish?

155 comments Add your comment

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
6:51 am

Calderon crossed many lines Mr. Barr, though none was as greatly offensive and disrespectful as when he, as a foreign national, elected by no one in this country condemned Americans for their defense of our rights as a sovereign people take make our own laws and demand that ALL, not only ourselves, respect and obey everyone of those laws. Calderon’s disrespectful disdain for American sovereignty is unforgivable. As many know I have no patients for anyone who seeks to erase or diminish in any degree the sovereignty of our nation, as Libertarians who are my fellow countrymen do often test my tolerance on this issue in their advocacy for “Open Borders”. However, to have Democrats in Congress stand and applaud Calderon’s disrespectful disdain for American sovereignty goes beyond the pale of unforgivable, in my opinion it is Un-American.

How do you say “spineless” in Spanish?

If I said anything to Calderon in Spanish, “spineless” would be consider a compliment among the words I’d use.

What I have to say to these Ameriphobe Democrats is in English: Delta is ready when you are!

Karl Marx

May 31st, 2010
6:54 am

Democrats in congress stood and applauded as Calderon insulted our country. I will never vote for a Democrat for as long as I live. This sealed the deal. IF your a democrat be gone…..

Kate

May 31st, 2010
7:06 am

Thank you, Mr. Barr.

Incidentally, to answer your (likely rhetorical) question because I happen to think the translation is rather ironic: “Spineless” in Spanish would be “sin carácter.”

[...] writes today about the insult to our nation leveled by Mexican President Felipe Calderon when he dared to [...]

nelsonhoward

May 31st, 2010
8:05 am

In 2007-2008 29,000 firearms were recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Of those 11,000 were sent to ATF for tracing. Of those, only 6000 could be traced, approximately 5000 could be traced to the U.S, or 83%. However, that 5000 is only 17% of the total number found at Mexican crime scenes.
Sooooo, where do they come from? During the past 6 years 150,000 soldiers have deserted the Mexican Army, most of which took their military issued guns with them.

As for abroad, the weapons come from former Soviet block countries, Spain and Isreal and these weapons are primarily Shoulder held rocket launchers. This weapon can do monumental damage.

To stand and applaude the Mexican President by Congress when he lays all the blame on guns coming from the U.S., that goes beyond the pale, we are in effect pandering to a foreign head of state.

Bob

May 31st, 2010
8:07 am

It reminded me of the dems during one of Bush’s state or the union addresses when Bush said Social Security would be left to fail. The democrats gave Bush his only standing ovation. Of course he did not say, left to fail, he said no reform, which is why it is now taking in less than it is paying out, failing.

neo-Carlinist

May 31st, 2010
8:08 am

speaking of news cycles, didn’ this happen like three weeks ago? who cares? if Calderon had the cajones, he would have said nothing about the guns and blamed the U.S. demand for drugs and the USA’s insipid and failed “war on drugs” for Mexico’s problems.

neo-Carlinist

May 31st, 2010
8:11 am

how are these guns getting into Mexico in the first place? if el Presidente is concerned, he needs to secure his borders. again, non-issue.

dawginDC

May 31st, 2010
8:17 am

liberalism is a mental disorder, and democrats are losers…

David Granger

May 31st, 2010
8:19 am

I wish that…immediately following the ovation our giggle-sissy Democrats gave President Calderon…someone with a little gumption had stood up and proposed that, in his honor, the U.S. adopt the EXACT same immigration laws that Mexico has.

Buzz G

May 31st, 2010
8:22 am

It is time we went to Mexico and demanded that they respect or borders and move to keep their people safe at home and drugs off our streets.

Barr's blog

May 31st, 2010
8:28 am

Calderon was badgering America over our gun laws?. Badgering? We don’t heed no stinking badgering.

Ola????

May 31st, 2010
8:31 am

80% of Calderon’s guns come from the U.S.? What percentage of drugs and illegals come to the U.S. from Mexico? If he keeps his merchandise, maybe we will keep ours! I am disgusted that anyone would applaud these remarks from this idiot. Wake up America!

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
8:33 am

We need to secure our side of the border with our own military, to heck with what the Mexicans do with their side. How about sending 120,000 instead of 1,200 Mr. Obumer?

Before some whiner says we don’t have the troops to do the job… tell ya what crybabies, put out the call in every state of this union to form and send a militia to our southern border and then you’ll see the most successful mustering of volunteer forces that has ever occurred in this country.

Americans have had their gut of unsecured borders, illegal immigration, illegal aliens and the politicians in both major political parties that comprise our Congress who refuse to enforce our laws against illegal aliens and those who hire them. If they want to pass an amnesty bill they best get one for themselves, they’re going to need it come November.

chiu

May 31st, 2010
8:37 am

I am more sad about Democrats in Congress stand and applaud Calderon’s disrespectful speech for American sovereignty than his protocol..but than again, we owed so much money to foreign country, anybody can lecture us anytime, anywhere including White House. We are no longer American the “power”, we have only Congress to blame, they betray us.

Joe B.

May 31st, 2010
8:37 am

What congress needs to be doing is pulling the army out of the wastelands in the Middle East and send them to Mexico. Most Americans have no idea how bad the situation is on our doorstep.

We should set up a puppet Mexican president, legalize Marijuana in the United States and send the army into the border cities and annihilate the Narcos.

Bob Furnad

May 31st, 2010
8:38 am

Agree with Mr. Barr’s comments but there is an error in his column. Only the President can address a “joint session” of Congress. Anyone else addresses a “joint meeting” of Congress.

Xiphosura

May 31st, 2010
8:39 am

President Calderon was on target regarding assault weapons. This was confirmed by all the egative feedback in these posted comments by Cobb County rednecks and their ilk.

The reason all the undocumented Mexicans are here is because Republican business owners hire them for little or nothing.

Shame on you, Bobb Barr and shame on Cobb County Republicans and like minded people elsewhere.

America would not function without undocumented workers.

Wet FRont

May 31st, 2010
8:47 am

what is an undocumented woeker? oh yeah that would be an illegal alien.call them what they are you liberal puke. by the way, you peek a spanny?

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

May 31st, 2010
8:48 am

Where is The CISCO KID AND PONCHO when we really need them?

John Smith

May 31st, 2010
8:48 am

Legalizing marijuana would end a majority of the drug violence. The government could tax it like cigarettes and the deficit would disappear. But no… those people who want big government out of our houses and want our freedoms back… why can’t we get high without having the bible-thumpers protest, while they sit back and drink their moonshine. Hypocrites are on both side of the aisle, hence why I turned independent and won’t vote for my old party until they try to work for me, instead of trying to turn Obama into a failure like the idiot we watched run the country into the ground over the last 8 years.

Morrus

May 31st, 2010
8:48 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

J.B. STONER

May 31st, 2010
8:50 am

shoot the sob

A CONSERVATIVE

May 31st, 2010
8:51 am

LORDY BARR….OBAMA constantly insults America & Americans…..AJC constantly insults Georgia voters…Bookman insults America & Georgia..C. Tucker insults our intelligence every day…AJC is an insulting machine..LET THE INSULTs fly…..INSULTING is common today..

Williebee

May 31st, 2010
8:53 am

This business owner would be just fine if there were no illiegal immigrants to be hire. I have never hired one and don’t plan to.
Calderone was ungracious and hypocritical.
The democrats who endorsed his attacks on America were disgraceful.
It’s long past time to clean up the mess on the border and to bring order to our immigration policy.

Andre

May 31st, 2010
8:53 am

Ummm, our economy and JOB issue is more of a bigger problem than our borders. So, let’s not lose focus here. Remember ECONOMY, JOBS! C’mon Conservatives, don’t lose focus on the more important issue at hand. I know there are more than 5 people that responded here, that worry about finding a job and providing for their family more than worrying about our borders. Those borders have been opened wide since forever, every President has struggled with it. Hell, we had TWO Bush’s in the office, both from Texas, right next to Mexico and saw illegals everyday in Texas, and neither one did anything but execute half of the population. Alright REPEAT AFTER ME!! JOBS & ECONOMY FIX IT JOBS & ECONOMY FIX IT JOBS & ECONOMY FIX IT REMEMBER PEOPLE, YOU BEING WRAPPED UP IN THIS BORDER PATROL ISSUE, WILL DETER YOU FROM THE REAL ISSUES AT HAND. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE GULF OIL SPILL, THAT’S PROBABLY A BIGGER THREAT ON AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS THAN THE MEXICAN BORDER RIGHT NOW.

Are you kidding me?

May 31st, 2010
8:55 am

Xiphosura, with comments like that, I can image that no one takes you seriously. Truly idotic.

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
9:02 am

Okay Andre, repeat after me please… Stay focused now…

CREATE 12 TO 20 MILLION JOBS FOR AMERICANS BY SENDING 12 TO 20 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS BACK HOME!

cisco

May 31st, 2010
9:02 am

America has lost its will to do anything about anything, lets just all throw up our hands and
quit trying. Our prisons are full of scum bags that don’t deserve to draw another breath,but
we have the money to keep them fed, housed,and free health care… Democrats and
Republicans alike have failed this country. They have created this hell of a mess we are
passing to our kids and grand kids, while the rest of us was working our butts off and
trying to live the right and honorable way. A pox on all of them!

Ayn Rand was right

May 31st, 2010
9:02 am

It is a horror that members of our congress would provide a standing ovation to any head of state who would insult our country. Is there anyone in office today, who realizes that we are a sovereign nation, and to openly disrespect our laws, our leaders and our people is an act of aggression to Americans? I would rather not have representation at all, than the representation we have now…from the top all the way down. It is my personal hope that someone will provide the footage of this travesty with the name of each member of congress who is standing. These “representatives” should be voted out, no questions asked.

Tony

May 31st, 2010
9:04 am

The US is gradually ceding sovereignty of our nation to foreign powers in a number of ways. The biggest and most worrisome is through the selling of our future to China in the form of the national debt.

While it is insulting to have a foreign leader stand in our seat of government and make such statements, it is also important to remember that the drug trade is fueled by our insatiable appetite for cocaine and marijuana. Legalized or not, these drugs will still enter the country illegally.

Ayn Rand was right

May 31st, 2010
9:05 am

Andre – maybe we can use the “undocumented workers” to clean up spilled oil, and let American’s go back to work.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

May 31st, 2010
9:06 am

The Mexican President was only doing what he had been told to do by our Glorious Administration. Check the statistics on Mexican deportation of illegals. They know you can not let illegals hang around.

tom

May 31st, 2010
9:06 am

tell you what if wants to insult us he and all the other illegals can shuffle there feet back across the border. hey ill give them a free ride just leave and dont come back

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
9:07 am

Ola????, 80% of all illegal drugs enter this country from Mexico. At least 56% (in reality the number is much higher) of all illegal aliens in this country are Mexican nationals. Another 27% are from basically three Central American countries.

Barr's blog

May 31st, 2010
9:11 am

Today, on Memorial Day, Americans are honoring those who gave their last full measure of devotion to our flag. And especially today, we don’t appreciate a badgerer like Mexico’s presidente badgering us about our laws.

We don’t heed no stinking badgerers.

Steve Tucker

May 31st, 2010
9:26 am

Our neighbors to the South of us have always suffered from pervasive stupidity. Many times I’ve been asked by an indignant Hispanic “Why don’t you learn to speak Spanish?”. Why, so I can talk to you? Americans are constantly accused of being racist. “You don’t like brown or Hispanic people!” I don’t have a problem with the way anyone looks. I don’t have problems with color, I have problems with culture. Mexico and most of the countries South of us have plenty of resources to provide their citizens with a quality of life that would keep them from wanting to sneak across our border to loot our resources. The issue is corruption. El Presidente would do well to look in his own house for the source of his problems.

Andre

May 31st, 2010
9:32 am

Oh, Micheal, did you have that same problem when the economy wasn’t bad? NO. Now that the is economy bad. You want to take their jobs from under their feet, send them packing and put in lazy American’s that didn’t want to do those jobs in the first place. You ever seen a nail salon or a laundry? How many American’s are working in there, because none want to do it. How many of those people are here legally? Probably not many, but they slip under the radar, because America puts all their energy and focus on Mexico, while other slip into the country all type of ways. Have you ever been to South Florida? I’m can assure you over half of that population is here illegally, what is America going to do about that?? And how many of them are Mexican, not many! So Like I said JOBS and ECONOMY. FIX IT! Stop worrying about the wrong crap going on, because that’s nothing but a deter from REAL ISSUES WE’RE FACING!

THE TRUTH

May 31st, 2010
9:36 am

Xiphosura

May 31st, 2010
8:39 am

President Calderon was on target regarding assault weapons. This was confirmed by all the egative feedback in these posted comments by Cobb County rednecks and their ilk.

The reason all the undocumented Mexicans are here is because Republican business owners hire them for little or nothing.

Shame on you, Bobb Barr and shame on Cobb County Republicans and like minded people elsewhere.

America would not function without undocumented workers.
DITTO!!!
Barr is just a has been who is spewing his GOP talking points to you “non educated”right wingers who can only make up your mind after,he and fox news tells you what to think!!

———————————————————————————————————
Will someone come to grips with the fact the NRA is not a “rights” organization but a marketing arm of firearms manufacturers.
Whatever the NRA might have been at one time — organizers of hunters’ safety training and co-sponsors of Ducks Unlimited or whatever… — the NRA exists today solely to promote the sale of guns.And there is nothing wrong with that and “THE TRUTH” stands by what he say’s!!
Just research and learn how to make up you own mind,wingers!!
___________________________________________________________

Michael H. Smith

May 31st, 2010
8:33 am

We need to secure our side of the border with our own military, to heck with what the Mexicans do with their side. How about sending 120,000 instead of 1,200 Mr. Obumer?

response:
This is pure comedy to me.You let a nit wit like GW do nothing,NOTHING AT ALL to curbing or protecting the border that not only mexicans but iranians,iraqis and other potential terrorists cross under the BUSH II administration,but once a lil old liberal comes into office and actually sends troops to the border he still gets criticised??

Well,if we send 120,000 down to the border now,RIGHT NOW,where will they stay?? How and where will they be housed? Where will they patrol?Do they just stand there and wait for illegals?
The right wing nuts are all about talk and never about implenting any type of plans of action..
They just do..And if it doesn’t work they somehow try to blame the media who is in love with this president,right??
And did you notice how the right winged fox news harked on the election of senate candidate Paul,and his affiliation with the gop leaning tea party,and did not say nothing about the “7 special election” losses that were held and they lost all of them??

Go research your facts wingers.AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN FREAKING MINDS!!!
_______________________________________________________________

Williebee

May 31st, 2010
8:53 am

This business owner would be just fine if there were no illiegal immigrants to be hire. I have never hired one and don’t plan to.
Calderone was ungracious and hypocritical.
The democrats who endorsed his attacks on America were disgraceful.
It’s long past time to clean up the mess on the border and to bring order to our immigration policy.
response:
maybe not to work at your place of business,naw u can’t do that,can you?
But i bet you that maria or dejesus is either cleaning your house for you lazy wife or out doing your landscaping because you can’t start a lawnmower or use the clippers!!

u right wing nuts amaze me!!

Andre

May 31st, 2010
9:42 am

Hey Michael H. Smith wasn’t it your president W BUSHY that said in early March 2004, he’s concerned about companies shifting jobs overseas, but came back later that year and said he support tax breaks for American companies sends jobs over seas. That’s the mess I’m talking about. It’s hard to undo all the crap that fool did over 8 years in 2 years. Now, let me get back to my Memorial Day activities, before the crazy’s get me upset. .

Garry Owen

May 31st, 2010
9:47 am

Mr. President – if you want to say something to the American people tell yourself. Stop using the President of Mexico and the U.N. to tell us what you are afraid to tell us! And as for Mr. Calderon – you can also control your side of the border, unless the corruption in Mexico prevents this. Also, Mr. Calderon be honost about your military and the weapons used in the drug wars!

Denise L

May 31st, 2010
9:47 am

I am “just a mother,” but these things I know: if any member of my family were threatened physically, financially, mentally, I know it is my clear and guilt-free duty to protect them. Family first. Period. I am not a bigot or right wing nut. In my extended family, there are people from Guatemala, Laos, Israel, Africa, and the Philippines. As a leader in my family though, I hope it is clear to all of them that my duty is to them, not their neighbors.
We need Leadership that puts us first. Mexico needs Leadership that puts its citizens first. We have neither. What we have is two corrupt “leaderships” siding together against its own people. Mexico shuns its poor (despite ranking #4 in the world for the number of billionaires) and America allows its workers to be laid off and replaced with virtual slave laborers.
Of course we all feel betrayed. But this is NOT about Mexican workers vs. American workers. It is about a complete failure of our leaders to forge better societies, to provide health care, education, direction and opportunity for its OWN citizens.
I don’t see a difference between Republicans or Democrats. I am waiting for a lone voice who says he/she will seal the border/ deport/and encourage Mexico to take care of its own. We cannot be the world’s safety valve or the American dream will be gone.

Tommy

May 31st, 2010
9:50 am

Mr. Barr,
It speaks volumes for your countries leader when he allows this to happen. I can’t invision President Regean allowing another leader taking podium and bashing our great country. The spinless one is Obama. What Calderone done was actually a good move on his part and the democracts. It pits the two parties againist each other over what is happening in Arizona. The man does not care about the United States just as the sitting president does not.

DB

May 31st, 2010
9:54 am

“National pride might have drawn at least stony silence.”

Not from a group of apologists led by the biggest apologist of all, President Obama.

Maretta

May 31st, 2010
9:56 am

The fact that so many people leave his country speaks of the effectiveness of the Mexican president. He should be ashamed of himself, and Mexico should figure out some way (legally — not cater to the drug cartels) to build up their country and keep their people there. Look what a terrible job the Mexicans (and natives of India) have done in their country; collectively, can they do anything to help the U.S.! We can’t let them drive our country down like theirs.

Brad

May 31st, 2010
10:11 am

What a bunch of fear-mongering boobs.

Steve

May 31st, 2010
10:13 am

Our current POTUS has traveled the world apologizing to every nation that would listen. He has allowed the leader of a notoriously corrupt country to blame us for their problems on the floor of our congressional building while members of the POTUS political party have stood and applauded. He has also lectured the members of our SCOTUS in his State of the Union address; once again, while members of his political party have stood and applauded.
I’m amazing they are not all publicly booed everyime they slither out of their holes. 100 years ago they would have been tarred, feathered, and run out of town.

Don't need a passport

May 31st, 2010
10:22 am

Gov. Brewer did what was RIGHT, and that little guy from Mexico CALLEDHERWRONG. The Dims need more dim voters, or they will not survive to rule over us.

Jim C

May 31st, 2010
10:23 am

@ Xiphosura “President Calderon was on target regarding assault weapons. This was confirmed by all the egative feedback in these posted comments by Cobb County rednecks and their ilk.”

Maybe I shouldn’t waste my time with this liberal troll , but here it goes. Cobb County rednecks? I was hoping for some feedback from some the pro-illegal immigration fringe groups(i.e. La Raza) in order to confirm Calderon’s negative statement about the United States, but instead we can rely on Xiphosura to tell us that.

Bob

May 31st, 2010
10:29 am

Thank you Mr. Barr. Shame on Calderon,Clinton and most of all Obama.Don’t apologize for me.