Obama's Aunt – Is This The Thing?

Like most people who support Barack Obama’s candidacy, and someone who has watched the Republicans steal the presidency in 2000 and engage in widespread voter fraud and intimidation tactics in 2004, I’ve been waiting for someone to dredge up some terrible, dark secret that could be used against Senator Obama. He’s a decent, upstanding man, so we all knew there wouldn’t be anything too terrible. But I think we’d all be kidding ourselves if we didn’t admit that there had to be some gutter rats out there who were desperately digging, trying to find something, anything, that could be used to smear Obama and lessen his chances.
Well, today my heart sank as I checked the news and found out that someone had unearthed the fact that Barack Obama’s aunt, a woman named Zeituni whom he wrote about in his book Dreams From My Father, was living in the United States illegally. So it looks like the rats were able to dig up something, after all.
This is a non-issue to any reasonable American. Obama has already stated that he had no idea his aunt was living here illegally, and he expects that all applicable laws be followed in regard to her status. But come on. We all know that the Republicans and the Far Right will be going into over-drive to try to make something out of all this. The most depressing aspect of it all is that those Americans who are so full of hatred and venom will only view this as further evidence supporting their ridiculous claim that a vote for Obama means a vote for Socialism in the United States.
I’ve grappled first-hand with these unreasonable people. I’ve been tangling with a cousin of mine who objected to me recently responding to some Right-Wing drivel he’d e-mailed by replying with a transcript of Joe Biden’s recent interview with an Orlando reporter with a full onslaught of harassment and hatred. In three days he’s sent me over 40 messages, each a forward of some Right-Wing propaganda he’d found on a web site somewhere; each a education in just how delusional and paranoid the Far Right really is. He’s sent me a virtual archive of recent propaganda and misinformation, and he’s addressed each message not to me, but to “The Far Left”. One recent e-mail told me that he hoped I took some Vaseline with me to the voting booth, because I was going to get screwed on Election Day. You know. The kind of pleasant Christian sentiments you can expect for Right-Wing nutjobs.
When I saw this story today about Barack Obama’s, my first thought was about this relative. I’m sure he’ll be foaming at the mouth as soon as he hears about it. And I’m sure he’d be writing me, had I not set my e-mail client to delete his messages as soon as they come in.
I suppose the one worry I have here is that the Far Right’s attempts to use this non-issue to their political advantage will have some effect. As much as we like to think that Americans are smarter than that, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. How long can it be before we hear people saying “I was going to vote for Obama until I found out he doesn’t respect our immigration laws”?
I suppose I fear that this one minor thing might be the piece of the puzzle that makes the whole thing collapse. How many Democrats, independents and Progressives have been waiting for it to fall apart? We’ve all expected that something would pop up. That it would turn out that Barack Obama was a member of the Church of Satan. Or that he was a closet pervert like all of those Christian leaders who have fallen by the wayside in the past decade or so. Or that it’d turn out that some distant cousin in Kenya had posted a video on YouTube of himself having sex with a dog or something. We knew that something would have to turn up before Election Day, because we all knew that some maggot was out there feverishly digging for something to use against Barack Obama, and that it would be trotted out before the public just before Election Day.
Well, as these things go, I have to say that if this is the best that they can do, we probably have nothing to worry about. But it’ll obviously be a distration. Does anyone actually believe that the Far Right talking heads like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will be talking about anything else between now and next Tuesday?
I pray for my country, that we might return to reason. The last eight years of the Bush Administration and the 12 years the Republicans controlled Congress have been a political nightmare that has almost brought this country to its knees. I desperately hope that their influence is waning, but I fear they’ll find a way to steal yet another election. Democracy is on the ropes in the United States, as the Republicans desperately try to supress and disqualify Democratic voters. I keep praying that these people will be held accountable, and that their extremist ideology will be discredited and rejected, and that their influence will begin to wane. But I fear they’ll find some way to steal the election. They’ve done it before.
I don’t expect that this one issue concerning Barack Obama’s aunt is all that big of a deal. But it certainly isn’t helpful. I’d also like to know more about who tracked down “Auntie Zeituni” and why, as well as why the release of this information was timed to come out just a few days before the election. I’m sure you can see why I might be suspicious.

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