Burt Prelutsky

In the old days, a rhetorical question that was popular in certain circles was whether you’d buy a used car from Richard Nixon. Whatever your politics may have been, there was no getting around the fact that with his beady little eyes, his widow’s peak and his five o’clock shadow, he wasn’t exactly the image of honesty and integrity we’d all like to see in our elected officials.

I wonder how it is that a similar question is never posed, accompanied by a photo of Ted Kennedy’s sweaty, bloated, booze-besotted face.

Every time the senior senator of Massachusetts opens his yap, I swear I hear a whirring sound I assume are his brothers spinning in their graves. They’d probably be as amazed as anyone that their idiot brother has served, so to speak, 45 years in the U.S. Senate. Which is three years longer than Robert lived and only a year less than John.

His latest achievement is the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. I realize that Kennedy couldn’t have done it alone. But, then, I’m not sure he can tie his own shoes without assistance. There are many who had a hand in this -- Mel Martinez, John McCain, Patrick Leahy and George W. Bush, just to name a few. But since the president, himself, has seen fit to crown Sen. Kennedy “the ablest legislator in Washington,” I assume he’s the one who deserves the lion’s share of credit for pulling off this coup.

I have been hearing from a lot of people who regard this as a red letter day for America. Frankly, though, I regard it as more of a black letter day. Or, perhaps, considering who the beneficiaries are, the more appropriate color is brown.

For a long time, the most popular example of chutzpah, the Yiddish word for monumental gall, was the guy who killed his parents and then asked the court for mercy because he was an orphan. But we now have an example that at least runs a close second. We have Hispanics who broke the law by sneaking into the country, had a baby at our expense, and then insisted they have the constitutional right to remain here because their kid’s an American citizen. Talk about profiting from the commission of a crime!

Those people, both Democrats and Republicans, who are terrified of uttering the “A” word, insist this piece of legislation isn’t really amnesty. They point out that it requires that American wannabes will have to pay a $5,000 fine over a period of time. But is there anybody out there who actually believes that if they don’t come up with the do-re-mi, they’ll be deported? If so, please give me a call -- I’m looking to sell my deed to Fort Knox.