Cuba? At this point, Obama is just trolling wingnuts. Tomorrow he will rename Reagan Airport to Alinsky-Ayers-MalcolmX airport.
— John Cole (@Johngcole) December 17, 2014
I knew as soon as I saw the news that Obama was going to move away from our awful, stupid, evil, counter-productive cold war era policy with Cuba (a policy that has done nothing but hurt the good people of Cuba and fuck up politics in Florida for decades) that the wingnuts would go insane. And boy howdy, have they delivered, but we’ll just go with the boy blunder from Floriduh himself, Marco Rubio:
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) laid into President Barack Obama’s impending normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba on Fox News Wednesday morning, saying Obama had traded away concessions for “symbolic gestures,” and that Obama was “the worst negotiator that we’ve had as president…maybe in the modern history of the country.”
“My interest in Cuba has been the furthering of democracy and freedom,” Rubio said. “Nothing the president will announce today will further that goal…It’s part of long record of coddling dictators and tyrants this administration has.”
“They’ve created no economic openings, no concessions on freedom of speech, no concessions on elections, no alternative political parties. …The idea that this leads to democratic opening is absurd, but it is par for the course for an administration possibly giving away unilateral concessions for Iran or Cuba in exchange for nothing.”
Why, he’s so hopping mad he’s pissed at the Pope:
“My understanding is that the influence that His Holiness had was on the release of Mr. [Alan] Gross, which I’ve not criticized. As I said, I’m happy that he’s with the Cuban people [sic]. I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people — for a people to truly be free,” Rubio, a Catholic whose parents immigrated from Cuba to flee an oppressive regime, told reporters.
“I think the people of Cuba deserve the same chances to have democracy as the people of Argentina have had, where he comes from; as the people of Italy have, where he now lives. Obviously the Vatican’s its own state, but very nearby,” the senator and rumored 2016 presidential hopeful continued. “My point is I hope that people with that sort of prestige on the world stage will take up the cause of freedom and democracy. The Cuban people are the only people in this hemisphere that have not been able to elect a leader in more than 55 or 60 years. That’s outrageous.”
Republicans only like the Pope when Catholic dogma can serve as cover for the Republican fetus fetish and gay hate. When dealing with actual living humans, not so much.
I’m personally thrilled we are hopefully seeing the end of this idiotic policy which really is one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. So it is not surprising, albeit still depressing, that the troglodyte party is responding with their typical Cold War mindset- it’s really all they know. History and modern civilization for wingnuts started with Hitler, reached its apex during the lily white and repressive fifties where the colored and the womenfolk knew their place and the jello salad and Leave it to Beaver were the height of culture, and ended when St. Ronnie personally took a pick axe to the East German wall while accompanied by his trusty blue ox. Since then, it’s been all queer eye for the straight guy, coloreds being all uppity, and women in the workplace. So it is not surprising to see them lash out like this as “CUBA BAD” was one of the last few things they could hold on to- that blanket and binky they could clutch while rocking themselves to sleep because it’s the end of the world as they know it, and the rest of us feel fine.
In the defense of Republicans, there used to be a train of thought that the way to liberate the world was through trade and travel, but that notion on the right is as dead as Dick Cheney’s dark heart after 70 years of eating cheesy Freedom Fries. So when you watch all these guys freak out, and seriously, they are freaking the fuck out, just realize that they are exhibiting all they know, which is the old way of thinking and viewing the world. Think back to not so long ago, when Putin was the man of their dreams and the ho yay was in full bloom- he was a real leader, riding shirtless on a bear as he annexed everything to the east of the Rhine while our waffler in chief just stood by. We’re all Georgians and Ukrainians and Romney was Right or whatever the cry du jour was from Johnny Get Your Guns McCain (another Cold War relic who needs to be put down) all while Lindsey Graham wearily lifted himself from the fainting couch long enough to emit a plaintive wail on Hardball. New Cold War! He wants to create a new greater Russian empire! We have to meet force with force! That’s all Putin understands!
Meanwhile, our Kenyan appeaser in chief had different plans, and worked with the international community to put in place a sustained series of sanctions aimed at punishing Putin for his aggression, and where are we now? Without a shot fired, without one casket wept over in Arlington, Russia’s economy is near collapse if it hasn’t already. The ruble is as worthless as Sarah Palin’s diploma, there is an astounding brain drain as the educated emigrate at astonishing levels, Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels have agreed to resume peace talks, and just the other day, Obama supported another round of sanctions. Our President knows when and how to stick the shiv in, and it’s much more effective than the wingnut plan of launching a thousand tanks and tens of thousands of men eastward through the Fulda Gap.
And now, along with all of that, Putin is now the man who lost Cuba.
But the Cuba news is more important than just that. It means that millions of people may begin to enjoy all the wonderful things the 20th century has to offer, including the ability to see their loved ones. We’ll see how the negotiations go, and what happens in the long run, but this is most certainly a good thing, a great thing. This is the kind of thing Presidential legacies are made of…