[Image by Reuters]
For the wingnuts on the right, including dipshits like New Gingrich, talking to one's "enemy" is tantamount to making him/her king.
So, when Obama lifted some travel restrictions, etc., regarding Cuba (but not the trade embargo), the wingnuts went crazy as if he was single-handedly turning the U.S. into a satellite of Castro the Marxist.
But...as P. M. Carpenter put it, "What Obama did in tandem with lifting those travel restrictions ... was to announce, in a kind of diplomatic dance, his one and only bargaining chip. His administration, he said again at the Summit of the Americas, is 'prepared to ... engage with the Cuban government on a wide range of issues -- from human rights, free speech, and democratic reform to drugs, migration, and economic issues."
Bingo! "And sure enough, it was also last week that Cuba's president Raul Castro, announced for the first time that his government is 'willing to discuss everything, human rights, freedom of press, political prisoners, everything, everything, everything they want to talk about."
Now while this isn't the second coming, it does change the type of missiles and trajectories the two countries have been aiming at each other -- words have been exchanged for weapons.
What can be bad in that?
But the apopoleptic response of the Repugnican right grew even more shrill and vociferous when Obama actually dared shake the hand of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.
The wingnut who Carpenter calls "that little toad of a Big Thinker," Newt Gingrich, ran out of the house to get away from his 12th or 13th wife, and said "[Obama] has made life easier for the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, why not embrace or at least be cheerful and friendly with Hugo Chavez?"
But he wasn't done. Newt, the paragon of serial adulterers and foreign policy expertise, claimed that Obama's actions "sends a terrible signal to all of Latin America, and a terrible signal about how the new administraton regards dictators."
But Newt, of course, was not the only one. A women, speaking for John Boehner, another Repugnican weeper, claimed Obama was allowing Chavez to gain publicity at the "expense of the United States." And "Republican Senator John Ensign labeled Obama's cordiality 'irresponsible.'"
Well, Newt, most of the hoi polloi are probably ignorant of our recent history, but you can rest assured that some of us are quite aware of the love exhibited for rotten, no good dictators by previous Republican administrations is a matter of public record. Saudi Arabia comes to mind, as an example, Newt. What do you have to say about them apples? With Repugnicans, it's always been about protecting American interests (read corporations). Any dictator is good if he's willing to protect our corporate interests. Hell, we'll even let him terrorize his own people!
And isn't it better, in the long run, to try to mend fences, to better understand each other, to try to come to some agreement so that we can all live together and maybe work toward a peaceful solution to our differences?
That is not in the Repugnican playbook, I guess. There it is written "drill, baby, drill," and "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" or any other country that we don't like at the moment! And if we discover another Iraq which has oil we want, we'll just invade and blow the country to smithereens, no matter the human costs!
Methinks Obama's is the better way. But it sure as hell would be nice if a few "leaders" of the opposition would show a bit more concern for their country than getting reelected by their Ignorance R us base!
P.M. Carpenter has much more to say at BuzzFlash and he can say it better than I can; read his entire article here.
Another interesting article here.