Thursday, December 18, 2014

Libre


Germany. Japan. Vietnam. Russia, at least for a while there. Former mortal enemies become partners. And the extent to which a country gets access to what America, for better and for worse, has to offer, seems to parallel their trajectory toward reasonableness. That we now do business with those countries is not a statement of acceptance of their pasts; but a recognition of the inevitable forward trajectory of history. Or something.

So, on those general principles, the opening of relations with Cuba seems like it can only become beneficial to both parties, in the long run. The embargo has lasted for half a century, to what end, in the end? I understand that many Cuban refugees would feel betrayed in some sense (the last voice I'd listen to, however, would be Marco Rubio's); but they've had their way for decades. Seems to me, as has been the case with the aforementioned other former enemies, that the citizens of Cuba, for whom there's been much reason to feel sympathy, will be better off for it as well. And there's a lot more of them.

Which is why the reflexive, craven, and predictable response from the most deadly duo since Bonnie and Clyde is about as low as two public figures have ever gotten; as nuanced as a proverbial I'm not saying what in a you know where:

The policy shift reflected "America and the values it stands for in retreat and decline," they said in a statement, one of several issued by Republicans seeking to line up against the change in policy. 
"It is about the appeasement of autocratic dictators, thugs, and adversaries, diminishing America’s influence in the world," said McCain and Graham.

Yeah. Pushing the buttons like trained monkeys, hitting all the juicy Foxolimbeckian buzzwords. Appeasement. Thugs. Diminishing America. It is, of course, no such thing. Time, in fact, will prove the opposite. But that's not what those two political thugs are about.

The fact that what Obama, with the help of the prodigious pontiff, has done is eminently reasonable is, of course, exactly the problem. Reasonable simply isn't in the vocabulary of those two, not since poor John lost the election. They've become embarrassing clowns. If Obama found a way to generate electricity with a cancer cure, McCain and Graham would be the first ones scrambling to the mikes to denounce it. Even if it required changing a previous position.

What nasty people they've become.

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