Cuba? Really? Now?
There's a fair amount of radio noise, and some of you have probably heard it, about some upcoming Obama administration moves with relation to Cuba.
It is said that there might be an executive order to improve travel opportunities and maybe other measures within a couple of weeks. Brits, in case you don't know: Americans basically can't go to Cuba now, with a few exceptions. Last year, Obama made it easier for Cuban-Americans to go see relatives who still live on the island.
I'm all for this. Writing at Politics Daily, Delia Lloyd lists 10 reasons why the US should open up its relationship with Cuba, and they sound all right to me. Certainly, the two main impeti (is that a word? don't tell me it's impetuses) behind American policy since 1961 are badly outdated. One, that we cannot in clear conscience do business with such a regime (uh, China?), and two, that if we keep with the embargo just a little while longer, they'll crack, which they haven't done in 50 years.
But...why now? A president routinely called socialist and communist is going to go out of his way, two months before an election in which his party is likely to get pasted anyway, to announce a new opening with Cuba? What?!?
I smell some serious naivete here. I can hear White House aides saying, but this is a comparatively modest step that has the support of a majority of members of Congress. Right. And remember back when no one objected to the lower Manhattan mosque and Laura Ingraham thought it was a fine idea? You think Rick Scott, the Obama-hating and tea partying GOP gubernatorial nominee in Florida, won't make a little hay with a Castro rapprochement during election season? And you think every other Republican won't follow him? "While the American economy is going down the chute, Barack Obama has just taken steps to help another national economy...Cuba's." Writes itself.
I really don't understand where these White House people are coming from sometimes.