Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 20, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CUBA....Via TPM, here's a preview of John McCain's planned pander speech on Cuba today:

"Just a few years ago, Senator Obama had a very clear view on Cuba," McCain will say, according to prepared excerpts, then quoting Obama saying that normalization of relations would improve conditions for the Cuban people.

"Now Senator Obama has shifted positions and says he only favors easing the embargo, not lifting it. He also wants to sit down unconditionally for a presidential meeting with Raul Castro. These steps would send the worst possible signal to Cuba's dictators — there is no need to undertake fundamental reforms, they can simply wait for a unilateral change in US policy."

The jokes just write themselves, don't they? For a guy of McCain's age, I guess that half a century of failure is just the blink of an eye. So why not give it another half century?

Kevin Drum 1:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

Score one for Obama

Posted by: Matt on May 20, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Barack probably wasn't going to win Florida anyway (and with his support elsewhere, he may not have to in order to get to 270), so why not tell the truth? Especially when you know McCain will respond with the same old outdated bromides.

Posted by: Vincent on May 20, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

It is very clear, Kevin. Iran and Cuba are threats to the US, exactly the same as having thousands of nuclear missiles targeted at the US. But nuke-armed Communist China -- they're pals!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on May 20, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Obama will not be able to sustain the daily attacks. He has to change the dynamic of the race to go on the offensive. If all he is doing everyday is responding to the latest attack-he will lose. It is clear that the GOP strategy is to NOT let Obama get any rest, and hope that he makes a blunder due to exhaustion. He needs to carpet bomb Mccain for a few weeks on air, while he gets a 2 week vacation.

Posted by: LFoD on May 20, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

For a guy of McCain's age, I guess that half a century of failure is just the blink of an eye. So why not give it another half century?

McCain doesn't have a platform, he has a bucket list.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 20, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK


Yep, Cuba is a very serious threat to US national security. McCain has some heavy lifting to do on that one.

Posted by: broken on May 20, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Obama will not be able to sustain the daily attacks. He has to change the dynamic of the race to go on the offensive.

Obama already has.

"Here's the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn't have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do, that's what I'll do when I'm president of the United States of America."

Obama also said: "What are George Bush and John McCain afraid of"?

McCain's a tired old man who's scared of his own shadow, content to mumble tough talk from the porch while doing nothing.

Rinse, repeat.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 20, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well the speech has been given now and doesn't "I will not passively await the day when the Cuban people enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy." sound like the Bush administation's propagada to "spread democracy" when invading Iraq? Does he intend to invade Cuba non-passively instead of actually talking to them?

Posted by: jonny on May 20, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Based on a random sample of my sister-in-law's husband who usually votes nutbar libertarian, the Cuban exile community is solidly behind Obama because he supports allowing remittances to the relatives still in Cuba. The reflex anti-Castro position may be more popular at a New Hampshire gun show than it is in Miami now.

Posted by: snoey on May 20, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Score one for Obama

Yeah, but it's as if McCain's kicking the ball in his own goal.

Posted by: on May 20, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain: More of the Same >"...But nuke-armed Communist China -- they're pals!"

Voltaire knew how the world has actually functioned.

"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor." - Voltaire

Posted by: daCascadian on May 20, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but it's as if McCain's kicking the ball in his own goal.

And that's what makes it all the more sweet.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 20, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba

By agreeing to remove our missiles from Turkey, which is what caused the Soviets to put missiles in Cuba in the first place.

Posted by: croatoan on May 20, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

For a guy of McCain's age, I guess that half a century of failure is just the blink of an eye. So why not give it another half century?

Knowing McCain's love for 100-year strategic plans when it comes to foreign policy, maybe we could start referring to centuries as "McCain Units".

Posted by: yocoolz on May 20, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't get is the insistence that we could beggar the Soviet Union by importing US goods (blue jeans, etc,) but we can't use that same economic muscle to upset Castro's apple-cart. If we opened up to Cuba in even small ways, the popular pressure on the government would make it much harder to get the average Cuban to believe that we are the Devil incarnate.

It would upset the Cuban exile community because they'd have to give up their dreams of repossessing Tia Maria's hacienda / casa / business, but reality should be a greater part of the US approach anyway.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on May 20, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on May 21, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK
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