Monday, April 20, 2009

Newt's a hoot

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House who now apparently has an eye on chasing the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has his panties in a twist because, in his opinion, President Obama has been too cordial to enemies of America. Gingrich is blasting Obama for reaching out to Cuba, giving a friendly handshake to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, bowing to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and not reacting quickly enough to North Korea's recent rocket test. Let's take the last item first. American presidents have been dealing gingerly with North Korea for decades, and short of nuking them, there's only so much the United States can do. As for Cuba and Venezuela, I'm struggling to figure out what is wrong with trying to improve relations with those countries in our own hemisphere. Certainly, there's much to dislike about the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, and Chavez is a certifiable nutjob, but shouldn't we try to improve our relations with all countries of the world, even those who would be considered our enemies by many? We have no qualms about dealing with the repressive regimes in place in Moscow and Beijing, but clearly that's different in some people's minds. The Bush approach of either ignoring or, in some cases, demonizing countries that are unfriendly to us bore no fruit. In fact, it probably increased anti-American sentiment around the world. The Cuban embargo should have been lifted years ago. It has been an unmitigated failure. Fidel Castro remained in power for half a century, less than 100 miles from the U.S. mainland, and if anyone has been punished by the embargo, it's the people of Cuba. The embargo has remained in place only because American politicians refuse to quit pandering to Cuban-Americans in Florida. And finally, was Gingrich under a rock (or maybe a mistress) when Bush was practically French kissing King Abdullah, whose country gave us the majority of the Sept. 11 terrorists? I guess Newt just missed that. It's not like him to keep his mouth shut.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also thought it was kind of funny when Newtie said he thought all the attention focused on the new Obama puppy was "kind of stupid." Yeah, I suppose he and Dick Cheney would rather be drowning puppies instead.

I knew the right would get into a lather that Obama would dare to shake Hugo Chavez's hand rather than spit in his face or kick him in the groin. And though I don't agree with some on the further fringes of the left who romanticize Chavez and overlook his authoritarian tendencies, he's there and we should try to work with him. Brant is right.

--Brad Hundt

April 20, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Steelersfan43 said...

Once again Brant you have spoken the truth and I am sure many will disagree (as usual) but I completely agree with you. I love how everything Obama has done so far has been wrong but Bush has done the same thing and more and no one said jack. Double standards are in full force. Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil. HA!

April 20, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Or how about Rumsfeld?

April 20, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

I love the whole (insert your party of favor here) didn't say anything about this when their guy did it but now that (insert the other party here) is doing it, it's wrong.

Like the Dems and Republicans don't both play this game.

Come on.

April 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, Dale. But that's America ... and few other countries, as well. Even if Bush's palling around had produced Bin Laden trussed up and ready to be skewered, some people would have asked why it didn't happen sooner. And if Chavez sudenly agrees to give all his country's oil to us for free, some people will ask why Obama didn't get paid vacations for all US citizens as part of the package. You can't please veryone all the time, and I think it's ludicrous to try.

April 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

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