Category Archives: Politics: US
The US approach to Cuba stopped making sense decades ago. Opening exchanges with Poland helped dislodge the Communist regime; the same is likely to happen to Cuba in the future. Maintaining the embargo with Cuba has done more to empower the dictatorial Castro regime than anything else we could do. So I’m all for the resumption of diplomatic relations because it furthers US interests, human rights, and the humanitarian cause of reuniting separated families. It likely will further the cause of freedom in Cuba.
But there’s another reason why this is good: the revanchist faction among Cuban-Americans is overwhelmingly Republican. It’s good politics for a President to reward his friends and ignore — or punish — his enemies. So this is good politics for Obama: serve the US national interest and hit his enemies at the same time.
I hope it’s a sign of what we can hope for in the next two years from Obama: No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Let’s illustrate the mad-right’s narrative machine, and how sadly incurious millions of our neighbors have become, nodding and swallowing anything that gets fed to them on Fox.
Use this! Ask your crazy uncle what he thinks of a man named… George Soros.
Oh, any Fox-watcher will tell you about Soros! How he is a criminal mastermind with a huge media empire that has suckered millions of Blue Americans into raving socialist-communist frenzy.
Never mind that Soros’s wealth and media “empire” are minuscule compared to the triumvirate of Rupert Mudoch, the Koch boys and the Saudi royal family, all co-owners of Fox. Folks following the narrative call George Soros a “super-leftist” master-demon.
A special moment: they nod in terror when Glen Beck howls “Soros toppled EIGHT foreign governments!”
In fact, that’s true! For once, Beck ain’t lying at all. George Soros did help to topple eight foreign governments! He is, indeed, a formidable fellow. Alas, in a sign of how far GOP intellect has plummeted since days of Goldwater and Buckley, not one audience member of the Beck or Limbaugh or Fox riefenstahl-rallies ever lifts his head to ask …
“Um… Glen? Rush? Sean? WHICH eight foreign governments do you credit Soros – the super leftist with toppling?”
In ten years of daring these guys, none of the Fox-ites I’ve confronted has ever been able to name even one of those toppled foreign governments. It just never occurred to them, to ask.
Are you ready to ask? Ready for the list? Here are those eight foreign governments Beck/Limbaugh/Fox credit George Soros with toppling.
The communist dictatorship of Hungary.
The communist dictatorship of Poland
The communist dictatorship of Czechoslovakia
The communist dictatorship of Romania
The communist dictatorship of Bulgaria
The communist dictatorship of Estonia
The communist dictatorship of Latvia
The communist dictatorship of Lithuania
And mind you it isn’t just uber-conservatives Beck and Limbaugh who credit Soros with this terrifying feat! The Heritage Foundation and AEI and most rightist pundit-castes have repeated it! Along with many GOP candidates. (Though sometimes the figure is nine since it rightfully should include East Germany.) Indeed, Soros’s relentless efforts to undermine the USSR and communism made up his core life’s work and even many sane political observers credit him substantially.
Let’s make this explicit. Glen Beck and all those other right wing mavens officially credit terrifying leftist George Soros with the toppling of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Warsaw Pact, the liberation of hundreds of millions and the victorious end of the Cold War.
Huh. I thought it was that other liberal (compared to today’s GOP) Ronald Reagan. In fact, they both share equal credit with Michail Gorbachev and with the architect of our grand 1945-2000 plan — George Marshall. (With Jimmy Carter deserving more of an assist cred than you’d believe.)
Look, the crux here is not who actually tore down the wall. Hey, let’s credit the people of those nations, above all.
No, the core point is this: why are the viewers of Fox and Beck/Limbaugh so cosmically stupid that they never — any of them — ask enough questions to notice the tsunami of ironies and contradictions and outright lies at their Nuremberg Rally?
So… um… where does this ghastly example of looniness, incuriosity and knee jerk obedience to declared dogma leave the credibility of today’s monster that has hijacked the once intellectually solid American conservative movement?
Oh, pity Barry Goldwater. spinning 6000 RPM in his grave.
Still very relevant today, Laurie Anderson’s Only an Expert (2010):
Warning: There are some pretty ugly, violent, and horrible images in this video. Brought to you by experts.