The End of an Error

I knew as soon as I saw the news that Obama was going to move away from our awful, stupid, evil, counter-productive cold war era policy with Cuba (a policy that has done nothing but hurt the good people of Cuba and fuck up politics in Florida for decades) that the wingnuts would go insane. And boy howdy, have they delivered, but we’ll just go with the boy blunder from Floriduh himself, Marco Rubio:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) laid into President Barack Obama’s impending normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba on Fox News Wednesday morning, saying Obama had traded away concessions for “symbolic gestures,” and that Obama was “the worst negotiator that we’ve had as president…maybe in the modern history of the country.”

“My interest in Cuba has been the furthering of democracy and freedom,” Rubio said. “Nothing the president will announce today will further that goal…It’s part of long record of coddling dictators and tyrants this administration has.”

“They’ve created no economic openings, no concessions on freedom of speech, no concessions on elections, no alternative political parties. …The idea that this leads to democratic opening is absurd, but it is par for the course for an administration possibly giving away unilateral concessions for Iran or Cuba in exchange for nothing.”

Why, he’s so hopping mad he’s pissed at the Pope:

“My understanding is that the influence that His Holiness had was on the release of Mr. [Alan] Gross, which I’ve not criticized. As I said, I’m happy that he’s with the Cuban people [sic]. I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people — for a people to truly be free,” Rubio, a Catholic whose parents immigrated from Cuba to flee an oppressive regime, told reporters.

“I think the people of Cuba deserve the same chances to have democracy as the people of Argentina have had, where he comes from; as the people of Italy have, where he now lives. Obviously the Vatican’s its own state, but very nearby,” the senator and rumored 2016 presidential hopeful continued. “My point is I hope that people with that sort of prestige on the world stage will take up the cause of freedom and democracy. The Cuban people are the only people in this hemisphere that have not been able to elect a leader in more than 55 or 60 years. That’s outrageous.”

Republicans only like the Pope when Catholic dogma can serve as cover for the Republican fetus fetish and gay hate. When dealing with actual living humans, not so much.

I’m personally thrilled we are hopefully seeing the end of this idiotic policy which really is one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. So it is not surprising, albeit still depressing, that the troglodyte party is responding with their typical Cold War mindset- it’s really all they know. History and modern civilization for wingnuts started with Hitler, reached its apex during the lily white and repressive fifties where the colored and the womenfolk knew their place and the jello salad and Leave it to Beaver were the height of culture, and ended when St. Ronnie personally took a pick axe to the East German wall while accompanied by his trusty blue ox. Since then, it’s been all queer eye for the straight guy, coloreds being all uppity, and women in the workplace. So it is not surprising to see them lash out like this as “CUBA BAD” was one of the last few things they could hold on to- that blanket and binky they could clutch while rocking themselves to sleep because it’s the end of the world as they know it, and the rest of us feel fine.

In the defense of Republicans, there used to be a train of thought that the way to liberate the world was through trade and travel, but that notion on the right is as dead as Dick Cheney’s dark heart after 70 years of eating cheesy Freedom Fries. So when you watch all these guys freak out, and seriously, they are freaking the fuck out, just realize that they are exhibiting all they know, which is the old way of thinking and viewing the world. Think back to not so long ago, when Putin was the man of their dreams and the ho yay was in full bloom- he was a real leader, riding shirtless on a bear as he annexed everything to the east of the Rhine while our waffler in chief just stood by. We’re all Georgians and Ukrainians and Romney was Right or whatever the cry du jour was from Johnny Get Your Guns McCain (another Cold War relic who needs to be put down) all while Lindsey Graham wearily lifted himself from the fainting couch long enough to emit a plaintive wail on Hardball. New Cold War! He wants to create a new greater Russian empire! We have to meet force with force! That’s all Putin understands!

Meanwhile, our Kenyan appeaser in chief had different plans, and worked with the international community to put in place a sustained series of sanctions aimed at punishing Putin for his aggression, and where are we now? Without a shot fired, without one casket wept over in Arlington, Russia’s economy is near collapse if it hasn’t already. The ruble is as worthless as Sarah Palin’s diploma, there is an astounding brain drain as the educated emigrate at astonishing levels, Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels have agreed to resume peace talks, and just the other day, Obama supported another round of sanctions. Our President knows when and how to stick the shiv in, and it’s much more effective than the wingnut plan of launching a thousand tanks and tens of thousands of men eastward through the Fulda Gap.

And now, along with all of that, Putin is now the man who lost Cuba.

But the Cuba news is more important than just that. It means that millions of people may begin to enjoy all the wonderful things the 20th century has to offer, including the ability to see their loved ones. We’ll see how the negotiations go, and what happens in the long run, but this is most certainly a good thing, a great thing. This is the kind of thing Presidential legacies are made of…

135 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2

    Hello, Marco Rubio, Irrelevancy is on Line 1 for you.

  3. 3
    cahuenga says:

    the worst negotiator that we’ve had as president

    Not saying it’s a fact in this case but he may have accidentally blundered onto a truism there.

  4. 4
    Keith G says:

    This is certainly very good news. American has used common sense in foreign policy. Who’da thunk it?

    Edit – Not a big fan of cruises, but if they start running from Galveston to Havana or Pinar del Rio, I am in.

  5. 5

    OT Request. As an early Catmas present, can we has a photo of the magnificent Tunch
    Tunch fan.

  6. 6
    Hal says:

    “My interest in Cuba has been the furthering of democracy and freedom,” Rubio said.

    Can anyone name one thing Rubio has done to further democracy and freedom in Cuba? He mentions freedom and democracy several times (dude comes off as rambling even in print) but floats not one idea of how to accomplish such a thing.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    That was awesome. So proud of my President.

  8. 8

    @Mustang Bobby: That goes for Senator Menendez and DWS as well.

  9. 9
    RSR says:

    ha, love Zandar’s post a couple below with the Graham tweet. And how much was/is the fortress embassy in Baghdad? Oh, yeah, nearly a billion dollars.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    Rubio must be thirsty after that long rant. He should take a sip of water.

  11. 11
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    I generally think that it’s not worth commenting just to say how much I agree with or like a post, but damn – that was a hell of a rant by Mr. Cole.

  12. 12
    HR Progressive says:

    There are many things for the Whackjob Caucus to hate about this.

    1) Making nice with a former foreign enemy.

    2) Making changes without Ted Cruz being allowed to bloviate.

    3) Using honest-to-God (pun intended) diplomacy involving Canada AND the Pope/Vatican.

    And most importantly:

    4) Conferring things that are good upon another underclass of people.

    Business wants to engage in commerce in Cuba, the biggest religious leader in the world helped facilitate the move, and it’s going to help families see one another.

    Big Business, Religion, and Families.

    That’s supposed to be the GOP trifecta, yet they fucking hate it because Obama did it.

    Let ’em stew.

  13. 13
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Violet: I was out walking the dog so didn’t see your comment. I left you one at the end of the ‘What this 5 cent cigar needs is a good country’.

    We keep missing each other! Suffice it to say I have been having a good ol time ;)

  14. 14

    It would be okay if he weren’t so Kenyan.

  15. 15
    dedc79 says:

    This is all spot-on. I think the one potential overstatement, or at least over-simplification, is the part about Putin losing Cuba. Yes, Putin had been reaching out to Cuba in recent years, making some substantial investments, forgiving debts, but since the fall of the Soviet Union I don’t think it’s fair to say that Russia ever sufficiently had Cuba such that Putin could lose it.

  16. 16
    cyntax says:

    @Hal: If he doesn’t run for president, I’ll count that.

  17. 17
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: Not that it matters, but I meant to type the Port of Cienfuegos and not Pinar del Rio which is not near any port.

  18. 18
    🚸 Martin says:

    By tomorrow we should have elements of the GOP arguing that we need the Keystone pipeline to ship oil to Louisiana to be refined and sold in Cuba, with Friday for the talking points to get circulated on whether they are for keystone/trade or opposed to Cuba and how to reconcile their deep hatred for the Minority in Chief.

  19. 19
    Zam says:

    Fuck this was never about freedom or democracy, we’ve supported (and still do support) plenty of authoritarian regimes. This is about revenge and sticking it to our enemies, of course that actually is the conservative definition of freedom and democracy. How does one justify trying to starve out an entire country just because the man in charge happened to be a communist? How is it helping the people of Cuba when an embargo denies them access to many things that could improve their quality of life? It’s just revenge, like all other conservative policies, it’s not freedom or justice unless all enemies real or perceived pay the ultimate price.

  20. 20


    Can anyone name one thing Rubio has done to further democracy and freedom in Cuba?

    I think the plan is that we punish the Cuban people- those of them too poor uninterested in freedom to leave the country, at least- for the mistake of supporting Castro. Maintaining that policy has managed to push Fidel out of the seat of power after just 50 years of effort, and we can probably get Raul out if we keep it up for another decade or two.

  21. 21
    RSR says:

    I’m wondering about the educational/arts travel developments? Would love to take my sons’ Catholic choir to Cuba next year. We’re going to Spain this spring.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @dance around in your bones: We do! I’ll go check. Glad you’re having fun! You deserve some!

  23. 23
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    a Catholic whose parents immigrated from Cuba to flee an oppressive regime

    Well, that’s a nice bit of elision. They left Cuba in 1956. So that “oppressive regime” would be the mob/CIA-backed Batista military dictatorship that Fidel and company overthrew in 1959.

    Also pisses in the cornflakes of Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen, the latter of whom is like Peter ‘IRA’ king in that she gobshites about terrorism but has a history of supporting terrorists.

  24. 24
    Botsplainer says:

    So long as it kills the bullshit ways people had to gyrate to get there.

    I’ve ached for a beaches, rum, nightlife tour, and had no desire to go to see the fabric collective, the Afro-Caribbean poetry school or scientific models of sugarcane production.

  25. 25
    West of the Cascades says:

    What the hell is wrong with TPM, including this sentence?

    “Rubio, a Catholic whose parents immigrated from Cuba to flee an oppressive regime.”

    Rubio’s parents emigrated from Cuba in 1956 — three years before Castro came to power. This was hashed out in 2011 when the St. Petersburg Times and Washington Post proved this conclusively. Why does TPM repeat this BS that his parents fled an oppressive regime to try to make Rubio seem like some sort of a second-generation “political refugee”?

  26. 26
    Brendan in NC says:

    @Hal: SATSQ – No. I’ve been of the opinion that we’d wait until Fidel was completely out of the picture before we normalized relations with Cuba. That way, he couldn’t crow about it on TV. I’m wondering if Obama just decided to show the Wingnut Caucus of the incoming Congress exactly who they’re dealing with. Praise FSM, I hope so.

  27. 27
    Goblue72 says:

    The President is most surely getting laid tonight.

  28. 28
    RaflW says:

    Here’s the real deal, Rubio: the Pope has taken up economic injustice and the plight of the poor. You can blather about freedom, but people being free to starve/die of cancer/whatever else you sick puritan freaks think the poor “deserve”, well that isn’t the kind of capitalist ‘democracy’ your Pope is gonna huck for, no matter how you ask (though how you’re going about it right now isn’t full of win).

  29. 29
    p.a. says:

    Nadir? Apex?

    What kind of hats did the Bay of Pigs invaders wear? Can they be mass produced to outfit the TeaTards? Do even ‘conservatives’ under thr age of 70 care? Am I underestimating their Pavlovian response? Can I write a declarative sentence?

  30. 30
    dedc79 says:

    Ted Cruz says this decision will be remembered as a tragic mistake? Fifty-four years of embargo and nothing to show for it but the collective punishment of the Cuban people, and he thinks finally trying a different approach is what will be remembered as a mistake?

  31. 31
    Terrye Cravens says:

    It is not just Democrats who have doubts about all this. And btw it was a Democrat who imposed the embargo in the first place.

    “This is a reward that a totalitarian regime does not deserve and this announcement only perpetuates the Castro regime’s decades of repression,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in a statement. He challenged Republicans, who will assume Senate control next year, to hold hearings on the matter.

  32. 32
    pat says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half:

    Hear, hear. I came home after being out of town all day, Mr. pat told me about this, and the first thing I asked was, how many heads have exploded? All of them, Katie.

    I love it.

    First the torture report, now this. Fun times.

    Can we expect a few aneurisms? Blood pressure must be going through the roof.

  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    Nothing describes the pre-Castro leadership of Cuba better than this phrase, from the Carlos Prio Socarras, the last President of Cuba before Batista’s rule:

    They say that I was a terrible president of Cuba. That may be true. But I was the best president Cuba ever had.

    Fascinating guy. Went on to become a Miami developer and died of an apparent suicide before giving testimony to a House committee on assassinations in 1977.

  34. 34
    EthylEster says:

    Thanks, JC, for writing something as good as I’ve read from you in months.
    I appreciate that you did not go into full rage meltdown on this…just made a bunch of excellent points.
    Good on you.

  35. 35
    pat says:

    @Goblue72: ‘

    So is Michelle. Tee hee.

  36. 36
    RaflW says:

    @Hal: Well, “democracy and freedom” to Republicans like Rubio is more of a feeling than an actual state of political or personal affairs.

    You just feel your democracy and freedom. You have faith that having a gun makes you free, even if the cops (and the rightwing survivalists) have bigger and deadlier ones. You just feel your democracy and freedom when you are wondering how you”ll pay for health care. And you’ll especially feel your democracy and freedom when your employer can fire you, dock your hours, or otherwise immiserate you at liberty.

    So yeah, he wants democracy and freedom for Cuba. Democracy and freedom for the Club For Growth crowd to swoop in an profiteer like mad and leave the island’s citizens feeling like they’ve had that democracy and freedom right up the wazzahooie.

  37. 37
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    You know what most people’s reaction to this will be? A giant yawn. I know there are rightwingers who care passionately but most people have better things to worry about.

  38. 38

    while Lindsey Graham wearily lifted himself from the fainting couch long enough to emit a plaintive wail on Hardball.

    He was in the closet exploring Narnia. I’m not sure I know what that means but it’s what someone at work said.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @pat: So we don’t get Kim Jong Un’s head exploding but we get wingnut heads exploding en masse. Fair trade, I’d say.

  40. 40
    feebog says:

    Damn, John, who knew you could actually write? Now I’m hungry for a Cuban sandwich.

  41. 41

    @Terrye Cravens:

    So if we just gave this old policy a little longer…

    Jeez. 54 years wasn’t long enough? The people opposed to the actions here have no leg to stand on and no, not one, legitimate reason to oppose the move.

  42. 42
    Elie says:

    I am very proud of President O… with the torture report and now this… I am smiling from ear to ear… BRAVO!

  43. 43
    Baud says:


    Jeez. 54 years wasn’t long enough?

    Where would the world be if people started questioning conservative policies that don’t work?

  44. 44
    Liberty60 says:

    So who can we get to introduce a motion in Congress to put Obama on Mt. Rushmore?

    No, not gonna happen, but as long as we’re trolling…

  45. 45
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Yet property here is still not theft. Ownership of the means of production, distribution, and finance remains in private hands. And Obama hasn’t seized the commanding heights of the economy in the name of the workers.

    You can’t exactly export the revolution when there’s a trade embargo, you know.


  46. 46
    Valdivia says:

    Thank you for writing this John.
    For us Latinos it feels like the fall of the Berlin Wall felt to the Europeans. Amazing moment.
    Also the FARC of Colombia declared a unilateral ceasefire. Amazing day for us!

  47. 47
    ET says:

    There wasn’t much of what you say you expect of the Cuban government coming from the Soviet Bloc – except Perestroika which was pretty much limited to the USSR – prior to the collapse of Communism why do people seem to expect something different from Cuba? I don’t get it.

  48. 48
    Linnaeus says:

    I still call it Washington National or National Airport. I suspect I’m not the only one.

  49. 49
    Baud says:


    Maybe we can rename an airport in Washington after him?

  50. 50
    jl says:

    It’s another one of those shape shifting time travelling Nobama’s fiendish tricks. How many wingnuts will start buying Cuban cigars now, undermining their will to resist the Kenyan usurper’s tyrannical oppression? My wingnut CA San Joaquin uncles will be lining up for a Cuban ceegar.

  51. 51
    voncey says:

    That is one righteous rant!

  52. 52
    Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom says:

    Bwahahaha! *Snicker* *Snort* *Snicker* Bwahahahahaha!

    That is all.

    Except that Obama has clearly decided to go for broke for the next two years.

  53. 53
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Excellent writing, Cole. Now, can we please see Steve?

  54. 54
    Mike J says:


    I still call it Washington National or National Airport. I suspect I’m not the only one.

    I can confirm this.

  55. 55
    Valdivia says:

    also, Obama with no fucks left to give is all kinds of awesome.

  56. 56
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Shorter Rubio: This is a disaster on a scale with Seward’s Folly!

  57. 57
    SRW1 says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    So just as Friedman’s six months was the futility unit for Iraq, two year congressional terms are the Menendez futility unit for Cuba?

    There’s a saying about people who insist on repeating the same damn stupidity over and over again because they’re sure next time the outcome will be different.

  58. 58
    skerry says:

    @Linnaeus: Few people I know call it by the other name. Washington National for me. Sometimes, DCA.

  59. 59
    Linnaeus says:

    @Mike J:

    Thought so.

  60. 60
    Baud says:


    Yeah, since Internet travel bookings became a thing, I’ve started calling a lot of airports by their three-letter code.

  61. 61
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    I’d like to report a riot– sort of–In Little Havana. There’s a restaurant ( El Versailles) where all the Old Castro Haters congregate and the Mojitos flow like…. well, like a tidal wave every time Fidel gets the sniffles. (“Yay!— He’s dying, and Granma just won’t publish the truth, as if they ever do..” ) I’m almost tempted to go watch the fireworks (assuming I could make it thru the traffic), but there’s bound to be a live feed on Cuban TV down here….. or I could just have a martini and watch something stupid on Netflix..

  62. 62


    So who can we get to introduce a motion in Congress to put Obama on Mt. Rushmore?

    Can we make it Jimmy Carter instead? I want to go for maximum wingnut dismay.

  63. 63
    kindness says:

    Love those 1950s cars in Cuba though. While I wouldn’t mind them being able to buy new cars, can they please sell those to us at unreasonable prices?

    @Roger Moore: Both and you have a twofer.

  64. 64
    Elie says:


    Si — THIS

  65. 65
    TriassicSands says:

    So, when does the House vote on impeachment?

  66. 66
    dedc79 says:

    @Linnaeus: I refer to the airport as National, and to any delays at the airport as Reagans.

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    I haven’t read the thread yet, but I just have to thank John for this righteous rant. So funny.

    BUT — I must once again rise to the defense of Leave It to Beaver. It actually was not a mindless 1950s show. It was full of irony and wit.

    I hope you’re right about the airport, that would be so cool.

  68. 68
    gogol's wife says:

    I hope this means we start to get some of that delicious Cuban grapefruit juice that kept me alive in Moscow in the winter of 1988-89.

  69. 69
    LanceThruster says:


  70. 70
    Jeremy says:

    With the amount of domestic and foreign accomplishments Obama has achieved in 6 years it seems pretty stupid to call him the worse negotiator in WH. I’m not saying he is perfect but I haven’t seen a president with a perfect track record.

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @Jeremy: Putin rides his horse bare chested, so he’s the real hero. President Obama just body surfs.

  72. 72
    gogol's wife says:

    Too bad Ibrahim Ferrer and Compay Segundo didn’t live to see it.

  73. 73
    RSR says:


    via a Philly report originally from DC, a survey –

    DC natives, you know the right answer: The D.C. airport that’s not Dulles or BWI: What do you call it?

  74. 74
    Thoughtful David says:

    I also correct people when I hear them call it that other name. I say, “Oh, you mean National Airport.”

  75. 75
    Valdivia says:

    @Elie: can’t wait to see what happens next.

  76. 76
    KG says:

    @Jeremy: it’s all a matter of truthiness

  77. 77
    Chopper says:

    You have to understand, but by the conservative mindset a foreign policy is only ‘victorious’ if at least a few thousand American soldiers and a half trillion dollars were liquidated in the process.

    Unless we can watch the ‘smart bombs’ dropping on cable news it’s meaningless to them.

  78. 78


    Since Obama is able to successfully negotiate with Cuba and Iran but not the Republicans, I start to suspect the problem is that the Republicans are lousy negotiating partners rather than Obama being a lousy negotiator. As we have seen with ISIL, there’s pretty much no way to negotiate with people whose preferred outcome is to shoot the hostages.

  79. 79
    RSR says:

    My wife just said, “There was a revolution, you lost. Rich people in this country need to think about that, too.”

  80. 80
    Baud says:


    I hope she didn’t say that to you.

  81. 81
    KG says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): well, it is tough to negotiate with someone who doesn’t know what they want, and the GOP’s position seems to be this.

  82. 82
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jeremy: Well, he’s clearly the worst negotiator among our black Presidents.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Baud says:


    But also the best.

  85. 85


    My wife just said, “There was a revolution, you lost. Rich people in this country need to think about that, too.”

    Why do you think the right is so unwilling to come to terms with this? The idea of the ultra-rich losing, and losing badly, is something they don’t want to contemplate.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Karen in GA: DING DING DING DING!

    Racist fucks like Rubio and the rest of the GOP scream squad should be boiled in oil…after they are flayed.

  87. 87
    beltane says:

    @Stan of the Sawgrass: Please keep us informed, this type of thing is always entertaining.

  88. 88
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Still feeling gloomy. By this time next week, 60% of the American people will have always been opposed to normalizing relations with Cuba.

  89. 89
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Linnaeus: Me too. It will always be National Airport to me. I don’t worship at the Shrine of Saint Ronnie of Reagan.

  90. 90
    RaflW says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia

  91. 91
    lawguy says:

    Rubio’s parents came here in 1956. They may have escaped oppression,, but it wasn’t Castro, it was Batista.

  92. 92
    priscianus jr says:

    “… this idiotic policy which really is one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.”

    Just in time for the beginning of the New Cold War. You know the one I mean.

  93. 93
    RaflW says:

    I’m not really sure why people think naming an airport after someone is an honor. We’re flying out of O’hare on the 25th (yes, we’re masochists). My partner said in an email to me, after booking the trip “United sucks and O’Hare is a hellhole, so there’s that.”

    I have no idea who O’hare was, but millions upon millions of people cordially hate him I’m sure.

  94. 94
    priscianus jr says:

    @West of the Cascades: “Why does TPM repeat this BS that his parents fled an oppressive regime … ”

    Well, it was an oppressive regime, I’ll give him that.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:


    I am very proud of President O… with the torture report and now this… I am smiling from ear to ear… BRAVO!

    Being pleased re today’s news makes sense — the President certainly earned the praise — but how much credit do you think he deserves for the release of the torture report? Are you familiar with Udall’s criticism of the process?

  96. 96


    Actually, flying on the 25th (even out of O’Hare) isn’t bad at all, because most people want to be at their destination before Christmas Day. It’s the 24th that would be an absolute nightmare.

    I’ve had to fly on Christmas Day myself, so I know whereof I speak.

  97. 97
    priscianus jr says:

    @dedc79: I refer to the airport as National, and to any delays at the airport as Reagans.

    I didn’t even like it when they changed the name of Idlewild to JFK. And I loved (and still love) the real JFK.

    After all, they renamed Cape Canaveral “Cape Kennedy” and that only lasted ten years, after which it went back to being Cape Canaveral.

    But I’m from Nyaawk, where Sixth Avenue was officially renamed “Avenue of the Americas” in 1945 and no actual New Yorker calls it anything but Sixth Avenue. As for the NY Public Library 42 street now being the Steven A. Schwarzman Building — Steve ?— are you listening? Good. Kiss my royal ass.

  98. 98
    Cervantes says:


    Butch O’Hare, a fighter pilot during WWII, was the first naval aviator to receive the Medal of Honor.

  99. 99
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Hello, new concern troll! Brand new, or previously banned douchebag?

  100. 100
    Barney says:

    John, I just want to say your post is a thing of beauty. It’s as good as the best of Charles Pierce.

  101. 101
    EthylEster says:

    @Cervantes: jesus, i had no idea. i, like others here, still refer to that convenient little airport as National.

  102. 102
    Shana says:

    @Linnaeus: No, no you’re not. No one in my will call it that other name either.

  103. 103
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @SRW1: The next 53 years of the embargo will be critical.

  104. 104
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jeremy: He’s certainly the worst negotiating president since Rubio joined the Senate.

  105. 105
    Cervantes says:


    Since we’re indulging our fantasies: I’d much prefer a motion to tear down that monstrosity and return the land to the Native Americans.

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @cyntax: Excellent!

  107. 107

    @Linnaeus: I myself have long referred to it as “Alzheimer’s International.”

  108. 108
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    While I wouldn’t mind them being able to buy new cars, can they please sell those to us at unreasonable prices?

    As long as they’re outrageously unreasonable, then viva capitalism etc. Any fucking Floridian vintage car dealers with container ships on standby to fetch all the ’58 Cadillacs and make a profit need to be torpedoed before they reach Havana.

  109. 109
    Cervantes says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    And btw it was a Democrat who imposed the embargo in the first place.

    Really? Which one?

  110. 110
    Sasha says:

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m loving our current pontifex.

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: If memory serves, the embargo began in October of 1960. I was not yet born at the time, so my memory may be unclear.

    Edited for improved clarity.

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    @RSR: National Airport, formerly a resident of MD.

  114. 114
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right — and no matter what the John Birch Society said, Ike was not a Democrat.

  115. 115
    Darkrose says:

    @Valdivia: Obama: Look at all the fucks I don’t give, Congress! LOOK AT THEM!

  116. 116
    Lavocat says:

    Color me very impressed. THIS ACT ALONE marks Obama as a great president. It is a mark of incredible inner strength and belief in one’s own political system to admit that 53 years of insanity is 53 years too damned long.

    Maybe only Nixon could go to China. But Obama found the strength to go to Cuba (or he is about to).

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I know damned well that this is nothing more than the convergence of expedience, political triangulation, and a long overdue acknowledgment of a failed foreign policy – a true trifecta. But it sure as hell feels good.

    And here’s the other thing: Obama gets to say a resounding FUCK YOU to all Republicans (and rightwing Democrats) who have supported this lost cause of the Cold War. And his successor gets to say FUCK YOU as well, as the Democratic Party is rewarded for its goodwill with the votes of the majority of Hispanic voters too young to remember the Bay of Pigs, et al.

    However, for me, what stands out the most is that this amazing feat of modern-day statescraft was pulled off 1) with near total media silence, 2) with the knowledge that it would gain the raw fury of all haters, and 3) with the wise choice of the papacy as the intermediary in this very prickly negotiation.

    Shit, they hand out Nobel Peace Prizes for less than this. Just ask Obama.

    President Obama, thank you: you have finally earned that Peace Prize!

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    Lavocat says:

    Also, I think future pundits will call Obama’s final two years “The Long Fuck You”.

    Lovin’ it so far!

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    Jeffro says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: glad I scrolled down…I was gonna say the exact same thing. I have a feeling the next two years might be full of all sorts of delights. A prez with nothing to lose, if he has a spine, is a man without fear @Valdivia:

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    Valdivia says:

    @Darkrose: I like your construction better than mine :)

    @Jeffro: exactly!

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    Lavocat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Bingo! And here’s the thing that no one has mentioned – yet: Congress has to agree to end the economic embargo of Cuba. And look who’s in control of Congress come January 2015.

    This was an extremely savvy bet on Obama’s part. Don’t want to pass the DREAM Act? Okay, FUCK YOU, stick it to a growing demographic while you cling to a dying one! Don’t want to pass a humane immigration act? Okay, FUCK YOU, I’ll call your bluff and force you to come out of the closet as the racist bastards that you are by doing whatever I can via executive order. Don’t want to enter the 21st century with Cuba? Okay, FUCK YOU, I’ll make it so that if you do not act to end the embargo, you will hemorrhage blood rectally when young Florida Hispanics flock to the Democratic Party in that most notorious of Presidential Election swing states.

    After all of this, I KNOW that Obama is a chess player. Checkfuckingmate, motherfuckers!

    And one last thing … all Obama’s successor has to do is say this: “Remember all that important shit that was accomplished in the last 2 years? Yeah, DEMOCRATS did that, motherfuckers! Vote “fill in the blank” in 2016!”

    Cue the ear-bleeding cheers.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lavocat: Obama has been careful for years. Incremental and cautious. IIRC, you and I have disagreed over whether that was the right approach. Now, however, what Obama appears to be doing is the only option for someone with liberal instincts.

  124. 124
    Halcyon says:

    “rename Reagan Airport to Alinsky-Ayers-MalcolmX airport.”
    Somebody remind me, what’s the threshold to get a Whitehouse response to a petition? Let’s make this happen, people. Christmas can come twice this year.

  125. 125
    Original Lee says:

    Hurray for Obama! This was the right thing to do. I’m sad that they released 3 convicted Cuban criminals, though. The neighbor who told me about the normalization announcement was ready to spit nails because (even though he has been telling me for years that normalization will happen in his lifetime) the 3 Cubans murdered 4 of his friends.

  126. 126
    burnspbesq says:

    This really needs to be fast-tracked, for a variety of reasons, but none more so that this.

    I want Obama to still be in office when the Cuban Ambassador walks into Secretary Kerry’s office and says “now, about that perpetual lease on Guantanamo Bay …”

  127. 127
    jonas says:

    This is a BFD for all the reasons JC pointed out: unlike the embargo, bringing Cuba and its regime out of the cold and into the modern world will be what finally brings change to the island. This also represents a sea change in the US’s relationship with Latin America and Caribbean, which has been poisoned for decades by what the rest of the hemisphere viewed as an irrationally punitive approach to Cuba.

    In terms of political optics, this has the effect of forcing the Republicans — like on gay marriage — to come out in favor of a position where they have to appear like a bunch of whiny, out-of-touch loons in order to curry favor with their base. Really? Cuba’s still a Communist threat? Their human rights record is really that much worse than another 50 countries we enjoy normal relations with? The arguments are laughable. There is basically no downside to this policy: big business loves it; Hispanics, even a majority of Cuban-Americans, love it; anyone born after 1940 loves it; the rest of the world is like “finally! Thankyou!”

    Obama’s got his mojo back with this one, frankly. Oh, and the fact that Pope Francis was key in facilitating the diplomatic breakthrough just makes the wingnut tears so much sweeter…

  128. 128
    jonas says:

    I don’t drink enough to go trawling through the RWNJ sites for this, but how long until — if they haven’t already — they start Bowe Bergdahl-ing that guy Alan Gross who was freed by the Cubans and is now saying that he thinks normalizing relations was the right thing to do, etc., etc.? Oh, Obama gave up those five saboteurs for this one guy who didn’t deserve to be released, etc., etc.,. it was his own fault for going to Cuba, he’s clearly a communist sympathizer, yada, yada. I mean, you know it’s coming….

  129. 129
    jonas says:

    @Lavocat: it’s hard to see how Republicans win the White House in 2016 w/o Florida and “let’s sever ties again with Cuba!!” is not going to be a winning slogan down there. If this is going to be the hill either Bush or Rubio or Cruz decide to die on, they’re going to find that the vast majority of Americans — and especially Hispanic-Americans — don’t care or are very much in favor of what Obama has done. You don’t win elections in Florida anymore with a few old cranky Cuban octogenarians in Miami.

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    Elie says:


    AMEN — totally well said and I applaud….

  131. 131
    Elie says:


    Awesome rant, man… I am sending this shit to my friends…

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    Elie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:


    this this this

  133. 133

    […] The salty wingnut tears this morning over Cuba are delicious. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is on and just told Donnie Deutsch that he was probably happy when people did business with South Africa. Diaz-Balart better look into the conservative position on South Africa during apartheid. When I told you these guys don’t know anything about history, I wasn’t joking. […]

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    […] John Cole says most everything else I want to say, including this: […]

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    Savage Henry says:

    This is your best rant is an awfully long time, John Cole. I especially liked the “blanket and binky” part. Solid gold!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole says most everything else I want to say, including this: […]

  2. […] The salty wingnut tears this morning over Cuba are delicious. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is on and just told Donnie Deutsch that he was probably happy when people did business with South Africa. Diaz-Balart better look into the conservative position on South Africa during apartheid. When I told you these guys don’t know anything about history, I wasn’t joking. […]

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