During an historic week, Republican candidates got schooled on foreign and domestic policy by the guy they hate the most
This past week has been chock full of events, all of which have been historic in one way or another. President Obama was front and center, showing real leadership, particularly to those who wish to fill his shoes at the end of the year.
Sunday, March 20, 2016, Cuba
Air Force One landed in Cuba Sunday to a pomp and circumstance one would expect to find from a country in great anticipation of a dignitary’s arrival. This dignitary was the President of the United States and the country throwing the pomp and circumstance greeting was Cuba.
Greeting the US Embassy staff and their families at a Havana hotel, President Obama called the visit “an historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Brussels
Just two days after the President arrived in Cuba, two explosions in the departure wing of the Brussels Airport killed 11 people just before 8 a.m. local time. Just about an hour later at the Maelbeek subway station in the heart of central Brussels, another explosion killed 20 people. Dozens more were injured. Sadly, these kinds of terrorist attacks are becoming much more common, though they will never cease to be devastatingly surprising.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Cuba
President Obama sits in the stands to watch the Cuban National Team take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a pre-season, exhibition baseball game. He decided not to take a knee-jerk reaction and cancel everything to fly to Brussels where he would be no real help at all. He’d already promised all the resources we could give to find and deal with the perpetrators. Going there right away, he felt, would do no real good.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, United States
Ted Cruz, seeing every crisis as an opportunity for a press conference, blasts President Obama for what he sees as his inaction toward this terrorist attack. He believes the President should fly to Brussels immediately, or at the very least, cut his trip to several Latin American countries short and return to the War Room to plan attacks in retaliation.
Cruz also idiotically declares that the United States should patrol and begin serious surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods. “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” said Cruz in a prepared statement.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Argentina
President Obama makes a statement addressing the John Wayne mentality of the Republican candidates, Cruz in particular. He makes it clear that his team is employing every possible method at their disposal to defeat the enemy. But he stresses that it needs to be done wisely, humanely, and most of all, decisively.
He addresses Cruz’s allegations that he is not doing enough to keep our country safe by reminding the press that Cuba, the country he just left, has the same kinds of invasive patrolling and monitoring of its people. Cruz’s own father, he says, escaped Cuba for America because of the same kinds of assaults on human freedom that Ted Cruz himself is proposing.
On its fortieth anniversary, Obama then promised to release more secret military and intelligence files from Argentina’s military dictatorship era, which revealed the US government’s role in the 1976 coup. Some 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed. The US was “too slow to stand up for human rights” in Argentina, he said. “Democracies have to have the courage to acknowledge when we don’t live up to the ideals that we stand for.”
A sitting American president visiting a country that has been our enemy for over half a century is historic. It’s the beginning of progress. At the same time, another terrorist attack in a major western metropolis and it’s certainly a time for unification and solidarity against a radical group who desire only death and destruction. But it is not the time for responding in kind. Wiser, smarter heads must prevail.
The Republican response to all of these events, from the President’s trip to Cuba to their condemnation of the President’s actions or perceived lack of actions, is surely the least surprising of all of the week’s events.
Taking advantage of tragedy to bolster their own agendas is as obvious a page out of their playbook as the shotgun formation was to the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s. At one time it was new and flashy and as effective as it was for a while, eventually everybody saw it coming. It was so obvious that it became somewhat laughable.
Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and all who support them are exposing themselves at every turn as the incompetent, trigger-happy pretenders that they are. Every time they open their mouths they show their ignorance of effective governing.
They can’t stand that President Obama is making strides in foreign policy in ways they never could have imagined. They can’t stand that he is more interested in being effective when it comes to dealing with ISIS instead of jumping in, shooting first and asking questions later like his predecessor.
When it comes to foreign policy, foreign relations and executive appointments, the Republicans need to take their seats at the kid’s table and let the grownups talk. They’re embarrassing themselves.