|You don't hold the President's hand up in victory, until the President wants his hand held up in victory.|
The President's landmark trip to Cuba showed, yet again, what a masterful performer Obama is on the world stage. The press conference with Raul Castro was a masterpiece in and of itself. He went to Cuba to end the embargo and to encourage a change of regime in Cuba. He understood that the embargo justifies the Communist regime. Because of the embargo, the Castros are able to explain away Cuba's terrible poverty as a result of foreign oppression, and justify their repressive political tactics as a means of national self-determination. Obama brought Raul Castro onto a stage and stripped away those justifications in front of the whole country. Not only that, but he forced Raul Castro to answer questions about human rights abuses from the American press. And Castro stumbled. He was not used to having to answer questions. And the people of Cuba saw him stumble. They were not used to seeing that.
Through this series of tiny gestures, Obama achieved what 50 years of American resistance to Cuba was not able to. He defused any lingering military tension. He showed the Cuban people that America has good intentions. And he managed to humiliate the Castros, utterly, without appearing, even in the slightest, aggressive. He did all that in a couple of hours. There's only one word for it: genius.
|President Obama greeting school children in Cuba.|
And of course over here the Right Wing attacked him for not jumping on a plane immediately in order to wring his hands here in America over the terrorist attack in Brussels.
Of course that would have accomplished virtually nothing so Obama simply had one of the top leaders in ISIS killed instead.
A couple of days ago I wrote a headline which said "Yes President Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history."
I got a little blowback on that for jumping the gun since presidents are not typically judged on the effectiveness of their presidency until after they leave office.
However I think I am going to go ahead and double down on that statement. Just call it a little precognition, or simply call it paying attention to the facts.
And if I'm wrong in twenty years when the historians finally form a consensus, I promise to come right back here and apologize. Deal?