Sunday, March 27, 2016

What President Obama has accomplished in Cuba is something that no other American President has managed to do in 50 years.

You don't hold the President's hand up in victory, until the President wants his hand held up in victory.
Courtesy of Esquire: 

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.
 Not only did the President show the world how positive and energetic he was compared to the fossil now running Cuba, but he also served as a poster child for democracy.

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?


  1. Anonymous2:22 PM

    He is the most influential and consequential president of my lifetime.

    1. Anonymous2:53 PM


    2. Anonymous3:27 PM

      2:22, I agree. And that is as of right now, before even finishing out his term! And there is still time for him to do more.


    3. fromthediagonal4:46 PM

      He is indeed, Anon @2:22 and Gryphen, however I shall agree without waiting for another 20 years to have it confirmed. At the age of 76, I hope that will be unlikely. I have lived in interesting times, to say the least, but would rather not prolong it past the "I'm ok in body and mind" part.

    4. Anonymous5:57 PM

      I get so mad at the stupid electorate, especially apathetic, fairweather Democrats who couldn't be bothered to vote in the midterms to give President Obama a Democratic senate and congress. Imagine what he could have accomplished.

  2. Anonymous2:22 PM

    I have always said that President Obama will go down in history as one of our best presidents and that I'd love seeing him a member on Mt. Rushmore!!!

    Thank you President Obama and VP Biden for your wonderful and continual service to our country! I could not be more proud!

  3. abbafan2:23 PM

    Hi Gryphen! Perhaps you jumped the shark a little too soon; however, this is an exception! Exception, as in President Obama is truly exceptional! He will definitely leave a positive mark on history! As a Canadian, I am taken aback by the poisonous rhetoric which has tainted American politics. Remember, this is only a certain segment of low-info "base" that is stirring this discontent. I feel that the majority of our American neighbours will do the right thing come Election Day, and pick the right candidate who will leave their positive mark on history!

    1. Exactly. I don't think anyone needs to wait considering what he has already accomplished. Before this trip his presidency has been consequential. This trip to Cuba has set the bar so high subsequent presidents will be hard pressed to to it. And he still has almost 10 months left.

      He has shown that he is no lame duck.

      I can't wait to see what he has planned next.

      (Bush was such a slacker and a loser compared to Obama.)

  4. I'm with you. And that is why the RWNJ have hissy fits about everything.

  5. Anonymous2:34 PM

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE on Esquire! Be sure to read it all. My president rocks!

  6. Anonymous2:41 PM

    First the cool Pope, then the POTUS, and then Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones. Not a bad trifecta.

  7. Anonymous2:43 PM

    And if we don't vote, this is our it all:

    Donald Trump Hates Women

    It’s the one position he’s never changed.

    ...Trump wants us to know all about his sex life. He doesn’t regard sex as a private activity. It’s something he broadcasts to demonstrate his dominance, of both women and men. In his view, treating women like meat is a necessary precondition for winning, and winning is all that matters in his world. By winning, Trump means asserting superiority. And since life is a zero-sum game, superiority can only be achieved at someone else’s expense.

    1. Anonymous3:15 PM

      I noted on Friday that what seems very likely to be the Clinton v Trump general election match-up will be a gendered electoral armageddon - an unreconstructed, unabashed and angry male chauvinist against a women of great power and accomplishment who can more than hold her own against him. It will be ugly. But I think it will be Trump's undoing. Remember, Clinton's already beating Trump in all the head to head match ups (as is Sanders). So he doesn't need much undoing. But I think he'll get it.

      But there's another element of the equation. Just imagine some higher octane version of what we're already seeing right now - but with a difference. Now every time there's some new outburst, every Republican candidate from dog catcher to Senator gets asked to denounce or endorse every time. Every time.

      It's hard to be chained to a car like that you can't control or predict.

  8. Anonymous2:56 PM

    I'd vote for him again without hesitation! I'm in my 60's and never has there been such a man of greatness in the White House as President Obama.

    And then there's this scumsucker...

    He is lying

    Experts: Ted Cruz Appears Deceptive in His Response to Sex Scandal

  9. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Obama had me at Affordable Health Care.

  10. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Somewhat O/T

    But Al Franken as VP, something that makes you go hmmmmm.

    1. I would love Al Franken as VP. He's smart and has done a great job.

      I rank him with Warren, Sanders and Grayson in the public servant category. As in working for the people, not owned by big capitalism.

    2. Anonymous8:47 PM

      As would I. And President Obama is definitely one if the most hardworking and positively influential CICs in my half century on this planet. This was a great post, Gryphen.
      P.S. Oh yes we can!

    3. Anonymous2:32 PM

      I love Al Franken. And he would be a stellar vice president.

  11. Anonymous3:54 PM

    One only has to look at the front runners GOP to realize just how effective President Obama was.

    This is the best they have to replace him?

    1. Anonymous6:39 PM

      Obama’s Popularity Is Spiking—Further Destroying the GOP’s Chances of Saving Its Sinking Ship

      ...The timing of his approval spike, however, suggests that it might have something to do with how the presidential primaries are shaking out.

  12. Anonymous3:54 PM

    I love my President. He brought us back from the edge of the abyss.

  13. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Trouble! Big. Huge.

    GOP Planned Parenthood Inquisition Expands To Punish Research Scientists

    ...The Republican-led House investigation into the phony and debunked videos and claims that Planned Parenthood made outrageous profits off of fetal tissue donations has now expanded to jeopardize the lives of thousands of innocent Americans with no connection to Planned Parenthood. Since the entire affair has been concluded to be an incredible hoax, one question remains. Why are House Republicans expanding their inquisition and crusade if Planned Parenthood is innocent? The answer is precisely the same as why the Catholic Church kept up its Crusades and Inquisitions; to use religion to punish heresy and anyone not adhering to church dogma exactly like the religious fanatics in ISIS.

    Now, despite a totally “discredited undercover video campaign,” one that several other investigations “failed to turn up any evidence of any wrongdoing by any parties” except the phony video’s creators; an anti-woman’s rights religious Republican, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is expanding the evangelical crusade.

    Blackburn’s House committee is on the verge of issuing 17 (more) subpoenas on medical companies to get the name of every medical researcher, professor, graduate student, laboratory technician, janitor, secretary and administrator involved in any way in legal fetal tissue research; research by the way, being conducted according to directions by the United States Congress.

    Blackburn is an anti-woman crusader highly-regarded by the anti-women’s healthcare rights National Right to Life, and condemned as one of the most corrupt members of Congress and she explained why she is targeting innocent Americans for doing their jobs. She said;

    “We are going to review the business practices of these procurement organizations and do some investigating of how they have constructed a for-profit business model from selling baby body parts.”

    1. Anonymous5:51 PM

      Blackburn is going to get more than she bargained for. Many of the recipients of research tissue are pharma companies. They will not let this happen. I happen to be a researcher who has in the past used fetal tissue. I will tell you now that if it were my name on that subpoena, I would be suing that idiot so fast, she would not have a cent to her name by the time I was finished.

  14. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Obama Finally Gets The Credit He Deserves As His Approval Rating Jumps To 53%

    ...A new level of appreciation seems to be developing for President Obama as the horrific Republican presidential nomination contest has unfolded before the eyes of the country. Many Americans, who may have taken President Obama’s class and decency for granted are getting a dose of Donald Trump on a daily basis. It is quite plausible that the ugliness of Trump is making Obama more popular.

    The rising Obama approval rating is great news for Democrats as the party heads into what could be a matchup with Donald Trump. A popular President Obama will be a huge asset to Democrats on the campaign trail, and the higher the voter satisfaction with the current president, the less likely they are to be open to the Republican message of change.

    1. Anonymous5:58 PM

      He is not getting the credit he deserves. With what he has accomplished, his approval rating should be over 70%

    2. His approval rating in Cuba is YUIUUGE.

      Another calculated chess move in Obama's end game.

      What other U. S. President LOOKS like the Cuban people? Not even Rubio or Cruz.

      And he handled this trip just right. Ball game. Tango.

      This step to end the failed policy of the embargo is probably bigger then the ACA or killing Bin Laden.

      Obama didn't just sit on his election as assuring his legacy as the first black president. He has accomplished more than many presidents.

      History will be as kind to Obama as it will be disappointing for Bush II.

  15. Anita Winecooler4:36 PM

    Great Article. And, yes, President Obama DID get his point across loud and clear. That photo is perhaps the most awkward and telling photo I've seen. It was crystal clear President Obama wasn't in the mood to do a double victory pose with Castro, and with his advantage in height, it worked out just fine because only one of them looks like a surprised fool.

  16. Anonymous10:54 PM

    Historians may take longer to form a consensus because Mr. Obama is "blah" but I don't think you jumped the gun on this one, Gryphen. I believe that in spite of all the obstruction he's faced, he is the best thing that has happened to our country in a very long time - especially after suffering through the Bush years.

  17. Anonymous5:47 AM




Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.