Now that the Republican campaigning has gone down to Florida, there is increasing talk about what the contenders would do to Cuba. First of all, I would point out that Cuba is not doing anything to us. Yes, it is true that some Americans have been arrested for spying for Cuba and, I would presume that some Cubans (in Cuba) have been arrested for spying for the United States. That is what countries do but it certainly does not constitute an act of war.
In any case, the January 25, 2012 issue of Real Clear Politics had a few interesting comments. Fidel Castro has referred to the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of “idiocy and ignorance”. I would say that Mr. Castro is getting mellow in his old age. I could have done better that that.
Castro said he always assumed the candidates would try to outdo each other on the issue of Cuba but he was nonetheless appalled by the level of debate. Newt Gingrich (of serial para-monogamy fame) said that he would authorize increased covert operations to bring down the Cuban government. Then Gingrich and Romney sparred a bit over whether Castro would “meet his maker” or go directly to hell. Do they have to do stuff like that in front of a TV camera where our national stupidity is shown all over the world? As an American, I am humiliated.
The Cuban government is recognized by almost every government on earth. We have no business, as Gingrich is doing, threatening to overthrow a legal government. Let us not forget, Iran is threatening to get rid of the Legal Government of Israel. Gingrich is threatening to do exactly that to Cuba. If he should get elected, are we any better than Iran?
Newt Gingrich certainly knew his audience in South Carolina when he berated John King of CNN for bringing up all the sleaze that Newt continually wallows in. The poor man was so violated! Funny thing, he didn’t seem to have any trouble when he was trying to get President Clinton impeached. Now, when you ask a conservative about that, they will simply say that the problem was that Clinton was lying. They conveniently forget that we would have never gotten to that point if the millions of dollars had not already been spent trying to impeach the President. One has to wonder what goes through the minds of the people of South Carolina when they give sleazy Gingrich a pass on something that, for sleazy Clinton, was unforgivable.
Near Cape Canaveral, Newt “great ideas” Gingrich proposed, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American,” Gingrich said, adding that “it is a tragedy that the US has abandoned manned space flight.” (Find more in the Christian Science Monitor). He has proposed that NASA teams up with private industry and, hence, it will cost the government very little. Probably just pocket change. I am sure that any company would just love to team up with NASA and use their own money for no apparent return. That is what Capitalism is, right? By the way, in a speech in 1995, Gingrich said that NASA should have been disbanded after the Apollo moon program. It is his right to change his mind, but it is not clear to me that the new one is working any better. Maybe along with the moon base, Newt could propose, say, a sub-orbital petting zoo. Next, to commercialize the moon, he could put a creationist museum up there. Just like the one in Kentucky.
Newt, there is one big problem. The Republican war against higher education was going on for so long, that we don’t produce Americans anymore who have the skills needed to design the stuff that you want. Those days are gone! You guys weren’t as successful in getting rid of the first amendment as you probably would have liked, but you did make ignorance respectable! Thank you, Republicans.
Reason.com (recommended by Rush Limbaugh, as well as the late Christopher Hitchens) had an interesting article last November: “The case against Newt Gingrich” ( http://reason.com/archives/2011/11/17/the-case-against-newt-gingrich). Gingrich was asked: What measures would he adopt after repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan? After ridiculing the question and trying repeatedly to evade it, he gave his answer:
One, you go back to a doctor-patient relationship and you involve the family in those periods where the patient by themselves can’t make key decisions. But you re-localize it. Two, as several people said, including Gov. Perry, you put Medicaid back at the state level…
Three, you focus very intensely on a brand-new program on brain science, because the fact is the largest single out-year set of costs we are faced with are Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health, and things which come directly from the brain. And I am for fixing our health rather than fixing our health bureaucracy, because the iron lung is the perfect model of saving people so you don’t need to pay for federal program of iron lung centers because the polio vaccine eliminated the problem.
His answer was typical Republican — a bunch of cliches, non sequiturs, and mystifying tangents. It sounds like he must have used Michelle Bachmann’s speech writer. Is this what he thinks passes for deep thinking? Are we ashamed yet?
Ages ago, when Bob Dole and Newt were both in congress, there is a story that Newt asked Bob, “Why is it that people always take an instant dislike to me?” Bob replied, “Because it saves time.”
I don’t know if the story is true.