Nixon to China, Bush to Cuba

by Reihan

The title says it all. But why might President Bush seek to reverse our Cuba policy?

(1) It's a legacy-building move, a bid for respect from foreign policy mandarins.

(2) It could be part of a substantive change of heart on the issue: a conviction that smothering commercial and cultural engagement is preferable to confrontation.

(3) Then, of course, there is the propaganda coup against clownofascist Hugo Chavez.

(4) At the risk of sounding absurd, consider the intra-family dynamics. Jeb is essentially an honorary Cuban reactionary, and I mean that in the best sense. (Those guys are cool, and they wear amazing hats.) He is also, let's be frank, the favorite son. Why not show Jebbie who's boss and win warm accolades from everyone north of West Palm Beach?

To be sure, there are plenty of reasons not to do it, most of them political.

(1) Florida will be tough for McCain to hold as it is (or not), and this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

(2) The Cuban American National Foundation types have long memories, and it does seem as though Castroism is on its last legs regardless. Why stick your neck out?

(3) And a visceral hostility to the mandarinate might be reason enough not to do "give in," so to speak.

Another possibility would be for President Bush to make his move after the presidential election. This will happen shortly after he rides, Dr. Strangelove-style, a mammoth bunker-buster deep into the heart of Teheran. Or after he joins the World Federalist Society.